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Law Offices of Haregu Gaime

Applying for Citizenship

To apply for U.S. Citizenship requires meeting the eligibility requirements and submitting the “N-400, Application for Naturalization.” You must have a Green Card for at least five years (three years if married to a U.S. citizen) before you can apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.

There are ten steps to take in order.

  1. Double check to make sure you are not already a U.S. citizen for these reasons:
    • Being physically born in the USA or in one of the territories of the USA.
    • Being born to American parent(s) while they were living abroad.
  2. Make sure you are eligible for U.S. citizenship. Use the worksheet to determine if you qualify for naturalization.
  3. Fill out the N-400, Application for Naturalization. It is recommended to seek legal counsel from a qualified immigration attorney to help with the application process. Check the required documents checklist to make sure you have all the required documents that prove your eligibility to apply for U.S. citizenship. You will also need to get two passport-sized photos to submit with the application.
  4. Submit the application Form N-400 with the proper fees. A receipt will be sent to you. Average processing times and application status can be found online or by calling 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (for those with impaired hearing).
  5. If needed, go to the appointment to give your biometrics. The USCIS sends a notice to anyone under the age of 75 years, to come to an appointment to give biometrics. Be sure to arrive at the appointment slightly before the appointment time.
  6. Come to the appointment for an interview. USCIS will send a notice with a place and a time for an interview appointment. Bring the appointment notice along and then come to the appointment on the proper day and time.
  7. A decision is made by USCIS on your application. A written notice of the decision is sent to you by the USCIS. The decision will be either granted, continued, or denied. Granted means your application is accepted. Continued means you must provide more information. Denied means your application was rejected.
  8. Allegiance Ceremony. Applicants that are granted naturalization receive have an immediate ceremony of allegiance thereafter if it is possible or they receive Form N-445, “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony” in the mail. Fill out the form before you arrive at the USCIS office. Come to the proper USCIS office on the proper day and time for your ceremony to swear an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
  9. Swear Allegiance to the United States. Turn in your Green Card because you no longer need it. Then, take a solemn oath to swear allegiance to the United States. You get a Certificate of Naturalization. Check it very carefully to make sure there are no mistakes in the document. If you find any mistakes, immediately notify USCIS before leaving the ceremony area.
  10. Congratulations, you are now a citizen of the United States.


Apply for Citizenship Link

Path to U.S. Citizenship Link

N-400, Application for Naturalization Link

Processing Times Link

Application Status Link

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