Applying for US citizenship can be stressful, but you can make the process easier with this handy checklist, which will ensure that you don’t forget anything. Check off each step as you complete it to ensure that you are on track:
– Are you eligible for citizenship? The first step is to make sure that you are ready for citizenship. To be ready, you must generally have been a green card holder for some time and must have made a permanent residence in the US for years. You can – and should — consult the USCIS website for a full list of eligibility requirements.
– Is there anything in your past that may make it difficult for you to secure citizenship? If you have a criminal record, problems with the IRS, or other problems which may cause problems as you apply for naturalization, it may be a good idea to set up a consultation with a qualified US immigration attorney. A good attorney can give you advice on strengthening your application so that you do not have to face delays and rejection unnecessarily.
– Do you have copies of your green card? You will need to send in photocopies of your green card (both front and back). If your green card is about to expire or is damaged and lost, you may want to take care of this first.
– If you are applying for citizenship based on marriage, do you have proof of the marriage as well as proof of the termination of any previous marriages? You will need to submit more documentation if you are applying for naturalization based on marriage, so give yourself time to gather together all the documents you need.
– Are you signed up for a citizenship class or do you have a plan of study? To pass the citizenship test, you will need knowledge of English as well as an understanding of US history and civics. It’s a good idea to start studying early. Get books and resources or sign up for a citizenship test in your area so that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
– Do you have your documents ready? At minimum, you will need two identical photographs of yourself (both in color, with your name and Alien Registration Number written in pencil on the back), a photocopy of your green card (both the back and front of the card), and a filing fee. Depending on your specific situation, you may also need additional documentation. Check the instructions for Form N-400 to determine what documents you need specifically.
– Are you ready for your interview and exam?
– Do you have USCIS Form N-400? Once you are ready to start applying, getting the latest version of the form.