The Applying for Citizenship Checklist

Longer waits to gain US citizenshipApplying for US citizenship can be a complicated process. You may wish to review this handy checklist to ensure that you have everything you need to apply for citizenship:

  1. The latest version of Form N-400 and the detailed instructions for the form. You can obtain these from the USCIS website. Make sure that you read the detailed instructions carefully and understand them well before attempting to fill out the form.
  2. A photocopy of both sides of your US green card. You will need a photocopy of this card to prove that you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States and therefore eligible for US citizenship.
  3. Two identical passport-style color photographs of you. Your Alien Registration Number and name must be written on the back of each photograph in pencil. Refer to the instructions for Form N-400 to get the details about exactly what these passports photos should look like.
  4. A payment, in the form of a money order or check for the filing fee and biometrics fee (if needed). Make payment payable to “”U.S. Department of Homeland Security”” and ensure that your Alien Registration Number is written on the back of the money order to check.
  5. Supporting documents. Read the instructions with Form N-400 carefully. You may require additional supporting documentation for your US citizenship application, depending on your specific circumstances. For example, if you are applying for citizenship based on your marriage to a US citizen, you may need to provide evidence of your marriage and your spouse’s US citizenship. If you have a criminal record, you may need to add supporting documentation. Read the directions carefully and ensure that you supply all required documentation exactly as requested by the USCIS. Failure to do so can result in delay of your application.
  6. File Form N-400. Once you have all the supporting documentation and your form filled out, make sure that your file Form N-400. It can take several months for the application form to be processed, so apply as soon as you are able to.
  7. Start preparing for the US citizenship interview and test. Take classes, use a US citizenship test kit, or read books designed to help you prepare for this citizenship test. You will need to master the English language as well as US history and civics in order to pass the citizenship exam. The sooner you start studying, the more likely you are to pass the interview and naturalization test.