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10 steps to naturalization in the us

Updated: May 9, 2018

A newly naturalized US citizen

Naturalization is one way for a person who was not born in the United States to voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. If you're considering applying for naturalization here are the 10 steps you'll need to be successful.


General Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time you file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

  • Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.

  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.

  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.

  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. Students may apply for naturalization either where they go to school or where their family lives (if they are still financially dependent on their parents).

  • Be a person of good moral character.

  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.

  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).

  • Take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

See the graphic below for a visual outline of the general requirements for naturalization. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a US citizen call Montebello Community Adult School to enroll in our free citizenship preparation courses!


*** Depending on your situation, different requirements may apply to you. ***

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