Naturalization

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is conferred upon a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The general requirements for administrative naturalization include:

  • a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;
    residence in a particular USCIS District prior to filing;
  • an ability to read, write, and speak English;
    a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • good moral character;
  • attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,
  • favorable disposition toward the United States.

All naturalization applicants must demonstrate good moral character, attachment, and favorable disposition. The other naturalization requirements may be modified or waived for certain applicants, such as spouses of U.S. citizens. Applicants should review the materials listed under “Related Links” and carefully read the N-400 application instructions before applying.

Note: Recent changes in immigration law and USCIS procedures now make it easier for U.S. military personnel to naturalize (see Naturalization Information for Military Personnel).

Naturalization Interviews to Be Conducted on Saturdays, Sundays and After Business Hours on Weekdays

In Fiscal Year 2007, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received a significant increase in naturalization applications. To address this increase, USCIS is expanding work hours and adding staff to complete these filings within processing time goals.

As part of this effort, many naturalization applicants will receive an appointment notice for an interview that will be scheduled after normal business hours on a weekday, or on Saturday or Sunday, at a USCIS office where their application is being processed. This interview is very important, and applicants should make every effort to appear for the scheduled interview since the current USCIS policy for rescheduling of interviews still applies. Please refer to the appointment notice for additional information about the appointment and the rescheduling policy.

Note: Some naturalization interviews may take place at an asylum office within the jurisdiction of the local USCIS office processing the application.