Step by step instruction of naturalization in USA

Step by step instruction of naturalization in USA

What Is Naturalization

  Naturalization is a process of United States citizenship achievement. Naturalization is needed in case you decide to engage yourself in living in this country seriously and for the long haul. Citizenship grants a person the right to vote, allows to visit 172 countries of the world with minimal inconvenience, and gives an opportunity to work in federal organs of governance. Furthermore, your kids will get medical benefits and some tuition discounts.

Some people think that naturalization is a difficult and time-consuming process, but if we make things as clear as a bell and compartmentalize one complex problem we’ll see that it’s not that difficult. Every person is able to pass the naturalization requirements  if he/she has some patience and diligence.

Who Has Right for Naturalization

Who Has Right for Naturalization
Every person who has lived in USA for 5 years with a green card may become a citizen. It should be noted that you don’t have to leave the country’s territory for more than 2.5 years in total. You may submit the documents in 90 days prior to the end of the 5 year period, i.e. after you have lived in the country for 4 years and 9 months.

If you are lucky to be married to an American citizen, the period after which you can submit the documents shortens to 3 years (but you may not divorce as long as leave the country in 18 months prior to submitting).

If these conditions are observed, it’s worth taking a risk and submitting the papers to USCIS.

What Does Naturalization Consist of

Naturalization process may be figuratively divided in 4 stages:

  1. Fill in USCIS Form N-400 and collect copies of all the documents.
  2. Pass fingerprinting.
  3. Pass an interview.
  4. Take an oath to USA.

The first thing you need to do is to download and to fill in USCIS Form N-400, which is not a difficult but time-consuming process, so you better take some sandwiches and coffee or hamburgers and coke in order not to be bored.

The best way is to fill in the form in electronic format and to print it after that — this will wean you off additional complexity. If you are going to do it by hand, write in block letters, use black ink and don’t grudge paper — print some additional files because everyone makes mistakes. You can download USCIS Form N-400 via this link.

After the form is filled in and spellchecked, you need to prepare copies of both front and back sides of your green card, and to make 2 photos of yourself for passport in the nearest drugstore. Write down your name and A# number of your green card on the back sides of the photographs.

Then write out a check for Department of Homeland Security; you also may remit the money or pay using your credit card via G-1450 form. This year registration fee is $ 640 and fingerprinting costs $ 85. As always, military men and old-timers are lucky as they don’t have to pay for fingerprinting.

Put the copies, N-400 form, checks and photos into an envelope and send it. Information for different states is given there. In 1 or 2 weeks a confirming SMS must be sent to you.


After you send the documents, you will soon receive a confirming letter about date and time of the fingerprinting procedure. You’ll need to visit the notified address and have your green card with you. You’ll get a form there and will write down your form number. Then your fingerprints and photos will be taken and some materials to prepare for the interview will be given to you. After that they’ll let you go and you’ll have to wait for the next letter. During this time, FBI will be checking you in its databases.


Interview is not a very fast process, so we recommend you to be patient and not to forget your documents at home. Waiting may take more time than the interview itself.

You’ll be asked to promise to tell only the truth, asked some questions about history and social structure of the United States and given a small dictation consisting of one statement. Then your N-400 Form will be investigated and some personal questions will be asked to you. The interview may take about 30 minutes.

To pass this exam successfully, just learn answers to all the 104 questions. The way you do it is up to you. Some people use a mobile app, someone writes down the answers by hand for better memorizing, and someone just learns by heart from that little book which is given for preparing.

After successful passing of the exam you’ll be given a special document.



So, here’s that crowning moment when you’ve got an invitation letter (yes, a letter again) which should be filled up by your own.

It’s important to say that oath is a special event in the USA, and you won’t be let in if you are dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.

We recommend to hire a classical tail coat, bow tie and a band collar shirt for a gentleman and an evening crinoline dress with low neck, bouffant skirt and a corset for a lady, but actually usual business style will do.

Most often, the oath happens in the courtroom. A pack of documents consisting of the President’s congratulation, instruction of your following actions, a form which has to be filled in to achieve the passport, a memo of civil rights, and the text of the oath itself to read it aloud will be given to you.

You’ll have to return your green card and to answer some questions whether any changes occurred since the form had been filled in. Then they will ask you to check if everything is written correctly in the certificate.

After the judge comes in, the oath is taken and certificates are given, the ceremony is over! You are the citizen of the USA from now on, you may celebrate it and then go to your favorite post office to send a request of plastic and paper passport, but it’s another story…

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