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2017-11-23

How to become a US citizen

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Generally you must be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the United States. Sometimes LPRs are referred to as green card holders.
After you have been a LPR for 4 years and 9 months, you can apply for naturalization by submitting the N400 application to the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) with a filing fee of $725.
If you have been an LPR for two years and nine months AND have been married to and living with a US citizen spouse all of that time, you can apply. Active duty military can apply in their first year of military service.
After receiving your application, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will schedule you for a biometrics appointment, which allows the agency to conduct criminal and other background checks.
About 8 months after filing for naturalization, you will be scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer in a USCIS Field Office. At that interview the officer will review your entire N400 application question by question. The officer also will give you the citizenship tests: reading a question out loud in English; writing a sentence in English as it is dictated by the officer; answering up to 10 questions about American history and government. The officer will advise you at the end of the interview if your application will be recommended for naturalization or if additional information or checks are required.
If recommended for approval, your application is forwarded to another officer for review and then for the scheduling of your swearing in ceremony when you will become a US citizen. You will be issued a naturalization certificate that day and you will surrender your permanent resident card.
Once you are a US citizen you must apply for a US passport and or a US passport card. The card is evidence of your citizenship but cannot be used for most international travel—other than travel by land in and out of Canada and Mexico.