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U.S. Naturalization Service

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You can become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth. Individuals who are born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and individuals born in certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States are citizens at birth. Also, individuals born outside the United States may be citizens at birth if their parent or parents were citizens at the time of birth and other requirements are met.

Additionally, you may become a U.S. citizen after birth either through your parents, known as “derived” or “acquired” citizenship, or by applying for naturalization on your own.

For information about becoming a permanent resident (green card holder) or petitioning for family members, see “Green Card” or “Family” links on the home page.

Citizenship Through Naturalization

Generally, permanent residents (green card holders) age 18 or older who meet all eligibility requirements for naturalization may submit a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. For more information, see the “Citizenship Through Naturalization” link to the left.

Citizenship Through Parents

If eligible, you can “acquire” or “derive” U.S. citizenship through a qualifying U.S. citizen parent(s). For more information, see the “Citizenship Through Parents” link.

The Naturalization Test

All eligible applicants must take a test of English and History of the U.S. In order to be exempt from the English Proficiency test:

  • you must be at least 50 years old and have had a green card for 20 years, or
  • you must be at least 55 years old and have had a green card for 15 years
  • (both of the above must be true on the date of filing your application.)
  • Note that you MUST take the history and government test anyway (regardless of the English exemption). You do not have to bring an interpreter to your interview if you qualify under the above categories. An interpreter will be provided for you by telephone conference.
    OR:
  • You must have a medical waiver from your physician exempting you from taking English Proficiency Test, (Form N-648 Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions )

There are no more citizenship prep classes.

If the applicant is a recipient of SSI benefits and has left the US for more than 30 days, the USCIS will require a letter from Social Security Administration as to whether the applicant had notified that office of the absence from the US.

If the applicant is a divorced man (with children from that marriage), the USCIS may require him to provide proof of divorce, payments of child support and custody papers.

You will NOT be fingerprinted if at the time of application you are under 14 or over 75.

USCIS Fingerprinting Center
122 Charcot Ave.
San Jose, CA 95131-1101
888-557-5398

If you cannot make your fingerprinting appointment, you may request a rescheduling by marking the Notice of Action form for the next available days. ( Either Wednesdays or Saturdays).

Note you may be fingerprinted again 18 months after the date of the application if you have not yet been interviewed.

If your fingerprints are rejected TWICE for illegibility, then provide the USCIS with a police record clearance from your local police or sheriff department

Selective Service Requirement:

If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 26 you must include with your N-400 application an evidence of Selective Service Registration which is called Selective Service Number. To get this number first you:

  • Must call 847-688-6888
  • Complete the Selective Service System's Questionnaire Form over the phone.
  • Receive a "status information letter" from Selective Service; and
  • Send "status information letter" to USCIS with your application.

(You may also go to a United States post office and register in person, or to Selective Service Site at www.sss.gov)

If you are a male and over the age of 26 and you resided in the United States between the ages of 18 and 26 you must also include with your N-400 application an evidence of Selective Service Registration which is called Selective Service Number.
To get this number first you

  • Must call (847) 688-6888
  • If your birth date is before March 29,1957 you should call (703) 605-4047
  • Complete the Selective Service System's Questionnaire Form over the phone.
  • Receive a "status information letter" from Selective Service; and Send "status information letter" to USCIS with your application.

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