Need help? CAIR-SV is here for you!
Contact our attorney for help with the naturalization process here.
Find out about any free naturalization fairs or immigration clinics here: https://ca.cair.com/sacval/events/
Ensure you aren’t already a citizen. If your answer to one of the following questions is “Yes,” then you may not have to go through the naturalization process:
- Were you born in the U.S. or a U.S. territory?
- Is one of your parents a citizen?
Determine your eligibility for citizenship:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Be a lawful permanent resident
- Must have had continuous permanent residence for at least 5 years (3 years if married to a citizen)
- Must prove that you’ve been in the U.S. for 30 months (18 months if married to a citizen)
- Must show that you’ve lived for three months in the state where you claim residence
- Green card
- Foreign passport, if applicable
- All travel documents from the past 5 years, if applicable
- Copy of spouse’s U.S. birth certificate or citizenship certificate (if applicable)
- All divorce or death certificates for client and client’s spouse’s prior marriages (if applicable)
- Social Security Card
- If married to a U.S. citizen, a copy of the marriage certificate
- If male who lived in the U.S. from the ages of 18-26, evidence of Selective Service registration (waiver may be available)
- Birth certificates and green cards of all children (if applicable)
- Documentation of all arrests and/or convictions, including reasons for the arrest, date, place and outcome/disposition if any.
Filing fee – Submit with application for naturalization
- Cost: $725, including $85 biometric fee, which applicants 75 years and older don’t have to pay.
- How to pay: DO NOT PAY WITH CASH. You can pay online if you’re submitting your application online. By mail, you can pay via money order, personal check, cashier’s check or credit card (Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions). Make checks out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Fee waiver – Submit with application for naturalization
- There is a fee waiver available for individuals who cannot afford the filing fee and qualify.
- You, your spouse or the head of household living with you, are receiving a means-tested benefit. (A means-tested benefit is government aid provided to those who can prove their income is below a certain level, i.e. food stamps, medi-cal.)
- Your household income is at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- There is a financial hardship that prevents you from paying the filing fee.
- Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, must be submitted with the N-400 (Naturalization Form) in order to qualify.
- Include ALL documents (copies, unless otherwise specified) to prove eligibility with application.
Complete and submit the Form N-400 – Double and triple check that everything is filled out correctly!
- Ensure you filled out the form completely, including a signature, before sending it in. Missing information can greatly delay processing.
- Make a copy of the form and your documents for your records
- Submit the form, any required documents, and your payments or the fee waiver documentation to (if you’re not filing online):
- If you live in California:
- For U.S. Postal Service (USPS): USCIS, P.O. Box 21251, Phoenix, AZ 85036
- For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries: USCIS, Attn: N-400, 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85034
- If you live in another state, you can find information about where to mail your form here: https://www.uscis.gov/n-400
- If you live in California:
Next Steps – Don’t miss these!
- You will receive a biometrics appointment notice from USCIS, typically a few weeks after your N-400 application is accepted. You photo, fingerprints and signature will be taken.
- You will then receive an appointment notice for your naturalization interview. During this appointment, the officer will go over the N400 and you will take the civics and English language tests. You get two chances to pass the tests.
- Shortly after passing the tests and interview, you will be scheduled to take part in a naturalization ceremony to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen.
And please remember, the entire process can take a year or longer!