What documents do I need to apply for U.S. citizenship?

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Question:

What documents do I need to apply for U.S. citizenship?

Answer:

If you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship (naturalization), you will need to submit a combination of forms, documents, two passport-style photographs, and a fee. (To see whether you are eligible to naturalize, read the related articles under "U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization.")

The form that you must submit to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is called Form N-400. Along with the completed Form N-400 you must submit the following:

  • A copy of your green card (evidencing your lawful permanent residence and how long you have held that status).
  • If you are requesting any special waivers or exceptions, proof that you qualify. For example, if you are applying after three years rather than five years as a lawful permanent resident because you have been married to a U.S. citizen all that time, provide proof of your marriage and joint residence.
  • If you've been married before, proof that all your marriages were legally ended.
  • If you were away from the U.S. for any duration during the five years from the date you received your green card approval, documentary evidence that your total period of absence from the U.S. does not exceed one year and that you were physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months during the five-year period.
  • If you're requesting a waiver of the testing requirements based on disability, Form N-648, filled out by your doctor.
  • If your name has changed since you got your green card, documents showing the legal basis and proof of the change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.
  • You might also wish to include a cover letter, detailing what is in the application and bringing attention to any special requests you are making, such as for a waiver or for accommodations based on disability.

USCIS may request further documents. If you fail to provide the requested documents, your application can be denied. An experienced US immigration attorney can advise you on the required documents.

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