Why become a U.S. citizen?
Permanent residents who become U.S. citizens report feeling more a part of life here; they are more rooted. Citizenship gives you the right to vote in elections. You are free to travel as you please. You are protected from deportation. Average salaries increase with naturalization, and citizens are more likely to own their own homes. These economic contributions will benefit you, your family, and your community.
For more on the benefits and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship see: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/article/chapter2.pdf
Who is eligible to become a U.S. citizen?
Only legal permanent residents (people with green cards) who meet USCIS requirements are eligible to apply. See: https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/learn-about-naturalization
If you have questions about your eligibility, attend a Citizenship Clinic.
How do I become a U.S. citizen?
The U.S. Citizenship Information Service (USCIS) lays out three steps:
- Check your eligibility
- Complete five years of legal permanent residence in the U.S.
- Complete the naturalization process
(For more information: https://www.usa.gov/become-us-citizen)
Steps on the Pathway to Citizenship (from USCIS)
USCIS lays out the requirements along the path to citizenship.
The Big Barrier – the $725 Cost of Naturalization
It costs $725 to submit a naturalization application to USCIS. The fee is a big barrier to U.S. citizenship for many applicants.
Fee waivers. Applicants whose income is at or less than 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines may be eligible for a partial or full fee waiver from the U.S. government. See: https://www.uscis.gov/feewaiver. For a partial fee waiver, see: https://www.uscis.gov/i-942. For help filing a fee waiver, attend a Citizenship Workshop.
To pay: There are several ways to make payments: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/paying-immigration-fees including payment by credit card: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/fingerprints/pay-your-n-400-application-fee-your-credit-card