Step 1: Determine if you are eligible to apply to become a U.S. citizen.
- At least 18 years old
- Permanent Resident for at least 5 years (3 years if you are married to a U.S. citizen)
- Other eligibility requirements
Step 2: Attend an Information Session.
Resources for citizenship information and education are available at local libraries. The Santa Clara City Library offers ESL classes, practice tests, and classes to help guide residents through the Pathway of Citizenship. There are also several other organizations that offer resources to those applying for naturalization.
Step 3: Prepare the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) and documents.
Complete Form N-400 to apply for naturalization and provide the required documentation. Download Form N-400 at www.uscis.gov/n-400 or call the USCIS Forms Line at 1-800-870-3676 to request a copy. Collect the required documents listed on the document checklist.
Step 4: Naturalization Interview and Preparing for the Exam.
After submitting the Form N-400 and verification of eligibility, you will receive a notice of receipt and letter for interview. Prepare for the exam with practice tests that are available online, at the Santa Clara City Library, and via naturalization supporting agencies.
Step 5: Oath of Allegiance and Understanding U.S. Citizenship
You are not a U.S. citizen until you take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. The oath is administered by USCIS at an administrative ceremony or by a judge in a judicial ceremony. Now as a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the United States and your loyalty to its Constitution. As a result, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship.