Form N-400: Application for Naturalization

Green Card holders are eligible to start naturalization process in 5 years after receiving Green Card (U.S. citizens’ spouses in 3 years).

The first step is to complete Form N-400 (Application for Naturalization).


  • Be at least 18 years old at the moment of submitting Form N-400;
  • Be a green card holder for 5 years (3 years for U.S. citizens’ spouses);
  • Show that you have been physically present in the USA for 30 months. For U.S. citizens’ spouses – 18 months;
  • Demonstrate good moral character (in practice it means no arrests).

You are allowed not to take English exam if:

  • You are 55 and you have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 15 years;
  • You are 50 or older and you have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years;
  • You are unable to pass the exam because of a physical disability or a mental impairment (and you have a medical certificate) then you do not have to take English and U.S. history tests.


It can take about three months since you have filed Form N-400 till your interview is scheduled. The procedure takes less time in years of presidential elections.


  • Once you have submitted Form N-400 you will be invited to take biometrics and for an interview after it. During the interview you will take U.S. history and English test.
  • After you have completed the interview, you will receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance.
  • You return your green card (it is a compulsory condition) and receive naturalization certificate in exchange. You need to go to a post office with it and fill in an Application for a US passport, which you will receive by mail.

Document checklist:

  • A copy of both sides of your Green Card;
  • A copy of your birth certificate;
  • A copy of your marriage certificate and divorce decree;
  • A copy of your old passport and other documents that changed your name;
  • If you have ever been arrested or detained by law enforcement authorities, charges were filed and so on – submit certified copies (from court archives) of the omplete arrest record and disposition for each incident. It is very important to present information about all the arrests even if they were expunged or sealed;
  • Men, who were green card holders between the ages of 18 and 26, send “Status Information Letter” from the Selective Service;
  • Other documents (see the full list on your personal account on the site, after you register and start filling in the form).


All your documents in any language, except for English, must be translated. You need to bring originals of all the documents mentioned in your application to an interview at the Embassy or Immigration Service.

Copies of documentary evidence attached to an application shall be of good quality and translated into English. Translation must be certified by translator’s signature with his/her name, contacts and qualification. All the originals will be returned after the interview.

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