Basics of Naturalization

Required Forms




(if applying for fee waiver)

Required initial evidence

Your permanent resident card (or a copy of front and back) (expired is ok in MOST jurisdictions, including Chicago)

Your marriage certificate

All divorce certificates for you and your spouse

Proof of valid marriage (if applying to naturalize after three years of residence)

Living together (photos, mortgage, lease, witness statements)

Children (birth/adoption certificates and proof of financial support)

Financial commitments (joint bank accounts, taxes, bills, insurance, etc.)

Phone logs, emails, texts, messenger, Whatsapp, any other communication.

Other considerations

International travel:

You must not have been outside the United States for more than half of the time required to apply to naturalize

You must not have not traveled out of the United States for more than six months at any time since becoming a resident

18 months total for three-year applications

30 months total for five-year applications

Overdue taxes

Outstanding child support payments

Accidentally voting or registering to vote in a United States election

Registration for the Selective Service of men who lived in the United States during the ages 18 to 26 (even if undocumented)

Controlled substances:

Marijuana is still federally illegal and even the casual use of it makes you inadmissible! Stay away from it until you naturalize!

Arrests (make sure to submit photocopies of the following items with your application and bring the official versions with you to your interview):

Certified dispositions of all arrests – even from before becoming a lawful permanent resident;

Expunged arrests must be temporarily unsealed to get disposition;

Minor traffic infractions (speeding, running red lights, parking) do not require certified dispositions;

I-912, Request for Fee Waiver:

Individuals earning less than 150% of the poverty level each year qualify for a waiver of 100% of the naturalization application government fee;

Check the I-912P to determine how little you must make yearly based on your household size;

Use the “total income” section on your most recent tax return to see if you qualify;

Intake forms and successful case example

Please use these biographical information forms and an example of a successful application to help you properly file your case. Make sure to use the most recent version of the forms by clicking on the Required Forms links above.