Naturalization

Basics of Naturalization

Required Forms:

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;

Naturalization Forms and Samples

Please use these resources 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.

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