You promise to give up loyalty to your native country, but the U.S. still lets you be a citizen of your native country too. Becoming a U.S. citizen can change your rights in your native country. Each country has its own rules. Check with your native country about its rules. In your native country you may lose:
The right to vote
The right to own property there
These things may change:
Your custody rights to your children
Your right to enter your native country
You may need a permit to work in your native country
Have had your permanent resident card for 5 years. It is only 3 years if you are married to and have lived with a person who has been a U.S. citizen for at least 3 years or if you were approved for VAWA based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen (I-360 self-petition).
Live in the same state for more than 3 months.
Have good moral character.
Swear loyalty to the U.S.
Read, write and speak English and know some U.S. history and government. You may be able to skip the English or history tests – see below.
Even if you do not know English, do not give up. Take citizenship and English classes. Many classes are free. To find citizenship and English classes near you, call The Minnesota Literacy Council at 1-(800) 222-1990 or text (612) 424-1211. Or go online to http://mnliteracy.org/.
If you can't learn English, history or government because you have a medical condition, you can ask for a “waiver.” “Waiver” means that you do not have to do the interview in English, and you do not have to take the history and civics test.
Yes. The fee is $725. If you get federal benefits like MFIP or SSI, or if you have a low income or financial hardship you may be able to ask Immigration to file for free or pay a lower fee. See our Fact Sheet, Immigration Fee Waivers.
In some cases, you should. The lawyer can give you advice about whether to apply and how to fill out the papers. The lawyer can also give you advice about if there is any risk that you could be deported because of something in your history. Talk to a lawyer if you:
Spent more than 6 months outside the U.S., since you came to the U.S.
Had alcohol or drug problems, including Khat or illegal drugs.
Were arrested or charged with a crime, even if it's been expunged.
Were charged or convicted for domestic abuse or someone had an Order for Protection (OFP) against you.
Are on parole or probation
Didn’t pay child support you had to pay within the past 5 years.
Did not file income tax returns when you should have or if you owe taxes.
Were married when you entered the U.S., but you applied to come here as an “unmarried refugee child”.
Have not been truthful with Immigration in the past.
Didn’t register for the military draft as a young man between the age of 18 and 26.
Were in the Communist Party.
Were in any racist or hate group, or a group that wanted to overthrow the U.S. government.
Have any questions about any changes in your life which may affect your immigration status.
Want to change your name as part of the citizenship process.
Tell the truth in your application and at your interview. One shoplifting offense 10 years ago may not keep you from being a citizen, but lying about it could.