A Green Card gives the holder the right to stay and work in the United States on a permanent basis. It is the only path an immigrant can take to become a naturalized United States citizen. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the Green Card program, which has many options for those who want to submit a petition, each with its own set of rules and procedures.

How to qualify for a Green Card

There are many ways you can petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to obtain a Green Card. Here are some of the most common avenues:

Family Based

Family based Green Card petitions are the most common form of Green Card sponsorship.

If you are the immediate relative of a United States citizen, they can petition the government on your behalf to secure a Green Card for you. An immediate relative is defined as a U.S. citizen’s spouse, brother or sister, unmarried children or stepchildren under 21 years old, an adopted child under 18, parent or step-parent, married child of any age or an unmarried son or daughter of any age.

If you are the immediate relative of a current Green Card holder, they can also petition the government on your behalf to secure a Green Card for you. Immediate relatives of Green Card holders include a spouse, unmarried children or step children under 21, an adopted child under 18 or an unmarried son or daughter over 21.

Because demand always exceeds the number of Green Cards that can be allotted in any one year, preference categories help determine an appropriate order. In most cases, this means that the higher the preference category, the shorter the wait for a Green Card.

The preference categories are as follows:

  • Family First Preference (F1) – unmarried adult 21 years or older who are sons or daughters of United States citizens.
  • Family Second Preference (F2) – Spouses, unmarried children under 21 years old and unmarried sons and daughters over 21 years old of lawful permanent residents.
  • Family Third Preference (F3) – married sons and daughters of United States citizens. Applies to any age.
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4) – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children. The U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old.

In some instances, USCIS may grant an Extreme Hardship Waiver.

Employment Based

The other most common for of Green Card sponsorship is based on employment. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has developed a ranking preference system based on certain characteristics of a person seeking to come to the United States in a job related function. 

  • Employment First Preference is given to outstanding educators and researchers, executives with multi-national companies and people with extraordinary abilities.
  • Employment Second Preference is given to executives with advanced degrees, and persons with exceptional abilities or exceptional professors and researchers. 
  • Employment Second Preference with a National Interest Waiver is given to persons and advanced degree professionals involved in activities that will substantially benefit the U.S. national interest.
  • Employment Third Preference is given to professionals with a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, skilled and unskilled workers.

Schedule A workers include registered nurses, physical therapists and people qualified to work in one of the shortage occupations on what is known as the Schedule A List, including exceptional sciences or arts professionals and exceptional persons in the performing arts.

Adoption

Children under 16 years old can be adopted by U.S. citizens or existing Green Card holders.

Refuge or Asylum

There are many war torn countries and regions throughout the world, and the United States allows entry into the country based these upheavals. It’s important to note that seeking entry into the U.S. under the banner of refugee or asylum status is not based on economic conditions under any circumstances.

Although granted under similar standards, there is a difference between seeking refuge in the U.S. versus seeking asylum. To be granted entry as a refugee, a person must be outside the boundaries of the United States while a person seeking asylum is either already in the United States or they are at a border, such as an air, land or sea port of entry, ready to cross into the U.S.

To be granted entry as a refugee or as an asylum seeker, the U.S. must formally investigate and determine that a person or group of people are unable or unwilling to return to their native country because they fear serious harm or that they will be persecuted based on race, religion nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

Refugee and asylum seekers can seek to become permanent residents one year after being granted entry initial entry

Investors

Foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain investment thresholds can apply for a Green Card. There are two levels under this scenario.

  • Persons who invest $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 5 full-time U.S. jobs.
  • Persons who invest $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs.

Diversity Visa Lottery

This is also known as the Green Card Lottery and allows persons from countries where immigration rates to the United States are low a chance to participate in a random drawing. Up to 50,000 Permanent Resident cards are made available each year through this system. The goal of the program is to make sure that the United States has a diversified immigrant population. To enter, candidates must make sure their country qualifies and then file an electronic application during the Lottery’s registration period. 

Registry

Some people who are currently in the country illegally, but who have made the United States their home since 1972 are eligible to apply for a Green Card.

Diplomats

Diplomats and their families who enter the United States to to work on behalf of their governments can adjust their statuses to Green Card holders. They must waive diplomatic privileges and immunities, and there must be a compelling reason why the diplomat or their family members cannot return to their original country, such as fear of persecution.

When a family member or employer sponsors you

Although there are several possible avenues an immigrant can follow to obtain a Green Card, the two most common are having a family member or an employer petition for U.S. permanent residency on your behalf.

In these instances, there are a couple of major steps that will need to take place as part of the petitioning process.

In the case of an employer, they can petition U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to get a Green Card on behalf of a foreign worker. First, the employer must advertise and recruit for the job in question. If they do not find a U.S. worker who is qualified, willing and able to take the job, then the employer can submit a labor certification request.

In the case of a family member, a sponsoring immediate family member must start the Green Card process by filing a visa petition. In some instances, applicants can also start the communication process on their own, such as when you are seeking asylum or you want to invest in the United States. After submitting a petition, you will need to wait for a reply from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

After the petition is approved, it is transferred to the National Visa Center. The NVC processes all approved petitions and retains them until Green Card cases are ready for adjudication. This process may take several years due to quotas and restrictions in certain Green Card categories. Petitioners are placed on a waiting list and given a Priority Date. When the Priority Date becomes current, a person can submit their application for a Green Card.

You can submit a Green Card application in the United States or to the U.S. consulate in your home country. In response, you will be scheduled for a Green Card interview at which time your application will either be approved or denied.

Rights and responsibilities as a Green Card holder

Although a considerable amount of effort goes into getting a United States Green Card, the benefits are well worth it. Most important, getting a Green Card puts you one step closer to U.S. citizenship. It is the only path you can take to earn that distinction.

But there are many other rights and benefits you gain as well:

  • You are able to sponsor other relatives so that they can apply for their own Green Card. Your family member must be an immediate relative which is defined as a spouse, parents or unmarried children under 21 years old.
  • You pay significantly less for tuition to attend educational institutions. As a Green Card holder, you are able to claim “in state” status when you apply to schools. A Green Card also gives you the right to apply for financial aid to further reduce tuition costs.
  • As a Green Card holder, you only need to renew your status once every 10 years instead of on a more frequent basis under other immigrant or nonimmigrant visas.
  • You are allowed to make contributions to political campaigns. However, you are not allowed to vote in U.S. elections.
  • Travel in and out of the United States is much easier as a Green Card holder. Be aware, however, that if you remain out of the United States for more than six months, you may be challenged as to whether or not you intend to make the United States your home. If you travel out of the U.S. for more than a year, you are presumed to have abandoned the United States as your permanent home.
  • If you work for 10 years in the United States before retiring, as a Green Card holder are entitled to receive Social Security benefits.

While you enjoy many benefits as a Green Card holder, you also have several obligations you must maintain as well.

  • It is your responsibility to file annual tax returns. Failure to do so will result in having your Green Card status revoked.
  • If you are between 18 and 25 years old, you must register for the Selective Service, better known as the military draft.
  • You must make sure you revalidate your Green Card before the end of the period the card is issued for. This is usually 10 years. If you do not renew, you will be considered “out of status” and considered to be in the United States illegally.
  • If you travel outside of the United States for longer than one year, you could lose your Green Card status. It is imperative that you check travel regulations to make sure you are compliant with requirements before you leave the U.S.
  • If you move, you must notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within 10 days.
  • You must carry your Green Card with you at all times if you are 18 or older.
  • As soon as you get a Green Card, you need to apply for a Social Security card if you do not already have one.
  • You must agree to support a democratic form of government in the United States. You may not engage in any activities that could be perceived as a threat to the country by either being subversive or criminal in nature.
  • Obey all laws. If you are convicted of a crime, you may lose your Green Card and you can be deported.

 Your path to citizenship

 Getting a Green Card is the only way that an immigrant can become a United States citizen. The process of becoming a citizen is called naturalization, and it involves many steps.

For most people, you must have lived in the United States for five years as a Legal Permanent Resident. If you are married and living with a U.S. citizen, that requirement drops to three years. If you travel frequently out of the country, then you must make sure you were in the United States for at least 30 months out of those five years, or a minimum of 18 months if you are married to a U.S. citizen. You must spend at least three months in your home state in the immediate timeframe before making your application for naturalization.

If you’re not sure if you are eligible to become a naturalized citizen, consult A Guide to Naturalization published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Also known as Form M-476, it will take you through all the steps to see if you qualify, including providing you with a Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet that you can fill out to help see if you qualify.

If you are a refugee, an asylum-seeker, or fall under any one of several other specialized categories that may make your application complicated, you might want to retain the services of an immigration attorney.

After you determine that you are eligible, complete Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment where your photo, fingerprints and signature will be taken, and then you take part in a naturalization interview.

As part of the interview, you will need to prove you have passed a U.S. Civics test and an English proficiency exam. At the end of the interview, officials will decide if you can become a naturalized citizen. If so, you will be invited to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during a swearing-in ceremony. 

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card is also known as a Permanent Resident Card and allows the holder to stay and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Although Green Card holders are not full U.S. citizens, they are granted almost all of the same rights.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the processes and procedures of people who want to obtain a Green Card. There are many avenues an immigrant can take to get a Green Card, each with its own set of standards and processes.

Obtaining a Green Card is the only path a person can take if they desire to become a full U.S. citizen at some point. Generally, Lawful Permanent Residents can apply for U.S. citizenship, also called naturalization, after being a Green Card holder for five years.

Qualifying for a Green Card

There are several ways to obtain a Green Card and become a United States Permanent Resident.  

Family Based

Relatives of U.S. citizens can be sponsored to petition for a Green Card. This extends to a U.S. citizen’s spouse, brother or sister, unmarried children or stepchildren under 21 years old, an adopted child under 18, parent or step-parent, married child of any age or an unmarried son or daughter of any age.

Relatives of Green Card holders can be sponsored if they are a spouse, unmarried children or step children under 21, an adopted child under 18 or an unmarried son or daughter over 21.

Adoption

Children under 16 years old can be adopted by U.S. citizens or existing Green Card holders. All foreign adoptions are investigated to make sure there is compliance with U.S. laws and the foreign country where the adoption took place. 

Employment Based

There are several levels of preference given to employment-based Green Card petitioners:

Employment First Preference is given to outstanding educators and researchers, executives with multi-national companies and people with extraordinary abilities.

Employment Second Preference is given to executives with advanced degrees, and persons with exceptional abilities or exceptional professors and researchers.

Employment Second Preference with a National Interest Waiver is given to persons and advanced degree professionals involved in activities that will substantially benefit the U.S. national interest.

Employment Third Preference is given to professionals with a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, skilled and unskilled workers.

Schedule A workers include registered nurses, physical therapists and people qualified to work in one of the shortage occupations on what is known as the Schedule A List, including exceptional sciences or arts professionals and exceptional persons in the performing arts.

Refuge or Asylum

Granting refuge is a formal process in which U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services determines that a person or group of people are unable or unwilling to return to their native country because they fear serious harm or that they will be persecuted based on race, religion nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. 

To qualify for refugee status, a person must be outside the boundaries of the United States.

Granting asylum applies the same standards as granting refugee status. The difference is that the person seeking asylum is either already in the United States or they are at a border, such as an air, land or sea port of entry, ready to cross into the U.S. 

Refugee and asylum seekers can both apply for permanent residence status one year after being granted their initial status. It is also important to note that refugee and asylum status is not granted based on economic circumstances, no matter how severe.

Investors

If they meet certain thresholds, foreign entrepreneurs can apply for a Green Card. There are two standards that can be met. 

Those who invest $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 5 full-time U.S. jobs.

Those who invest $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs.

Registry

A section of immigration law allows some people who have lived in the United States since January 1972 to apply for a Green Card, even if they are currently in the country illegally.

Diplomats

When diplomats and their families enter the United States to perform duties on behalf of their governments or international organizations, they are issued A or G visas. These visa holders can adjust their statuses to Green Card holders if they agree to waive their diplomatic privileges, immunities and rights and live and work in the U.S. like any other permanent resident. There must be a compelling reason why the diplomat or their family members cannot return to their original country, such as fear of persecution, similar to the same reasons as refugee or asylum seekers.

Diversity Visa Lottery

The U.S. Department of State annually conducts a Diversity Visa Lottery, also known as a Green Card Lottery, which makes up to 50,000 Permanent Resident cards available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Winners are drawn at random and the goal of the program is to diversify the immigrant population. People born in a country that has sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years are not eligible. The only way to enter the lottery is by filling out and sending in an electronic form found on the U.S. Department of State’s website during the registration period.

Private Bills

If Congress finds a compelling humanitarian factor for a person or group of people, they can introduce a private immigration bill for passage by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Special Immigrants

There is a wide range special immigrant groups that qualify to apply for a Green Card. Each of these groups has particular standards and qualifications that must be met as part of the petition process.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has detailed information on several of these special immigrant groups. Follow these links for more detailed information:

Religious Workers

Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government Employees

International Organization Employees or Family Members

Broadcaster

NATO-6 Nonimmigrant

Physician National Interest Waiver

Juvenile Court Dependents

Armed Forces Members

Afghanistan or Iraq nationals who supported the U.S. Armed Forces as translators

Iraq nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. Government in Iraq

What Can You Do with a Green Card?

The benefits of obtaining a Green Card give holders almost all the same benefits as a United States citizen. In technical terms, a “Green Card” is a more casual name given to U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, also known as LPRs. The main difference between an LPR and a United States citizen is that LPRs cannot vote or run for Federal public office.

Among the many benefits of a Green Card, the single most important one is that it is the only alien status that can lead to United States citizenship. Normally, it takes a minimum of five years as a Green Card holder before you can apply to become a U.S. citizen.

There are several other benefits Green Card holders enjoy in the United States:

  • You can legally own property, cars, firearms and anything else like an average American citizen does.
  • You are able to move about freely and live anywhere you want in the United States.
  • You can travel outside of the United States and return without problems. The only caveat here is if you plan on leaving the United States for more than six months. If you do, you may want to take steps to protect your permanent U.S. residency.
  • You can make political contributions to State and Federal elections. Foreign nationals are not entitled to this privilege.
  • Tuition costs for college and vocational studies could be reduced by as much as 80 percent. As a Green Card holder, you are also entitled to apply for student financial aid.
  • You have the right, but not the obligation, to become a United States citizen. If you choose, you can remain a permanent resident indefinitely. If the person’s country of origin allows for dual citizenship, it is possible to become a citizen of both countries at the same time.
  • You can sponsor your relatives so they can obtain their own Green Card.  
  • You enjoy permanent status in the United States and do not need to reapply to maintain your status. You only need to go through a simple renewal process for your Green Card every 10 years.  
  • You can get health and life insurance more easily. Some insurance companies will only grant policies to LPRs or U.S. citizens.
  • You will enjoy more freedom in the job market since it will be easier for you to move from company to company. Many times, nonimmigrant visa holders have restrictions placed on their U.S. employment. If you choose, you can also start your own business. The only restriction is that there are some government jobs with high levels of security clearance open only to United States citizens.
  • You may be eligible for more favorable terms when you apply for a mortgage. Many lenders require a Green Card or a long-term visa before approving a mortgage and some banks may charge higher interest rates for aliens who do not have a Green Card.
  • You are entitled to Social Security benefits if you are a Green Card holder who worked for 10 years before retiring.

Keep Your Green Card Active Requirements

After you have a Green Card, there are several obligations you must maintain to keep it. 

  • You must file U.S. Federal, State and Local tax returns. Immigration law is clear that permanent residents who fail to submit tax returns may have their permanent status revoked.
  • A Green Card is only issued for a specific period, usually 10 years. You must apply to have it revalidated at the end of that period if you have not already become a U.S. citizen. If you fail to renew, you could fall “out of status” which means you could be considered to be in the U.S. illegally.
  • If you travel outside the United States for more than one year at a time, you could lose your Green Card status. Be sure to check travel laws and length of time you’re going to be out of the country to make sure you comply with requirements that will allow you to maintain your Green Card.
  • If you are between 18 and 25 years old, you must register for Selective Service, also known as the military draft.
  • You must carry your Green Card with you at all times if you are 18 years of age or older. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $100 or going to jail for as much as 30 days for each offense.
  • If you move, you must notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within 10 days.
  • When your status changes, you must complete a new I-9 form for your employer.
  • Be careful not to vote in any election that requires voters to be U.S. citizens. This could be considered voter fraud, and there are criminal penalties for doing so. You could be deported and lose your Green Card.
  • If you do not already have a Social Security Card, you need to apply for one as soon as possible. 
  • You must agree to support the democratic form of government in the United States and not engage in any activities that could be viewed as posing a risk to the U.S., subversive, or criminal in nature.
  • You must obey all Federal, State and Local laws. If you’re convicted of a crime, your Green Card can be taken away and you can be deported from the country.

What are the Codes on a Green Card?

When you’re issued a green card, there will be a code on the card to describe the exact status of your immigration. It is important to know what code you have been assigned because there are certain restrictions and obligations that vary from code to code. 

The comprehensive list of immigration codes are:

A11 - Unmarried Amerasian son or daughter of a U.S. citizen born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam. 

A12 - Child of an alien classified as A11 or A16. 

A16 - Unmarried Amerasian son or daughter of a U.S. citizen born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam. 

A17 - Child of an alien classified as A11 or A16.

A31 - Married Amerasian son or daughter of a U.S. citizen born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam.

A32 - Spouse of an alien classified as A31 or A36.

A33 - Child of an alien classified as A31 or A36. 

A36 - Married Amerasian son or daughter of a U.S. citizen born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam. 

A37 - Spouse of an alien classified as A31 or A36. 

A38 - Child of an alien classified as A31 or A36. 

AA1 - Native of certain adversely affected foreign states (Diversity Transition). 

AA2 - Spouse of an alien classified as AA1 or AA6. 

AA3 - Child of an alien classified as AA1 or AA6. 

AA6 - Native of certain adversely affected foreign states (Diversity Transition). 

AA7 - Spouse of an alien classified as AA1 or AA6. 

AA8 - Child of an alien classified as AA1 or AA6. 

AM1 - Amerasian born in Vietnam after Jan. 1, 1962 and before Jan. 1, 1976, who was fathered by a U.S. citizen. 

AM2 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as AM1 or AM6. 

AM3 - Mother, guardian, or next-of-kin of an alien classified as AM1 or AM6, and spouse/child of the mother, guardian, or next-of-kin. 

AM6 - Amerasian born in Vietnam after Jan. 1, 1962 and before Jan. 1, 1976, who was fathered by a U.S. citizen. 

AM7 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as AM1 or AM6. 

AM8 - Mother, guardian, or next-of-kin of an alien classified as AM1 or AM6, and spouse/child of the mother, guardian, or next-of-kin. 

AR1 - Amerasian child of a U.S. citizen born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam (immediate relative child).

AR6 - Amerasian child of a U.S. citizen born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam (immediate relative child). 

AS6 - Asylee principal.

AS7 - Spouse of an alien classified as AS6.

AS8 - Child of an alien classified as AS6.

B11 - Self-petition unmarried son/daughter of U.S. citizen.

B12 - Child of an alien classified as B11 or B16.

B16 - Self-petition unmarried son/daughter of U.S. citizen.

B17 - Child of an alien classified as B11 or B16.

B20 - Child of an alien classified as B24 or B29.

B21 - Self-petition spouse of legal permanent resident.

B22 - Self-petition child of legal permanent resident.

B23 - Child of an alien classified as B21, B22, B26, or B27.

B24 - Self-petition unmarried son/daughter of legal permanent resident.

B25 - Child of an alien classified as B24 or B29.

B26 - Self-petition spouse of legal permanent resident.

B27 - Self-petition child of legal permanent resident.

B28 - Child of an alien classified as B21, B22, B26, or B27.

B29 - Self-petition unmarried son/daughter of legal permanent resident.

B31 - Self-petition married son/daughter of U.S. citizen.

B32 - Spouse of an alien classified as B31 or B36.

B33 - Child of an alien classified as B31 or B36.

B36 - Self-petition married son/daughter of U.S. citizen.

B37 - Spouse of an alien classified as B31 or B36.

B38 - Child of an alien classified as B31 or B36

BC1 - Alien entering the United States to work as broadcaster or for a grantee for the IBCB of BBG. (International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors)

BC2 - (IBCB of BBG) Spouse of BC1.

BC3 - (IBCB of BBG) Child of BC1.

BC6 - Alien entering the United States to work as broadcaster or for a grantee for the IBCB of BBG.

BC7 - (IBCB of BBG) Spouse of BC6.

BC8 - (IBCB of BBG) Child of BC6

BX1 - Self-petition spouse of legal permanent resident – exempt.

BX2 - Self-petition child of legal permanent resident – exempt.

BX3 - Child of an alien classified as BX1, BX2, BX6, or BX7.

BX6 - Self-petition spouse of legal permanent resident – exempt.

BX7 - Self-petition child of legal permanent resident – exempt.

BX8 - Child of an alien classified as BX1, BX2, BX6, or BX7.

C20  - Child of an alien classified as C-24 or C-29 – conditional.

C21 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C22 - Stepchild (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C23 - Child of an alien classified as C-21, C-22, C-26, or C-27 (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C24 - Unmarried son or daughter (21 years of age or older) who is a stepchild of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C25 - Child of an alien classified as C-24 or C-29 – conditional.

C26 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C27 - Stepchild (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C28 - Child of an alien classified as C-21, C-22, C-26, or C-27 (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C29 - Unmarried son or daughter (21 years of age or older) who is a stepchild of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations) – conditional.

C31 - Married son or daughter who is a stepchild of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

C32 - Spouse of an alien classified as C-31 or C-36 – conditional.

C33 - Child of an alien classified as C-31 or C-36 – conditional.

C36 - Married son or daughter who is a stepchild of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

C37 - Spouse of an alien classified as C-31 or C-36 – conditional.

C38 - Child of an alien classified as C-31 or C-36 – conditional.

C51 - Employment creation immigrant (not in targeted area).

C52 - Spouse of an alien classified as C51 or C56 (not in targeted area) – conditional. 

C53 - Child of an alien classified as C51 or C56 (not in targeted area) – conditional.

C56 - Employment creation immigrant (not in targeted area) – conditional. 

C57 - Spouse of an alien classified as C51 or C56 (not in targeted area) – conditional. 

C58 - Child of an alien classified as C51 or C56 (not in targeted area) – conditional. 

CB1 - Spouse of an alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant) – conditional. 

CB2 - Child of alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant) -conditional.

CB6 - Spouse of an alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant) – conditional. 

CB7 - Child of alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant) –conditional.

CF1 - Alien whose record of admission is created upon the conclusion of a valid marriage contract after entering as a fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

CH6 - Cuban-Haitian entrant. 

CF2 - Minor stepchild of an alien classified as CF-1 – conditional.

CR1 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

CR2 - Stepchild of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

CR6 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

CR7  - Stepchild of a U.S. citizen – conditional.

CU6 – Cuban refugee. 

CU7 - Non-Cuban spouse/child of an alien classified as a CU6.

CX1 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations)- conditional.

CX2 - Stepchild (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations) – conditional.

CX3 - Child of an alien classified as CX-2 or CX-7 (exempt from country limitations) – conditional.

CX6 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations)- conditional.

CX7 - Stepchild (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations) – conditional.

CX8 - Child of an alien classified as CX2 or CX7 (exempt from country limitations) – conditional.

DS1 - Creation of a record of lawful permanent resident status for individuals born under diplomatic status in the United States.

DT1 - Natives of Tibet who have continuously resided in Nepal or India

DT2 - Spouse of an alien classified as DT1 or DT6

DT3 - Child of an alien classified as DT1 or DT6.

DT6 - Natives of Tibet who have continuously resided in Nepal or India

DT7 - Spouse of an alien classified as DT1 or DT6.

DT8 - Child of an alien classified as DT1 or DT6.

DV1 - Diversity immigrant.

DV2 - Spouse of an alien classified as DV1 or DV6.

DV3 - Child of an alien classified as DV1 or DV6.

DV6 - Diversity immigrant.

DV7 - Spouse of an alien classified as DV1 or DV6.

DV8 - Child of an alien classified as DV1 or DV6.

E10 - Child of a priority worker classified as E-11, E-16, E-12, E-17, E-13, or E-18.

E11 - Priority worker – alien with extraordinary ability.

E12 - Priority worker – outstanding professor or researcher.

E13 - Priority worker – certain multinational executive or manager.

E14 - Spouse of a priority worker classified as E-11, E-16, E-12, E-17, E-13, or E-18.

E15 - Child of a priority worker classified as E-11, E-16, E-12, E-17, E-13, or E-18.

E16 - Priority worker – alien with extraordinary ability.

E17 - Priority worker – outstanding professor or researcher.

E18 - Priority worker – certain multinational executive or manager.

E19 - Spouse of a priority worker classified as E-11, E-16, E-12, E-17, E-13, or E-18.

E21 - Professional holding an advanced degree or of exceptional ability.

E22 - Spouse of an alien classified as E-21 or E-26.

E23 - Child of an alien classified as E-21 or E-26.

E26 - Professional holding an advanced degree or of exceptional ability.

E27 - Spouse of an alien classified as E-21 or E-26.

E28 - Child of an alien classified as E-21 or E-26.

E30 - Child of a skilled worker or professional classified as E-31, E-36, E-32, or E-37.

E31 - Alien who is a skilled worker.

E32 - Professional who holds a baccalaureate degree or who is a member of a profession.

E34 - Spouse of a skilled worker or professional classified as E-31, E-36, E-32, or E-37.

E35 - Child of a skilled worker or professional classified as E-31, E-36, E-32, or E-37.

E36 - Alien who is a skilled worker.

E37 - Professional who holds a baccalaureate degree or who is a member of a profession.

E39 - Spouse of a skilled worker or professional classified as E31, E36, E32, or E37.

E51 - Employment creation immigrant.

E52 - Spouse of an alien classified as E51 or E56. 

E53 - Child of an alien classified as E51 or E56. 

E56 - Employment creation immigrant. 

E57 - Spouse of an alien classified as E51 or E56. 

E58 - Child of an alien classified as E51 or E56. 

EC6 - Alien covered by Chinese Student Protection Act.

EC7 - Spouse of alien covered by Chinese Student Protection Act. 

EC8 - Child of alien covered by Chinese Student Protection Act. 

ES1 - Soviet scientist, principal. 

ES6 - Soviet scientist, principal. 

EW0 - Child of an alien classified as EW-3 or EW-8.

EW3 - Other worker performing unskilled labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

EW4 - Spouse of an alien classified as EW-3 or EW-8.

EW5 - Child of an alien classified as EW-3 or EW-8.

EW8 - Other worker performing unskilled labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

EW9 - Spouse of an alien classified as EW-3 or EW-8.

F11 - Unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen.

F12 - Child of an alien classified as F-11 or F-16.

F16 - Unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen.

F17 - Child of an alien classified as F-11 or F-16.

F20 - Child of an alien classified as F-24 or F-29 (subject to country limitations).

F21 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations).

F22 - Child (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations).

F23 - Child of an alien classified as F21 or F26 (subject to country limitations).

F24 - Unmarried son or daughter (21 years of age or older) of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations).

F25 - Child of an alien classified as F24 or F29 (subject to country limitations).

F26 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations).

F27 - Child (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations).

F28 - Child of an alien classified as F21 or F26 (subject to country limitations).

F29 - Unmarried son or daughter (21 years of age or older) of a lawful permanent resident alien (subject to country limitations).

F-31 - Married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen.

F32 - Spouse of an alien classified as F-31 or F-36.

F33 - Child of an alien classified as F-31 or F-36.

F36 - Married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen.

F37 - Spouse of an alien classified as F-31 or F-36.

F38 - Child of an alien classified as F-31 or F-36.

F41 - Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen.

F42 - Spouse of an alien classified as F-41 or F-46.

F43 - Child of an alien classified as F-41 or F-46.

F46 - Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen.

F47 - Spouse of an alien classified as F-41 or F-46.

F48 - Child of an alien classified as F-41 or F-46.

FX1 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations).

FX2 - Child (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations).

FX3 - Child of an alien classified as FX-1, FX-2, FX-7, or FX-8 (exempt from country limitations).

FX6 - Spouse of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations).

FX7 - Child (under 21 years of age) of a lawful permanent resident alien (exempt from country limitations).

FX8 - Child of an alien classified as FX-1, FX-2, FX-7, or FX-8 (exempt from country limitations).

GA6 - Iraqi National – whose application for asylum was processed in Guam between September 1,1996 and April 30, 1997, adjusting to lawful permanent residence in the U.S.

GA7 - Spouse of GA6

GA8 - Child of GA6

HA6 - Haitian National adjusting status under the Haitian Refugee Fairness Act of 1998

HA7 - Spouse of HA6.

HA8 - Child of HA6.

HA9 - Unmarried son or daughter of HA6.

HB6 - Haitian National who was paroled into the U.S. prior to December 31, 1995, after having been identified as having a credible fear of persecution, or paroled for emergent reasons or reasons deemed strictly in the public interest.

HB7 - Spouse of HB6.

HB8 - Child of HB6.

HB9 - Unmarried son or daughter of HB6.

HC6 – Haitian National who entered the U.S. as a child prior to December 31, 1995, became orphaned subsequent to arrival in the U.S., and has remained parentless.

HC7 - (HRIFA) Spouse of HC6.

HC8 - Child of HC6.

HC9 - Unmarried son or daughter of HC6.

HD6 – Haitian National who entered the U.S. as a child prior to December 31, 1995 and became orphaned after arrival.

HD7 - Spouse of HD6.

HD8 - Child of HD6.

HD9 - Unmarried son or daughter of HD6

HE6 – Haitian National who entered the U.S. as a child prior to December 31, 1995 was abandoned by parents or guardians prior to April 1, 1998 and has remained abandoned.

HE7 - Spouse of HE6.

HE8 - Child of HE6.

HE9 - Unmarried son or daughter of HE6.

HK1 - Employees of certain U.S. businesses operating in Hong Kong.

HK2 - Spouse of an alien classified as HK1 or HK6.

HK3 - Child of an alien classified as HK1 or HK6.

HK6 - Employees of certain U.S. businesses operating in Hong Kong.

HK7 - Spouse of an alien classified as HK1 or HK6.

HK8 - Child of an alien classified as HK1 or HK6.

I51 - Investor Pilot Program, principal (targeted area) -conditional.

I52 - Spouse of an alien classified as I51 or I56 -conditional.

I53 - Child of an alien classified as I51 or I56 -conditional.

I56 - Investor Pilot Program, principal (targeted area) – conditional.

I57 - Spouse of an alien classified as I51 or I56 – conditional.

I58 - Child of an alien classified as I51 or I56 – conditional.

IB1 - Self-petition spouse of U.S. citizen.

IB2 - Self-petition child of U.S. citizen.

IB3 - Child of an alien classified as IB1 or IB6.

IB6 - Self-petition spouse of U.S. citizen.

IB7 - Self-petition child of U.S. citizen.

IB8 - Child of an alien classified as IB1 or IB6.

IC6 - Indochinese refugee.

ID6 - Indochinese Parolee

IF1 - Alien whose record of admission is created upon the conclusion of a valid marriage contract after entering as a fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen.

IF2 - Minor child of an alien classified as IF-1.

IR0 - Parent of a U.S. citizen.

IR1 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen.

IR2 - Child of a U.S. citizen.

IR3 - Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen.

IR4 - Orphan to be adopted by a U.S. citizen.

IR5 - Parent of a U.S. citizen.

IR6 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen.

IR7 - Child of a U.S. citizen.

IR8 - Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen.

IR9 - Orphan to be adopted by a U.S. citizen.

IW1 - Widow or widower of a U.S. citizen.

IW2 - Child of an alien classified as IW1 or IW6.

IW6 - Widow or widower of a U.S. citizen.

IW7 - Child of an alien classified as IW1 or IW6.

LA6 - Certain parolees from the Soviet Union, Cambodia, Laos, or Vietnam who were denied refugee status and paroled between Aug. 15,1988 and Sep. 30, 1999.

LB1 - Spouse of an alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant).

LB2 - Child of an alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant).

LB6 Spouse of an alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant).

LB7 - Child of an alien granted legalization under Sections 210, 245A of the INA, or Sec. 202 of PL-99-603 (Cuban-Haitian entrant).

M83 - Refugee-escapee previously admitted for lawful permanent resident status.

M93 - Hungarian parolee previously admitted for lawful permanent resident status.

MR0 - Parent of a U.S. citizen presumed to be a lawful permanent resident alien – Northern Mariana Islands.

MR6 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen presumed to be lawful permanent resident alien – Northern Mariana Islands.

MR7 - Child of a U.S. citizen presumed to be a lawful permanent resident alien – Northern Mariana Islands.

NA3 - Child born during the temporary visit abroad of a mother who is a lawful permanent resident alien or national of the United States.

NC6 - (NACARA) Nicaraguan or Cuban national granted adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.

NC7 - (NACARA) Nicaraguan or Cuban national granted adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence as spouse of NC6. 

NC8 - (NACARA) Nicaraguan or Cuban national granted adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence as child of NC6.

NC9 - (NACARA) Nicaraguan or Cuban national granted adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence as unmarried son/daughter of NC6

NP8 - Alien who filed and was qualified with investor status prior to June 1, 1978.

NP9 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as NP8.

PH6 - Alien of Polish or Hungarian nationality who was paroled into the U.S. between Nov. 1, 1989 and Dec. 31, 1991

R51 - Investor pilot program not targeted, principal –conditional

R52 - Spouse of an alien classified as R51 or R56 -conditional.

R53 - Child of an alien classified as R51 or R56 -conditional.

R56 - Investor pilot program not targeted, principal – conditional

R57- Spouse of an alien classified as R51 or R56 -conditional.

R58 - Child of an alien classified as R51 or R56 –conditional

R86 - Refugee paroled into the United States prior to Apr. 1, 1980.

RE4 - Other members of the case deriving their refugee status from the principal applicant

RE6 - Refugee who entered the United States on or after Apr. 1, 1980.

RE7 - Spouse of an alien classified as RE6 (spouse entered on or after Apr. 1, 1980)

RE8 - Child of an alien classified as RE6 (child entered the United States on or after Apr. 1, 1980).

RE9 - Other members of the case regarding an alien classified as RE6 (entered the United States on or after Apr. 1, 1980).

RN6 - Certain former H1 nonimmigrant registered nurses.

RN7 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as RN6.

S13 - American Indian born in Canada (nonquota).

S16 - Seasonal Agricultural Worker (SAW) who worked at least 90 days during each year ending on May 1, 1984, 1985, and 1986 – Group 1.

S26 - Seasonal Agricultural Worker (SAW) who worked at least 90 days during the year ending on May 1, 1986 – Group 2.

SC1 - Person who lost U.S. citizenship through marriage

SC2 - Person who lost U.S. citizenship by serving in foreign armed forces.

SC6 - Person who lost U.S. citizenship through marriage

SC7 - Person who lost U.S. citizenship by serving in foreign armed forces.

SD1 - Minister of religion.

SD2 - Spouse of an alien classified as SD1 or SD6.

SD3 - Child of an alien classified as SD1 or SD6.

SD6 - Minister of religion.

SD7 - Spouse of an alien classified as SD1 or SD6.

SD8 - Child of an alien classified as SD1 or SD6.

SE1 - Certain employees or former employees of the U.S. government abroad.

SE2 - Accompanying spouse of an alien classified as SE1 or SE6.

SE3 - Accompanying child of an alien classified as SE1 or SE6.

SE6 - Certain employees or former employees of the U.S. government abroad.

SE7 - Accompanying spouse of an alien classified as SE1 or SE6.

SE8 - Accompanying child of an alien classified as SE1 or SE6.

SEH - Employee of U.S. Mission in Hong Kong (limit of 500 and these persons are admitted exempt from the country limitation).

SEK - Employee of U.S. Mission in Hong Kong (limit of 500 and these persons are admitted exempt from the country limitation).

SF1 - Certain former employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government.

SF2 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as SF1 or SF6.

SF6 - Certain former employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government.

SF7 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as SF1 or SF6.

SG1 - Certain former employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone.

SG2 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as SG1 or SG6.

SG6 - Certain former employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone.

SG7 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as SG1 or SG6.

SH1 - Certain former employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government employed on Apr. 1, 1979.

SH2 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as SH1 or SH6.

SH6 - Certain former employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government employed on Apr. 1, 1979.

SH7 - Accompanying spouse/child of an alien classified as SH1 or SH6.

SJ2 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as SJ6.

SJ6 - Foreign medical school graduate who was licensed to practice in the United States on Jan. 9, 1978.

SJ7 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as SJ6.

SK1 - Certain retired international organization employees.

SK2 - Accompanying spouse of an alien classified as SK 1 or SK6.

SK3 - Certain unmarried sons or daughters of international organization employees.

SK3 - Unmarried son or daughter of an employee of an international organization.

SK4 - Certain surviving spouses of deceased international organization employees.

SK6 - Certain retired international organization employees.

SK7 - Accompanying spouse of an alien classified as SK1 or SK6.

SK8 - Certain unmarried sons or daughters of international organization employees.

SK9 - Certain surviving spouses of deceased inter national organization employees.

SL1 - Juvenile court dependent.

SL6 - Juvenile court dependent.

SM0 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as SM4 or SM9.

SM1 - Alien recruited outside the United States who has served, or is enlisted to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 years (became eligible after Oct. 1, 1991).

SM2 - Spouse of an alien classified as SM1 or SM6.

SM3 - Child of an alien classified as SM1 or SM6.

SM4 - Alien recruited outside the United States who has served, or is enlisted to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 years (eligible as of Oct. 1, 1991).

SM5 - Spouse or child of an alien classified as SM4 or SM9.

SM6 - Alien recruited outside the United States who has served, or is enlisted to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 years (became eligible after Oct. 1, 1991).

SM7 - Spouse of an alien classified as SM1 or SM6.

SM8 - Child of an alien classified as SM1 or SM6

SM9 - Alien recruited outside the United States who has served, or is enlisted to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 years (eligible as of Oct. 1, 1991).

SN1 - Certain retired NATO-6 civilian employees. The NATO-6 classification identifies members of a civilian component accompanying a force entering in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status of Force Agreement.

SN2 - (NATO-6) Accompanying spouse of an immigrant classified as SN1 or SN6

SN3 - Certain unmarried sons or daughters of NATO-6 civilian employees

SN4 - Certain surviving spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees

SN6 - Certain retired NATO-6 civilian employees. The NATO-6 classification identifies members of a civilian component accompanying a force entering in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status of Force Agreement

SN7 - (NATO-6) Accompanying spouse of an immigrant classified as SN1 or SN6

SN8 - Certain unmarried sons or daughters of NATO-6 civilian employees

SN9 - Certain surviving spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees

SR1 - Religious worker.

SR2 - Spouse of an alien classified as SR1 or SR6.

SR3 - Child of an alien classified as SR1 or SR6.

SR6 - Religious worker.

SR7 - Spouse of an alien classified as SR1 or SR6.

SR8 - Child of an alien classified as SR1 or SR6.

ST0 - Parent of ST6

ST6 - Victims of severe form of trafficking (T1nonimmigrant)

ST7 - Spouse of ST6

ST8 - Child of ST6

SU0 - Parent of SU6

SU6 - Victim of criminal activity (U1 nonimmigrants)

SU7 - Spouse of SU6

SU8 - Child of SU6

SY6 - Certain Syrian Jewish nationals granted asylum, adjusting status independent of the asylee limit of 10000 (limited to 2000) Syrian Adjustment Act.

SY7 - Spouse of SY6 Syrian Adjustment Act .

SY8 - Child or unmarried son or daughter of SY6 Syrian Adjustment Act.

T51 - Employment creation immigrant (targeted area) – conditional.

T52 - Spouse of an alien classified as T51 or T56 (targeted area) – conditional.

T53 - Child of an alien classified as T51 or T56 (targeted area) – conditional.

T56 - Employment creation immigrant (targeted area) -conditional.

T57 - Spouse of an alien classified as T51 or T56 (targeted area) – conditional.

T58 - Child of an alien classified as T51 or T56 (targeted area) – conditional.

W16 - Alien previously granted temporary resident status (legalization) who illegally entered the United States without inspection prior to Jan. 1, 1982.

W26 - Alien previously granted temporary resident status (legalization) who entered the United States as a nonimmigrant and overstayed visa prior to Jan. 1, 1982.

W36 - Alien previously granted temporary resident status (legalization) from a country granted blanket extended voluntary departure (EVD).

W46 - Late amnesty applicants (IRCA) Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act and LIFE Act amendments of 2000

XB3 - Alien who is presumed to have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.8 CFR 101.1 and OI- . 101.1 – ((Adjusted status))

XE-3 - Child born subsequent to the issuance of a visa. Parent is employment-based preference immigrant.

XF-3 - Child born subsequent to the issuance of a visa. Parent is a family-based preference immigrant.

XN3 - Child born subsequent to the issuance of a visa. Parent is not a family-based preference, employment-based preference, or immediate relative immigrant.

XR3 - Child born subsequent to the issuance of a visa. Parent is an immediate relative immigrant.

Y64 - Refugee in the United States prior to July 1, 1953.

Z03 - Person in whose case record of admission for permanent resident status was created. Must have entered after June 30, 1924 and prior to June 28, 1940.

Z11 - Cancellation of removal. Alien granted suspension of deportation (other than crewman) and adjusted as preference or non-preference immigrant.

Z13 - Cancellation of removal. Alien granted suspension of deportation (other than a crewman) and adjusted as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or a special immigrant.

Z14 - Cancellation of removal. Alien granted suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal pursuant to VAWA provisions. Violence Against Women Act

Z15 - Cancellation of removal. Alien granted suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal; case record of LPR created. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act NACARA

Z33 - Person in whose case record of admission for permanent resident status was created. Must have entered prior to July 1, 1924.

Z43 - Private law, immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or special immigrant.

Z56 - Alien granted suspension of deportation who entered as a crewman on or before June 30, 1964 and adjusted as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or a special immigrant.

Z57 - Cancellation of removal. Alien granted suspension of deportation who entered as crewman on or before June 30, 1964 and adjusted as preference or non-preference immigrant

Z66 - Person in whose case record of admission for permanent resident status was created. Must have entered on or after June 28, 1940 and prior to Jan. 1, 1972.

Z83 - Foreign government official, immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or special immigrant.

Taking the next step: becoming a U.S. citizen

Obtaining a Green Card is the key step for immigrants who want to become a United States citizen. Those who are not born in the United States must go through a process called “naturalization” to become a citizen.

While individual situations will vary, in general, the path to naturalization includes the following steps and requirements:

  • You must have lived in the United States for five years as a Legal Permanent Resident or for at least three years if you’re married and living with a United States citizen.
  • You have physically been present in the United States for at least 30 months out of those five years, or 18 months in you are married to a U.S. citizen.
  • Different rules may apply to you if a member of your immediate family served in the U.S. Armed Forces, you are a refugee or an asylum seeker, you’re an employee of a certain type of company or non-profit, or a few other circumstances. If you feel your case is complicated, it may be best to consult an immigration attorney for advice.
  • You must have spent at least three months in your state immediately preceding making your application for naturalization.
  • To see if you are eligible to apply for naturalization, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published A Guide to Naturalization which is an excellent resource that will walk you through all steps and procedures to see if you qualify. It is also known as Form M-476. At the end of this document there is a form, M-480, which is a Naturalization Eligibility Worksheet. You can fill it out to help see if you qualify.
  • Once you have determined you meet the requirements for naturalization, you must prepare and submit a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, along with photo head shots and supporting documents.
  • If you are required to do so, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will send you information for a biometrics appointment. At the appointment, your photo will be taken, you will be fingerprinted and you will have to sign your name so that it is electronically captured and on file.
  • After these preliminary processes are complete, you will have a naturalization interview. At the interview, officials will review your application, ask you questions, and ask for proof you have passed U.S. Civics and English tests. At the end of the interview, officials will make a determination on your application for naturalization.  
  • You will either be approved, continued if officials need more information, or denied if officials feel you have not made a sufficient case to become a U.S. citizen. 
  • If you are approved, you will be invited to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.