The citizenship process
Are you interested in becoming a U.S. citizen? This section walks you through the process. Start here, then go to our FAQ for detailed answers to common questions.
For detailed information about the citizenship process, including requirements, forms and instructions, see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
MIRA provides FREE citizenship application assistance, overseen by an experienced immigration lawyer. The vast majority of our clients complete their N-400 form at one of our citizenship clinics, but we strongly encourage everyone to call us several days in advance, so we can review your information, screen you for potential issues, and go over the requirements.
Our citizenship line is (617) 350-5480, ext. 200.
Leave a voicemail message; we promise to get back to you promptly!
Before you come in to MIRA, you will need to compile several important documents to prove your identity and your eligibility to apply for U.S. citizenship. Here is a checklist from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Along with the documents on the checklist, you will need:
- A driver’s license or other photo ID
- Your Social Security card
- A list of your home addresses for the past 5 years and the dates when you lived at each of them
- A list of your employers for the past 5 years, with their addresses and dates when you worked there
- Dates when you have been outside the U.S. for the past 5 years and countries you have traveled to
- Names, dates of birth, addresses and A-numbers for all your children
- Names, dates of birth, marriage and, if relevant, divorce dates for your current and past spouses and your current spouse’s past spouses
If you think you may be eligible for a fee waiver (for low-income applicants), bring your most recent tax returns, and/or your MassHealth or other benefit cards.
You will also need to bring a check or money order for $725, made out to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and write your A-number on it.
At MIRA, trained volunteers will review all your documents and fill out the application with you. It will take a couple of hours, but the goal is to have a completed application by the time you leave. A MIRA lawyer will then review your paperwork. If there are any concerns, we will call you. If it’s all set, we’ll mail it to USCIS for you.
USCIS will acknowledge your application and let you know if you qualified for a fee waiver. Then you’ll be scheduled for two appointments:
- Biometrics: 1–2 months after you apply, USCIS will send you a date, time and location to go have your fingerprints taken.
- Interview and citizenship test: 3–8 months after you apply, you will be scheduled for an interview at USCIS, where you will have to demonstrate your knowledge of basic English (unless you’re older and qualify for an exemption; see our FAQ) and U.S. civics.
The citizenship interview
The examiner will ask you questions about your N-400 application and test your English language skills and knowledge of U.S. history and government. We recommend that you take a citizenship class and/or English class to ensure that you’re well prepared!
If you qualify for a language waiver, you must bring your own translator.
You can ask the examiner to:
- Repeat any question you did not understand
- Speak with a supervisor if you think an examiner has been unfair
- State his/her name and title
If you do not pass the English or the U.S. history and government section, you will be given a second exam in 90 days.
Once you’ve passed the interview and citizenship test, USCIS will send you a notification that your application was approved. You will then be scheduled for your oath ceremony, usually 1–2 months after your successful interview.
The oath ceremony
In this ceremony you will:
- Promise to be loyal to the United States
- Receive your naturalization certificate
If you are sick or disabled, you may be able to take the oath in your house or hospital. Otherwise, enjoy the experience! We register thousands of newly sworn-in U.S. citizens to vote every year, and they radiate joy and pride.
Make sure your naturalization certificate does not have any mistakes! If it does, let us know right away, so we can get it corrected.