What supporting documents do you need to become a U.S. Citizen?

July 23, 2020
What supporting documents do you need to become a U.S. Citizen?

Summary

Naturalization is the process by which an immigrant to the United States applies for U.S. citizenship. In addition to the Form N-400 Application for Naturalization, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires certain supporting documents. This guide will serve as a document checklist for the naturalization process. Filing for U.S. Citizenship can be complicated. ImmigrationHelp.org can help you prepare your citizenship paperwork for free with our simple online application. Click the button below to get started, or read on to learn more.

This article is not legal advice. We do not intend for it to replace the expertise of an immigration attorney. Its goal is to help you understand which documents you will need to submit when you apply for citizenship.

Overview

Documents to submit with your N-400 Application for Naturalization

1. Proof of Green Card Holder (Permanent Resident) status.

All applicants must submit proof of their permanent resident status. They can do this by including a front-and-back copy of their green card (permanent resident card).

2. Your application fee payment

Unless they are exempt or are applying for a fee waiver, all applicants must submit their application fee payment by personal check, money order, or credit card authorization Form G-1450.

3. Proof of your current marital status

All currently or previously married applicants must submit copies of the following (if applicable):

  • Marriage certificates.
  • divorce decrees.
  • annulment certificates.
  • death certificates.
  • other official records (including “Single Status Certificate” or a “No Record of Marriage Certificate").

4. Proof of your identity

Applicants living and applying from abroad must include two u.s. passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches).

5. Proof of your military service

Applicants filing based on their qualifying u.s. military service must include Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service.

6. Proof of any medical disability you have

Applicants requesting an exemption from the citizenship test based on a qualifying medical condition must include Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions.

7. A fee-reduction application

Applicants requesting a reduction of the application fee must submit Form I-942.

8. A fee waiver application

Applicants requesting a waiver of the application fee must submit Form I-912.

9. Request for representation at the naturalization interview

Applicants that would like to have an attorney or other representative present at the U.S. citizenship interview must fill out Form G-28. ImmigrationHelp.org is not a law firm, and we cannot appear with you at your Citizenship interview. You can find an attorney for low or no cost here.

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Documents to bring to your naturalization interview

1. Proof of green card holder (permanent resident) status

All applicants must bring a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card).

2. State-issued identification

All applicants must bring a State ID, Driver's license, or some other form of state-issued identification.

3. Travel Records

All applicants must bring their passports (current and expired) and USCIS travel documents (such as Form I-94)

4. Proof of current marital status and termination of your prior marriages

All currently or previously married applicants must bring all of the following that applies (to themselves):

  • Marriage certificates.
  • Divorce decrees.
  • Annulment certificates.
  • Death certificates.
  • Other official records.

5. Proof of termination of your spouse’s previous marriages, if any

All currently married applicants must bring all of the following that applies to their current spouse:

  • divorce decrees.
  • annulment certificates.
  • death certificates.
  • other official records.

6. Proof of official name change(s), if any

If applicable, all applicants must bring as many of the following as they can:

  • marriage certificate.
  • divorce decree.
  • court order of name change.
  • adoption papers.
  • other official records.

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Additional documents that you will need

There are additional supporting documents that can either be included with your Form N-400 application or brought to your naturalization interview. Since any changes to these forms after you submit them can lead to a delay, it is recommended you bring the forms to your naturalization interview instead of including them with the Form N-400 application.  

1. Proof of spouse’s U.S. citizenship for the past 3 years prior to filing your Form N-400

Applicants filing based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen must provide one of the following:

  • Birth certificate (for spouses who have been U.S. citizens since birth).
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Naturalization Certificate).
  • Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen (Form FS-240).

2. Proof of termination of your previous marriage(s)

Applicants filing based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen must also provide original copies of the following:  

  • Marriage certificates.
  • Divorce decrees.
  • Annulment certificates.
  • Death certificates.
  • Other official records.

3. Proof of an authentic marriage for the past 3 years prior to filing your Form N-400

Applicants filing based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen should also bring as many of the following as they can:

  • Joint bank and credit card statements.
  • Joint leases or mortgages.
  • Birth certificate(s) of your child(ren).
  • Joint insurance policies.
  • Joint income tax returns or tax transcripts for the past 3 filing years.

4. Proof of parental rights over your child(ren)

Applicants listing their children or dependents on Form N-400 must bring each of the following for each child:

  • Birth certificate.
  • Court order naming you as the parent.
  • Adoption papers.

5. Proof that you have fulfilled your financial support obligations (if applicable)

Applicants listing their children or dependents on Form N-400 must bring the following for each dependent child who does not live with you and for other dependents (spouse and/or ex-spouse(s)):

  • Copies of court or government orders for you to provide financial support.
  • Canceled checks or money order receipts.
  • Copies of court or government documents showing child support and/or alimony payments.
  • Records of wage garnishments.
  • Notarized letter from the parent or guardian who cares for your child(ren).

6. Proof of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax payments or overdue tax obligations

All applicants must bring copies of their Federal income tax returns for the past 5 filing years (or past 3 filing years if applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen).

7. Proof that you have maintained permanent residence in the United States

All applicants who have taken any trips abroad lasting over 6 months (181 days) but less than 1 year (364 days) should bring as many of the following as possible:

  • Copy of your passport showing departure and arrival stamps,
  • Copies of income tax returns (or transcripts) for the past 5 filing years (or past 3 filing years if applying based on marriage to a U.S. citizen),
  • Rent or mortgage payment receipts,
  • Any bank, credit card, and loan statements showing regular transactions,
  • Auto registration and insurance,
  • Other records showing you maintained permanent residence

8. Proof of Selective Service registration

Males who have lived in the United States (or received their green card) between 18 and 26 years of age must register with the Selective Service.

If you registered for Selective Service, you can use the Selective Service Online Verification. You will need your last name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

If you did not register for Selective Service but were required to, bring all of the following:

  • Status Information Letter (from Selective Service System)
  • A notarized personal affidavit (sworn statement) from yourself, explaining why you did not register
  • Notarized personal affidavits (sworn statements) from other people who knew you and can support your claim

9. Records of previous encounters with law enforcement

All applicants who have ever been Arrested, Detained, Charged, Convicted, Received an alternative sentence, Placed in rehabilitation must provide certain documentation.

If you have ever been arrested or detained anywhere in the world, and no charges were filed, bring both of the following:

  • Original or court-certified arrest report
  • Official, certified statement from the law enforcement agency that arrested you or from the court confirming that no charges were filed

If you have ever been arrested or detained anywhere in the world, and charges were filed, bring certified copies of all of the following:

  • Arrest reports
  • Charging documents
  • Court dispositions Sentencing reports (including a report that you completed your probationary sentence)
  • Other relevant documents (including those in your favor that you’d like USCIS to consider)

If you have ever been convicted or placed in alternative sentencing (such as diversion) or rehabilitation (such as drug treatment or community service), bring both of the following:

  • Original or court-certified sentencing record for each incident
  • Original or agency-certified record showing that you completed your program or sentence (such as a probation or parole record)

If you have ever had any arrest or conviction vacated, set aside, sealed, expunged, or removed from your record, bring one of the following:

  • Original or court-certified court order showing any of the above outcomes
  • Original statement from the court that no record exists of your arrest or conviction

If you have ever been in a traffic incident that involved alcohol or drugs, led to an arrest, or seriously injured another person, bring the following:

  • Any of the relevant documents listed above, based on the outcome of each incident
  • Original arrest record, if any
  • Original police report

Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms
Prepare Your Citizenship Forms

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