How to Apply for US Citizenship

  1. Make sure you qualify. (If you've been a permanent resident for 5 years, you probably qualify.) View more details on Who Can Apply for US Citizenship?
  2. Pick up a paper copy of the USCIS N-400 Application for Naturalization at the Citizenship Corner at Central Library or from the website: N-400 Application for Naturalization.
  3. You can fill out and file the N-400 application online by going to the USCIS website and clicking “File Online”.
  4. You will create an account, scan your documents, pay the fee ($710*) and submit electronically. Be sure to keep a copy of your application!
  5. You can also send your application in the mail:
    • Put the N-400 application in a big envelope with:
      1. A copy of your green card (both sides!)
      2. A check for $760*. Make the check out to "US Department of Homeland Security." Make sure that your name, address, and phone number are on the check. Write "N-400 Fee" on the blank at the bottom where it says "memo." If you are low income, you may be able to get a fee waiver.
      3. You can also pay the fee by credit card. For information about this, go to
      4. Send it

      by U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to:
      Attn: N-400  
      P.O. Box 4060
      Carol Stream, IL  60197-4060

       by FedEx, UPS, and DHL to:
      Attn: N-400 (Box 4060)
      2500 Westfield Drive 
      Elgin, IL 60124-7836

      If you live in a state other than Massachusetts, please check your filing address here: USCIS Direct Filing Addresses for N-400 Application for Naturalization 

  6. After a few weeks, you will get a letter from USCIS that tells you that they received your application. This letter will have your receipt number on it that you can use to look up your Case Status Online.
  7. Later, you'll receive another letter for your biometrics (fingerprints) appointment. The letter will tell you when and where to get your fingerprints taken. **In some cases due to COVID-19, USCIS is using the biometrics from your green card application so you may not have to go for a biometrics appointment.
  8. After your biometrics appointment, you will receive a letter from USCIS telling you when and where to go for your interview.

*Please note that as of April 1, 2024, the filing fee for the N-400 has changed.  It is $710 if you apply online and $760 if you apply by mail.

Please keep in mind that immigration procedures are complex and can change from time to time. We have tried to provide general information in simple terms, however, we are not immigration law experts. Check with USCIS, immigrant advocacy groups, an immigration lawyer, or your congressional office for help concerning existing naturalization procedures, as well as concerns about future changes in the process.