OC Public Libraries' guide for becoming a US Citizen. Prepared by library staff for Orange County residents, the content includes:
Applying for Citizenship
Where to File
Preparing for the Test and Interview
Find out which citizenship process applies to you:
Use the document checklist (PDF) to make sure you collect all the required documents.
Filing your Form N-400 online
You must create a USCIS online account to file your Form N-400 online. Having an online account will also allow you to:
- Pay your filing fee online;
- Check the status of your case;
- Receive notifications and case updates;
- View personalized case completion date estimates;
- Respond to requests for evidence;
- Manage your contact information, including updating your address.;
- Filing your Form N-400: Use with Adobe Reader (PDF) by mail;
- Mailing addresses for military and non-military can be found here and scroll down on the site to “Where to File”;
Don’t forget to sign your form! Unsigned forms will be rejected.
(Add the $85 biometric fee for a total of $725, where applicable. See exceptions below.) If you file your Form N-400 online, you may pay your fee online. If you file your Form N-400 by mail (paper), you may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.
Use the Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.
Applicants 75 years of age or older do not need to pay a biometric fee. They only need to pay the $640 filing fee.
No fee is required for military applicants filing under section 328 or 329 of the INA.
Before your citizenship interview, you can study for the English and Civics test by using the free resources to help you prepare.
The naturalization test has two components: an English and a Civics test.
Civics Questions and Answers
The 2020 version of the civics test is an oral test, and the USCIS officer will ask you 20 questions from the list of 128 civics test questions. You must answer at least 12 of the 20 questions correctly to pass.
65/20 Special Consideration
If you are 65 years old or older and have been living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident of the United States for 20 or more years, you may study just the 20 questions that have been marked with an asterisk (*) found at the end of each question. You may also take the naturalization test in the language of your choice. For more information, see exceptions and accommodations or the USCIS Policy Manual Citizenship and Naturalization Guidance.
If you qualify for the 65/20 special consideration, you may study just the questions with an asterisk found at the end of each question in the complete 128 list of questions above. Resources for the 65/20 questions can also be found below.
More information about the Citizenship Interview and Test can be found here.
OCPL ESL Conversation Groups (email or call for information)
Practice English. All levels of English speaking skills welcome. Free! No registration required.
Foothill Ranch Library: email@example.com 949-855-8072
Irvine Katie Wheeler Library: firstname.lastname@example.org 714-669-8753
Local ESL/English Classes
South Coast Literacy (free)
Orange Coast College (non credited classes free)
Santa Ana College (free)
Saddleback College (free)
Santiago Canyon College (free to adult CA residents)
Mango Languages Located on OC Public Libraries’ website, with video and audio components
ABCYa Language arts and learning games
Language Guide Online picture dictionary and grammar practice
Learning Chocolate - Vocabulary exercises
USCitizenpod Listen to mock interviews and citizenship interview experiences
USCitizenPod Youtube Chanel Same content as above, but in video format
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has worked with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to help libraries and museums provide accurate and useful information about immigration and citizenship benefits.
Immigration Equality LGBTQ+ Immigration Rights Organization