Permanent Residency

When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?

Your time as a Permanent resident begins on the date that you were granted permanent resident status. This date is on your Permanent resident Card (also known as an Alien Registration Card or "Green Card"). The sample cards below show you where you can find important information such as the date your Permanent Residency began.                                             

If my Permanent Resident Card will expire soon, do I have to renew it if applying for citizenship?

If you apply for naturalization six months or more before the expiration date on your Permanent Resident Card, you may have to apply for a new card.

If you apply for naturalization within six months of the expiration date, or don't apply for naturalization until your card has already expired, you should renew your card. Please note that if you choose not to renew your Permanent Resident Card and fail to successfully complete the naturalization process, this can complicate your status as a Permanent Resident. Please consult with your USCIS agent or service provider.

How much does it cost to renew my Permanent Resident Card?

The fee to submit the application (Form I-90) is $455.00 and $85 Biometric fee, total of $540.00.

What do I do if my address changed?

It is important that USCIS has your most current address. If they do not, you may not receive important information. For example, they may not be able to notify you about the date and time of your interview or about additional documents you may need to send or bring.

If you move after filing your "Application for Naturalization", call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY: 1-800-767-1833) to change your address on your pending Form N-400.

Every time you move, you are required by law to inform USCIS of your new address. To meet this legal requirement, you must file an "Alien's Change of Address Card" (Form AR-11), in addition to calling Customer Service. You must file Form AR-11 within 10 days of your move. There is no fee to file this form. You should also notify the U.S. Postal Service of your new address to help ensure that any mail already on its way may be forwarded to you.


Applying for Naturalization

Where do I file my naturalization application?

You should send your completed "Application of Naturalization" (Form N-400) to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox Facility that serves your area.

Remember to make a copy of your application. Do not send original documents with your application unless it is stated that an original is required. Always make copies of all materials you send to USCIS.

I have a disability. Will USCIS help me, or make accommodations for me?

USCIS will make accommodations for applicants with disabilities in order to demonstrate their eligibility in the naturalization process.

For example, if you use a wheelchair, USCIS will make sure you can be fingerprinted, interviewed, and sworn in at a location that is wheelchair accessible. If you are hearing impaired, the officer conducting your interview will speak loudly and slowly, or they will work with you to arrange for an American Sign Language interpreter. If you require an American Sign Language interpreter at the oath ceremony, please indicate that in your Form N-400 in the section where you are asked if you need an accommodation for a disability. If you use a service animal such as a guide dog, your animal may come with you to your interview and oath ceremony.


If you know in advance that you will need some kind of accommodation, write a letter explaining what you will need and send it to the USCIS district office that will interview you. If you have a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment that makes it difficult for you to acquire or demonstrate the required knowledge of English and civics, you may be eligible for an exemption of those requirements.  To request an exemption, you must file a "Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions" (Form N-648).

How much does the Naturalization process cost?

The cost is $640.00 for the application and $85.00 for the biometrics for a total of $725.00.

How can I pay my application fee?

You must send the fee with your application. Pay the fee with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank payable to Department of Homeland Security. Do not use initials. Do not send cash.

Application fees are not refundable.

How long will it take to become naturalized?

The time it takes to become naturalized varies by location. USCIS is continuing to modernize and improve the naturalization process and is working to decrease the time it takes to an average of six months after the N-400 application is filed.

Can I change my name when I naturalize?

The USCIS does not have the authority to change a person's name when that person naturalizes. Therefore, there are only two ways that USCIS can issue your Certificate of Naturalization under a new name:

1.     If you present proof that you have already changed your name according to the legal requirements that apply to persons living in your State. USCIS can issue the Certificate of Naturalization with your new name. Such proof might include a marriage certificate or divorce decree showing that you changed your name when you married or divorced. It might also include some other State court order establishing that you changed your name,

2.     If you are going to take the Oath of Allegiance at a Naturalization Ceremony that is held in Court, you may ask the Court to change your name. If the Court grants your request, your new name will appear on your Certificate of Naturalization.