Become a Citizen

Becoming a U.S. citizen is a very important decision. Permanent residents have most of the rights of U.S. citizens. However, there are many important reasons to consider U.S. citizenship. When you become a citizen, you will receive all the rights of citizenship. You also accept all of the responsibilities of being an American. As a citizen you can:

• Vote. Only citizens can vote in federal elections. Most states also restrict the right to vote, in most elections, to U.S. citizens.
• Serve on a jury. Only U.S. citizens can serve on a federal jury. Most states also restrict jury service to U.S. citizens. Serving on a jury is an important responsibility for U.S. citizens.
Travel with a U.S. passport. A U.S. passport enables you to get assistance from the U.S. government when overseas, if necessary.
Bring family members to the U.S. U.S. citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.
Obtain citizenship for children under 18 years of age. In most cases, a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen.
Apply for federal jobs. Certain jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
Become an elected official. Only citizens can run for federal office (U.S. Senate or House of Representatives) and for most state and local offices.
Keep your residency. A U.S. citizen’s right to remain in the United States cannot be taken away.
Become eligible for federal grants and scholarships. Many financial aid grants, including college scholarships and funds given by the government for specific purposes, are available only to U.S. citizens.
Obtain government benefits. Some government benefits are available only to U.S. citizens.

Before you apply for naturalization, you must meet a few requirements. Depending on your situation, there are different requirements that may apply to you. However, generally, an applicant for naturalization must:

• Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
Be a permanent resident (have a “green card”) for at least 5 years.
Have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over your place of residence for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing Form N-400.
Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
Be a person of good moral character.
Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

The links below will help you find information from USCIS about naturalization and the application process. For a list of available USCIS naturalization resources in Spanish, please see Recursos para la naturalización.

Learn About Naturalization
Understand the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Apply for Citizenship
Identify the steps needed to apply for citizenship.

Study for the Test
Prepare for the naturalization interview and test.

Understand Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
Learn about important citizenship rights and responsibilities.

Expunge your records
Learn about your legal right to restrict records.


A Promise of Freedom: An Introduction to U.S. History and Civics for Immigrants

The USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test

Becoming a U.S. Citizen: An Overview of the Naturalization Process

If you would like assistance from Welcoming Atlanta in becoming a U.S. Citizen, please fill out the following form:

English as a Second Language (ESL) and Citizenship Classes

Free ESL Classes with Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Adult Education Program 

Free ESL Classes in Atlanta-Fulton Public Libraries

Find an English and/or Citizenship Class
Search America´s Literacy Directory to find an English and/or citizenship class in your area.

Important Update: America’s Literacy Directory is Retiring

On July 31, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education and the LINCS team will retire the America’s Literacy Directory (ALD). ALD is a legacy system, which was built over 20 years ago that allows users to find local adult education providers in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. At that time, there was no other service providing program information to students. Since then, there have been other efforts to provide program information directly to students. Thus, in order to avoid duplication of effort, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has directed LINCS to discontinue support for ALD. Customers can check the myUSCIS Class Locator to find USCIS grant recipients that offer English and citizenship classes in their area. Service providers may research other directories to post their class information.

New American Resource Centers (Citizenship Corners)

What is a citizenship corner?  

A citizenship corner is a dedicated space in a library or any other public location where immigrants can find information about becoming a U.S. citizen

Discover the different citizenship corner locations within the City of Atlanta and throughout the metro-area on the flyer below! CLICK HERE to download a copy in English and Spanish. 

Legal Assistance

Find Legal Advice
Learn about immigration attorneys and accredited representatives of a recognized organization.

Find Legal Representation
Find recognized and accredited programs and free legal service providers.

Free Naturalization Information Sessions/Sesiónes informativas de naturalización de gratis

What is a naturalization information session?

A naturalization information session is an information session held by USCIS (and with the help of Welcoming Atlanta) to help permanent residents and others interested in naturalization learn about naturalization eligibility, testing, and citizenship rights and responsibilities.

Here is our upcoming schedule for our Naturalization Information Sessions: 

Date: Saturday May 6, 2017      

Time: 2:00pm         

Location: El Progreso 1    

Address: 199 Cleveland Ave SW, Atlanta, GA 30315

Language(s): English & Spanish

Formality: INFORMAL 


Date: Saturday May 13, 2017

Time: 12:30pm

Location: El Progreso 14        

Address: 1460 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Language(s): English & Spanish 

Formality: INFORMAL


Citizenship & Naturalization Services

In Atlanta, there are a number of local organizations that offer citizenship classes and assistance with the naturalization process.

See the NALEO Educational Fund’s directory of Citizenship Centers or CitizenshipWorks to find service providers close to you.



USCIS Atlanta Field Office
2150 Parklake Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30345

In order to visit the Atlanta Field Office or speak with an Immigration Services Officer, you must have an appointment scheduled by USCIS, or you must schedule an INFOPASS appointment, on the USCISwebsite.

You can also call USCIS toll-free at 1-800-375-5283 for automated information and live assistance concerning immigration services and benefits. Please see the USCIS website for additional details.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta)
Tel: (404) 585-8446

Catholic Charities Legal Services
Intake Line: (678) 222-3920
Languages Served: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian

Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc.
Tel: (770) 936-0969
Languages Served: Korean

The Latin American Association
Tel: (404) 638-1800
Languages Served: Spanish

Lutheran Services of Georgia
Tel: (678) 686-9625
Languages Served: Spanish

New American Pathways
Tel: (404) 299-6099
Languages Served: Spanish, French, Arabic, Nepali, Somali, Kreyol,
Kirundi, Thai, Burmese, Karen, Chin, Hindi, Urdu, Farsi

The International Rescue Committee in Atlanta
Tel: (404) 292-7731

If your organization provides naturalization support and would like to be listed on our website, please email

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms



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