Become a Citizen
Becoming a United States citizen is a very important decision. In Boston alone, 1 in 10 residents is a naturalized citizen and about 30,000 Boston residents are eligible for U.S. citizenship. The City of Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement encourages people to become citizens because there are several benefits, including:
- being more active in the community
- having the right to vote, and
- living in the United States without risk of deportation.
Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for more information or ask an attorney for legal advice.
Citizenship Day in Boston
Citizenship Day was on April 1, 2023. We have not yet announced a date for 2024, but you can get free help with your citizenship application under the "Resources" section of this website.
Since 2014 the City of Boston Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement has hosted Citizenship Day in partnership with Project Citizenship. This annual event helps people with their citizenship application for free. It is the largest citizenship workshop in New England. To date, it has served more than 2,600 people from over 50 countries and filed more than 1,200 fee waivers.
Applicants are pre-screened to make sure they are eligible for naturalization. Then on Citizenship Day, students, community members, and lawyers volunteer to help people fill out their citizenship application for free. Applicants still need to pay the USCIS application fee but those who are low-income may qualify for a fee waiver.
Why should I become a citizen?
Am I eligible?Eligibility
English Language Exemptions
You are exempt from the English language requirement if you are:
- at least 50 years old and have been a legal permanent resident for at least 20 years, or
- at least 55 years old and have been a legal permanent resident for at least 15 years
If you are unable to take the English and civics test because of a disability, you may be eligible for an exemption.
- Examples of disabilities include but are not limited to blindness, intellectual disability, PTSD, OCD, schizophrenia, autism, cancer, muscular dystrophy, and epilepsy.
- To request an exception, you must submit the Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions form (N-648).
How can I apply?How to apply
Common QuestionsCommon Questions
During your naturalization interview, you will also take the English and civics tests.
- The English test has three parts: reading, writing, and speaking.
- For the reading and writing portions, you must correctly read and write one sentence.
- For the speaking portion, a USCIS officer will ask you questions from the N-400 and assess your responses.
- During the civics test, you will be asked 10 questions out of 100 possible questions on U.S. civics and history.
- If you are 65 or older you can take a simpler test, with 10 questions drawn from a pool of only 20 questions.
- All applicants must answer six questions correctly to pass the test.