Free Citizenship Resources
An American citizen in the United States has:
- Freedom to express yourself.
- Freedom to worship as you wish.
- Right to a prompt, fair trial by jury.
- Right to vote in elections for public officials.
- Right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship.
- Right to run for elected office.
- Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
- Support and defend the Constitution.
- Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
- Participate in the democratic process.
- Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
- Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
- Participate in your local community.
- Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
- Serve on a jury when called upon.
- Defend the country if the need should arise.
There are several resources that are free and available to become an American Citizen. To verify if you qualify, visit United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) online which provides information on the different ways to obtain a U.S Citizenship, and where you can also download the Application for Naturalization form N-400. You can also verify if you qualify for an exemption from the Citizenship Application fees through the Application Fee Waiver I-912.
USCIS also offers online materials to study.
Below is a brief selection of resources available at the New York Public Library to assist you during your naturalization process and to help you prepare for the citizenship exam and interview.
Please search for: "Citizenship Classes" for information on classes and programs on citizenship in the Library.
Each of the 89 Library branches have a "New Americans Corner," a dedicated space that has circulating materials and informational resources on citizenship and other immigration-related topics, all available for free, including copies of the form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
Some of the materials that you will find on the New Americans Corners are:
- Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2014)
- U.S. Citizenship Test: U.S. Citizenship Test by Gladys E. Alesi (2014)
- Becoming A U.S. Citizen: A Guide to the Law, Exam & Interview by Ilona M. Bray (2014)
- Citizenship Basics: Your Guide to U.S. Citizenship (2012)
- USA Citizenship Interview and Test Practice Made Easy: USA Citizenship Interview and Test Practice Made Easyby J. S. Aaron (2013)
- U.S. Immigration Made Easy: U.S. Immigration Made Easy by Ilona M. Bray (2015)
- How to Get A Green Card: How to Get A Green Card by Ilona M. Bray (2014)
- US Laws of Citizenship: US Laws of Citizenship by Amie Jane Leavitt (2014)
- Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants (2012)
- The Citizen's Almanac: Fundamental Documents, Symbols, and Anthems of the United States (2014)
- Your Guide to Becoming A U.S. Citizen: Your Guide to Becoming A U.S. Citizen by Tammy Gagne (2014)
- Civics and Citizenship Toolkit: A Collection of Educational Resources for Immigrants by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (2013)
- The USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test (2010)
For more information please visit your local library.
Additionally, if you need help applying for citizenship we have the NYCitizenship program through a partnership with the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. NYCitizenship provides free legal assistance with citizenship applications. As part of NYCitizenship, you can:
- Meet 1-on-1 with a free, trusted lawyer
- Apply for citizenship easily
- Find out if you can apply for free
- Get free, confidential financial counseling
An appointment is required to receive these services. Make your appointment today: Call 311 and say “Citizenship appointment” or call 212-514-4277.