Naturalization Services

ORIA Naturalization Services Program Manager:

Raphael Ro

Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is given to a legal immigrant after they fulfill the requirements established under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Citizens have the right to vote, are free from the threat of deportation, can get assistance from the United States when traveling abroad, and can sponsor other family members to the United States. Citizenship may also make individuals eligible for federal public assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income.

To become a U.S. citizen, an individual must learn basic U.S. history and civics, and pass a written or oral exam given by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.

How We Can Help

The Naturalization program provides citizenship services to legal immigrants who receive public assistance through cash, medical or food assistance programs administered by DSHS. This includes immigrants who are barred from federal benefits because of their immigration status and who are eligible to naturalize or are within one year of being eligible to naturalize.



Naturalization services include:

Special Message to SSI recipients who entered the United States on or after Aug. 22, 1996:

The federal Supplemental Security Income program pays benefits to blind or disabled adults, children and individuals 65 or older who have limited income and resources.

For refugee adults who entered the United States on or after Aug. 22, 1996, SSI benefits are limited to seven years, unless a person becomes a U.S. citizen.

Immigrant adults who entered the United States on or after Aug. 22, 1996, are also limited to seven years of SSI unless they can prove that they have worked in the United States for 10 years or if they become a U.S. citizen.

By becoming a citizen, an individual can maintain their SSI benefits and become eligible for a full range of other public benefits

  • Intake screening to check for issues that need to be resolved before submitting an application for naturalization.
  • Assistance with completing and submitting an application for naturalization (N400).
  • Payment of the required fee for naturalization application.
  • Payment of fingerprint fee when required.
  • Assistance completing fee waiver requests.
  • Training and instruction for the citizenship exam, including classes in American history and civics.
  • Interview preparation.
  • Assistance in obtaining test exemptions such as Medical Disability Exceptions and age and time in country when appropriate.
  • Assistance completing and submitting appeals.


Individuals may be eligible for Naturalization services if they are legal permanent residents, who:

  1. Are Washington state residents.      
  2. Are 18 years old or older.
  3. Are recipients of Supplemental Security Income or other DSHS-administered state/federal funded cash, food or medical assistance, or were receiving such benefits at the time the participant began receiving naturalization services.
  4. Meet the eligibility criteria to apply for U.S. citizenship, including lawful permanent residence status (or are within one year of being eligible to naturalize).

Service Providers

View a list of Naturalization Services providers on our interactive resource tool.