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Immigration Law

This guide provides information on Texas and federal immigration laws.

 Applying for Citizenship 

About Applying for Citizenship

The process for a foreign national to become a U.S. citizen is called "naturalization". This page provides links to federal laws that govern the naturalization process and resources that explain eligibility for naturalization, details on the application process, and more. 

Federal Law

Understanding the Law

These resources cover the naturalization process for permanent residents interested in becoming U.S. citizens. 

Changing Your Name Through Naturalization

Federal Law

Adults applying for naturalization with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can ask for a name change in their citizenship application. USCIS provides instructions for this process:  

The instructions to Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, include information on what is required when you wish to change your name at the time of naturalization. At the time of the interview, the USCIS officer will record the name change request and ask you to sign a name change petition, which USCIS files with a court before the judicial oath ceremony. Upon receipt of the petition, the court signs and seals the petition. The petition is later presented to you during the naturalization ceremony as evidence of the name change. 

All name change requests facilitated through USCIS will require you to take the oath of allegiance at a judicial ceremony, rather than an administrative one. As far as possible delays, USCIS has little control over the judicial ceremony calendar. However, most courts are very supportive in accommodating the need for naturalization ceremonies.

Understanding the Law

The following resources explain the law and the name change process in more detail.

E-Books from the Texas State Law Library

Many of the e-books available through the State Law Library contain forms or drafting guides.These e-books can be viewed by those who have signed up for a free library account with the State Law Library. Only Texas residents can register for a library account online. Signing up is free.