Final Naturalization Papers

Naturalization Petitions
Following the Declaration of intention and meeting the residency requirements, an applicant then filed this petition for formal application for US citizenship.

There was a 5 year residency requirement (in the US) to become naturalized (rose to 14 years in 1798, lowered back to 5 in 1802)

Generally minor children (not born in the US) could derive citizenship from their father when their father naturalized.

In 1804 a law was passed allowing the widows and children of an alien who had filed for citizenship but died before receiving Final Papers to be granted naturalization.

From 1855 to 1922 alien women became citizens automatically if they married an American citizen. Women could derive citizenship from their spouses until 1922 when the law was changed.

In 1907 a woman who was a US citizen could lose her citizenship if she married an alien. This was not repealed until 1922, and she did not get back her citizenship until 1936.

After 22 Sept 1922 an alien woman who married a US citizen could skip the Declaration of Intention and file for a Naturalization Petition (Nat). But if an alien woman married an alien man (after 22 Sept 1922) she would have to start her Naturalization proceedings at the beginning with a Declaration of Intention.

On 2 June 1924 the Citizens Act allowed Indians born on reservations and Indian territories to become citizens.

Naturalization Depositions
These are statements made by witnesses in support of an applicant's petition.

Certificates of Arrival
On this form the immigrant listed the port name, date and ship of arrival. Copies of this form were sent to the port of entry and checked by a clerk, who located the immigrant's passenger list. If a corresponding record was found, the INS issued a certificate of arrival and sent it to the naturalization court. Certificates of arrival were first issued under the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906. These certificates are generally included in a naturalization records file.

Records of Naturalization and Oaths of Allegiance
These are documents granting US citizenship to petitioners. They are sometimes called the Certificate of Naturalization.

You may not always find every type of record for your ancestor. Slightly different records were kept during different time periods. In some cases all of the records are combined together in a single petition and record file.