Becoming a U.S. Citizen – Naturalization
Naturalization: Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
You May Qualify for Naturalization: If you fall into the following categories, you may be able to qualify for Naturalization:
- You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements
- You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen
- You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.
- Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met.
General Eligibility Requirements: To be generally eligible to apply for naturalization you must meet the following criteria:
- Be 18 or older at the time of filing
- Be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or Green Card Holder) for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up to the time of admission to citizenship (or 3 if married to USC Spouse and living in marital union with the USC spouse during all of such period)
- Must have continuous residence in the U.S. as an LPR for at least 5 years (3 years if married to a U.S.C. Spouse) immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up to the time of admissions to U.S. Citizenship
- Must be physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the five years (18 months out of 3 years if married to USC spouse) immediately preceding the date of the filing of the application
- Been a resident of the state where the application will be filed for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
- Be a person of good moral character for five years prior to filing for naturalization and until Naturalization
- Be attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law • Be able to read, write, speak and understand English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
Exceptions: Each of the criteria may have exceptions, waivers or special cases which apply. See what these exceptions may be.