The United States allows foreign-born individuals to become U.S. citizens through a process called “naturalization.” Anyone who completes the naturalization process is entitled to the same rights and privileges as a natural-born U.S. citizen. These include the right to vote and run for office, the right to live and work in the U.S., and the right to travel internationally. U.S. citizens may also sponsor members of their immediate families who live elsewhere for permanent residence.
The following are the primary requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have been a permanent resident (“green card holder”) for at least 5 years (3 years, if you obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen).
- You must have 5 years of continuous residence in the U.S. (3 years if you obtained your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen).
- You must be physically present in the U.S. for at least half the 5 years preceding the filing of your application. If you obtained your
green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, then you only need to be physically present in the U.S. for half of the 3 years preceding
the filing of your application.
- You must have lived within the state or USCIS district for at least 3 months just prior to filing your application.
- You must be a person of good moral character.
- You must be able to read, write, and speak English, have knowledge of American history and civics, and be loyal to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
There are special rules for certain individuals, including those green card holders who have served in the U.S. armed forces. In addition, some foreign-born individuals may obtain citizenship through their parents.
The Shpigler Law Firm, has helped many individuals successfully navigate the citizenship process. Let us help you too!
Please Select a Practice Area