Requirements for Citizenship

Generally, you can submit an application to become a US citizen if you are at least 18 years old and you:

  • have been a permanent resident of the United States for five years; or

  • are married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years; or

  • are currently serving in the US military.


If you are a U.S. citizen who has a child that was born outside of the U.S. and currently lives in a foreign country, your child may also be qualified for naturalization.

Additionally, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Satisfy physical presence requirements.

  • Evidence of good moral character;

  • Demonstrate knowledge and attachment to the U.S. Constitution; and

  • Ability to read and write basic English; and

  • Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government

The USCIS provides an in-depth naturalization eligibility worksheet to help you conclude if you are qualified for citizenship both mentally and legally. If you have a question about any of the items on the worksheet, an experienced citizenship lawyer can help guide you through the process.

Application to Become a Citizen

Although the application process is complex, here’s a brief outline of how it works:

Your biometrics are an important part of the naturalization process and not following the instructions concerning your appointment carefully can result in a delay in your citizenship.

It begins with including two passport-sized profile photographs and completed fingerprint cards with your N-400 form at the time of filing. At the time of the appointment, you need to bring the appointment notice as well as a valid form of photo ID. The USCIS has resources to help you prepare for your biometrics appointment.

    • First, complete the citizenship application or N-400 form and send it to USCIS along with a copy of your green card, the required photos and a check for the processing fees. (Contact a citizenship attorney for help filing.)

    • Next, you’ll be required to attend the in-person interview. Depending on the backlog this could take several months to schedule. This interview will test your basic understanding of U.S. history and proficiency of English as well as your background and dedication to the United States.

    • From there you will have to set an appointment for biometrics at a local USCIS office. You will also take a U.S. Oath of Allegiance to demonstrate your commitment to being an American citizen.



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