Naturalization and Citizenship

For most immigrants, naturalization is the final step of a long process. There are different ways an individual can acquire the American citizenship, including citizenship at birth, citizenship through parents and citizenship through naturalization.

Naturalization is a process through which a lawful permanent resident of the United States acquires citizenship. There are certain requirements that the applicant has to fulfill in order to apply for naturalization.

General Requirements

The general requirements to become an American citizen are:

  1. Must be at least eighteen years of age;
  2. Must be admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident;
  3. Must have five years of continuous residence as a legal permanent resident (three years if the person is married to an American citizen);
  4. Must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the five years (or three years);
  5. Must be residing in the USCIS district where the application is filed at least 90 days prior to filing;
  6. Must be of good moral character;
  7. Must demonstrate attachment to the U.S. Constitution;
  8. Must be able to read, write and understand the English language;
  9. Must have knowledge of U.S. government and history.

These general requirements vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case. There are specific requirements for applicants married to U.S. citizens, applicants who served in the United States armed forces, applicants married to someone serving in the United States armed forces, among other cases.

In the same way, it is important to take into consideration the applicant‘s immigration history, criminal history, work history, international travel history, and residence in the United States and abroad.