Naturalization is the way that a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. Are you thinking about applying (PDF, 864 KB) for naturalization? Learn about the general 10 steps to naturalization (PDF, 797 KB).
Before you apply, you must meet a few requirements. Depending on your situation, different requirements may apply to you.
General Eligibility Requirements
- Be at least 18 years old at the time you file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.
- Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.
- Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.
- Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. Students may apply for naturalization either where they go to school or where their family lives (if they are still financially dependent on their parents).
- Be a person of good moral character.
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
- Take an oath of allegiance to the United States.
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