Citizenship

Naturalization

Naturalization in General

A green card holder for five years must meet the following criteria to qualify for naturalization:
• Be 18 or older at the time of filing
• Be a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Application for Naturalization
• Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
• Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
• Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
• Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization
• Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
• Be a person of good moral character, 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

Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

A spouse of a U.S. Citizen may qualify for naturalization after 3 years of being a green card holder if they meet the following criteria:

• Be 18 or older
• Be a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Application for Naturalization
• Have been living in marital union with the U.S. citizen spouse, who has been a U.S. citizen during all of such period, during the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up until examination on the application
• Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
• Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
• Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization until the time of naturalization
• Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
• Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (also known as civics)
• Be a person of good moral character, 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

Continuous Residence

Applicants for naturalization must show that they have continuously resided in the United States. Continuous Residence means an applicant must show that they have maintained residence within the United States.

Extended Absences from the United States may cause a break in the applicant’s continuous residence.

Generally, absences of more than six months but less than a year may disrupt the applicant’s continuous residence unless the applicant can prove otherwise.

Absences of more than a year disrupt the applicant’s continuous residence.

Physical Presence

Physical presence refers to the number of days the applicant must physically be present in the United States during the statutory period up to the date of filing for naturalization.

Naturalization Test

A naturalized U.S. citizen, you must have passed the naturalization test. At your naturalization interview, you will be required to answer questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and Civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.

Oath Ceremony

If USCIS approves the Application for Naturalization, they will schedule you to take the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony. Taking the oath will complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

Citizenship Through Parents

There are two general ways to obtain citizenship through parents, one at birth and one after birth but before the age of 18.

There are very specific rules as to the acquisition of citizenship for children born to U.S. Citizens. These rules are very fact specific. If you believe you may qualify for citizenship, please contact our office and we may assist you.