Naturalization is the manner in which a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. Before you apply for naturalization, you must meet a few requirements. Depending on your situation, there are different requirements that may apply to you. General requirements for naturalization are below.
- Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Be a permanent resident (have a “green card”) for at least 5 years.
- Have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over your place of residence for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing Form N-400.
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
- Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
- Be a person of good moral character.
- Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
Citizenship is the common thread that connects all Americans. We are a nation bound not by race or religion, but by the shared values of freedom, liberty, and equality.
Throughout our history, the United States has welcomed newcomers from all over the world. The contributions of immigrants have helped shape and define the country we know today. More than 200 years after our founding, naturalized citizens are still an important part of our democracy. By becoming a U.S. citizen, you, too, will have a voice in how our nation is governed.
The decision to apply is a significant one. Citizenship offers many benefits and, equally important, responsibilities. By applying, you are demonstrating your commitment to this country and our form of government.
Below you will find several rights and responsibilities that all citizens should exercise and respect. Some of these responsibilities are legally required of every citizen, but all are important to ensuring that America remains a free and prosperous nation.