Would you like to become a U.S. citizen? In this article, we’ll describe the path for green card holders (and U.S. military members and their spouses) to become U.S. citizens. This process is called “naturalization.”
Many folks wish to become U.S. citizens for peace of mind and sense of belonging, to gain the right to vote, and to have the opportunity to sponsor family members to live in the United States.
If you have a green card, you are a lawful permanent resident; lawful permanent residents, who are age 18 or older, apply to become U.S. citizens with the form N-400. You must be eligible to apply and be accepted.
U.S. Citizen Requirements
Unsure if you’re eligible to become a U.S. citizen through the green card holder naturalization process? Here are the requirements:
- You must be a lawful permanent resident (i.e. green card holder.)
- If you are not married to a U.S. citizen, you must have had your green card for a least the past 5 years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you must have had your green card for at least the past 3 years.
- You must be at least 18 years of age when you apply for citizenship.
- You must be able to read and write English, with three exceptions.
- Unless physically or developmentally unable to do so.
- Unless you are over the age of 50 and have lived in the U.S. for 20 years
- Unless you are over the age of 55 and have lived in the U.S. for 15 years.
- You must have a general understanding of U.S. history and government.
- You must be of good moral character and be willing to abide by the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
- You must pass the properly fill out the application and supply all documentation; you must pass the citizenship test and the background search.
Military Service Exception
Important Exception: There is an exception to this naturalization process for war time U.S. military members. If an individual was in the United States and enlisted in the U.S. military, he or she can apply for citizenship without first becoming a green card holder.
In addition, if you are currently serving honorably (or have been honorably discharged in the last 6 months) in the U.S. military, with at least 1 year of service, you can apply for citizenship without being a green card holder.
Moreover, if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, who served in the U.S. military during a past war or is serving currently in combat, you may be able to file for citizenship without meeting the waiting times.
Where to Get Help if You Want to Become a U.S. Citizen
Your next step is to contact our office: 513-791-1673 or Thomasjr@geygan.com. We will gently walk you through the naturalization process, helping you to become a U.S. Citizen. In addition, we explain immigration laws; represent you in front of the Department of State, as needed; and aggressively fight for your legal rights. Contact us if you or a loved one want to become a U.S. citizen.