Naturalization Process

DHS

Naturalization is the process for legal permanent residents to become U.S. citizens. Find instructions and important information on starting your naturalization journey below. You can also find information about financial support for your application for naturalization.

Benefits of Naturalizing
  • Cannot be deported
  • Can apply for your children under 18 to become citizens
  • Can vote in all local, state, and federal elections
  • Have access to higher paying and government job opportunities
  • Can run for elected office
  • Can sponsor your parents, adult children, and siblings' stay in the United States
  • Can have full access to certain government programs, like federal college assistance
  • Can travel with an American Passport
Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a person of “good moral character” based on criminal records and honesty in the application process. 
    • You must report any arrest or conviction you have, even if they have been removed from your record or if they occurred before your 18th birthday. USCIS must receive certified copies of the arrest report, court disposition, sentencing, and any other relevant documents.
  • You must demonstrate knowledge of the history and government of the United States by correctly answering 6 out of 10 questions on the civics test.
  • You must demonstrate your ability to read, write, and understand English.

Option A:

  • You must be living as a legal permanent resident in the United States for at least five years.
  • You must not have left the U.S. for a period longer than six months.
  • You must have been physically present in the United States for a total of at least 30 months.

Option B:

  • You must be living as a legal permanent resident in the United States for at least three years.
  • Your spouse must have been a citizen for the three years.
  • You must have lived with your spouse for the last three years.
  • You must not have left the U.S. for a period longer than six months.
  • You must have been physically present in the United States for a total of 18 months.
 

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