Naturalization

Naturalization is the process where a foreign national is granted United States citizenship.

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

  • Are 18 or older at the time of filing
  • Have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • Have lived within the state 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 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least one half (30 months) 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
  • Pass a short test demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character.

If you obtained lawful permanent resident status through a United States citizen spouse, you may be allowed to apply for citizenship after only 3 years of being a lawful permanent resident if you meet the following requirements:

  • Are 18 or older at the time of filing
  • Have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • 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 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
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least one half (18 months) of the 3 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
  • Pass a short test demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character.

Special rules exist for citizenship for military members & dependents. Members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and their dependents may be eligible for citizenship under special provisions of law. Immediate relatives of U.S. armed forces members who die as a result of combat while in an active duty status may be eligible for certain “survivor” immigration benefits, including citizenship.