Naturalization

General Requirements

Legal permanent residents (LPRs) may qualify to become US citizens if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are 18 years or older
  • Have 5 years of continuous residence as an LPR (no absences from the US more than one year, and preferably none more than 6 months)
  • Have been a resident for at least 3 months in the state in which the petition is filed
  • Have been physcially present in the United States for at least one half the 5 years of continuous residence
  • Have had good moral character for the 5 years of residence
  • Read, write, and understand English at an elementary level
  • Know the fundamentals of US history and government
  • Support the US Constitution
  • Be willing to bear arms or perform work of national importance on behalf of the United States when required by law

Special Provisions

INA section 319(a) allows spouses of US citizens to have only 3 years of residence to naturalize.

INA section 319(b) permits spouses of USCs working abroad for certain organizations to naturalize without any residence requirements.

INA section 319(c) makes eligible for naturalization employees of certain overseas media nonprofits.

INA section 319(d) provides for expedited naturalization of the immediate family of USC service members who die while on active duty.

INA section 319(e) allows spouses of USC service members residing abroad to naturalize overseas.

INA section 320 provides for the automatic naturalization of LPR children under 18 if one of their parents is a USC.

INA section 328 gives expedited naturalization to current and recently discharged armed services members.

INA section 316(b) allows LPRs who work for certain organizations overseas to maintain their continuous residence despite extended absences.

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