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General Requirements


The naturalization process, the road to citizenship, represents the end of a long journey for most immigrants. It is the final step in the course of immigration procedures, where a Permanent Resident becomes a U.S. citizen.

General requirements that an applicant must meet prior to applying for citizenship include the following:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older;
  • You must have been a legal permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually five years, but it can be three years if you have been married to a U.S. citizen for three years)
  • You must have spent more than 50% of the last five (or three) years physically present in the United States
  • You must be able to read, write and speak English;
  • You must pass an exam about U.S. history and government
  • You must be able to show good moral character (including your criminal background, and properly paying taxes and child support)