United States Citizenship by Naturalization
Eligibility and when to apply
What are the basic requirements to apply for naturalization?
Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:
- Be age 18 or older; and
- Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time(usually 5 years or 3 years, depending on how you obtained status); and
- Be a person of good moral character; and
- Have a basic knowledge U.S.government (this, too, can be excepted due to permanent physical or mental impairment); and
- Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; and
- Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. There are exceptions to this rule for someone who at the time of filing:
- Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years; or
- Is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or
- Has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.
When can I apply for naturalization?
You may be able to apply for naturalization if you are at least 18 years of age and have been a permanent resident of the United States:
- For at least 5 years; or
- For at least 3 years during which time you have been, and continue to be, married to and living in a marriage relationship with your U.S. citizen husband or wife; or
- Have honorable service in the U.S. military.
Certain spouses of U.S. citizens and/or members of the military may be able to file for naturalization sooner than noted above.