U.S. Citizenship Requirements

Before filing papers for US citizenship, the applicant must meet certain requirements to be eligible. Bear in mind that there may be differing requirements and/or exceptions depending on the applicant’s situation (be sure to check with a qualified immigration attorney). Here are the general requirements for applying for US citizenship:

  • Applicant must be at-least 18 years old at the time of filing.
  • At the time of application for citizenship the applicant must be a permanent resident (i.e. “Green Card” holder) for at least 5 years.
  • Applicant must demonstrate that they have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS designated district where they intend to file papers for citizenship.
  • Applicant must prove continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before the date of submitting the citizenship application forms.
  • Applicant must also prove that they have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years before submitting the citizenship application forms.
  • Applicant must demonstrate the ability to read, write, and speak basic English.
  • Applicant must demonstrate a basic understanding of U.S. civics, i.e. have knowledge of the history and government of the United States.
  • Applicant must be considered a person of good moral character, i.e. not having committed certain crimes and not having lied to the officer during the citizenship interview
  • Applicant must demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution by swearing allegiance to the United States in a public ceremony.

As mentioned above, there may be exceptions to the above requirements in special circumstances (like if the applicant served in the U.S. military or if the applicant is married to a U.S. citizen, among others), so make sure you consult with a qualified immigration attorney before applying for US citizenship.