Citizenship and Naturalization

Citizenship at Birth

To become a citizen at birth, you must:

  • Have been born in the United States or certain territories or outlying possessions of the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; OR
  • had a parent or parents who were citizens at the time of your birth abroad. (if you were born abroad) and meet other requirements)

Naturalization

Legal Permanent Residents otherwise known as Green card holders can become U.S. citizens through the naturalization process. Becoming a naturalized citizen involves certain steps the green card holder must follow in order to be eligible. According to the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, applicants must:

  • Be legal permanent residents in the U.S.
  • Have LPR status for at least five years, unless they are married to a U.S. citizen, in which case they must have LPR status for three years
  • Have resided in the United States for at least 50 percent of the time they have had LPR status — either 1.5 or 2.5 years
  • Have lived in the state they are filing their petition in for at least three months prior to submitting their application
  • Be able to speak, write and read English (except under certain special circumstances)
  • Possess knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and our government structure
  • Display good moral character, a belief in the Constitution and a willingness to make positive contributions to U.S. society
  • Be at least 18 years old when submitting an application
    • Minors may be eligible for automatic citizenship if they are under 18 at the time one of their parents become naturalized
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