The road to U.S. citizenship is a long, arduous one that requires perseverance and dedication. To apply for citizenship in the United States you must meet the following criteria:
- You must first be admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, otherwise known as getting a green card.
- You must be 18 years or older.
- You must have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years preceding your filing for citizenship. There are, however, exceptions to this requirement. If you are applying for citizenship due to your marriage to a U.S. citizen or are a political asylum-seeker, you must have only lived in the United States for 3 years.
- You must have actually been physically present in the United States for at least half of those 5 years or 3 years, depending on your situation.
- You must have lived in the state which you are filing for citizenship for at least 3 months prior to your filing.
- You must have “good moral character”. This is reflected in your history before applying for citizenship; for example, whether or not you have a clean criminal record.
- You must be able to read, write, and speak English.
- You must be able to pass a test administered to you regarding United States' history and government.
- And, finally, you must swear that you truly believe in the United States' Constitution and what it represents, as well as swearing that your loyalty will be to the United States.
If you meet the aforementioned criteria, the next step to citizenship is to complete the citizenship application and apply. The process may take months but after completing and filing your application, USCIS will contact you to be interviewed and fingerprinted. After the interview, if you are deemed admissible you will be granted an appointment for a swearing-in ceremony where you will officially become a citizen of the United States.
It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case.
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