US permanent residents who hold a green card may be eligible for US citizenship through a process called naturalization. In most cases, you must be a permanent resident for a set number of years before you can apply for US citizenship.
Requirements for Naturalization
In order to qualify for US naturalization to become a US citizen, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years
o If you are married to and live with a US Citizen, then you only need to have been a permanent resident for three (3) years.
o If you have honorably served in the US military during a period of hostility or for more than a year, then you may not be required to fulfill this requirement.
- Be a person of good moral character
- Have a basic knowledge of the US government, as you will need to pass a civics exam
- Meet the qualifications for continuance residence and physical presence in the United States
- Be able to read, write and speak basic English
o Exceptions to being abel to read, write and speak basic English:
If you are 55 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 15 years
If you are 50 or older and have been a permanent resident for at least 20 years
If you have a permanent physical or mental impairment that make you unable to fulfill these requirements
Disqualification Due to Physical Presence Requirement
The most common reason why permanent residence of the United States do not qualify for US naturalization is the requirement of continual residence and physical presence in the United States. It is important to inform your US citizenship attorney of any periods of time you spent outside of the US, especially if you were outside of the US for an extended amount of time.
Absence from the United States for more than one year will most likely disqualify the applicant under this requirement, and absences between six months and a year have the potential to disqualify the applicant. There are certain exceptions to this rule, which is why it is important to consult with a US citizenship attorney.
In order to obtain US Citizenship, you will need to apply for naturalization. The process will include submitting information and documents, attending an interview with USCIS, and passing a basic English test and basic US civics test.
Citizenship by Birth
You may already have obtained US Citizenship through birth if you were born in the United States or if one or both of your parents was a US Citizen at the time of your birth.
Contact Us to Apply for Naturalization
If you believe that you qualify for US Naturalization, then contact Boyer Law Firm’s immigration attorneys today.