For those who are permanent residents in the United States, it can be hard to decide whether to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. There are many advantages to citizenship, including being able to vote and travel freely. If you decide to become a U.S. citizen, you can apply for naturalization, if you meet the criteria for eligibility.
Eligibility for naturalization for five-year permanent residents
Many permanent residents are eligible for naturalization in part because they have lawfully been in the United States for at least five years. Some other requirements include:
- 18 years old at time of application
- Continuous residence in US for five years
- Physically present in US for at least 30 months leading up to application date
- Good moral character
- Basic English skills (reading, writing, and speaking)
- Basic knowledge of U.S. history and government
Applying for naturalization
To apply for naturalization, you must complete “Form N-400, Application for Naturalization” and file your application online or by paper, along with applicable filing fees, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once your application is received, you will receive a notice that the application was received, a biometric services notice (if applicable), notice for interview appearance, if necessary, and a notice of decision from the USCIS.
It can be challenging to determine your eligibility and apply for naturalization without the help of an immigration attorney. Your attorney will assist you with each stage of the process to give you the best chance at becoming a United States citizen.