|Obtaining U.S. Citizenship Through Naturalization
Who Can Apply for Naturalization?
Benefits of U.S. Citizenship
Having a Green Card or Permanent Resident Status in the United States does not make the individual a U.S. Citizen. U.S. Citizenship can be (i) acquired automatically by birth in the United States, (ii) derived by children under the age of 18 when born outside the United States to or adopted by a U.S. Citizen or when parents naturalize, (iii) conferred by the U.S. government, or (iv) obtained by a Lawful Permanent Resident through naturalization.
The process for a Lawful Permanent Resident to obtain status as a citizen of the United States through naturalization requires the submission of a formal Application for Naturalization to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services ("USCIS"), the completion of an oral or written examination testing the applicant's knowledge of United States history and government, the completion of an oral or written examination testing the applicant's knowledge of the English language,an interview with the USCIS, and the oath-taking ceremony..
Who Can Apply for Naturalization?: A Lawful Permanent Resident who meets the following requirements may apply for naturalization:
Has resided continuously in the United States for the five-year period immediately preceding the application for naturalization. If the Permanent Resident obtained his or her Green Card based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen and the couple remains married, the Permanent Resident may apply for naturalization after residing continuously in the United States for the three-year period immediately preceding the filing of the Application for Naturalization.
Has been physically present in the United States for a minimum of thirty (30) months during the five-year period immediately preceding filing the Application for Naturalization. If the Permanent Resident obtained his or her Green Card based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen and the couple remains married, the Permanent Resident may apply for naturalization after being physically present in the United States for a minimum of eighteen (18) months during the three-year period immediately preceding the filing of the Application for Naturalization
Has resided within the jurisdiction of the USCIS Office having jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence (i) during the three-month period prior to filing the Application for Naturalization and (ii) during the three-month period prior to the examination for and grant of citizenship.
Possesses good moral character.
Successfully completes examinations testing knowledge of the United States history and government and of the English language.
Remains in the United States for more than a continuous six-month period (180 days) during the entire time between the time of filing the application for naturalization and the award of citizenship.
Denaturalization: After naturalization is granted, it is rare for the U.S. government to cancel naturalized U.S. citizenship. The U.S. government could commence denaturalization actions, if the naturalization applicant (i) concealed a material fact in the Application for Naturalization and its processing, (ii) made a willful misrepresentation in the application, (iii) within five years of naturalization became affiliated with a communist or totalitarian organization or advocated such a form of government, or (iv) within one year of naturalization took up permanent residence in another country or returned to the applicant's home country to live, with the intent to reside in that country permanently.
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Naturalization Study Guide
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