Are you eligible to naturalize?
Are you eligible to apply for citizenship? from Michael Boyle on Vimeo. 2 min.
Do you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for naturalization? Some of the requirements are easy to understand and measure, while others are more complicated and difficult to assess. This page of our site (and the next one, called “Should you apply?”) offer an introduction via written materials, podcasts or videos. More importantly, if you use our service, an attorney will review your application, answer your questions, and help ensure that you meet the requirements to naturalize.
- Are you 18, or older?
- Have you been a permanent resident for five years? (Or three years, if you have been married to and living with your U.S. citizen spouse.)
- Have you lived in the United States for at least half that time?
- Can you get at least six answers right on the ten-question test about United States history and government that will be given during your interview?
- Are you prepared to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States?
Other requirements are more complex or harder to measure
- Do you read, write and speak English? Most applicants will need to understand and answer questions in English and to write one or two sentences in English. However, there are some exceptions and limitations to assist older or disabled applicants.
- Have you “broken the continuity” of your residence by extended travel outside the United States? (Travel six months or more can lead to denial of your application; travel of over a year can result in losing your green card.)
- Do you have good moral character? This term encompasses many bases for disqualification. Some are obvious and easy to accept (no murders!), others are much less obvious and may or may not lead to denial of your application depending on when they occur.
An attorney can be a valuable guide in ensuring that you meet all the requirements to naturalize. While the materials on our site can be of value in educating yourself about the requirements for citizenship, they are not a substitute for a detailed, frank consultation with one of our attorneys.