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Basic requirements to apply for naturalization

Published February 02. 2013 09:02AM

Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:

• Be age 18 or older;

• Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually 5 years but less for some individuals);

• Be a person of good moral character;

• Have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government;

• Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; and

• Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. There are exceptions to this rule for someone who: Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years; or is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.

You May Qualify for Naturalization if:

• You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements

• You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen.

• You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements.

• Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

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