For the majority of immigrants to the U.S., citizenship is the ultimate goal. The road to naturalization is a long one, but it is possible for many.
In the United States, there are certain eligibility requirements for immigrants to obtain naturalization. If you want to become a naturalized citizen, you must meet the following criteria:
1. Be at least 18 years old
You must be 18 upon the date of your filing the application. Children under 18 must file a different application to gain citizenship in the U.S. or be born in the country.
2. Have a lawful, continuous physical residence in the U.S. for five years
You can prove this by showing rent or mortgage receipts, past income tax returns and a copy of your passport’s departure and arrival stamps.
3. Be able to speak, read and write basic English
You may have to undergo an in-person review of your application during which the interviewer will have you read basic sentences aloud.
4. Understand basic U.S. history and government
You may also take a civics test to determine whether or not you understand these basic items regarding the United State’s history and government.
5. Show good moral character
If you have had past arrests or legal issues, you will have to show documentation that all problems got resolved correctly.
6. Show loyalty to the U.S. constitution and be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance
Those who apply for naturalization must show that they are loyal to the principles outlined in the Constitution and that they will take an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.
Only after you meet all of these requirements are you eligible to become a naturalized citizen.