What are the basic requirements to become a naturalized U.S. citizen?

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There are several requirements that must be fulfilled before an individual can apply for citizenship through naturalization. Most applicants must be 18 years old and fall into one of the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • Have been a permanent resident for the past 5 years [Learn more]; or
  • Currently married to and living with a U.S. citizen and have been married to and living with that same U.S. citizen for the past 3 years [Learn more]; or
  • Currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces (or will be filing the application within 6 months of an honorable discharge) and have served for at least 1 year [Learn more].

Additionally the candidate must meet good moral character requirements and demonstrate knowledge of the English language, U.S. history and government.

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This is a simplified explanation of the requirements. See a more detailed explanation in the Citizenship Resource Center.

Source: USCIS

Citizenship Resource Center
Find additional support articles and naturalization information in the Citizenship Resource Center
Naturalization Requirements  |  Citizenship Cost Calculator
What Happens After Filing N-400  |  How to Prepare for Citizenship Test
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