Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Naturalization is the manner in which a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. Are you thinking about applying for naturalization? Learn about the general 10 steps to naturalization. Before you apply, you must meet a few requirements. Depending on your situation, there are different requirements that may apply to you. General requirements for naturalization are below.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

  • Be a permanent resident (have a “Green Card”) for at least 5 years.

  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply. 

  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. 

  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400. 

  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English. 

  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). 

  • Be a person of good moral character. 

  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

For more detailed information on the naturalization process, please visit Citizenship Through Naturalization and the Path to U.S. Citizenship, or read A Guide to Naturalization.

Certain applicants, because of age and time as a permanent resident, are exempt from the English requirements for naturalization and may take the civics test in the language of their choice. For more information, see exceptions and accommodations.

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