Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background
Naturalization is the conferring of U.S. citizenship after birth by any means whatsoever.  There are various ways to become a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. This chapter addresses the general naturalization requirements. 
The applicant has the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she meets the requirements for naturalization.
The following are the general naturalization requirements that an applicant must meet in order to become a U.S. citizen: 
General Eligibility Requirements for Naturalization
The applicant must be age 18 or older at the time of filing for naturalization
The applicant must be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years before being eligible for naturalization
The applicant must have continuous residence in the United States as an LPR for at least five years immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up to the time of admission to citizenship
The applicant must be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
The applicant must have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence for at least three months prior to the date of filing
The applicant must demonstrate good moral character for five years prior to filing for naturalization, and during the period leading up to the administration of the Oath of Allegiance
The applicant must have an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law
The applicant must be able to read, write, and speak and understand English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government
INA 318 – Prerequisite to naturalization, burden of proof
INA 318 - Prerequisite to naturalization, burden of proof
No appendices available at this time.
Technical Update - Moving the Adjudicator’s Field Manual Content into the USCIS Policy ManualMay 21, 2020
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk between the AFM and the Policy Manual.
Technical Update - Replacing the Term “Foreign National”October 08, 2019
This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].
POLICY ALERT - Security-Related Positions AbroadJune 10, 2013
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is issuing policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address amendments to section 1059(e) of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2006 by Public Law 112-227.
POLICY ALERT - Comprehensive Citizenship and Naturalization Policy GuidanceJanuary 07, 2013
USCIS is issuing updated and comprehensive citizenship and naturalization policy guidance in the new USCIS Policy Manual.