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The basics of obtaining citizenship via naturalization can be a complicated process. And simply said, it is a process wherein a non-citizen voluntarily becomes a citizen of the United States. It also provides new U.S. citizens the opportunity to show their allegiance to the United States and are entitled to its protection as well as exercising their rights, such as voting in politial elections and serving on a jury.
If an individual does not gain U.S. citizenship by birth or descent, that person may achieve it through naturalization, which involves meeting certain language, moral character and residency criteria by way of a specialized legal process. In order to become a naturalized citizen, all foreign nationals must be lawful permanent residents for a period of five years (three years if you are a spouse of an American citizen.) Also, during this time he or she must be present in this country a minimum of fifty percent of the time. Applicants must also be at least eighteen years old in order to apply for citizenship.
Basic CriteriaYou Need to Meet to Qualify for U.S Citizenship
this list is not exclusive
- You must be a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. If your card has expired, it must be renewed before applying for naturalization;
- You must be at least18 years or older at the time of filing;
- You must be able to read, write and speak basic English (unless you qualify for an age or disability-related exception); and
- You must be a person of good moral character, among other criteria.