U.S. Citizenship

What is Naturalization (Citizenship)?

Naturalization is the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. Through this process, those born outside of the United States who are currently legal permanent residents (green card holders) are granted U.S. citizenship. To apply for naturalization, you must meet the requirements set by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act. To be eligible for U.S. naturalization, the general requirements are:

  • You must be a legal permanent resident for at least the past five years (or the past three years, if married to and living with a U.S. citizen spouse)
  • You must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the past five years (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen)
  • You must have continuously resided in the U.S. for the past five years (or three years)
  • You must have good moral character

Before you apply for naturalization, you should make sure first that you are not already a U.S. citizen. You may have acquired U.S. citizenship by birth abroad, in certain circumstances, if you were born to a U.S. citizen parent. Or you may have derived U.S. citizenship in certain situations if your parent naturalized before you turned 18.

US Citizenship Tool

Am I Eligible for Naturalization (Citizenship)?

Before you begin the naturalization process, you can use our Naturalization Eligibility Tool and answer some basic questions to see if you may be eligible. The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please note that this tool does not determine eligibility for naturalization. Please speak with a qualified immigration lawyer before taking action.

Citizenship Tool

Citizenship Timeline