How did you obtain your PR status? Assuming that it wasn't based on marriage to a USC, in general, you are allowed to apply 5 years after obtaining PR status. However, applying for naturalization can be a bit tricky as there are several requirements that have to be complied with. First, let me distinguish between permanent resident status and “continuous residence” in the US. Permanent resident status is when you are a green card holder and are able to stay indefinitely in the US....
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Yes, your sum up in the second post is correct. Prior to filing for natz you have to be a PR for 5 years...and during that time you must have been physically present in the US for at least 2 1/2 years. And technically speaking, applications can be filed up to 3 months before the continuous residence requirements are met. INA 334(a), 8 USC 1445(a).
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