Why Apply for U.S. Citizenship?
This guide is for eligible green card holders that are considering applying for citizenship.
Eligibility of U.S. CitizenshipPermanent residents may apply for citizenship upon being a permanent resident for 5 years, or upon being a permanent resident for 3 years if they have been married to a U.S. citizen spouse for at least 3 years.
Requirements of U.S. CitizenshipThe following requirements must be met for individuals holding a green card for at least 5 years:
Be 18 or older
Be a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400
Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the the application
Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization
Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law
Benefits of U.S. CitizenshipVoting: Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections. Most States also restrict the right to vote to U.S. citizens.
Petitioning for Family: Citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.
Traveling with a U.S. passport: A U.S. passport allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government when outside the United States.
Working as a Federal employee: Most jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.
Becoming an elected official: Many elected offices in this country require U.S. citizenship.
Responsibilities of U.S. CitizenshipTo become a U.S. citizen you must take the Oath of Allegiance, which includes the following promises:
Give up all prior allegiance to any other nation or sovereignty;
Swear allegiance to the United States;
Support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; and
Serve the country when required.