When you were born in another nation and wish to live and work permanently in the United States, you may wish to establish yourself as a U.S. citizen through a process known as naturalization. Obtaining citizenship through naturalization is voluntary. Once you do so, you enjoy the same rights and protections as natural-born citizens.
There are certain eligibility requirements you must meet to become a U.S. citizen through naturalization.
Determining citizenship eligibility
To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must be at least 18 and have the ability to read, write and speak basic English. You also must be “of good moral character.” Furthermore, you must have held a valid green card for at least five years before applying for citizenship.
If your green card has expired or is set to expire within six months of submitting your application, you must renew it before moving forward. Additionally, you have to undergo a 10-step naturalization process, which includes taking a test and taking part in a personal interview.
Taking the naturalization test
The test you must take to become a U.S. citizen has two main parts. It has a civics test, which assesses your knowledge of U.S. history and government. There are many resources and practice tests available online that may help you study for this part of the test. Then, you must take and pass an English test demonstrating that you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the English language.
You may need to take additional steps if your situation is unique in some way. For example, you may need to take further action if you are looking to establish dual citizenship.