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How can a permanent resident become a U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2023 | Citizenship & Naturalization

If you are a U.S. permanent resident, that is, a green card holder – you are probably wondering how soon you can become a citizen. After all, this comes with a ton of benefits, such as the right to vote, help a relative migrate to the U.S. or live abroad without the worry of losing your permanent residency status. Citizenship also protects you from deportation.

However, you cannot apply for naturalization when you feel like it. You must meet certain eligibility requirements. One of these is being a permanent U.S. resident for at least five years.

Eligibility for naturalization

Before applying to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you need to meet the following conditions:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must demonstrate sound moral character
  • You must pass the language requirements (speak, write and read basic English)
  • You must study and pass the U.S. government civic and history tests
  • You must demonstrate a commitment to the U.S. constitution

The process of applying for naturalization

To apply for U.S. citizenship, you will need to fill out and submit the Application for Naturalization (Form N-400) form to the US CIS. Alongside Form N-400, you will need to submit the following:

  • Naturalization application fees
  • A copy of your green card
  • A copy of your social security card
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of your marriage certificate or divorce decree
  • Your passport
  • A copy of your criminal record

If you were not born in the U.S. or to parents who are American citizens, it helps to know that you can acquire your citizenship through naturalization. Find out how you can boost your odds of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen.