In order to be eligible for U.S. citizenship, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have been a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years, OR be a Lawful Permanent Resident for at least 3 years if married to and living with your U.S. Citizen spouse. Other exceptions apply to members of U.S military, diplomats and their spouses.
- Have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the period of permanent residency, not have traveled outside the U.S for longer than that. For a five year residency, this means no more than 2.5 years or 30 months.
- Have been continuously in the U.S, and not have left the U.S. for long periods of time during the past 5 years (i.e you may be at risk if you left the U.S. 6 months at a time or longer, and you are ineligible if you left the U.S. for 1 year or longer).
- Have residence in the district where you are applying for at least 3 months.
- Be a person of good moral character.
- Be able to speak, read, write and understand basic English (age and/or medical exemptions may apply for those who qualify).
- Have basic knowledge of United States history, government, and civics
- Be willing to take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
It is in your best interest to consult with an immigration attorney/BIA Accredited representative before you send your application for citizenship.
Benefits of U.S Citizenship
As a U.S. citizen, you:
- Have the right to vote.
- Can travel with a U.S. passport.
- Can sponsor family members to immigrate to the U.S.
- Gain derivative citizenship for your children (under 18).
- Can run for public office.
- Can serve on a jury.
- Have better employment opportunities.
- Have the right to hold certain government jobs.
- Have better access to certain educational scholarships.
- Are eligible for federal benefits, such as public assistance, financial aid for college, etc.
- Have the self-assurance to become more involved in political, economic, and social institutions.