Letter of the law

Learn how one can officially call the U.S. home after a period of residency

If you are a permanent resident, you can become a U.S. citizen through the process called naturalization if you meet the following requirements:

1. You have resided in the United States as a permanent resident continuously for five years. (You can qualify after only three years of permanent residence if you have been married to, and living with, a U.S. citizen during those three years.)

2. You have been physically present in the United States for half of the five (or three) year period.

3. You are a person of good moral character.

4. You have a basic knowledge of U.S. government and history.

5. You are able to read, write, and speak simple English (with exceptions for some older, long-time or disabled permanent residents.)

6. You are at least 18 years of age and legally competent to take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

7. You express your allegiance to the U.S.