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Becoming Part of the American Dream - Eligibility Criteria for US Citizenship

May 10th 2015 at 9:57 PM

The United States has a long history of welcoming people from other lands and the combined energy and passion of immigrants has enriched the country tremendously. People come to the United States to get the opportunity to improve their lives and many of them are eager to apply for US citizenship. As US citizens, they enjoy a number of rights that include the ability to work legally and without restriction, to participate in elections and to have protection from deportation.

It goes without saying that it is not at all easy to get US citizenship. The process of naturalization of immigrants is managed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which lays down eligibility criteria. There are certain criteria that you will have to satisfy as a potential immigrant to the US. Knowing what these criteria is will enable you to take the right steps towards naturalization.

  • You can only apply for US citizenship after you turn 18 years old.
  • If you have been living in the United States for a minimum of 5 years with permanent residency (Green Card) then you can also apply for citizenship. Keep in mind that you should have physically been in the US for at least half of this period. Further, you should not have spent an entire year at a stretch outside the US. (Exceptions to the 5 year requirement can be made in the case of refugees, asylum seekers, US military personnel and people married to US citizens)
  • Your primary home should be in the United States even if you maintain residences else where.
  • You need to have been a resident for at least three months of the state or district in which you are filing your application for naturalization.
  • A background check conducted by USCIS should not throw up any criminal records associated with you. Only if you exhibit excellent moral character will your application for citizenship be allowed to proceed.
  • If you are not conversant with English then you should take the time to learn the language. Your application for naturalization will also depend on your ability to speak and write English.
  • You should also have basic knowledge of the history of the United States; you will have to undergo a test on this subject.
  • Finally, you will have to take an oath in order to demonstrate your allegiance to the constitution of the United States. When you take this oath you will also have to renounce your loyalty to any foreign country.

The various naturalization application forms should be completed with a great deal of care and with absolute accuracy or else they will be rejected. Most people take the help of immigration lawyers to ensure that the application process is done correctly and quickly. If you want read more details of this article visit :

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