It is a process by which Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) are granted citizenship of the U.S. Form N-400 must be filed with the USCIS. Not all LPR’s are allowed to naturalize. There are certain requirements.
- Person must be at least 18 years of age and should have been an LPR and resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing the application. If married to a U.S. citizen, then residence requirement is only of 3 years provided the applicant is cohabiting with the same person for the last 3 years.
- Applicant must have been physically present for at least half of the 5 years/3 years in the U.S.
- Applicant must be able to provide a good moral character.
- Applicant must be fluent in English and must have knowledge and understanding of basic history and forms of government in the U.S. The applicant maybe exempt from the test for English language if the applicant’s age is 50 years or older at the time of filing and have lived as a permanent resident for 20 years (commonly referred to as the “50/20” exception) or the applicant’s age is 55 years or older at the time of filing and have lived as a permanent resident for 15 years (commonly referred to as the “55/15” exception). Applicant will still have to give the test for civics in native language. The applicant may be eligible for an exception to the English and civics tests if the applicant has a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment.
- Applicant must show attachment to the U.S. Constitution.
However, the U.S. citizenship comes with certain responsibilities. Anyone who wishes to naturalize must take the Oath of Allegiance. Accordingly, the applicant must promise to swear allegiance and serve the U.S. and give up allegiance to other countries.