You may obtain US citizenship either through Naturalization or Acquisition.
Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent resident after meeting the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Acquisition of citizenship is obtained through U.S. citizenship parents either at birth or after birth, but before the age of 18.
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Naturalization if you have been a Permanent Resident for 5 years
To be eligible for naturalization based on being a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, you must:
Be at least 18 years old
Show you have been a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States for at least five years;
Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least five years immediately before applying.
Show you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five years immediately before the date of filing.
Show you have lived for at least three months in a state or USCIS district having jurisdiction over your place of residence.
Show that you are a person of good moral character and have been a person of good moral character for at least five years immediately before the date of filing.
Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution;
Be able to read, write and speak basic English;
Have knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of history, and of the principles and form of government of the United States, (civics); and
Take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Certain applicants, because of their age and time as an LPR, do not have to take the English test for naturalization and may take the civics test in the language of their choice.
Naturalization if you have been a Permanent Resident for 3 years
If you obtained your green card through marriage and you are still married to that spouse you may be eligible for naturalization after 3 years provided you also meet the above requirements.
Naturalization Through Military Service
If you are serving or have served in the U.S. armed forces you may be eligible to apply for naturalization under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Children of US Citizens
Citizenship Through U.S. Parents
There are two general ways to obtain citizenship through U.S. citizen parents: at birth, and after birth but before the age of 18. Congress has enacted laws that determine how citizenship is conveyed by a U.S. citizen parent (or parents) to children born outside of the United States.
Who May Qualify for Acquisition of Citizenship
The law in effect at the time of birth determines whether someone born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent (or parents) is a U.S. citizen at birth. In general, these laws require that at least one parent was a U.S. citizen, and the U.S. citizen parent had lived in the United States for a period of time. In addition, children born abroad may become U.S. citizens after birth.
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