Naturalization is the process of becoming a citizen of the United States. A permanent resident is eligible to naturalize after a certain period of time.
A permanent resident who obtained their status through marriage, can apply for naturalization after 3 years only if they are still married. Otherwise, they have to wait for 5 years to apply.
A permanent resident who obtained their status through asylum can apply for naturalization after 4 years of receiving their permanent residence status.
A permanent resident who obtained their status through any other means can apply for naturalization after 5 years.
To be eligible for naturalization, the applicant must:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Have been physically present in the U.S. for more than half of the time that the applicant has had their permanent residence status
- Demonstrate good moral character for the continuous residence period
- Pass the civic examination
- Pass the English proficiency portion of the examination
- If the applicant is a male between the ages of 18 and 26, proof of registration with the Selective Service, or if the applicant is a male between the ages of 26 and 31, that the applicant registered when required to do so.
- The applicant must have filed tax returns for the continuous residence period.