What Are the Requirements for American Citizenship?


Quick Answer

To qualify for U.S. citizenship an applicant must be a permanent resident in the United States for at least five years, or three years with a spouse who is a citizen, states the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. An applicant may also qualify through eligible services in the U.S. military.

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Full Answer

If an applicant was born and lives outside the U.S. but has parents who are U.S. citizens, the application is considered, notes the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If an applicant’s biological or adopted parents applied for citizenship before the applicant reached the age of 18, the applicant is qualified.

An applicant must attain the age of 18 before applying. Permanent residents include green card holders. Within the required five-year period of residence, the applicant must live in the U.S. for at least half the time, explains the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. An applicant should not establish a primary home in another country and should not spend more than one year at a time outside the U.S. and its territory. An applicant must live within the state of application for at least three months before applying.

The basic language requirement for an applicant is an ability to read and write English, and knowledge of the history of the United States is also required. An applicant’s moral character must be in the spirit of the U.S Constitution, explains U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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