Becoming A U.S. Citizen

Citizenship/naturalization is the legal process by which an immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen.

While one does not need the services of an attorney to become a U.S. citizen, an experienced attorney's help can make sure the citizenship process is done correctly the first time and avoid delays or requests for evidence from USCIS as a result of missing documentation or an improperly filed application. A noncitizen's past criminal record, no matter how far back in time it occurred, can bar an individual from citizenship/naturalization and may lead to commencement of removal proceedings and the loss of permanent residence.

Who Can You Become A U.S. Citizen?

To become a U.S. citizen, you must:

  • Live in the United States for at least five years (or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen). You must be physically in the United States for at least half of that time.
  • Live continuously in the United States from the date of your application up to the time of citizenship.
  • Be a person of good moral character.
  • Meet requirements for literacy and knowledge of U.S. government and U.S. history.

Applicants are tested in their ability to read, write and speak words in English. However, depending on your age and how long you have been a lawful permanent resident, you may be examined in your native language. For more information on the Citizenship exam, please click here.