US Naturalization/US Citizenship

Naturalization means you want to apply to become a United States citizen. If you are a permanent resident — that is, someone with a green card — the basic rule is that you can apply for U.S. citizenship when you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years. Check your green card (permanent resident card) for the exact date on which you became a permanent resident.

There is an exception to the five year rule – it will take only three years if you continue to be married to the US citizen that originally petitioned for you.

In order to become a naturalized US citizen you must meet the criteria listed below.

Requirements to become a naturalized US citizen:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • depending on how you received your green card, a three or five year period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States is required;
  • reside in the State in which you are filing;
  • read, write, and speak English;
  • a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;
  • good moral character;
  • willingness to adopt and defend the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

Note that Certificates of Citizenship and Naturalization both serve as proof of U.S. Citizenship, but the eligibility requirements differ. A Certificate of Citizenship is available to people who were born abroad and automatically acquired or derived U.S. citizenship through birth to or adoption by a U.S. citizen parent(s), while a Certificate of Naturalization is given to a lawful permanent resident after he or she fulfills the requirements to become a naturalized US Citizen.

Contact the Law Office of Raphael M. Scheetz to discuss how we can help you.

I can’t thank Mr. Scheetz enough for his help with my naturalization case. I lost all my hope and was lucky to have met him. He is a very professional and results driven lawyer as well as a great person.

– Kuldeep R.