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What You Should Know About U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization
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What You Should Know About U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization

What is Naturalization?

Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

You May Qualify for Naturalization if:

  • You have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years and meet all other eligibility requirements, please visit our Path to Citizenship page for more information.
  • You have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen, please visit our Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens page for more information.
  • You have qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces and meet all other eligibility requirements. Visit the Military section of our website.
  • Your child may qualify for naturalization if you are a U.S. citizen, the child was born outside the U.S., the child is currently residing outside the U.S., and all other eligibility requirements are met.

You may qualify through other paths to naturalization if you do not qualify through the paths described above.

Note: You may already be a U.S. citizen and not need to apply for naturalization if your biological or adoptive parent(s) became a U.S. citizen before you reached the age of 18