Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national becomes a U.S. citizen after meeting requirements set by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This pathway to citizenship is available to eligible lawful permanent residents (Green Cards holders) who wish to fully participate in the civic life of the United States. The process involves several steps, stringent eligibility criteria, and a commitment to uphold U.S. laws and values. Let's explore the deeper aspects of naturalization, including eligibility, the application process, the examination, and the significance of achieving U.S. citizenship.


Applying for and receiving U.S. citizenship is often the culmination of a long journey for many immigrants. Why should you apply for U.S. citizenship? There are certain privileges and rights that are afforded only to U.S. citizens, such as the right to vote, obtain a security clearance, hold specific jobs at the state or federal level such as an officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, a police officer in many states and protection from deportation. As a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), you have the right to live, work, and remain in the U.S. indefinitely. However, certain actions such as getting arrested or failing to notify USCIS of a change of address within the statutorily mandated period could result in revocation of LPR status and institution of removal proceedings. 

The laws regarding Citizenship have changed several times with different requirements and filing requirements depending on the basis under which the applicant is applying, such as through service in the U.S. Armed Forces, Abused Immigrants who are LPR, spouse of a U.S. Citizen, or employment-based LPR applicants. 

Qualification and when a person qualifies for U.S. Citizenship depends on multiple variables such as how the applicant obtained LPR status, arrest history, ability to demonstrate good moral character, tax-filing history, claiming to be a U.S. Citizen orally or in writing, time spent abroad which could be interpreted that the applicant intended to abandon their LPR status. 

Accordingly, it is recommended to contact an immigration attorney to review your current immigration status and identify appropriate steps and strategies for applying. It is also worth noting that an applicant's entire immigration history is subject to review during an application for naturalization. Certain actions taken prior to applying for Citizenship could lead to revocation of the applicant's Green Card.

Contact Cruise Law Group to schedule a free consultation and to determine your legal options. You can expedite this process by completing our Immigration Intake Form  

All information and content on this website are provided for informational purposes. None of this website's content should be construed as a legal opinion, advice, or substitute for obtaining independent legal advice from a licensed attorney. Any testimonials listed on this website should NOT be interpreted to guarantee future success on similar cases.

Eligibility Naturalization 

Applicants must meet several criteria to be eligible for naturalization: 

1. Age: Must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing.

2. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR): Must have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen (Also 3 years for VAWA applicants of a USC). 

3. Continuous Residence: Must have continuously resided in the U.S. as an LPR for at least five years immediately preceding the application and have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of those five years (or 18 months out of three years if married to a U.S. citizen). 

4. Good Moral Character: Must demonstrate good moral character for the five years (or three years for spouses of U.S. citizens) preceding the application and up to the time of naturalization. 

4. English Language Proficiency: Must be able to read, write, and speak basic English (exceptions apply for age and long-term residency). Components: English Test: Consists of speaking, reading, and writing components. The USCIS officer assesses speaking ability during the interview, and applicants must read and write sentences correctly to demonstrate English proficiency. Civics Test: Covers U.S. history, constitution, and government. Typically, the applicant must answer six out of ten questions correctly to pass, chosen from a pool of 100.

5. U.S. History and Government Knowledge: Must pass a civics test, covering U.S. history and government principles (exceptions apply for age and medical disability). 

6. Attachment to the Constitution: Must be willing to support and defend the U.S. and its Constitution.

Application Process

1. Form N-400: The process begins with the submission of Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. 

2. Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the application, USCIS schedules a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting, which is used for a background check. 

3. Interview and Exam: Applicants are scheduled for an interview with a USCIS officer, where they will also take the English and civics tests, unless exempted. 

4. Decision: USCIS makes a decision on the naturalization application based on all the information and evidence provided. Examination  

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