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What does it take to apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Millions of immigrants have come to this country looking for a new opportunity or a fresh start and millions have achieved that goal by working hard and living by the ideals upon which this country was founded. Many immigrants have established lives here, putting children in school, buying houses and embarking on careers in the land of opportunity. In fact, many have put down so many roots that they consider the United States their own country, but they still haven't gotten American citizenship.

That's because the process can be long and daunting, with all manner of confusing laws regarding who can and can't apply. With that in mind, let's look at some of the basics of qualifying and applying for U.S. citizenship. Here are the essentials:

  • You must be 18 years of age.
  • You must have already been granted a green card.
  • You must have lived here five years or more, be married to a U.S. citizen or have been granted asylum.
  • At least two and a half of those years must have been spent physically in the country.
  • You must be able to demonstrate that you can speak, write and read English.
  • You will have to pass a U.S. government and history test.
  • You must have lived in the state in which you are applying for three months.
  • You must be willing to swear to your belief in the Constitution of the United States.

Many immigrants meet these criteria, but still aren't sure about whether they really qualify. Even if they know it, the process can still be confusing. If you are considering applying to become a citizen, an attorney can help guide you through the entire process.

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