Requirements for USA Citizenship.
The United States is known worldwide as the land of opportunity. People come from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families, laying down new roots and calling this great nation home. Their love for the opportunities and promise of America and their aspirations for its future strengthen the fabric of our nation.
Our commitment to integrating the entrepreneurship, diversity, and passion of new Americans is a measure of our greatness as a country. When new Americans gain the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of citizenship, they contribute more fully to the vitality of our communities and our democracy as a whole.
Attaining citizenship is a journey. You have to earn it. But for too many citizenship hopefuls, that journey is much harder than it should be. Many people who live, work, create jobs, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet lack of knowledge about how the process works, compounded by costly legal fees, can put the dream out of reach. That’s where the New Americans Campaign comes in to help. We explain the process, assist with completing the application, and help those who qualify apply for fee waivers.
Who is eligible to become a Citizen
To become a U.S. citizen you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- You must have authorization to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis (informally known as a green card) for at least five years (or three years, if married to a United States citizen).
- You must have continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years (or three years, if married to a United States citizen) and be physically present in the U.S. for at least half that time.
- Must be able to read, write and speak basic English.
- Some people do not have to speak English at all or answer any questions about United States history and civics, depending on many factors such as their age, time in the U.S. as green card holders, and if they have a disability. For more information about language exceptions, disability exceptions, and accommodations, click here.
- Must have a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. history and government.
- You must be a person of “good moral character.”
- You must take a loyalty oath to the United States and support the Constitution and form of government of the United States.
For more information about the path to citizenship, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
You must complete an application that includes the following information:
- Personal information about you, your parents, your spouse, and your children (if applicable)
- Any arrests you may have had
- Where you worked during the last 5 years
- Where you lived during the last 5 years
- Where you traveled outside of the United States over the last 5 years
The application fee is $725 (including the $85 biometric services fee). Some people are eligible to have this fee waived or to pay a reduced fee.
- To see if you are eligible for a fee waiver or the reduced fee for the naturalization application, use our fee waiver calculator.