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Naturalization is the process to become a U.S. citizen if you were born outside of the United States. If you meet certain requirements, you may become a U.S. citizen either at birth or after birth.

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To apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time you file the application;

  • Have been a lawful permanent resident for the past three or five years (depending on which naturalization category you are applying under);

  • Have continuous residence and physical presence in the United States;

  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English;

  • Demonstrate good moral character;

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government;

  • Demonstrate loyalty to the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and

  • Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.

For detailed information and exceptions, including special provisions for those who have served in the U.S. military, please see Naturalization through Military Service.

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