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U.S. citizenship form

Citizenship Eligibility in the United States

Becoming a United States citizen is a goal of many people throughout the world. It provides a great sense of pride when individuals are approved and naturalized in the U.S. Naturalization admits a foreigner to become a citizen of a country. Being a citizen allows you to vote, hold government positions, and more. To become a citizen of the United States, there is a process that is broken up into several different requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

When filing for citizenship, an individual must file a naturalization form, known as N-400. There are requirements to meet in order to become a citizen. To file for citizenship, you must be over the age of 18 and satisfy one of these conditions:

  • Had a permanent United States residence for the past 5 years
  • Lived in the United States for 4 years due to asylum
  • Lived in the United States as the spouse of a citizen for 3 years
  • Are a permanent resident and served in the U.S. military for 3 years

Physical and Residential Presence

With one of the requirements of eligibility being residence, it is necessary to provide evidence of living in the country. This takes absences from the country into consideration. Being away from the United States for 6 months or more may affect your ability to become eligible. Leaving the country may require you to prove that you did not abandon your residence while you were away.

Demonstrating Character

One of the most important parts of the process is proving that you have good moral character. Certain crimes may still impact or delay an individual’s application. This involves that you are not convicted of a crime of “moral turpitude.” Moral turpitude is a concept that refers to an action that violates the standards of a community. This may include:

  • Assault
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Drug crimes

United States Knowledge

In order to become a citizen, it is usually required that you have knowledge of U.S. History, government, and the English language. This may change depending on the case. Those who are over the age of 50 and have lived in the country for over 20 years are exempt from the language requirement but still must pass the civics test. The same standard holds true for a person over the age of 55 who has lived in the country for over 15 years.


If you are approved for citizenship in the United States, you are required to pledge loyalty to the country. This oath of allegiance takes place during a naturalization ceremony where friends and family gather to watch. It is after this ceremony that you are officially a U.S. citizen.


If you are considering or in the process of becoming a United States citizen and need an effective attorney to guide you through it, contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC. today.

Our firm understands how much is on the line when clients face matters related to immigration. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance. Our firm is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.