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When Can I Apply For U.S. Citizenship?

Most permanent residents can become a US citizen after having their permanent resident status for five years. In that five-year period, USCIS will review certain things to make sure that a person is eligible for naturalization. A person must reside in the United States for a total of two and a half years of the five-year period of time. Separately, they must not have any absences outside of the United States for a period of greater than six months. In addition to the continuous and physical residence requirements, a person is required to be able to speak, read, write English, and pass a naturalization examination on US history and civics. USCIS provides a multitude of study options to prepare a person for the examination, and an interview will be required before a USCIS officer to be granted a naturalization application to become a US citizen.

In certain circumstances, based on marriage to a US citizen, the five-year period is shortened to three years and the requirements of continuous and physical presence are cut in half so a person would have to reside in the United States one and a half years of the three years and also not be out of the country for greater than six months. In addition, when applying under the three-year provision, a person must show that they are married and continue to be married to a US citizen in a bona fide marital relationship. In order to do so, they must provide evidence such as photographs, references, documentation of any vacations taken, joint tax returns or joint bank accounts. For further assistance regarding naturalization, please contact an immigration attorney.

If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters of immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC.