The day a client receives his or her green card is a great victory and day of celebration, and almost right away they ask: when can I apply for citizenship? The answer is fairly straightforward. Here are the rules:
To be eligible for citizenship, you must:
- Be at least 18 when you submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization;
- Be a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States for at least three years immediately before the date you file Form N-400;
- Have been living in marital union with your U.S. citizen spouse during the three years immediately before the date you file your application and while the government processes your application;
- Have lived for at least three months in a state or USCIS district having jurisdiction over your place of residence;
- Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least three years immediately before the date you file your application;
- Reside continuously within the United States from the date you filed your application until the date you naturalize;
- Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the three years immediately before the date you file your application;
- Be able to read, write and speak English and have knowledge and understanding of the basics of U.S. government and history; and
- Be a person of good moral character, committed to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and supportive of the good order and happiness of the United States for at least three years immediately before the date you file Form N-400 and until you take the Oath of Allegiance.
Applying for citizenship can be tricky, and it’s best to work with a knowledgeable attorney. Contact the Law Office of Gregory J. Eck here 201-366-9254 for additional information.