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    What is Naturalization?

    Naturalization is commonly referred to as the manner in which a person not born in the United States voluntarily becomes a U.S. citizen. People not born in the United States who want to become citizens of the United States must go through a legal process to become naturalized citizens.

    “ Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). ”

    How is Naturalization Different from Citizenship?

    Naturalization is the legal process a non-U.S. citizen undergoes to become a citizen of the United States. A person can become a citizen of the United States through one of the following ways:

    • What are the General Requirements for Naturalization in the United States?

    • The person must:

      Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

      Be a permanent resident (have a “green card”) for at least 5 years.

      Have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over their place of residence for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing Form N-400..

      Have continuous residence in the United States as a permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.

      Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400.

      Be able to read, write, and speak basic English unless exempt based on age and time as a permanent resident or a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment. See Exceptions and Accommodations.

      Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).

      Be a person of good moral character.

      Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

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