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Immigration and Legal: Citizenship
Oath of Allegiance

In order to become a U.S. citizen, you must meet requirements of age, residency, residence and physical presence, good moral character, attachment to the Constitution, language, and knowledge of U.S. history and government. If you meet all of those requirements, you will then be considered for citizenship, and, at the swearing-in ceremony, recite the oath of allegiance.

In order to apply for citizenship, you must:

  • Be at least eighteen years old. Children under 18 may naturalize when their parents do.
  • Have been lawfully admitted to the United States and possess a green card (I-551).
  • Have held a green card for at least five years prior to applying, lived at least 30 months of the last five years in the United States (periods of absence longer than six months may void make you ineligible), and have resided in the same state or district for at least three months. Or Have held a green card and been married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years. Or Have performed qualifying military service.
  • Have no major crimes on your record. Other restrictions are placed on the applicant under the heading of "good moral character," but they are too numerous to list here. Download a complete list from INS.
  • Demonstrate that you will abide by the Constitution of the United States of America.
  • Be able to demonstrate a working understanding of common English language.
  • Be able to pass a test covering the basics of United States history and governmental structure.
  • Recite the Oath of Allegiance.
An immigration attorney can be very helpful in successfully completing the citizenship application process.

Here are some other helpful sites on the Internet:

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