Becoming a citizen of the United States is something that many people who hold a green card aspire to do. You have to make sure that you are taking the appropriate steps to help the process go smoothly. One of the first things to do is make sure that you meet the requirements for the petition.

First, you have to have your Permanent Resident Card for a specific amount of time. If you are filing to become a citizen based on marrying a citizen, you have to have your card for at least three years. All other situations require you have your green card for at least five years.

Second, you need to be able to speak, read and write basic English. This helps you to be able to communicate here.

Third, you must be at least 18 years old when you file. For some, the filing is one of their most cherished birthday events because they’ve waited so long to get the process started.

Fourth, you have to be of good moral character. This means that you don’t have a criminal record littered with convictions. Anything on your criminal record might cause a problem, so if you have this circumstance, it is best to find out how you should address it before you file.

The last thing that you need to happen is that you find out that your citizenship petition was denied because of something that you could have handled from the start. Working through your petition with someone who is familiar with the applicable laws can help you ensure that you won’t have to deal with this.