The U.S. green card allows you to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. However, the green card does have some limitations. For instance, you may be deported if you are convicted of certain crimes. Also, you may not participate in certain civic tasks like voting. Finally, you may lose your green card if you overstay overseas. It is for these among other reasons that most green card holders apply for naturalization.
You may become a naturalized U.S. citizen if you are a green card holder. However, the process takes time. Plus, you need to meet certain conditions to earn your citizenship.
Eligibility for naturalization
To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must be at least 18 years old at the time of applying for U.S. citizenship
- You must be a resident of the U.S. for at least 5 years. Out of these, you must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months
- You must have resided in the state or U.S. territory where you are applying for citizenship for at least three months
- You must meet the language requirements
- You must take a naturalization test to demonstrate your knowledge of the U.S. government and history
- You must meet the moral character and support the beliefs and values articulated in the U.S. Constitution
The process of applying for citizenship begins by obtaining and filling Form N-400. This form should be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) alongside the supporting documents.
Safeguarding your rights
The decision to apply for naturalization is one that you should never take lightly. Learning more about U.S. immigration and citizenship can help you take the right steps to realize your American Dream.