US Citizenship Eligibility Requirements

U.S. citizenship requirements states that, you can obtain U.S. citizenship either by birth or by law. You acquire U.S. citizenship by birth, if you were born in the U.S. or if your parents are U.S. citizens. Obtaining U.S. citizenship by law is through naturalization.

Per USCIS, you must meet the U.S. citizenship requirements to apply for citizenship. The U.S. citizenship requirements include the continuous physical presence requirements and certain general requirements.

U.S. citizenship requirements

To be eligible for U.S. citizenship, the following U.S. citizenship requirements should be satisfied:

  • You should be at least 18 years old.
  • You should be a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • You should have resided in the U.S. for at least three to five years and half of the time should be spent in the U.S.
  • The U.S. citizenship requirements states that, if you are married to a U.S. citizen, you can apply for U.S. citizenship after three years of residence in the United States. All others can apply for citizenship only after five years.
  • You have resided in the U.S. from the time you filed your application for U.S. citizenship.
  • You should take an oath, that you are attached to the U.S. constitution.
  • You should have proficient knowledge and fluency in English.
  • You should have knowledge concerning the history, role and functioning of the U.S. government including answering 10 of the 100 possible Citizenship Test Questions
  • You should not be involved in any crime.
  • You should meet the continuous physical presence requirements

Continuous physical presence requirements

If you are married to a U.S. citizen, the following continuous physical presence requirements should be met:

  • You should live physically with your spouse.
  • You should have lived together with your spouse for at least three years before you apply for U.S. citizenship and take the naturalization examination.
  • You should have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 18 months.
  • You should have been residing continuously for the past three months in the state from where you will apply for U.S. citizenship.
  • Your spouse should be a U.S. citizen during the period you have applied for citizenship till the date of examination.

The following are the continuous physical presence requirements for those who are not married to a U.S. citizen:

  • You should have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months.
  • You should have been residing continuously for the past three months in the state from where you will apply for U.S. citizenship.

Physical presence is different from Continuous residence. Physical presence is the number of days you were physically present in the U.S. Continuous residence is the time you resided lawfully in the U.S. without any long absence. If you are physically absent from the United States for one year, you will lose your continuous residence requirement, unless the absence is excused. The U.S. citizenship process is not easy, you have to meet the above requirements to be eligible to apply for citizenship.


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Immigration Direct is not legal advice site, but its a place for all immigration related issues. Where in you can fill the forms on Visas, Green card Renewal, Naturalization, Student Visa, Work Visa, Tourist Visa, etc. We will make sure your form is 100% error free, before you submit to USCIS.

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One thought on “US Citizenship Eligibility Requirements

  1. I would like to know that if a person has been arrested and has pled quilty to Driving under the influence, breaking an antiharassment order, how long do these convictions keep you from becoming a citizen.

    Thanks,

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