Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is given to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
All applicants must be at least 18 years old, and an applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted as permanent residents will be asked to produce an I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, as proof of their status.
An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
- Has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence
- Has resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing, with absences from the United States totaling no more than one year
- Has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years. NOTE: Absences of more than six months, but less than one year, break the continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period
- Has resided within a state or district for at least three months.
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