Green card holders may apply for naturalization to become U.S. citizens when they meet the requirements for citizenship. U.S. citizenship is a tremendous honor and privilege that allows naturalized individuals to become fully American.

Citizenship comes with many benefits, among which are the right to live in the United States permanently, to vote in federal elections, to serve on juries, to obtain a United States passport for international travel, to become a candidate for many elected offices, to obtain jobs and government contracts restricted to U.S. citizens, to petition for other relatives to immigrate to the U.S., and to pass U.S. citizenship on to their descendants. For many green card holders, obtaining U.S. citizenship carries the additional benefit of no longer having to deal with U.S. immigration authorities.

Generally, the requirements for naturalization as a U.S. citizen are:

  • Being age 18 or older,
  • Continuous residence with a green card in the United States for five years (or, if the green card is based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, three years),
  • Physical presence in the United States for at least half of the continuous residence duration requirement,
  • “Good moral character,” as defined by U.S. immigration laws,
  • For men who have lived in the U.S. with green cards between the ages of 18 and 26, having registered for Selective Service,
  • Being a resident of the USCIS district where the citizenship application is filed for at least three months,
  • Being able to pass tests of the English language and a United States civics examination given in the English language,
  • and having loyalty and allegiance to the United States of America.

Some of these requirements may be waived in certain situations. For instance, individuals over 50 years old who have lived in the United States with green cards for 20 years or longer, and those over 55 years old who have lived in the U.S. for 15 years or longer, may be exempt from the English language requirement and may take the civics examination in the language of their choice.

Children of U.S. citizens born abroad are U.S. citizens by birth, and may apply for certification of their U.S. citizenship. This ensures that the child has valid proof of his or her U.S. citizenship. Foreign national adopted children (under age 18) in the legal and physical custody of at least one qualifying U.S. citizen parent may also apply for certification of citizenship, even if residing abroad. In some cases, individuals may be U.S. citizens through a parent or grandparent without even knowing it.

Moro Legal, LLC, assists and represents individuals and families through the naturalization process to obtain U.S. citizenship. Attorney Joseph A. Moro helps those seeking citizenship assemble naturalization petitions, prepare for U.S. citizenship tests and interviews, and navigate complex legal issues in order to achieve their dreams. Schedule an attorney consultation today or contact our office for further information.



The content of this website is for general informational purposes only and is not a replacement for legal advice. Immigration law is a complex area of law that is constantly changing and this website cannot cover every facet of the law. Every case is different, and all individuals and businesses should consult with an immigration lawyer prior to filing any petition or application.