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Who Can Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Eligibility Criteria for U.S. Citizenship

If you are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship, first make sure that all of the following apply to you:

  • you have had lawful permanent resident status for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, people who get their green card through asylum, spouses of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel)
  • you have lived in the U.S. continuously for the five years preceding your application, and during that you have not spent more than one continuous year outside the United States
  • you have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the five years before filing your application
  • you have lived in the district or state where you are filing your application for at least three months
  • you are at least 18 years old
  • you have good moral character
  • you are able to speak, read, and write in English (with exceptions for certain long-term residents over a certain age, and persons with certain medical disabilities)
  • you are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government (with exceptions for persons with certain medical disabilities), and
  • you are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States (with modifications and exceptions in certain circumstances).
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