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What are the requirements for U.S. citizenship?

In order to become a U.S. citizen, all naturalization applicants must meet the following requirements (unless they qualify for an exemption or apply based on their U.S. military service):

  • Be of the minimum required age (typically, at least 18)

  • Continuously and physically live in the United States as a green card holder for a certain number of years

  • Establish residency in the state or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) district where they intend to apply

  • Have “good moral character”

  • Be proficient in basic spoken and written English and demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government

  • Register for military service (if a male of a certain age) and be willing to perform civil service when required

  • Swear allegiance to the United States

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