If you have lived in the U.S. for a while as a permanent or conditional resident, you may be ready to apply for citizenship. But do you meet the general requirements involved in the process? Not only are there various moral standards that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will use, but there are numerous time requirements that are enforced. You need to make sure you are informed on these rules so that your application for citizenship or naturalization is not denied. The more understand the process, the better you can prepare to become a U.S. citizen.
So when should you apply? When you meet the following requirements:
- Lived as a permanent resident for five years
- Have spent the majority of your five years in the U.S.
- Have not spent time outside the U.S. for over one continuous year
- Demonstrate good moral character
- Reside in the district you are applying for a minimum of 90 days prior to applying
When should I apply?
90 days prior to the fulfillment of the 5 or 3 year requirement is the earliest you may apply.. That means you will want to make sure that you do not apply too early, jeopardize your initial application. You are allowed to submit the application 90 days prior to your five or three year mark.
It is also important to remember that you will be required to go through testing and an interview in order to get your U.S. citizenship. This means that you should prepare prior to applying by studying test materials, practice your English, and Have a basic knowledge of the US government.
Furthermore, you may be able to apply earlier if you fall under a certain category. Married individuals who have obtained a green card through or outside of marriage may qualify within three years, so long as they meet certain requirements.
Have more questions about applying? Talk with our Cleveland immigration lawyers today!