What are the requirements to become a U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Blog, Naturalization |

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported 967,500 people became citizens through naturalization in 2022. Becoming a U.S. citizen is a significant milestone.

However, it involves meeting specific requirements set forth by the government.


To become a U.S. citizen, individuals must be a lawful permanent resident status or green card holder. They need to have been in continuous residence in the United States for at least five years. However, this requirement may be only three years if a person has a U.S. citizen spouse with whom they live.

Moral character

The U.S. grants citizenship to individuals who exhibit moral uprightness during their time as permanent residents. To meet this requirement individuals should not engage in criminal activities and demonstrate an overall commitment to the principles of good conduct.

English and U.S. history proficiency

Applicants must pass an English and civics test, showcasing their ability to communicate effectively in English and their knowledge of fundamental aspects of American society. Authorities may grant exceptions to these requirements based on age and duration of residence.

Financial responsibility

U.S. citizenship applicants must demonstrate an understanding of financial basics, including the ability to provide for themselves and their dependents. Authorities will scrutinize an individual’s financial history and tax compliance to ensure that they are economically self-sufficient.

Commitment to the Constitution

Individuals must demonstrate the willingness to support and uphold the principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution. They must show a genuine dedication to the ideals that form the foundation of the country.

The path to U.S. citizenship has many requirements. Understanding them is the best way to get a good start on this journey.