A lot of permanent residents who are looking to obtain citizenship status in the United States are unsure of the necessary steps to take to start the process. There are a number of different requirements that a person must fulfill in order to begin the naturalization process. Some of the eligibility requirements for naturalization include being at least 18 years of age, having status as a permanent resident of either 3 or 5 years depending on your circumstances, and being able to show that you have been a person of good moral character during the time in which you have been in the United States. In addition, you must have had a continuous period of residence in the United States for a certain period of time prior to starting your application.

During the naturalization process, applicants will be required to take an examination that tests their ability to read, write, and speak the English language and general knowledge about the United States and its government. There are certain exceptions to completing this exam that takes your age and amount of time as a permanent resident into consideration. As previously mentioned, you can begin the naturalization process after being a permanent resident for 5 years. However, if you obtained your status as a permanent resident through a marriage to a U.S. citizen, you can apply after 3 years. If you have served honorably in the United States military, you are not held to the 3 or 5 year standard. This may also apply to the spouses of U.S. military members as well.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different so it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can help you start naturalization and work towards becoming a U.S. citizen.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions as to whether consular processing is right for you, or you can maybe change your status in the United States instead of going home, please contact the office to discuss your situation and options