Permanent resident aliens may become naturalized U.S. citizens after meeting certain requirements set forth in the immigration laws. In order to be eligible for citizenship in the U.S., aliens must meet the following requirements as spelled out in the immigration laws:
- the applicant must be admitted to permanent resident status;
- the applicant must have a continuous residence in the U.S. for a minimum period (normally five years);
- the applicant must be residing in the state of application for a minimum period of three months;
- the applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. for a minimum period (at least half the period of required continuous residence);
- the applicant must have the ability to read, write and speak ordinary English;
- the applicant must have knowledge of U.S. history and government;
- the applicant must have good moral character;
- the applicant must have continuous residence in the U.S. from the date of filing the naturalization application until actual admission to citizenship;
- the applicant must have attained 18 years of age at the time of filing for naturalization (subject to certain exceptions);
- the applicant must be attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
Special requirements apply to particular groups of naturalization applicants and certain individuals are ineligible for naturalization.