Can I Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

There are many benefits to U.S. citizenry. It is no wonder why so many people hope to apply for U.S. citizenship status one day. Before you can apply for U.S. citizenship, however, you must determine whether you are eligible. We’ll talk more about eligibility for U.S. Citizenship here.

Can I Apply for U.S. Citizenship?

Really, the first step to becoming a U.S. citizen is taking a look to see whether you are already a U.S. citizen. This may sound strange. If you were a U.S. citizen, wouldn’t you know about it? In most cases, yes, but it is not always the case. That is why it is worth looking into. After all, you can become a U.S. citizen by birth or through the naturalization process. People born in the U.S. and those born abroad to U.S. citizens may be considered to be U.S. citizens. Therefore, if you were born in the U.S. or a territory of the U.S., you may already be a U.S. citizen. Furthermore, a person may also derive U.S. citizenship as a minor after one or both parents are naturalized. If you have at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen either by birth or naturalization, you may already be a U.S. citizen. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship through your parent’s citizenship status.

If you have determined that you are not yet a U.S. citizen, then the next step is to determine whether you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. Generally, you are eligible to become a U.S. citizen if you are at least 18 years old and have been a permanent resident for at least 5 years. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, then you need only have been a permanent resident for three years. There are also other eligibility requirements that you will need to meet.

For instance, you need to have spent the majority of your time as a U.S. permanent resident in the U.S. Additional requirements include:

  • Not having spent time outside of the U.S. for more than one continuous year
  • Demonstrating good moral character
  • Residing in the district in which you are applying for no less than 90 days prior to applying
  • Not having voted illegally

The earliest that you can apply for U.S. citizenship is 90 days prior to the completion of the 5 or 3-year permanent residency requirement. Applying earlier will jeopardize the approval of your initial application.

As part of the application process, you will go through testing and an interview. To prepare for this, you should study available test materials. Practicing your English can also be helpful as can gaining a basic understanding of the U.S. government and its structure. Upon successful completion of the application process, you will become a naturalized U.S. citizen with all the rights and responsibilities of other U.S. citizens, whether citizens by birth or naturalization.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you have any questions about how these immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family or want to access additional information about the United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at