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How can you become a U.S. citizen?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Immigration Law

In order to gain citizenship for the United States, you must go through a process as with any other application system. The process to gain citizenship is called naturalization, and you must follow several steps in order to complete it successfully.

It is important for all citizen hopefuls to understand what the process includes and what you must do to get through it.

Key points for residency

Forbes looks into the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. The first step is to start with immigration. Unless you have natural-born citizen parents, you must first become a permanent resident. This means acquiring a green card, which proves that you have attained the status of a permanent resident.

You can gain permanent residency through employment, asylum claim, studies, family or investment. There are less regular ways of immigrating as well, including military service and green card lottery.

Next, you must maintain residency in the United States for five years, and hold a green card for this span of time. People sponsored by a U.S. citizen as a spouse are the exception to this. You must be physically present for at least half of this time.

Having good moral character

Then, you need to prove good moral character. Generally speaking, this means not having a criminal record. Some crimes such as murder will result in a permanent bar on citizenship. People the government declared national threats and those who did not register with the selective service while between ages of 18 and 26 also have so-called adverse moral character.

Other steps include accepting the constitution, having a willingness to bear arms and passing a civics test. At the end, you can take the oath of allegiance and gain citizenship.