Find the right lawyer now

U.S. Citizenship Requirements

Find a Local Immigration Lawyer near You

What Are Citizenship Requirements?

Before being able to apply for citizenship or naturalization, a person must meet certain requirements. These are different from the document requirements associated with the citizenship application form (Form N-400, Application for Naturalization). To be eligible for citizenship, a person needs to meet eligibility requirements such as:

  • The applicant has been a permanent resident for at least 5 years; or
  • The applicant has been a permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 3 years, and is able to file as a spouse of a person who is a U.S. citizen
  • The applicant has served in the U.S. military and has met various requirements associated with service and citizenship
  • Various other requirements related to children of U.S. citizens

The citizenship process also involves other steps and requirements, such as interviews and a naturalization test.

What Is the Naturalization Test?

The naturalization test is administered for persons applying for citizenship. It is composed of two parts: the English Test and the Civics Test. The English test is composed of writing, speaking, and reading components. The Civics Test is aimed at testing the applicant’s knowledge of U.S. history and culture.

There may be waivers available for the naturalization test, depending on the applicant’s background. These usually have to do with the person’s age and medical condition. Exemptions and waivers may be available for both the English and Civics portions of the test.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with U.S. Citizenship Requirements?

Applying for citizenship involves a number of different steps, and also requires extensive documentation. You may need to hire a lawyer in your area if you have any questions or concerns involving citizenship. Your attorney can represent you and provide you with legal advice for your application. Also, if you need to attend a hearing or interview, your lawyer can advise you on how to proceed.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-11-2015 02:15 PM PDT

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.