A green card holder can apply for U.S. citizenship 4 years and 9 months after receiving a green card. However, if the green card holder was sponsored by a U.S. citizen, the green card holder can apply for citizenship after only 3 years. To become a U.S. citizen you must be at least 18 years hold.
You must have resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing. If you apply for citizenship based upon sponsorship by your spouse, you must have been a lawful permanent resident for at least the past 3 years. This doesn’t mean that you had to actually been physically present in the U.S. for that entire period of time; however you must have maintained a residence in the U.S. for that period of time.
In addition you must been the following requirements:
- You must have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous 60 months or if being sponsored by a U.S. citizen for at least 18 months out of the previous 36 months.
- You must have had no single absence from the United States of more than one year
- Must have resided for at least the previous 3 months in the U.S. state or territory where you made your citizenship application.
- You must have resided in the U.S. for the entire period since you filed your application for citizenship.
- You must read, write and speak English. You are exempt from this requirement if you are at least 50 years old on the date you filed your citizenship application and have lived in the U.S. for a total of at least 20 years after admission as a permanent resident. If you are over 55 and have been a legal permanent resident for at least the past 15 years you are also exempted from this requirement. You may also be exempted from this requirement if you have a physical or mental impairment that affects your ability to learn English.
- You must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and forms of government of the United States. The only applicant who is exempt from these requirements is one who, on the date of filing, has medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where the impairment affects the applicant’s ability to learn U.S. history and government.
- Additionally, you must have filed your federal and state income tax returns every year. You must be of good moral character and not have been convicted of any crimes. And finally, you must also give your oath of allegiance to the United States.
If you are planning on applying for your citizenship call us at (718) 625-0800 to schedule a consultation. We charge $200 for an immigration consultation. If you retain us to represent you in your immigration matter the $200 will be applied towards our legal fee.