An individual is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship once they have been a green card holder, also referred to as permanent resident, for five years.  The only exception is if the individual obtained the green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, then they are eligible to apply after three years.

In order to qualify, one must have spent more time in the U.S., then outside of the U.S. in the last 5 years.  The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) requires a list of all travel outside of the U.S. including dates of travel.   Once you obtain your green card, if you are planning to apply for U.S. citizenship it is a good idea to keep a list of your international travel dates.

The naturalization process consists of fingerprinting, also referred to as biometrics and an in-person interview.  At the time of the interview, the applicant will need pass an English and Civics test.   The USCIS provides study guides online at

This information is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.  If you would like legal advice regarding your specific naturalization case, please contact D. Benjamin at or contact us here.




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