By naturalization, one may acquire citizenship or nationality through the legal act. It may be automatic by the statute, or they may have to apply through legal mediums.
All the naturalization applicants must fulfil the following requirements to become a U.S. citizen:
- An applicant should be a minimum of eighteen years old.
- They should be residing in the United States and be continuously present for a specific number of years.
- There should be a resident in the state of the U.S. where the applicant intends to live.
- The person should have a good moral character.
- He/she should know basic spoken and written English.
- They should demonstrate a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government.
- He should register for military service and perform civil services if required.
The Rule of Minimum Age
The individual must be at least 18 years old in order to apply for naturalization. A person of any age may apply in case of any time spent in wartime military service.
Continuous and Physical Presence
The individual should have resided in the U.S. with a Green Card for a span of at least five years. This changes to three if you are married to a U.S. citizen. The continuous requirement refers to no trips outside the U.S. for more than six months. Therefore, you may leave the U.S. with the intention to return within six months.
If you leave for more than six months, the USCIS will assume that you have abandoned your PR status in the United States. As a result, they will deny your U.S. citizenship application.
In case you have to stay outside the U.S. for some reason, there are some ways to prevent application refusal. It will depend upon the following factors:
- The duration of your stay outside the U.S.
- The reason for not coming back sooner and its urgency.
- The evaluation from the USCIS officer, based on your reasons.
Good Moral Character
A good moral character signifies that an individual did not commit a certain type of crime, including fraud, murder, illegal gambling, or felony. This may apply to the time period of three to five years prior to the naturalization application. Moreover, the person must not lie during the naturalization interview.
There should not be more than two DUIs in the past three to five years before the naturalization process. Moreover, the individual has to pass an English language test for reading, writing, and speaking skills. Also, clear a civics test for history and government knowledge evaluation.
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