For a foreign national to become a US Citizen, you will go through what is called a Naturalization process. Most typically, you will have needed to be a greencard (Permanent Resident) holder for the last 5 years before applying, or for 3 years if married to a US Citizen.

The process involves filing an application, obtaining fingerprints, attending an interview and finally, a oath or swearing-in ceremony.

Remember that you need to maintain continuous residency status on your greencard before applying for US Citizenship. What defines residency is somewhat subjective but you need to demonstrate that the US was your “place of general abode”. Generally, if you were out of the country for less than 6 months, this is normally not an issue. Once you exceed six months, you run the risk of breaking this requirement. 

Good Moral Character

In addition to maintaining residency, you need to demonstrate that you are of good moral character. The regulations do not specify what makes someone of good moral character, but they do specify who is NOT of good moral character. If you have a criminal background, you should consult an immigration attorney to establish the best path going forward.

Be aware of the importance of tax returns. Failure to file tax returns can hurt you on two accounts: 1. It indicates that you may have abandoned your residency, and 2. It indicates that you are not of “good moral character”. Thus, aside from the legal implications of failure to file, it will clearly jeopardize your naturalization prospects. 

In addition, you must show that you are “attached to the principles of the constitution of the United States”.

English requirement

You need to be able to demonstrate your ability to read, write and speak English in simple words and phrases. In addition, you need to show a understanding of the history of the United States and its form of government. The government publishes a convenient guide that covers all the information you would typically need to know.

If the applicant is not literate in English, an exemption may be possible: If the applicant is over 50 years old AND has lived in the US for 20 years, then they are eligible to use an interpreter. (This also applies if the applicant is over 55 years old and has live in the US for 15 years or more.)

Why use us for your Citizenship application?


  •  Attorney Consultation
  •  Flat fee for the naturalization prcoess
  •  Our office practices immigration law exclusively 
  •  Russian speaking paralegal
  •  Spanish services available
  •  Portuguese services available
  •  Online case status
  • Online document management
  •  Guidance every step of the way
  •  All forms prepared and filed
1 (855) -4-US-VISA