General Requirements for Naturalization

The basic eligibility requirements for naturalization have been in place for many years and remain unchanged by the Immigration Act of 1990. The “general requirements” for naturalization are as follows:

  • Admission to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident;
    Eighteen years of age;
  • Continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years immediately preceding the filing of the application and after admission for permanent residence (the “statutory period”);
  • Physical presence in the U.S. for at least fifty percent of the time during the statutory period (i.e. thirty months);
  • At least three months residence in the state or INS district where the application is filed;
  • Good moral character during the statutory period;
  • Ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English language (unless exempt from this requirement);
  • Knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of U.S. government and history (the “civics” requirement);
  • Attachment to the principles of the Constitution and “well disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S.”;
  • Willingness to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. without mental reservation;
  • Intention to reside permanently in the U.S..