A lawful permanent resident can become a U.S. citizen through a process called naturalization. The following categories of individuals qualify for naturalization under certain situations:
1. Lawful permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for five years;
2. Spouses of U.S. citizens who have lived in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for three years;
3. Asylees who have lived in the U.S. as lawful permanent residents for four years; and
4. Lawful permanent residents with three years of U.S. military service.
The requirements for eligibility are as follows:
1. Applicants must be at least 18 years old;
2. Applicants must have resided in the U.S. for five years, without absences of six months or longer (for applicants married to U.S. citizens, the length of continuous residence time is three years);
3. Applicants must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least thirty months (or eighteen months for applicants married to a U.S. citizen);
4. Applicants must reside in the district where they file for naturalization for at least three months before filing;
5. Applicants must show “good moral character.” Such things as prior criminal acts, evidence of lying or misrepresentation will be considered in making a determination of good moral character;
6. Applicants must demonstrate knowledge of the English language, and must correctly answer a given number of civics questions about U.S. government and history; and
7. Applicants must affirmatively answer questions relating to their attachment to the U.S. Constitution and be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance.
The applicant becomes a U.S. citizen once the Oath of Allegiance is taken.