The Basics of US Citizenship Requirements

Becoming a US citizen is not something to be taken lightly. There are many US citizenship requirements that must be met before one can call themselves a naturalized US citizen. The website USCIS.gov has a great deal of information on the naturalization process and what is required when attempting to become a US citizen. Here is a brief look at what it takes to become a US citizen and take the oath that will make you naturalized.

US Residency

This is probably the most confusing of the US citizenship requirements. It requires that you have been a green card carrying, permanent resident for the past five years continuously in order to apply for naturalization. You must also be at least 18 years of age at the time. If married to a citizen, that requirement drops to three years. There are special circumstances for those who have been in the Armed Forces, but most of the eligibility requirements state it must be for five continuous years.

Basic English and Civics

The law states that US citizenship requirements are that an applicant must be able to speak, read, and write simple words in English. A naturalized citizen must also have a basic understanding of US history, and the fundamentals of how the US government works. All of this information is assessed through testing that is administered by the government. There are certain allowances for age and disability where this requirement is concerned.

Good Moral Character

This may seem an odd US citizenship requirement, but it is actually something that the naturalization board looks at. A criminal record or lying during the naturalization process is looked at as an example of bad moral character. The government takes this seriously and may deny naturalization to anyone they deem is of bad moral character. That is why it is important to be honest on all forms and to lead a life devoid of crime while in the US on a green card.

Attachment to the Constitution

The Oath of Allegiance is when a person officially becomes a US citizen, and an attachment to the Constitution is one of the US citizenship requirements within that oath. A citizen renounces all foreign allegiances and vows to uphold the Constitution. It also states that the naturalized citizen is willing to defend the United States and perform civilian or armed services. Not taking this oath is a major impediment to becoming a naturalized citizen of the US.

Becoming a citizen of the US is easy when you follow a few simple US citizenship requirements. If you have been in the country legally for five years, do not have a criminal record, can pass an English and Civics test, and can take an oath to uphold the Constitution, then you will be able to become a US citizen with no problem. It takes some filling out of forms, but it is worth it in the end to declare oneself a citizen of the United States of America.