What are the steps to becoming a U.S. citizen?

What are the steps to becoming a U.S. citizen?
American flag blowing in the breeze on a spring or summer day with lens flare. (Source: FSTOP123)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - With the recent ICE raids in Mississippi, citizenship and immigration have become hot topics around the world.

Here is a break down for how someone can become a U.S. citizen according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

The most common path to U.S. citizenship allows a Green Card holder at least five years to apply for naturalization. (Naturalization is “the admittance of a foreigner to the citizenship of a country”)

The website describes other paths to citizenship that include:

Citizenship through parents

Many people get a Green Card, and if they hold it for at least five years, then they can begin the process of applying for naturalization.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website here are eligibility requirements for gaining citizenship:

  • You must be 18 years old or older at the time of the filing
  • You must have lived in the state for at least three months before filing the application
  • You must continue living in the United States as a Green Card holder for at least five years AFTER the filing of the application (and you must be physically in the United States for at least 30 months out of those 5 years)
  • You must continuously live within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization.
  • You must be able to read, write and speak English and have knowledge and understand U.S. history and government.
  • You must be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law.

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