Naturalization Law refers to the legal processes affecting the choice to adopt the nationality of a nation by an individual who is not a citizen of that country at the time of their birth. In the United States, there are several requirements that must be met before a person can obtain citizenship or, in some cases, dual citizenship. These include residency, literacy, education, and an exhibition of “good moral character” and an attachment to the constitutional principles upon which the U.S. system of government is based.
General Requirements for U.S. Citizenship:
The applicant must be age 18 or older at the time of filing for naturalization;
The applicant must be a legal permanent resident (LPR) for at least five (5) years before being eligible for naturalization;
The applicant must have continuous residence in the United States as an LPR for at least five (5) years immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up to the time of admission to citizenship;
The applicant must be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of filing the application;
The applicant must have lived within the State or one of its territories with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence for at least three(3) months prior to the date of filing;
The applicant must demonstrate good moral character for five (5) years prior to filing for naturalization, and during the period leading up to the administration of the Oath of Allegiance;
The applicant must have an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and be well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law; and
The applicant must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government.
Please review the materials below for additional resources related to naturalization laws. Additionally, if you wish to speak with an attorney about becoming naturalized, you may find a list of attorneys by vising our Law Firms Page.
Articles on HG.org Related to the Naturalization Law
- U.S. Citizen Detained by Mistake Files LawsuitA new lawsuit in Florida is testing the Trump administration policies meant to exert pressure on cities and counties that refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers.
- How America’s Immigrant Workforce Is ChangingImmigrants account for 17 percent of the American labor force.
- Immigrants Are Essential to the EconomyImmigration is a heated issue in America, largely because of the politics involved. Setting politics aside, consider the ramifications of reducing immigration on the economy. To understand why immigrants are essential to the economy the numbers, rather than political passions, must be considered.
- An Immigration Strategy for Your Non-Citizen Criminal ClientEvery criminal defense lawyer needs a plan when they represent non-citizens. Immigration issues can be complex and often more impactful upon the client than the criminal charge itself.
- Acquiring Work Visas in the United States for Employment PurposesFor someone from a foreign country to enter the United States, he or she must acquire a visa. This may be a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary or limited time within the country, or this could be a permanent residence stay with a full immigrant visa.
- Divorce and ImmigrationThe end of a marriage can be a traumatic event, but it may be doubly so if you are an immigrant whose residency in the United States might be at stake. If you are a Florida resident married to a U.S. citizen and in the process of filing for divorce, it is essential that you look for both divorce lawyers in Florida and a Florida immigration attorney.
- Is Legal Status Possible If I Used a False Name on My Asylum Application?Asylum is a special immigration status that allows someone to potentially stay in a country even though he or she did not qualify for immigration on other grounds. Asylum may be granted to individuals who are being persecuted for religious or political beliefs.
- Divorce Related Immigration IssuesDivorce proceedings can affect one’s immigration status as well as one’s ability to continue to reside in the United States. In a situation where a person’s immigration status is dependent on or interlinked with marriage, things can get complicated soon enough and add stress to an already stressful situation.
- Both Me and My Spouse Are in the U.S. on Visas, Can We Get a Divorce Here?Many people travel to the United States on visas every year. These are individuals who may plan to stay in the United States for a certain amount of time, such as when they are finished traveling or attending school, or they may be individuals who eventually have a plan to immigrate permanently to the United States. While they are in the country, they may decide to change their marital status.
- How Expert Witnesses Are Tapped for Immigration CasesImmigration cases are often complicated when there are multiple factors or enough elements to cause a success for either side to be uncertain. Various immigration issues stem from those seeking asylum in the United States when they cannot remain in their own country.
- All Immigration Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Immigration including: extradition, green cards, naturalization and citizenship, visas, and work permits.
Naturalization Law - US
- ABA - Immigration And Naturalization Committee
The Committee considers matters of administrative law, procedure, and practice relating to immigration, naturalization, and aliens.
- Aliens and Nationality (Title 8)
Title 8 of the United States Code outlines the role of aliens and nationality in the United States Code.
- Immigration and Nationality Act
The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter bill of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure of immigration law. The Act has been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law.
- Naturalization - Wikipedia
Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen or national of that country when he or she was born. In general, basic requirements for naturalization are that the applicant hold a legal status as a full-time resident for a minimum period of time and that the applicant promise to obey and uphold that country's laws, to which an oath or pledge of allegiance is sometimes added. Some countries also require that a naturalized national must renounce any other citizenship that they currently hold, forbidding dual citizenship, but whether this renunciation actually causes loss of the person's original citizenship will again depend on the laws of the countries involved.
- Non Citizen Nationality
The Department of State occasionally receives requests for certificates of non-citizen national status pursuant to Section 341(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 USC 1452(b)(2).
- Public Laws Amending the INA
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) has been amended many times. When Congress enacts a law, it generally does not re-write the entire body of law, or even entire sections of a law, but instead adds to or changes specific words within a section. These changes are then reflected within the larger body of law.
- US State Department Services - Dual Nationality
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.
Organizations Related to the Naturalization Law
- Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS will secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.
- Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)
The primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation's immigration laws. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.
- United States Citizenship Info - Naturalization Process
U.S. Citizenship.info is dedicated to teaching you how to become a U.S. Citizen in the clearest, most accurate way possible. The entire naturalization process is outlined below.
Publications Related to Naturalization Law
- Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) - Citizenship and Nationality
The mission of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) is to protect the lives and interests of American citizens abroad and to strengthen the security of United States borders through the vigilant adjudication of visas and passports. CA contributes significantly to the USG goal of promoting international exchange and understanding
- Certificate of Naturalization Application Guide
The United States Certificate of Naturalization Application Guide was developed to help naturalized U.S. citizens complete and file their own requests for a copy of their Certificate of United States Naturalization. This is a clear, step-by-step guide that explains how to efficiently and quickly obtain a copy of your certificate of United States Naturalization. Please note, you should only apply for a replacement certificate if your current certificate of naturalization is incorrect, lost, mutilated, or destroyed.
- Naturalization Test
One of the requirements for U.S. citizenship through naturalization is to take the naturalization test to demonstrate that you are able to read, write, and speak basic English and that you have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government (also known as “civics”).