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The path to becoming a naturalized citizen

If you are a resident of the United States and wish to become a citizen, you may have heard about the naturalization process. Once you fulfill all of the citizenship requirements according to the Immigration and Nationality Act as established by the U.S. Congress, you may apply to become a naturalized citizen.

In order to apply for naturalization, you must first fill out and file Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization. There is also a guide, "How Do I Apply for Citizenship?" that applicants can use in order to be prepared to take the U. S. history, civics and English sections of the naturalization test. There are self-tests those who want to become naturalized citizens may take.

Those who are serving in the military who wish to become U.S. citizens can use a special guide, M-599, the Naturalization Information for Military.

In order to qualify as a candidate for naturalized citizenship, you must:

-- Be a permanent resident of the U.S. for a minimum of five years.

-- If filing as the spouse of a citizen of the United States, you must have had permanent residency here for a minimum of three years.

-- Have been a qualified U.S. service member in a branch of the armed forces.

If you have a child, he or she may qualify as a naturalized U.S. citizen as long as you are an American citizen whose child was born elsewhere and who currently lives in another country.

To learn about additional paths to naturalization, it may be useful to contact an immigration attorney.

Source: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Citizenship Through Naturalization," accessed June 03, 2016

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