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Naturalized U.S. Citizens enjoy the full benefits and protections under U.S. law and all the privileges of our country. To become eligible to naturalize, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States need to have held such status for five years or three years (if married to a U.S. citizen); at that time, LPRs may submit naturalization applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

LPRs must prove that they are persons of “good moral character,” that they are not disqualified due to certain criminal convictions, that they have an understanding of U.S. history and the English language, and that they have met certain physical presence and residency requirements in order to obtain citizenship. However, some applicants for citizenship may be exempt from the English/Civics requirements if they are disabled, and/or meet certain age and residency requirements.

To review the USCIS’s requirements for obtaining citizenship, visit

For study guides and other resources for preparing for the citizenship examination, visit

Astrid Longwood is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group focusing on immigration matters. Please note the information in this column is not intended as legal advice nor constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any legal matter.

To schedule a consultation to review your naturalization case, call (202) 862-4360.