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Becoming a U.S. Citizen

The Statue of LibertyThe process by which people from foreign countries become U.S. citizens is called naturalization. There are three steps in this process:

  1. File an application.
  2. Take a naturalization examination.
  3. Appear for a court hearing.

To become a citizen, or to be naturalized, a person must meet certain requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have lived in the U.S. as a legal resident for at least 5 years.
  • Be of good moral character and loyal to the U.S.
  • Be able to read, write, speak and understand basic English.
  • Have basic knowledge and understanding of the history, government structure and the Constitution of the U.S.
  • Be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S.