Citizenship

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the general requirements and qualifications for becoming a U.S. citizen?
What is "peacetime naturalization"?
What are the designated periods of hostilities?
Can spouses of service members who are already U.S. citizens be eligible for expedited naturalization?

What are the general requirements and qualifications for becoming a U.S. citizen?

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time you file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
  • Be a permanent resident (have a "Green Card") for at least 5 years.
  • Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.
  • Show that you have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately before the date you file Form N-400.
  • Show that you have lived for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where you apply.
  • Be a person of good moral character.
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Take an oath of allegiance to the United States.

All information is subject to change. Please click here for the most up-to-date requirements and qualifications.

What is “peacetime naturalization”?

Service members who have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces for one year at any time may be eligible to apply for naturalization. For more information, see Volume 12, Chapter 2 of the UCSIS Policy Manual.

What are the designated periods of hostilities?

Members of the U.S. armed forces, who served honorably for any period of time during the following designated periods of hostilities, can apply for naturalization:

  • WWI (Apr 6, 1917 – Nov 11, 1918)
  • WWII (Sep 1, 1939 – Dec 31, 1946)
  • Korea (Jun 25, 1950 – July 1, 1955)
  • Vietnam (Feb 28, 1961 – Oct 15, 1978)
  • Persian Gulf (Aug 2, 1990 – Apr 11, 1991)
  • Enduring Freedom (Sep 11, 2001 – Present)

For more information, see Volume 12, Chapter 3 of the USCIS Policy Manual.

Can spouses of service members who are already U.S. citizens be eligible for expedited naturalization?

Yes. Spouses of service members who are already U.S. citizens and are (or will be) deployed may be eligible for expedited naturalization in the United States under section 319(b) of the INA. For more information, see Volume 12, Chapter 9 of the USCIS Policy Manual.

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