Naturalization is the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship. The general requirements are as follows:

Note that if you have been married to a U.S. citizen for at least 3 years as a permanent resident, you are eligible for citizenship after 3 rather than 5 years, provided all other eligibility requirements are met including reduced continuous residence and physical presence requirements.

In addition, there are other ways to obtain citizenship, such as qualifying service in the U.S. armed forces, or as a child born outside the U.S. to U.S. citizen parents.

Benefits of citizenship

Becoming a U.S. citizen provides many rights that you do not have as a Lawful Permanent Resident, which includes voting rights, opportunities for federal jobs, opportunities to become an elected official, obtaining a U.S. passport, and immigration benefits for non-U.S. citizen family members. While the United States permits dual citizenship, not all countries do. You should ensure that your home country permits dual citizenship before applying for naturalization.

Please contact a member of the Immigration practice for additional information about the naturalization process.

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