Those who enter the United States temporarily with a visa may eventually decide that they would like to stay here permanently. In some cases, obtaining a green card or Permanent Resident Card is the best option.
However, permanent residents do not have all of the same rights and protections that full citizens have. If you want to vote or to run for office, you will need to become a citizen first. What does it take for a current resident in the United States to become a citizen?
There are multiple requirements to become a naturalized citizen
Naturalized citizens were born in other countries but eventually entered the United States, resided here and then successfully completed naturalization.
The naturalization process involves multiple steps, including a background check. Additionally, you will have to take tests that verify your knowledge of the English language, United States history and civics or how the government works. If you complete all of these steps, you will theoretically become a naturalized citizen.
What are the requirements for someone who wants to naturalize?
For someone to successfully naturalize, they must meet certain standards set by the federal government. In general, naturalization requires that you are at least 18 years old and have been a permanent resident for either three or five years. You cannot leave the United States during the waiting period to being naturalized. You will have to demonstrate having good moral character and an understanding of U.S. government and history.