A legal permanent resident of the United States is a person born from another country but has applied for becoming a citizen of the U.S. They are granted many rights when they get the status of a permanent resident, except the right to vote. In order to exercise their right to vote, they will have to apply for Citizenship, which is only possible after five years from the date of obtaining their Green Card, and necessary requirements by the USCIS are to be met as well. This legal process is called Naturalization.
The following are the eligibility requirements that are to be met before applying for U.S. Citizenship:
1. A permanent resident holder must have a valid green card at the time of filing for U.S.Citizenship.
2. As per the rules of USCIS, the green card holder applying for naturalization six months or more before the expiration, need not file applications to get their green cards renewed. However, they may apply for renewal by filing the green card renewal application Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, with the fee.
3. The holder cannot apply for citizenship if the expiry date of the green card is six months or less. The holder will have to renew the green card before applying for their naturalization applications.
4. Permanent legal residents, whose cards are lost or stolen, will need to get those cards replaced before they apply for naturalization. Once they receive their updated green cards, they can apply for naturalization.