Any foreign citizen can become a U.S citizen by the process of Naturalization. However, the process requires much patience and diligence on the part of the applicant. In order to file for Naturalization, you must have a valid Green card.
Eligibility requirements for applying for a U.S citizenship:
Must have a Permanent Resident card (Green card) for the past five years. Conditional Green card holders are also eligible to apply for citizenship through the Naturalization process. There are certain exceptions to this criteria, like if you are a refugee, an asylee, or a U.S military personnel, you need not have continuous permanent residence in the U.S for 5 years to apply for naturalization.
Must be 18 years or older: In order to file for citizenship through the Naturalization process, you must be above 18 years of age. If your parents are U.S citizens, there’s a chance that you may already be a U.S citizen.
Continuous residency in the U.S: You must have 5 years of continuous residency in the U.S after obtaining your Permanent Resident card. You can leave the U.S on vacation during this time period, however, you must not have remained outside the U.S for more than 6 months during a single travel and a total of two and a half years during the 5-year eligibility period.
You must have lived in the state where you are filing the Naturalization application for at least the past 3 months.
You must be a person of good moral character.
You must be able to read, write and communicate in English language at a basic level. Knowledge of the rich history and civics of the United States is required.
The Application process:
Naturalization application, called as the Citizenship Form N-400 by the USCIS has to be completed and sent to the local USCIS office along with a copy of the Green card, relevant supporting documents, and the application fees. Once you file the application, you have to wait until the USCIS processes your application and calls you for a biometric appointment and later an interview. During the interview, the USCIS officer will test your English language and your knowledge of U.S history and civics. Once you successfully pass the citizenship test and interview, you will be given a date for the swearing-in ceremony. At the swearing in ceremony, you will officially become a citizen of the United States and you will also receive your Naturalization Certificate.