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What are the requirements for becoming a naturalized citizen?

Are you considering pursuing American citizenship through the naturalization process? Although one would think that this type of legal change would be fairly easy to navigate, naturalization is anything but simple. Texas residents who think they are ready for the next step need to first determine whether they are eligible for naturalization. Then they begin the demanding process of obtaining citizenship. This is best accomplished with a knowledgeable attorney at your side because of the complexity and intricacies of applying for citizenship.

Are you eligible for naturalization? Texans who have lived in the country as a permanent resident for at least five years may be eligible if they meet other specific requirements. Further, if you have lived in the U.S. as a permanent resident for three years and have filed as a spouse of a U.S. citizen, you may also be eligible. Other acceptable criteria include service in the U.S. military and special concessions for children born to American parents abroad.

Could you already be a citizen? Some people do not realize that they may already be considered citizens, which means that they do not have to apply for naturalization. For example, if your adoptive or biological parent became a naturalized citizen before you turned 18, you could be considered a citizen automatically.

What are my next steps? After you fill out your application for naturalization, you will be required to prepare for a test about the English language, U.S. history and civics. Your next step after filing the initial paperwork will be to study for this examination. You and your immigration attorney can work together to improve the likelihood of having your citizenship application accepted in a timely manner.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Citizenship Through Naturalization" Sep. 24, 2014

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