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What are some basic requirements to become a naturalized citizen?

For people who immigrate into the country, becoming a naturalized citizen might seem like a distant dream. While it isn't easy and it isn't quick to become a naturalized citizen, it is very possible for many people. Our readers in Texas might like to know a little more about these requirements.

What are the residency requirements for naturalization?

For many adult applicants, including those who served under a year in the armed services and those who are permanent residents, there is a five-year residency requirement. For some others, such as those who married a United States citizen, the wait time is reduced to three years. For others, such as those who served in certain wars and some who are getting out of the military with an honorable discharge, there is no residency requirement.

What else do I need to become a naturalized citizen?

You must be a person of good moral character. This means that you can't have been convicted of certain crimes. You can't have lied during your interviews. You can't be a polygamist, involved in prostitution, be a habitual drunk or commit terrorist acts. While being arrested for some minor crimes won't preclude you, you can't have been incarcerated or confined to jail for more than 180 days total within the time of five years. If you are married to a citizen, that time is reduced to three years instead of five.

There are many other requirements for becoming a naturalized citizen. Anyone who is interested in becoming a naturalized citizen should work with someone familiar with the process to ensure all bases are covered.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Who Is Eligible for Naturalization?" Dec. 02, 2014

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