Are you eligible to become a naturalized US citizen?

Many people in New Jersey immigrated to the United States with the hope of becoming life-long residents. Fortunately for those immigrants, if you live in the country long enough, you may be eligible for naturalization. This refers to the process that grants people born in other countries the legal right to permanent residence as long as they meet all of the requirements.

Do you meet the eligibility requirements?

You must meet certain immigration standards before you can proceed with naturalization. Ask yourself if you meet these qualifications:

• Possess a green card for at least five years or three years if you are filing as a U.S. citizen’s spouse

• Be at least 18

• Prove you have lived continuously in the U.S. for the past three-five years

• Demonstrate the ability to read, speak and write English

• Able to understand U.S. history and civic policies

• Show that you understand the U.S. Constitution

Can you pass a test of good moral character?

Before you can become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must be able to demonstrate that you possess good moral character. Committing certain violent crimes can prevent you from achieving naturalization status. Other crimes may also be held against you as proof of a poor moral character, even if they aren’t categorized as violent crimes. Examples of crimes that may stand in the way of you continuing the naturalization path include:

• Child or spousal abuse

• Rape, sexual assault or incest

• Murder or manslaughter

• Animal fighting

• Fraud

• Kidnapping

• Theft

Do you want to become a naturalized citizen?

The naturalization process involves not only passing eligibility standards but also includes filling out paperwork. If becoming a naturalized US citizen is important to you, starting the process soon allows you enough time to ensure that you meet the requirements and complete the necessary forms.

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