Naturalization and Citizenship
The final step in immigrating to the United States is obtaining ones citizenship. Once a foreign national obtains permanent residence, they become eligible for U.S. citizenship so long as certain criteria are met. The lawful permanent resident must be 18 years of age, must have resided in the United States for the last five years without any single absence of longer than one year, have resided in the United States for at least 30 months total of the last five years and have resided in the same state or district for at least three months. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate basic English language skills and basic knowledge of the United States government and history, be of good moral character, and take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States.
For lawful permanent residents who are married to United States citizens, the residency requirement is three years instead of five. Finally, there are a variety of special cases and exceptions for those that serve or have served in the United States military which reduce the time it takes for naturalization.