Naturalization requirements

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
To be eligible for naturalization in the United States, you must meet certain requirements. First, you must be at least 18 years of age. You'll also need to have been admitted lawfully into the U-S as a permanent resident. Have your form I-5-51 or green card available to show as proof of your permanent resident status. You're required to have lived continuously in the U-S for at least five years,and exhibit at least 2 and a half years of physical presence, staying in one state or district for at least three months. Additionally, you must show that you've been 'of good moral character' for the required period. Several habits or actions can exclude you from good moral character, such as committing certain crimes, smuggling illegal aliens, habitual drunkenness, polygamy (puh-LIG-uh-mee), and more. To apply for naturalization, you'll need to be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in English as well as show knowledge of the basics of history and the government of the U-S. Some people are exempt from the language and history requirements, so ask a professional for exclusions and waivers. You'll be asked to take an oath of allegiance, where you promise to support the Constitution and obey the laws of the U-S, renounce any foreign allegiance or title, and be ready to bear arms for the armed forces of the U-S if it's required. There are waivers, exceptions, and special cases to naturalization procedures. For more specific or additional information, contact a lawyer who specializes in this area of law.

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