Listed below is a summary of the requirements for naturalization. Please be advised that numerous exceptions and waivers, which are overly detailed to be stated here, can apply to these requirements depending on the facts of each case. Thus, we encourage applicants to contact our office for a consultation where we can provide case-specific advice.


  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • An applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.
  • An applicant must have resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least five years prior to filing, with absences from the United States totaling no more than one year. Applicants married to a U.S. citizen may file for naturalization after residing continuously in the United States for three years if the applicant has been married to and living in a valid marital union with the same U.S. citizen spouse for all three years and the U.S. spouse has been a citizen for all three years.
  • An applicant must have been physically present in the United States for at least one-half of the previous five years, or three years if the applicant is the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  • An applicant must not be absent from the U.S. for a continuous period of more than one year during the periods for which continuous residence is required. Absences of more than six months but less than one year create a rebuttable presumption that the continuity of residence is broken.
  • In order to file an application for naturalization in any given jurisdiction, an applicant must have resided within the jurisdiction for at least three months prior to filing.
  • An applicant must show that he or she has been a person of good moral character for the five year period, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen or one year for Armed Forces expedite, prior to filing for naturalization. Furthermore, an applicant can also be permanently barred from naturalization if he or she has ever been convicted of murder or an aggravated felony.
  • An applicant must show that he or she is attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States.
  • Applicants for naturalization must be able to read, write, speak, and understand words in ordinary usage in the English language.
  • An applicant for naturalization must demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of government of the United States.


If you seek further information regarding ILG’s areas of legal practice, or if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us via telephone at (408) 432-9200.