When you have been a US permanent resident for at least five years, you become eligible for US citizenship. You must have spent at least half of your time in the US during your time as a resident, paid all taxes and been an upstanding and lawful resident. To become a US citizen, you will need to file a naturalization request, attend a naturalization interview and then be sworn in. Only when you are sworn in can you become a citizen.
The United States allows dual nationality, so you do not necessarily give up your home country’s nationality when you become a US citizen. There are countries, such as China, that do not allow dual nationality. As such, it is important to determine whether or not you can maintain your current nationality before seeking your US citizenship.
Other matters to consider for nationality purposes are your travel in and out of the US. If you have stayed outside of the US for six consecutive months since becoming a resident, you may need to wait some additional time before filing for your US citizenship. If you obtained your residency based on marriage to a US citizen and are still married to a US citizen, you can seek to become a US citizen three years after you became a resident, rather than five.
Becoming a US citizen is an important and memorable step in any person’s journey.