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There are four (4) basic requirements to become a U.S. citizen. You must:
1. Be 18 years of age or older.
A. Have lived as a Legal Permanent Resident in the United States for five (5) years AND:
1. You must not have left the United States for any period longer than 6 months.
B. Have lived as a Legal Permanent Resident for three (3) years AND:
1. Your spouse must have been a citizen for the 3 years.
3. Be a person of good moral character.
If you have been arrested or convicted of any crime, you must report it on your application - even if it has been removed from your record or if it occurred before your 18th birthday. You must also send certified copies of the arrest report, court disposition, sentencing, and any other relevant documents. If you are not truthful on your application or during your interview, USCIS may deny your application.
These offenses will not necessarily prevent you from becoming a citizen, but they may require you to hire a lawyer.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of History and Government of the United States and be able to read, write, and understand English.
There are 3 important exemptions for English testing based on age and time as a Legal Permanent Resident:
1. You are at least 50 and have been a Permanent Resident for at least 20 years.
If you do not have to take the English test, you must bring an interpreter to the interview.
Civics. You must correctly answer 6 out of 10 questions on the civics test in order to pass. You will be required to study from a list of 100 possible questions.
However, if you are at least 65 and have been a Permanent Resident for at least 20 years, you can study from a designated list of just 20 questions.
If you have certain medical conditions, you may not have to take either exam. A currently licensed medical professional must complete Form N-648 (Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions) if you believe you have a medical condition that warrants an exemption.