In order to become US citizen, you must meet the following requirements:
1) You must be a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States for 5 years (2 ½ years for LPRs who obtained their greencard based on marriage to US citizen)
2) 5 years of continuous residence in the US for five years immediately before applying for citizenship. (2 ½ years for LPRs who obtained their greencard based on marriage to a US citizen)
3) 2 ½ years of physical presence ( 1 ½ years for LPRs who obtained their greencard based on marriage to a US citizen).
4) You must reside in the USCIS district for at least 3 months before you file
5) You must demonstrate the ability to read, write and speak English
6) You must demonstrate knowledge and understand of US history and government
7) You must demonstrate good moral character
8) You must demonstrate attachment to the principles of the US constitution.
You may file your application to the Service center having jurisdiction over you place of residence. You may file your application 3 months prior to meeting the time requirements. E.g., 4 yrs and 9 months or 2 years and 9 months for LPRs who obtained their greencard based on marriage to a US citizen.
Starting October 1, 2008, the USCIS has changed the testing format for naturalization. How do you know which version of the test you will take? Those applicants who apply before October 1, 2008 and whose interview is AFTER October 1, 2008 may choose between the old and the new test. Applicants who apply AFTER October 1, 2008 will take the new test. Applicants whose interview is scheduled AFTER October 1, 2009 will take the new test regardless of when s/he applied.
What is the new test? The USCIS revised the naturalization test because they wanted to make it more meaningful to help applicants to better understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States rather than encouraging mere memorization and recitation of answers.
You may find further information at http://www.uscis.gov. At the site you will find further information such as sample test questions about government and civics (in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese, Vietnamese), sample English vocabulary for the reading and writing test, lessons and informational brochures.
Victoria J. Suh, Esq.*
Tsoi & Associates, Lawyers
3580 Wilshire Bl Ste 720 L A, CA 90010
Tel 213-387-2888 *Fax 213-387-2882