A lawful permanent resident can become a naturalized citizen of the United States if immediately prior to filing his or her application for naturalization, he or she:
Has five years of continuous residence in the United States, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen
Has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months during the five years, or 18 months if married to a U.S. citizen
Has resided for at least three months in the State where he or she is filing the application
Can read, write, and speak basic English (subject to certain exceptions)
Has knowledge of the fundamentals of the history and form of government of the United States (subject to certain exceptions)
Has good moral character
Supports the principles of the Constitution of the United States
Is at least 18 years old when submitting the application
Absences of more than six months but less than one year break the continuity of residence, unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not in fact abandon his or her residency during the absence.
An absence for a continuous period of more than one year shall break the period of continuous residence (subject to certain exceptions).
Crimes / Other Acts
Crimes or other acts, such as willfully failing to support dependents, can affect good moral character negatively. It is important to evaluate any criminal record carefully before deciding whether to apply for naturalization.
A child under 18 who has a U.S. citizen parent (by birth or naturalization) can become a citizen automatically if certain other conditions are met.
A child born outside the United States may also acquire U.S. citizenship at birth through a U.S. citizen parent if certain conditions are met.