Naturalization Requirements for US Citizenship

This is a reminder of the requirements to become a citizen of the US. I write this because many clients who come and see me make some wrong assumptions about what they need to qualify for citizenship. So here are the requirements:

  1. You must be a permanent resident for 5 years.
  2. You must pass a pretty easy 10 question test about US history. Here’s the link to the 100 possible questions that they can ask from.
  3. You either have to owe nothing in federal income taxes or be up to date on a payment plan to pay your back taxes.
  4. You either have to owe no child support or be up to date on child support payments.
  5. You have to have a clean criminal record for ONLY the last 5 years. Traffic problems like speeding, driving without a license, obstruction of a passageway, public intoxication are minor offenses and do not count against you. All class A misdemeanors and felonies will count against you and you’ll have to wait 5 years from your arrest to apply again.
  6. You must speak English.

If you are 50 years old AND have been a permanent resident for 20 years, you can take the citizenship test in your native language. If you’re 55 years old and been a resident for 15 years, you can take the test in your native language.

The filing fee for citizenship is either $725, $405, or free, depending on how much you report on your tax return. My fees are $1,200 for a new client, and $1,000 if you are a returning client.

Call me at 512-912-7771 if you have any questions about your situation.

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