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Am I eligible to become a citizen through naturalization?

You may be able to become a United States citizen via the naturalization process in Kentucky if you meet certain criteria. First, before becoming a citizen, you must have been a green card holder for a certain amount of years. In other words, you have to have secured legal permanent residency, first and foremost.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, one path to naturalization is when you have five years of such permanent residence here in the United States. If you have, then you will want to check some additional requirements to see if they apply.

Naturalization under five years of permanent residency

They include some of the following:

  • You must have good moral character and adhere to the Constitution of the United States
  • You must be able to speak, read and write English
  • You must be at least 18 years old when you apply for naturalization
  • The five years of permanent residency must have just occurred in the years just preceding your filing date and certain presence requirements apply
  • You must have an understanding of U.S. government civics history

Certain amount of presence in the U.S.

In terms of the presence requirements, aside from holding the green card, you had to have maintained actual residence here in the U.S. for the most recent five years prior to filing. However, that does not mean you could not have traveled outside of the U.S. You may have, but must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months of those five years.

Where to apply

With regard to where to apply for naturalization, you must also have lived within your state where you will be applying for the three months prior to filing. If you are a student, you may be able to choose where to apply for naturalization. You may choose to apply in the state where you go to school or where your family lives if you are still a dependent of your parents.

Note that if your parents became citizens while you were a minor, you may actually already be a U.S. citizen and may not need to naturalize at all.

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