The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC
Attorneys & Counselors at Law


Realize the American dream.

I am a Permanent Resident, how long do I have to wait to apply for Citizenship?

You must be a Permanent Resident for 3-5 years before you can apply for U.S. Citizenship (The "Issue Date" on your Green Card is when your Permanent Resident Status begins),  Look for the Green Card category below that applies to you to determine the minimum amount of time that you must wait after becoming a Permanent Resident before you can apply for U.S. Citizenship (Not sure if it is time to apply for citizenship? Contact our seasoned Citizenship Lawyers in NY today to find out!): 

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Permanent Resident Spouses of U.S. Citizens.

*You must still be married & living with the same U.S. Citizen Spouse who petitioned for your Immigrant Visa.


Permanent Resident based on status as an Asylee.

Besides Spouses of U.S. Citizens, one generally has be a Green Card holder for 5 years before one can apply for Naturalization. Asylees must wait 1 year from the date that they obtain Asylee status before they are eligible to apply for a Green Card. The good news is, that 1 year will count towards the general 5-year as a Permanent Resident required for Citizenship. 


All other immigrants must be a Green Card holder for 5 years to be eligible for Citizenship.

What Other Requirements do I Need to Meet to Become a U.S. Citizen?

1. Years as a Permanent Resident: You have been a Permanent Resident for at least the requisite amount of time immediately preceding the filing of your application (see above for how long you must wait);

2. Applicant's Age: You are at least 18-years-old;

3. Continuous Residency: You have been continuously residing in the U.S. for at least 5 years (*3 years for a Spouse of U.S. Citizen);

4. Physical Presence: You have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the 5 years (*or 18 months out of 3 years for a Spouse of U.S. Citizens) immediately preceding the filing of your application;

5. Good Moral Character: You are a person of good moral character;

6. English Literacy: You can read, write and speak English - Click here for USCIS Study Materials for the English test, AND;

7. Knowledge of U.S. History & Civics: You are able to pass the U.S. history & civics test - Click here for USCIS Study Materials for the history & civics test.

The path to citizenship can feel like a never ending journey, but it is all worth it when you finally go to your Oath Ceremony and receive your naturalization certificate, officially making you a U.S. Citizen! 

Do you qualify to become a U.S. Citizen? Contact us now & find out!

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