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The decision to become a United States citizen is one of the most important in a person's life. If you decide to apply for US citizenship, you are demonstrating your commitment to the United States and your loyalty to the Constitution. In return, you will be granted all the rights and privileges of US citizenship.

United States citizenship can be obtained by birth, derivation, or naturalization:

  • By birth if you were born in the United States of America or in certain unincorporated territories or possessions that are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
  • By derivation if you were born abroad but your father or mother or both are US citizens at the time of your birth.
  • By naturalization if being a citizen of another country meets the requirements of the United States Congress in the Immigration Law. Among the requirements is having been a lawful permanent resident for five years and three if you have been married to a US citizen.

US citizens can live and work in the United States permanently, and they cannot lose their status if they travel or live abroad for a long time.

American citizens have the right to vote in state and federal elections.

US citizens have the privilege of applying for permanent residence for their parents, spouses, children, and siblings.


  • Generally five years of lawful permanent residence. Three years for residents married to US citizens.
  • Physical presence, that is, having lived within the territory of the United States, continuous residence, and good moral character.
  • Pass the US history, government, and civics exam.
  • Have the ability to speak, read and write in English. Some exceptions apply.

If you think you can get the privilege of becoming a US citizen, call IACO at 973-472-4648.

More information on citizenship visit the page of the Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS.

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