Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) are fulfilled. According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 757,434 persons were naturalized in 2012.
Naturalization is a complex process. It has some general requirements:
- Be age 18 or older;
- Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (5 years or 3 years)
- Be a person of good moral character
- Have a basic knowledge of U.S. Government
- Have a period of continuous and physical presence in the U.S.
- Be able to speak, read and write in English.