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Citizenship FAQs: What Is The 5 Year Rule?

Citizenship FAQs: What Is The 5 Year Rule?

The 5-year rule for citizenship is a requirement that permanent residents must meet in order to be eligible to apply for naturalization (U.S. citizenship). To meet the 5-year rule, permanent residents must have resided continuously in the United States for at least 5 years immediately before the date they file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.

There are a few exceptions to the 5-year rule. For example, permanent residents who are married to U.S. citizens only need to have resided continuously in the United States for at least 3 years before applying for naturalization. In that case the permanent resident must have lived with their US citizen spouse for those three years.

The 5-year rule is designed to ensure that permanent residents have a strong attachment to the United States and intend to make the United States their permanent home. Permanent residents who meet the 5-year rule are generally considered to have met the requirement for continuous residence for naturalization purposes.

However, there are a few things that can break continuous residence, such as:

  • Leaving the United States for more than 6 months in a row.
  • Entering the United States without inspection.
  • Being convicted of certain crimes.
  • Receiving certain public benefits.

If you are a permanent resident and are considering applying for naturalization, it is important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific situation and whether you meet the requirements for naturalization. 

Benefits Of Citizenship

Naturalization to become a U.S. Citizen can bring many rights and privileges, such as voting in elections and becoming eligible for certain government jobs. There are also financial benefits associated with becoming a United States citizen. Understanding all the rights and responsibilities associated with becoming a United States citizen is important before applying for naturalization.

Download Our Free Guide: 10 Benefits Of Becoming A U.S. Citizen: Free Guide

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Do You Want to Become a U.S. Citizen? Talk To A Citizenship Lawyer

The immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office work with you to evaluate your immigration status and guide you in your journey to becoming a U.S. citizen. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 630-912-0322. 

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