How Long it Takes to Become a US Citizen

Question: How long does it take for someone to become a United States citizen?

Answer: There are basically two parts to that question. Generally speaking, one is eligible to apply for citizenship if they have been a legal, permanent resident for five years or longer. If a person is married to a U.S. citizen, and has been a legal permanent resident for three years or longer, they are eligible to apply for citizenship. There are some other cases where people are eligible to apply for citizenship, but those are the most common situations. Once a person is eligible to apply, they have to file a petition and a packet and there is a waiting period while that is being processed by immigration services. That waiting period can vary, depending on how many people are processing and all that. But right now, it is currently running at about five months for processing time. After that application is processed and the petition is approved, the person can go to the next swearing in ceremony and become a U.S. citizen.


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