Is a green card necessary to apply for naturalization?

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Is a green card necessary to apply for naturalization?

Asked on July 14, 2013 under Immigration Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have to be a green card holder/permanent resident for a requisite period of time before you are eligible to apply for naturalization.  For most people, it is 5 years of being a permanent resident; for spouses of US citizens, it is 3 years.  But either way, unless you acquired US citizenship upon birth or had it conferred upon you by a qualifying relative at some point, you have to first be a permanent resident before you naturalize.


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