Some people see a green card as their final goal. It gives you the right to live and work in the U.S., which for many people is enough. Yet what if you want more? What if you dream of becoming a U.S. citizen?
Gaining citizenship gives you rights that you do not have as a green card holder. For example, the right to vote. The right to stay in the country forever without needing to renew paperwork. Or the right to get a passport and leave the country for as long as you like but still come back to live with full rights whenever you feel like it.
How long do you need a green card before applying for citizenship?
If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you can apply to begin the citizenship process after three years. If not, you must wait five years.
The technical name for the citizenship process is naturalization
You need to take some tests as part of the naturalization process, including a citizenship test. It contains questions that many who have lived here all their life may not know the answer to. Yet they are not too hard to learn.
You also need to meet the necessary standard of English, tested by written and oral exams. Online resources can help you understand if your English is of sufficient level or if you should spend time practicing and studying before booking a test.
Finally, you need to get the paperwork correct. Failed attempts will be costly and upsetting so getting legal help is the best way to ensure your application goes smoothly and you gain the U.S. citizenship you desire.