The Road to Citizenship

With Election Day 2016 drawing near, one thing is sure to be on the mind of every U.S. citizen – voting.


This year’s vote is particularly significant for the approximately 680,000 individuals who have become naturalized U.S. citizens each year since Election Day 2012; this election will be their first opportunity to cast their vote for President.


While the benefits of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen are immense, so are the eligibility requirements.  To apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, a U.S. legal permanent resident must satisfy all of the following general eligibility requirements*:


  1. Be at least 18 years of age at the time of filing;
  2. Be a legal permanent resident of the United States for a required period of time;
  3. Have lived within the state or USCIS district where he/she claims residence for at least 3 months prior to filing;
  4. Have demonstrated physical presence within the United States for a required period of time;
  5. Have demonstrated continuous residence for a required period of time;
  6. Demonstrate good moral character;
  7. Demonstrate an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. Constitution;
  8. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government, as well as an ability to read, write, speak and understand basic English; and
  9. Take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.


In our Immigration Legal Services department, we recognize the complexities of the application process.  Therefore, it is our goal to provide affordable, reliable, quality legal services to members of our immigrant communities seeking U.S. citizenship.  One way we have been able to accomplish this is though assisting eligible U.S. legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship through in-office appointments and naturalization workshops.


If you or someone you know is interested in determining legal eligibility for U.S. citizenship, please call our Immigrant Legal Services department at 773-583-3010. For additional information on World Relief Chicago’s Immigrant Legal Services department, please visit


Although any naturalization applications submitted now will not be adjudicated in time for Election Day 2016, once granted, a naturalized U.S. citizen will be able to exercise his or her right to vote in any local, state, or Federal election in the future!


*The contents of this blog post are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions.  For advice on specific legal issues, please contact our Immigrant Legal Services department.



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