Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have five years lawful
permanent residence (three if they have a U.S. citizen spouse), have good moral
character, be literate in basic English, pass a U.S history test and take an
oath of allegiance to the United States.
Traditionally, once citizenship has been obtained, it has been virtually
- 1996 regulations allow the Immigration and Naturalization Service to
conduct denaturalization proceedings. Previously only a federal court had the
power to strip citizens of citizenship. No recent development has done
more to devalue citizenship than this, states the Catholic Legal
- Naturalization processes take two to three years in many INS
- INS improperly denies naturalization applications -- 251 percent more
denials in the first six months of 1999 than in 1998.
- Local INS district officials are free to administer the
naturalization test as they see fit without oversight from INS
- After INS raised naturalization application fees from $95 to $225,
filings declined by more than 50 percent.