There are many advantages to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. As a citizen, individuals can exercise various rights -- including the right to vote -- and apply for specific jobs or benefit programs in Louisiana. Those who hope to obtain U.S. citizenship should be aware that there are requirements for applying for naturalization, though. Such requirements include things like residency, age and even language ability.
Individuals must be 18 years of age to apply for naturalization. Additionally, an applicant must also be a legal permanent resident and, out of the past five years, have been physically present in the country for 30 months or longer. Any absences between six months and one year must be explained.
For the language component, applicants must demonstrate that they can speak, write, read and generally understand the English language. There are exceptions to this requirement, though. An elderly applicant who has been a long-time permanent resident could possibly receive a waiver for the language requirement. Those living with certain mental conditions might also qualify for language waivers.
These are just basic qualifications for naturalization. Applicants should expect to demonstrate that they have good moral character, support the Constitution, have a knowledge of U.S. history and government and more. This is quite an undertaking, and getting ready to file for citizenship may take some time. Immigrants who are currently living in Louisiana and would like to one day become a naturalized citizen may want to consider taking steps for this process in as timely a manner as possible.