Citizenship test: When will I be able to apply the N-400 form?

Q: My family and I moved to the United States when I was 20. I’m now 23yrs old, so it’s been for over 3 years. When will I be able to apply for the N-400 form ? Do I need to wait unti l I’m 25. Do I need to have had income tax returns for 5 years ? Because I went to school for last 3 years up to now, I just help my parent’s nail shop and they pay for my study fees, so I don’t get any paid. Thank you


A: To be Eligible to file an application for Naturalization (in all cases other than spouses) if they are a United States Citizen the person must have five years of permanent residence. These 5 years are determined by the date you became Permanent Resident as shown on your green card.

Good moral character and physical presence are essential elements of the statutory provision that governs the application and obtaining of US Citizenship through Naturalization.

Income tax returns are governed by special Federal and State laws and the laws shall be consulted to determine whether or not you had to file income tax returns based on the income you’ve received during the fiscal year .
If you have not worked but are financially dependent on your parents and you did not earn income in the amount that requires the filing of taxes you have not evaded taxes and you can’t be considered a person who lacks the necessary good moral character required to apply for Naturalization n(once you comply with the mandatory five year Permanent resident status).

You should consult a lawyer to evaluate whether or not there will be any factors that prevent you from applying and being granted the United States Citizenship by way if Naturalization. The Department of Homeland Security has a guide “A Road to Naturalization”  that it publishes at no cost for all people interested in applying for Naturalization that I recommend you to read before you consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your particular case.

Eliana Phelps

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