Becoming a U.S. citizen is a main goal of many Pennsylvania immigrants. No two life stories are exactly the same, and different people encounter various types of challenges as they navigate the citizenship process. For some, a language barrier poses great difficulty, causing them to worry that they will not be able to pass their citizenship test.

There are several things a person must do when applying for citizenship. Filling out an application is just one of those things. However, before a particular person can apply, he or she must be a green card holder for at least five years. Any attempt to falsify documents or otherwise thwart the system is punishable by law and may place an immigrant at immediate risk for deportation.

An exception to the five year rule exists for those immigrants married to a U.S. citizen. In that case, he or she would need only have had a green card for three years, not five. Even if a language barrier exists, an applicant must be able to read, write and speak English.

A person who wishes to become a naturalized citizen must have references who will attest to his or her good moral character. No immigrant under age 18 can become a U.S. citizen through naturalization. It helps to confirm one’s eligibility before taking any steps toward the citizenship process. There are support networks in Pennsylvania designed to assist immigrants and their families as they work their way to becoming citizens or to overcome any other type of immigration problem that arises.