Becoming a citizen is usually a long journey that begins with first obtaining a green card. After obtaining the green card, a person wait for 5 years and maintain continuous residence in the U.S. and be physically present in the U.S. for at least half the time and have good moral character before they can be eligible to apply for citizenship, or “naturalize”. Upon applying to naturalize, an applicant must take the citizenship exam at the interview, pass the test within 2 tries, and take the oath of citizenship before they can be granted one of the most coveted naturalizations in the world.
A person who received their green card through a U.S. citizen spouse need wait only 3 years instead of 5. In addition, a foreign national who elects to serve in the military may also naturalize without need for any sponsor.