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Generally, if you have been a lawful permanent resident for five years, you can apply to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. But if you were granted a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen, then you can apply after three years. Just because you received a green card doesn’t mean you will automatically become a citizen. You have to show that you deserve it. If you were arrested for any reason or if you owe any taxes, or have failed to pay child support you should discuss your matter with an immigration attorney before filing.