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Qualifications of Office

The Constitution specifies certain prerequisites of holding office:

  • Article II, Section 1 requires that Presidents must be at least 35 years old and be natural-born citizens—that is, born in the United States or of American parents elsewhere—and must have lived in the United States for a minimum of 14 years.
  • Article I, Section 3 requires that Senators must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the U.S. for 9 years and a resident of the state he or she represents.
  • Article I, Section 2 requires that representatives must be at least 25, be a citizen for seven years and reside in the state they represent.

States cannot add qualifications, such as loyalty oaths, other than those specified in the Constitution.

By Donald Ritchie, Our Constitution (Oxford University Press)