Citizenship Through Marriage, Criteria

The United States offers many options for an immigrant to obtain Legal Permanent Residence status and obtain a Green Card. From here, an applicant may apply to become a United States Citizen through the Naturalization process. One of the many options that the United States allows is through marriage. However, this process does take some time.

For starters, the applicant must be a legal permanent resident for at least three years. This means that the spouse applying for naturalization must be married in a good faith marriage with the same US citizen for at least three years and they must have their legal permanent residence status valid for 3 years.

Generally, there are a few requirements that the spouse must meet.  First and foremost, the applicant spouse must be a minimum of 18 years old. Next, as stated earlier, the applicant must have been a legal permanent resident (Green Card holder) for a minimum of 3 years. The applicant must have been living in a good faith marital union with his or her US citizen spouse.

At the time of filing for Naturalization, the applicant must have lived in a location in the United States of USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence for at least 3 months before applying for Naturalization. The applicant must also have continuous residency in the United States, as a lawful permanent residence, for at least 3 years prior to applying.

After applying for Naturalization, the applicant must reside continuously within the United States until he or she becomes a Naturalized citizen.  During this time, the applicant is allowed to travel outside the country, however the applicant must be physically present in the United State for at least 18 months out of the 3 years (one and a half years).

Along with these requirements, the United States government wants the applicant to show that they have become a part of the American culture. The applicant can show this by proving they can read, write and speak English and that he or she has knowledge of US history and its government.

Lastly, it is important for the applicant to obey all local, state, and federal laws. This is important because the applicant wants to maintain a status of good moral character and not be in trouble with any form of law enforcement.

For the spouse of a US Citizen who spends much of his or her time abroad due to his or her employment, the applicant spouse may apply at any time during their legal permanent residence status.

There are also special rules related to the spouse of members of the United States military.

It is advisable to seek legal guidance from our office today as we strive to help guide you with your specific case. 

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You can contact attorney Ramona Kennedy Law Offices (Kennedy Law LC) for an initial consultation and case evaluation. The first consultation is free of charge. 
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