Can I become a citizen if I marry a U.S. citizen?

2308761191_e12ded3100_oThere are a number of different ways that a person can become a U.S. citizen, one of those being through marriage. If a non-U.S. national were to marry a citizen of the United States, they can obtain a Green Card. In order to become qualified to obtain citizenship through marriage, you will have to meet certain eligibility requirements.

The non-U.S. national must have held a Green Card for a minimum of three years and must have been married to the United States citizen throughout that time. In addition, there are residency requirements that a person must abide by in order to be considered eligible for this type of naturalization. For example, the applicant for naturalization must have lived physically within the United States for a minimum of 18 months within the three years of permanent residency before they are eligible. In addition, they must continuously live within the country for a minimum of three years after applying.  A few of the other qualifications require a person to be proficient in speaking, reading, and writing in the English language and can prove that they display good moral character.

There are also a few differences that may exist in situations where the U.S. citizen becomes employed abroad and marries a non-U.S. citizen. They are not required to follow certain residency requirements that exist in the time that they are living abroad but are married. However, the requirement does exist once the U.S. citizen’s time working abroad is over and they move back to the United States.

It is important that you retain the services of an experienced immigration attorney who can walk you through the process and inform you of any necessary documentation or eligibility requirements.

The Law Office of Cheryl David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions as to whether consular processing is right for you, or you can maybe change your status in the United States instead of going home, please contact the office to discuss your situation and options.