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The Process of Gaining U.S. Citizenship Through Marriage

Your spouse is your partner for life, your trusted friend and ally, and more often than not, your favorite person in the entire world. So it’s no surprise that you want to ensure that immigration issues don’t get in the way of your union. When it comes to U.S. immigration, we like to say that there is no such thing as a fast process – but with a little bit of patience and a lot of commitment, you can attain U.S. citizenship through marriage. 

In this article, we will cover the basic steps that you will need to follow to gain American citizenship through marriage, which typically begins with becoming a legal permanent resident through your spouse and then applying for citizenship after a given time. 

You are married

Congratulations, you are married and your Greencard was approved! It is an exciting time in your life – and if you have married a U.S. citizen (or you are a U.S. citizen who has married a foreign national), you are probably starting to think about when to apply for citizenship. You’re likely eager to get started on this process. There are a few steps you will need to take care of before naturalization. 

Naturalization is the process that allows a non-citizen to become a citizen of the United States. And while marrying a U.S. citizen will likely grant you this privilege faster, it’s not quite as easy as simply filling out a few forms. 

3 Steps to Success

So let’s break it down. You might be wondering how long after getting your Green Card through marriage you can apply for citizenship – There are a couple of steps along the way.

#1: Get Your Green Card

You or your spouse most likely filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and continued with consular processing or filed Adjustment of Status application and you received your Green Card in the United States. 

#2: Make Things Permanent

If you received a Green Card within the first two years of your marriage, you were given a conditional (two-year) Green Card. But now that your marriage has continued to thrive, you want to make it permanent and remove that “conditional” piece of the equation. There is another form you must file with your spouse that will help you get the permanent (10-year) Green Card you are looking for. 

Together, you can file Form 1-751, also known as the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. This form can be filed in the 90 days immediately before your conditional Green Card expires. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review your application and if all goes well, you will be able to make your U.S. residence permanent. 

Please note*  If your application, Form I-751, is still pending, and you have met the three-year requirement, please read this article on applying for citizenship while your I-751 is pending.

#3: Become a Citizen

Now it’s time for the question we hear all the time from our clients: “When can I apply for citizenship after a Green Card through marriage?”

The general answer? You can start the naturalization process based on marriage after three years of receiving your Green Card. The form in question is Form N-400, or the Application for Naturalization. Remember- your marriage must stay intact, as you will need to provide bona fides. 

Let’s Get This Party Started

Are you ready to kick off your journey toward citizenship? Before you dive in, let’s make sure that you meet the requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. citizenship through marriage, you will need to… 

  • Be 18 years or older;
  • Your marriage must still be intact until the time you take the Oath of Allegiance;
  • Living together with your U.S. citizen spouse for at least three years before applying for citizenship (your spouse must have been a U.S. citizen during those three years);
  • Live exclusively in the U.S. from the time that you filed your application for citizenship;
  • Have some knowledge and understanding the U.S. history and government and be able to read, write, and speak the English language;
  • Be a person of good moral character, according to the ideas of the U.S. Constitution.

Sounds like a lot of requirements, right? It’s important to ensure you meet these criteria, but for most people, some aspects of this will happen automatically for you. 

Paying the Bills

Unfortunately, becoming a U.S. citizen is not free. The standard filing fee is $640, plus a biometric fee of $85 for applicants who are younger than 75 years old. Some households can also get a reduced fee by demonstrating financial hardship. 

Now, what if you decide that you would like some help with getting your application together and setting yourself up for success in the naturalization process? At Consulta Immigration, that is exactly what we are here to do. Our United States Citizenship service can help you attain citizenship through marriage with guidance and assistance every step of the way. 

We believe in transparency and honesty, so we always share pricing upfront. When you work with us, our fee is $500. This covers our help and expertise so that you can expect better results with your application. And let’s be honest: Putting your immigration worries to rest is priceless. 

Kick Off a Happy Life Together

For newlyweds and long-term spouses alike, gaining U.S. citizenship through marriage can help you gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your spouse will be with you for life. You won’t have to worry about Green Card renewal. If you are ready to become a U.S. citizen, we can help. 

Get in touch with our team at Consulta Immigration today. We’ll work with you to ensure a strong application and the best results possible every step of the way. 

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