Over the years, there’s been a common misconception about U.S. citizenship: Some people have thought that if an immigrant married a United States citizen, they would automatically become a U.S. citizen, but that is not how it works.
Yes, it’s true that if an immigrant marries a U.S. citizen, it can make the path to U.S. citizenship easier, but they have to make sure they don’t marry a U.S. citizen for fraudulent reasons. If an immigrant marries a U.S. citizen for all the right reasons, such as love and the intention of being lifelong partners, they should not have any trouble with USCIS.
So, You Want to Marry a U.S. Citizen?
If you’re a Green Card holder and you end up marrying a U.S. citizen, you may qualify for naturalization under Section 319(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when the following is true:
- You have been a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) for a minimum of three years.
- You have been married to the same U.S. citizen for that three years.
- You meet all other eligibility criteria for U.S. citizenship.
Do You Meet the Eligibility Requirements?
To be eligible for U.S. citizenship through a U.S. citizen spouse, you still need to meet all other requirements under Section 319(a) of the INA. For you to qualify for citizenship, you must:
- Be at least 18-years-old.
- Have a Green Card for at least three years before you file a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization.
- Be married to your U.S. citizen spouse for at least three years before applying for naturalization.
- Have lived in Texas for at least three months before filing an application.
- Live continuously in the U.S. from the date you apply to the date you become a naturalized citizen.
- Be in the U.S. for at least 18 months of the three years immediately before you filed the application.
- Be able to read English, speak English, and write in English. You also must understand U.S. government and history.
- Be a good person, one with a strong moral character who does not commit crimes of moral turpitude (serious crimes that go against the morals of our society).
Need help applying for naturalization through a U.S. spouse? Contact our Plano immigration firm for all of your immigration needs.