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How to Obtain U.S. Citizenship for Your Spouse

U.S. citizenship has a great number of benefits and is highly sought after by many around the world. The United States has a history of welcoming those with shared values who wish to contribute to the country’s community, economy, and legacy. If you are the spouse of a U.S citizen, you may qualify for citizenship yourself through the process of naturalization. Generally, you will be eligible to apply after being married and living within the U.S. for a period of three years.

To qualify, applicants must meet requirements including:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have lived in the U.S. continuously as a permanent resident for three years
  • Have been living with and married to a U.S. citizen for at least three years
  • Reside in the U.S. for the entirety of the naturalization process
  • Demonstrated ability to read, write, and speak English

Additionally, individuals must be able to show that they are of a good moral character and believe in principles that are in line with the U.S. Constitution. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of U.S. history and pass a civics test. Once these requirements have been met, spouses can begin the application for citizenship by submitting Form N-400 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Permanent Residence: Getting a Green Card

If you do not already possess a green card, the first step in the naturalization process is obtaining permanent resident status. While permanent residence and citizenship are often confused, they are wholly separate legal classifications and grant their holder different rights and privileges. For example, green card holders do not have the right to vote in elections and must take additional precautions when leaving the country for any period of time. Until the process of naturalization is completed, permanent residents are legally considered to be citizens of their home country.

Spouses of U.S. citizens are known as immediate relatives. This means that there are no imposed limits on the number of green cards issued in this way and you may not need to go through time-consuming waiting lists. Meet the qualifications and you can apply. Everyone will have a unique situation and specific questions about permanent residency or naturalization should be directed to an experienced attorney.

Help for Spouses Seeking Naturalization

The U.S. government implements strict regulations for naturalization. As such, applications for citizenship can be subjected to intense scrutiny. While a marriage will allow your spouse to become eligible for permanent residence and naturalization, it is by no means a guarantee of these services. The status of U.S. citizen carries tremendous advantages and if you and your spouse are ready to take the next step, our Statesville immigration attorneys can help you to navigate the complexities of the legal process.

Contact Cobb Law PLLC for an initial case evaluation and learn about your options for naturalization.

Categories: Immigration
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