How Soon After I Marry a US Citizen Can I Become a Citizen?

08 Feb 2018

Larissa asks: “How soon after you marry US citizen can you get citizenship? It might be surprising for you to know that your marriage date is completely irrelevant and has nothing to do with it. What does determine when you can get US citizenship is when you receive your green card and if you receive that green card through marriage to US citizen – and that’s different than the marriage date – remember it doesn’t matter if you’ve been married 20 years; All that matters is if you get your green card based on marriage, you have to wait three years. And that’s shorter than the normal time. Other methods of getting a green card that are not marriage based – it’s five years. So you do get a little break there – three years. But that means you need to hold a green card for three years and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married.

You can you can get married, as most people do, and immediately get your green card. In that case, it’s three years. So if your marriage day just happens to be three years and your green cards three years, now you’re eligible to naturalize and become a citizen. Or you could be married twenty years – doesn’t matter. You still have to wait three years after you get that green card.

If you obtained a green card through marriage and you can then apply to naturalize. Timelines are all over the map, but are generally four or five months to naturalize. If you want to be technically a little more correct you can add that time that it’s going to take – three years – with a green card then you can apply four or five or six months. So maybe three and a half years before you become a citizen, but that’s how it alnatul breaks down.

If you’re going through this process there’s also a couple of steps in between that. You can’t just get married then go and file for naturalization. If you came on a k1 fiance visa and you get married, then you have to file for adjustment of status to get a lawful permanent resident card – that’s getting the green card – and then the clock starts ticking from there, and then that’s a conditional resident card. Meaning that’s only valid for two years, so then you’re going to have to remove conditions. Also if you come on a CR one spousal visa and and you just got married and you get your visa, that’s a conditional resident card that’s only valid for two years. So then you’ll have to remove conditions and then you’ll have to wait another year to be eligible for naturalization.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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