Do you want to become a citizen of the United States through marriage?
If so, you’re not alone.
According to recent estimates, almost 4 million people in the United States are married to foreign nationals.
While the process of acquiring a U.S. citizen through marriage might be lengthy and complicated, it is doable, provided the proper procedures are followed.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of becoming a U.S. citizen through marriage in 2023.
Everything from the beginning application procedure to the citizenship ceremony and beyond will be covered.
Thus, if you’re ready to begin your path to US citizenship, keep reading to learn everything you need to know.
What is a Marriage Green Card?
A marriage green card allows the spouse of a permanent resident or U.S. citizen to live and work in the United States.
This process is known as “adjustment of status.”
To be eligible for a green card through marriage, the foreign-born spouse must be married to a permanent resident or even a U.S. citizen, and the couple must meet certain other requirements.
If the foreign-born spouse is already in the US, he or she can apply for a marriage green card via the adjustment of status process.
If the foreign-born spouse is not a US citizen, he or she must apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy.
The spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file a petition on Form I-130 with USCIS as the first step in either process (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
Once USCIS has authorized the petition, it will be promptly delivered to the National Visa Center (NVC) if the foreign-born spouse is outside the United States or to USCIS if the foreign-born spouse is inside the United States.
If the foreign-born spouse lives outside the United States, he or she must next go to a U.S. consulate or embassy for an interview with a consular officer and provide several documents, including verification of his or her relationship to the United States.
Do You Completely Become a U.S. Citizen Through Marriage?
If you marry a U.S. citizen, you may instantly become a U.S. citizen through the naturalization procedure.
Naturalization is the procedure through which a foreigner becomes a citizen of the United States.
To be eligible for naturalization, you must meet the following requirements:
- Being at least 18 years old
- Having been a permanent resident of the United States for at least three years
- Having been married to and residing in the country with your US citizen spouse for at least three years.
- Meeting all other naturalization qualifying conditions
If you meet these conditions, you can apply for citizenship by submitting Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).
How to Get US Citizenship Via Marriage
You would be eligible to apply for a green card if you married a US citizen (permanent residency).
This is referred to as “status modification.”
If you live in the United States, you can apply to USCIS using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or Adjust Status.
If you are not in the US, your spouse must file an immigration petition on your behalf.
Once the petition is accepted, you will be notified and will need to complete the application procedure.
Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is the initial step.
You must include the following in your form:
- a duplicate of your passport
- Evidence of your marriage to a US citizen
- two passport-sized photographs
- Your original birth certificate
- Evidence that your spouse is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States
- Evidence of any legal name changes (if applicable)
After you submit Form I-485 and all needed evidence, USCIS will examine your application and schedule an interview with you and your spouse.
A USCIS officer will ask questions about your connection and background during the interview to ensure that it is real and that you meet all eligibility requirements for permanent residency.
If everything goes as planned and your application is approved, you will be issued a green card and will be able to live and work in the United States permanently.
How Do You Apply for Citizenship After Marriage?
The process of obtaining citizenship after marriage is rather simple.
After getting married, you and your spouse will need to apply for a green card.
You will be permitted to live and work in the United States indefinitely once you have obtained your green card.
After three years of marriage (or two years if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen), you will be eligible to petition for citizenship.
To apply for citizenship, you must complete an application and submit it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
You must submit different documents with your application, including proof of marriage, proof of residency in the United States, and certification of your good moral character.
After you submit your application, USCIS will examine it and schedule an interview with you and your spouse.
If everything goes well at the interview, USCIS will approve your application and organize a ceremony at which you will swear the Oath of Allegiance to become a U.S. citizen.
How Long Does It Take to Get American Citizenship After Marriage?
You will be allowed to apply for a green card as an immediate relative after marrying a US citizen.
Obtaining a green card allows you to live and work in the United States permanently.
Obtaining a green card through marriage typically takes between 10 and 13 months.
If your spouse is a permanent resident (green card holder), you will first need to file a petition for an alien relative with USCIS.
You will be able to apply for your green card once your petition is authorized.
Obtaining a green card through marriage typically takes between 10 and 13 months.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Citizenship in the United States After Marriage?
Filing for citizenship by marriage costs $1,170. This covers the $640 Form N-400 filing fee as well as the $530 biometrics charge.
If you are unable to pay these costs, you may request a fee waiver by completing form I-912.
You will also be responsible for any additional payments linked with your application, such as the cost of obtaining copies of your birth certificate or document translations.
What are the requirements for applying for US citizenship after marriage?
If you married a US citizen, you may be able to apply for US citizenship through naturalization.
The following are the general prerequisites for naturalization:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- Be a permanent resident of the United States for at least three years.
- You must have lived in the state or USCIS district where you applied for at least three months.
- Be able to communicate, read, and write in basic English.
- Be familiar with and comprehend US history and governance.
- Have a good moral character.
- Must swear an oath of loyalty to the United States.
In addition to these general requirements, there are additional restrictions if you marry a US citizen.
- Be lawfully married to a citizen of the United States. (The marriage must be lawful under US law, which normally means that it was performed by a licensed officiant in accordance with the rules of the state in which it occurred.)
- At the time you file your application, your spouse must be a US citizen (This means that if your spouse later becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen, you will not be qualified to file for citizenship based on your marriage.)
- You must have been in a marital union with your spouse for at least three years previous to completing your application (this means that if you have been separated, you must have been separated for at least three years).
What Questions Will Be Asked of You During Your Marriage Interview?
The interviewer will inquire about your marriage, how you met, and other personal matters.
They may also inquire about your spouse’s family, employment, and schooling.
The interviewer will also inquire about your future goals and whether you have any children together.
What Are the Advantages of Obtaining U.S. Citizenship Via Marriage?
There are several perks to obtaining a U.S. citizen through marriage.
Some benefits include:
- The ability to live and work in America.
- The ability to sponsor your spouse for US permanent residency.
- The ability to freely enter and exit the United States.
- Access to federal benefits such as Social Security and Medicare.
- The right to vote in federal elections and run for public office.
- The capacity to obtain a United States passport.
There’s no better time to start arranging if you want to become a US citizen through marriage.
Our essay will teach you everything you need to know about the procedure and get you started on your path.