Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
QUESTION: I am a permanent resident. I got my green card through my employer four years ago. My wife is a US citizen and I have been married for three years. Can I apply for US citizenship now based on my marriage to a US citizen or do I have to wait until I have had my green card for 5 years?
THE IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – ARI SAUER: As long as you meet the other requirements, you can apply now. A
permanent resident who gets their green card through employment is still eligible to apply for citizenship through naturalization based upon marriage to a US citizen for three years.
How the person obtained their residence is not relevant. To meet the three-year rule a) the person must have been a permanent resident for at least 3 years, b) they must have been married to a US citizen for the past 3 years, c) the spouse must have been a US citizen for the past 3 years, and d) they must have been living together for the past 3 years. The applicant must also meet all other requirements, such as the continuous residence requirement, the physical presence requirement and the good moral character requirement.
But to be clear, in a situation where the person has had their green card for more than 3 years, but has not been married to the US citizen for 3 years or has not been living with their US citizen spouse for the past 3 years, they would have to wait until they meet the qualifications to apply under the 3 year rule or until they qualify under the 5 year rule, whichever is sooner.
If you would like assistance with your naturalization application or you would like to discuss this or other issues further, you can schedule a consultation with me by calling 1-800-343-4890 or 901-682-6455 or by clicking here to
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By Ari Sauer
Submit questions to The Immigration Answer Man by emailing your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting your question on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Questions submitted by email will be posted without personal information unless specifically requested. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions submitted will be answered. Only general questions can be answered on this blog. For answers to specific questions about your situation, please schedule a consultation.
* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is an attorney with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed. the opinions expressed here are those of Ari Sauer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Siskind Susser.