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Houston Immigration Lawyers > Blog > Immigration > Can You Become A U.S. Citizen Through Marriage?

Can You Become A U.S. Citizen Through Marriage?


A foreign spouse who marries a U.S. citizen can live in the United States and become a United States. Before they can do so, though, they must meet a series of requirements and go through a set of immigration processes.

 Can You Get A Green Card Through Marriage? 

When a United States citizen marries someone from a foreign country, their spouse is eligible for a green card. Assuming they are successful in obtaining a green card, their spouse will become a permanent resident of the United States.

A permanent resident with a green card can:

  • Live permanently in the United States.
  • Work at a job.
  • Own/rent property.
  • Open a bank account.
  • Live anywhere in the United States.

All of these benefits, and many more, require the spouse to obtain a green card. To obtain a green card, the spouse must:

  • Prove that their marriage is legitimate.
  • Establish that they are eligible for a green card.
  • Conduct an interview with their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Each one of these steps is complex and involves a variety of other procedures. But, assuming each one is completed successfully, the foreign spouse will be able to obtain a green card.

Even though a green card allows the foreign spouse to permanently reside within the United States, this doesn’t mean that they are a U.S. citizen. Rather, becoming a U.S. citizen is a distinct process that relies on the foreign spouse possessing a green card.

 Can You Become A U.S. Citizen Through Marriage? 

To become a U.S. citizen, through marriage, a foreign spouse must meet a series of rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are as follows:

  • The spouse must have a green card.
  • The spouse must have lived in the United States, as a permanent resident, for three-years.
  • The spouse must be living in marital union with the other, non-foreign, spouse, during this three-year period.
  • The spouse must file their application for citizenship in a state or district they’ve lived in for at least three-months.
  • The spouse must reside continuously, in the United States, from the day they file their citizenship application to the day they become a U.S. citizen.
  • The spouse must have been physically present in the United States for at least 18-months, within the three-year period preceding the citizenship application.

Outside of those requirements, the foreign spouse must also:

  • Be able to speak, read, and write English.
  • Possess an understanding of the history, principles, and form of government within the United States.
  • Be a person of good moral and ethical character.

Assuming the foreign spouse meets these requirements, they can become a U.S. citizen. By becoming a U.S citizen, they can:

  • Vote in elections.
  • Work for federal agencies.
  • Expedite the visa process for their family members.
  • Live outside of the United States for more than one-year.

The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can take quite some time. But, if these requirements are met, a spouse can, and will, become a U.S. citizen.

 Speak With A Houston Immigration Lawyer 

The act of getting married does not, in and of itself, guarantee a green card or U.S. citizenship. But, by meeting the requirements and following the proper procedures, you or your spouse can acquire a green card. Soon enough, you, or your spouse, can become a U.S. citizen.

Speak with a Houston immigration lawyer today. We will assist you in acquiring your marriage green card and becoming a U.S. citizen.





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