Could you please tell me what is the process to get citizenship or green card once my fiancé and I get married?

I am a Ph.D student with a F-1 visa and me and my american girlfriend would like to get married soon. She is 20 and a college student and we both are graduating in 3 years. Could you please tell me what is the process to get citizenship or green card once we get married? I am from Mexico, is it possible to have double citizenship? Is it truth that during that process and if I have green card we would not be able to travel or live in Mexico? What is the best scenario to start the process: a) with my current F-1 status, b) with OPT status (I can apply if I get a job after I finish) or c) to go back to Mexico after graduation and do the process there? Does she loose her health insurance (from her dad’s job) if we get married?

Asked on June 10, 2014 under Immigration Law, Arizona


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

once you are legally  married, you would apply for adjustment of status from your F-1 status to permanent residence (green card ) on the basis of marriage to a US citizen.  Once you have your green card for 3 years, provided you are still married, you can then apply for naturalization to US citizenship.  You can decide at that point whether you want to apply for this or not as it is not required.  It is best for you to check with the Mexican government as to whether they allow for dual citizenship.  The US only considers you a US cititzen once you naturalize; it is up to your home country to permit you to hold US citzienship without giving up your prior citizenship.

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