If someone is married for and goes to get their citizenship but decides to get a divorce after, how will the divorce affect the citizenship?

A friend of mine has been married for 12 years and now wants to divorce after applying/securing citizenship. I’m not sure if they have a green card through the marriage or not. The only information I have is that they said they have to remain in the marriage for 12 years in order to even apply for the citizenship.

Asked on November 22, 2018 under Immigration Law, Florida


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The facts your friend gave you are not true.  In order to be eligible for citizenship, one has to have been a permanent resident for 5 years if not married to a US citizen and only 3 years if married to a US citizen.  If your friend has already obtained her citizenship (not green card), then she is not in any way obligated to remain married in order to retain her status.

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