What happens to my legal status ifI am a permanent resident and marry a US citizen?

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What happens to my legal status ifI am a permanent resident and marry a US citizen?

I’m getting married. I’m a permament resident (green card); he’s a citizen.

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should become a U.S. Citizen by application through naturalization. If you have been a permanent resident green card holder for at least 3 years, have been living in a marital union with your spouse during that time period, and meet all other eligibility criteria listed in the United States Immigration Office's documentation/informational packet, then you will qualify. I believe you can also be considered for citizenship on your own through passing certain tests, but you need to be a a permanent resident for at least 5 years. Contact an immigration attorney if you are worried you won't qualify but if you can wait out these time periods, you are eligible to become a U.S. Citizen. You may also wish to request a meeting with the Immigration and Naturalization Service to obtain the proper forms and to generally discuss other eligibility criteria.


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