My spouse has been in the U.S. for 3 years and 4 months. Can we file for U.S. Citizenship?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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My spouse has been in the U.S. for 3 years and 4 months. Can we file for U.S. Citizenship?

My spouse has had a green card for 2 years duration of expiration was 2 years
and we refiled for a permanent residence card in May 2016 because we received
an I-751 form. We wanted to file for U.S. Citizenship because she has been in the
U.S. for more than 3 years and is married to me a U.S. citizen, but we were told
we couldn’t do that until we received another permanent resident card. This has
been taking longer than we thought and we had a question if we could apply for
U.S. Citizenship while we are waiting for the new permanent residence card.

Asked on October 14, 2016 under Immigration Law, Massachusetts


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

it does not matter how long she has been in the US; what matters, for purposes of determining eligibility for applying for naturalization, is how long she has been a green card holder.  So, if she is married to a US citizen, she needs to have been a green card holder (even conditional) for at least 3 years before she is eligible for naturalization (she can apply within 90 days of that 3 year anniversary of the green card status being granted.)

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