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

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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

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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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