August 17, 2009: Naturalization Where Spouse is a U.S. Citizen

Naturalization Where Spouse is a U.S. Citizen

Hello. I am applying for Naturalization right now through my spouse. I got the form N-400 ready. But I am not sure what kind of documents I’m supposed to send with the N-400. I prepared the photos, the marriage certificate, spouse’s naturalization certificate, and copy of my green card. Is there anything else that I have to send?

Generally, an applicant for Naturalization must be a lawful permanent resident for at least five years prior to the date the N-400, Application for Naturalization, is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application can actually be filed four years and nine months from the date lawful permanent resident status was granted. In some very limited instances, such as your situation where a naturalization applicant obtained their permanent resident status through marriage to a United States citizen, the application can be filed two years and nine months from the date the residency was granted. This is allowed if the applicant can meet the requirements that s/he has been married to and living with the United States citizen for the last three years and the spouse has been a United States citizen for at least three years.

In addition to all of the other requirements for Naturalization, USCIS will want to see proof of the abovementioned requirements. As you know, you will need to provide your marriage certificate and proof of the spouse’s Untied States citizenship. But you will also need to prove that you have been residing together with your spouse. Examples of such evidence include, but are not limited to, tax returns, lease agreements, mortgage documents, deed to jointly owned property, bank records, and insurance records. If you are not presently residing with your spouse, then you are still eligible to file for Naturalization. However, you will not be able to file after two years and nine months of being a permanent resident. You will have to wait four years and nine months from the date it was granted.

If you have additional questions about your eligibility to file for Naturalization as the spouse of a United States citizen, it may be wise for you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys

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