The standard process for becoming a naturalized United States citizen involves living in the USA for at least five years as a lawful permanent resident. There is another option, however, available exclusively to spouses of U.S. citizens that allows you to become a U.S. citizen two years early.
Becoming a naturalized United States citizen comes with many benefits. Here’s a quick recap of the five most important reasons to become a U.S. citizen:
- You can vote in the United States and have a say in the future of the country.
- You can travel to other countries as often and as long as you want to without worrying about being allowed back.
- You can sponsor a spouse, siblings, or parents for a Green Card.
- You can hold government jobs or run for public office.
- You are protected from being deported.
If you have been married to a U.S. citizen for 3 years while you had your green card, you can apply for Naturalization early. Once you become a U.S. citizen you can get a U.S. passport and you can travel to other countries with your spouse freely and you can vote in elections.
In order to be eligible for this early naturalization, you have to prove that you were living with your spouse for the full three years from the time you got your green card to the time you file your N-400 naturalization application. The standard is not necessarily to prove your marriage is bona fide like you had to when you first got your green card. Instead, you must prove you were sharing a residence, which can be through jointly filed tax returns or even utility bills and invoices received at the same address. If you are still married but moved into separate houses anytime during the last three years, the benefit does not apply.
As long as you can prove that you have been living with your U.S. citizen spouse for the three years required, you can qualify to become a U.S. citizen early. If you are ready to discuss your naturalization options, contact Heitz Immigration Law today! We can help you live and work in the United States!