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How to apply for citizenship through marriage

J. Molina Law Firm PLLC > Post English  > How to apply for citizenship through marriage

How to apply for citizenship through marriage

How to apply for citizenship through marriage

There are many ways to become a naturalized citizen in the United States. One of the most common is through the form N-400 or Request for Naturalization, and although the same form is used in different situations, there are many things that differ when you apply for citizenship through marriage.

Filing form N-400 based on your marriage reduces the time you must wait as a permanent resident before applying, but you’ll need to know everything about the supporting documents and steps you need to follow, we’ll explain here:

Start by checking if you meet the requirements to apply for citizenship through marriage

There are some important differences in the requirements to apply for naturalization when choosing this path, in order to do it you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of applying for citizenship.
  • Be a legal permanent resident.
  • Have lived in marital union with your couple for at least 3 years before applying for your citizenship.
  • Maintain your union to your spouse until the moment you take your Oath of Allegiance.
  • Prove your continuous residence in the United States for at least 3 years prior to your application.
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months before applying.
  • Have lived in the state or district where you are applying for at least 3 months before applying.
  • Prove your knowledge of English, American history, and principles and form of government of the United States.
  • Show support to the Constitution
  • Prove your good moral character

Things that might affect your application

In order to accept your application for naturalization, USCIS needs to make sure that you’ve lived in marital union with your spouse during the previous three years and that you both live in the same household.

So, some of the events that could affect the outcome of your application prior to or after you file your application are:

The death of your spouse

If your spouse dies before you take the Oath of Allegiance, you may become ineligible for naturalization through marriage.

A divorce or annulment of the marriage

Evidently, since this breaks the marital union, if a divorce happens before or after you file your Form N-400, it will be invalid.


Being separated means that you no longer live in the same household and since you can’t prove this, you’re not able to file Form N-400 based on your marriage to a US citizen.

Gather the documents you’ll need to request naturalization based on your marriage

All the things we’ve mentioned above need to be proved with the corresponding evidence, some of the documents that will help you during the interview process are:

Proof of your spouses’ citizenship

Your couple must be a U.S citizen for at least 3 years before you can file this request. You must bring documents such as a birth certificate, U.S passport, naturalization certificate or citizenship certificate from your spouse.

Proof of the marriage

USCIS needs to prove your marriage is legal with a marriage certificate or civil registration to prove it’s valid.

Evidence that all previous marriages were terminated

If you or your spouse have been married before, you need to show that all your previous marriages were legally terminated through divorce certificates, annulment certificates, or death certificates.

Proof of your marital union

To demonstrate that you have lived together during the previous three years, you can bring joint bank statements, loans, or mortgages with both of your names on them, birth certificates of children you have together, insurance policies, or copy of your tax statements.

Other things you should take into account

As we said before, a request for naturalization through marriage isn’t necessarily easier than a request for naturalization based on your time as a permanent resident.

Just like in the regular process, you need to take into account your felonies, selective service registration, tax statements, and every other requirement. You will also have to go through USCIS interview and take your English and civics exam, just like any other applicant.

How to make this process easier

If you choose to apply based on your marriage to a US citizen or just follow the regular N-400 process, it is always easier to rely on an expert to complete and file your application.