When can I apply for citizenship after marrying a US citizen? 3 Answers as of February 13, 2011

We have been married for 7 years with one kid, the question is can I apply for US citizenship now?

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William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Yes, file -i-130.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 2/13/2011
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
You may not apply for citizenship. You must first apply for the green card, and be approved of it. After green card approval, you can apply for citizenship after 2 years and 9 months, provided that you are still married to the same spouse who petitioned you for the green card. In the event of a divorce, you will have to wait 4 years and 9 months to apply for citizenship after the green card is approved. A common misconception is that if you have a child or married for a long time, citizenship will be granted automatically. In reality, to apply for citizenship, you must have the required physical presence (lived in the US long enough), continuous residence (not left the US for more than 6 months in the past 5 years), good moral character (no criminal history, filed tax return yearly, paying child support, etc). You will also have to pass a civic test before you can become a US citizen. In sum, if you have a green card for more than 2 years and 9 months, you can apply for citizenship now, based on the information you provided. If you have more questions please feel free to contact my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
You have to be a legal permanent resident ("Green Card") for three years if you are married to a U.S. Citizen before your can file for Naturalization. Merely being married to a US Citizen does not permit you to apply for U.S. Citizenship. However, if you are a Green Card holder for the last 7 years, and you are otherwise statutorily eligible, then yes you can file for U.S. Citizenship.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
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