I married a US Citizen, do I need a Green Card or can I just Naturalize?


Marriage to a US Citizen, does not, in of itself provide any immediate benefit or status change. It does however provide a possible immigration filing option.

For instance, if you marry in the Philippines, the Filipino Spouse does not receive some benefit in hand nor would they be a US Citizen. The Filipino Spouse has the option to apply for an Immigrant Visa to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (aka Immigrant or Green Card Holder).

Another example, if you marry in the US after entering the US on a tourist visa, the foreign national (possibly from Europe or South America) spouse would still have a visa, visa restrictions, and a return date to go back to the home country. The spouse would possibly have an option to apply for immigration, a process called “Adjustment of Status” . . . essentially the changing from B1/B2 Tourist Status to Lawful Permanent Residence (aka Immigrant or Green Card Holder).

So, the answer is “No.” Marriage to a US Citizen does not immediately let a foreign national become a US Citizen. A Green Card is first required for Marriage-based Immigration. Through marriage, an Immigrant must be a good person, have a consistent residency in the US, have a good grasp on the English Language, be able to pass a Civics/History Test, and after 3 years of being a Lawful Permanent Resident, they would be eligible to Naturalize as US Citizen.

Related Blog Posts:

How to apply for a marriage license as an immigrant in North Carolina?

How to apply for a Social Security card at the local SSA office and what documents are needed for immigrants?

How to request a Divorce Decree / Divorce Certificate from the Local Courthouse or the Vital Records Office in Raleigh?

Why does USCIS ask for Debt Statements and Credit Reports?


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