Under INA 319(b), Spouses of U.S. Citizens who are Employed or Stationed Abroad can be provided a new option for Naturalization.
Normally, Spouses must hold their Green Card for a minimum of three years before being eligible to Naturalize through Marriage. Under INA 319(b), Spouses otherwise eligible for the 3-year Naturalization, could be exempt from the continuous residence and physical presence requirements for naturalization.
What are the Qualifications for INA 319(b)?
To qualify for INA 319(b), the Green Card Spouse must establish that he or she meets the following criteria:
- Married to a U.S. citizen spouse regularly stationed abroad in qualifying employment for at least one year.
- Lawful Permanent Resident at the time of filing the naturalization application.
- Continue to be the spouse of the U.S. citizen up until the time the applicant takes the Oath of Allegiance.
- Has a good faith intent to reside abroad with the U.S. citizen spouse upon naturalization and to reside in the United States immediately upon the citizen spouse’s termination of employment abroad.
- Establish that he or she will depart to join the citizen spouse within 30 to 45 days after the date of naturalization.
- Understanding of basic English, including the ability to read, write, and speak.
- Knowledge of basic U.S. history and government.
- Demonstrate good moral character for at least three years prior to filing the application until the time of naturalization.
- Attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the U.S. during all relevant periods under the law.
What Employment Abroad would Qualify?
Qualifying employment abroad means to be under employment contract or orders for a Government Entity, such as:
- Government Agencies of the United States
- U.S. Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard, Coast Guard;
- An American Institution of Research recognized by the Attorney General;
- American firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the United States, or a subsidiary thereof;
- Public international organization in which the United States participates by treaty or statute;
- Authorized to perform the ministerial or priestly functions of a religious denomination having a bona fide organization within the United States; or
- Engaged solely as a missionary by a religious denomination or by an interdenominational mission organization having a bona fide organization within the United States.
Can the Spouse’s Naturalization be Expedited?
Not Really! Naturalization can be slow in some areas of the United States. Although it is generally requested to Expedite the spouse’s Naturalization filing, USCIS processes the filing as fast as possible with or without the Expedite Request.
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