How long do I have to be married to my U.S. citizen spouse before I can apply?
To apply for citizenship based on marriage to your U.S. citizen spouse, you must have been married for at least 3 years and you must have had your green card for at least 3 years.
What if I am not living with my spouse? Can I still apply based on my marriage?
No. To qualify to apply for citizenship based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you are required to be living with your spouse during the application process and until the time of the interview/oath ceremony.
What if we are (legally) separated?
If you are legally separated from your U.S. citizen spouse, you are not eligible to apply for citizenship after 3 years of having your green card. In this case, you must wait until you have had your green card for 5 years to apply.
Does it matter whether my spouse was born in the U.S. or became a citizen?
No. You can qualify to apply for citizenship based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen if your spouse was born here or if he/she became a citizen. However, your spouse must have been a U.S. citizen during the entire qualifying 3 year period of your marriage.
What proof do I need to show my spouse is a citizen?
Depending on how your spouse received U.S. citizenship, there are different documents that you can submit to show his/her citizenship:
- U.S. birth certificate
- U.S. naturalization certificate
- U.S. certificate of citizenship
- U.S. passport
I received my green card through VAWA and am no longer married to my husband/wife. When am I eligible to apply?
You are eligible to apply for citizenship after you have had your green card for 3 years. You do not have to meet the requirements of being married to and living with a U.S. citizen if you received your green card through VAWA.
What documents do I need to prove my marriage?
If you are applying for citizenship based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you must provide copies of your marriage certificate with your application. If your marriage certificate is from another country and is in a language other than English, you must also submit a certified translation with the marriage certificate. You should only send copies of these documents with your application and bring the originals to your interview. Never send original documents with your application!
I have been married more than once. Do I have to show divorce/death certificates from my previous marriages?
Yes. USCIS wants to make sure that you are legally married to the qualifying U.S. citizen spouse and so you must submit proof that any other marriage ended. This is also true for your spouse if he/she has been married more than once.