US Citizenship through Marriage

Eligibility by Category

The spouse of a US citizen who resides in the United States may be eligible to file an Application for Naturalization on the basis of his or her marriage.


The Immigration and Naturalization Act describes special provisions for the spouse of a US citizen living in the United States. The spouse must have continuously resided in the US after becoming a permanent resident for at least three years immediately preceding the date of filing a naturalization application and up to the time of naturalization.

The applicant must have lived in marital union with his or her US citizen spouse for at least three years prior to filing.(The citizen spouse must have been a US citizen for those three years.) USCIS considers you to be “living in marital union” with your citizen spouse if both of you actually reside together.

You must continue to be the spouse of a US citizen up until the time you take the Oath of Allegiance in the naturalization ceremony.


If you consider applying for US citizenship through marriage, you must be a lawful permanent resident, age 18 or older, at the time of filing your application.


You must have been physically present in the United States for at least 18 months (548 days) out of the three years immediately preceding the date of filing the application.


You must have lived within the state or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence for at least three months prior to the date of filing.


The applicant must demonstrate good moral character for at least three years prior to filing the application until the time of naturalization.


Please note: Citizenship through Marriage Isn’t Mandatory.
In many cases, the spouse of a U.S. citizen may also qualify for naturalization not only based on marriage but, alternatively, also on the basis of five years’ continuous residence as a green card holder. Generally, it is easier to prepare an application when applying for citizenship based on five years as a permanent resident, because you do not have to submit additional documents about your marriage and US citizen spouse.

Other requirements:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including ability to read, write, and speak within the scope of ordinary usage.
  • Show a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the US history and the basic principles and elements of government of the United States (civics).
  • Devotion to the principles of the US Constitution and observance of American laws and public order regulations throughout the relevant period.


Are you eligible for US naturalization? Sign up for a free test! In three minutes you will find out your eligibility.

Also, you can sign up for a free personal consultation with our immigration specialist accredited by US Immigration and Citizenship Services .

US Citizenship may be granted automatically to the children of US citizens coming from abroad, no matter where the birth or adoption took place.
Besides spouses and children under 18, all direct relatives may reunite with their parents, grown children, and siblings.
The most common pathway to naturalization is continuous residence. As the American nation was built on and by immigrants from around the world, seeking freedom, happiness, and prosperity...
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