Becoming a Citizen Through Your Spouse
July 30, 2018
Foreign nationals who marry a United States citizen may not be eligible for citizenship right away but could be eligible for a green card. Not only is a green card the first step for naturalization through marriage, but it allows foreign nationals to legally live and work in the United States. Those who apply for a green card must demonstrate eligibility through one of the following categories:
- Victim of abuse or crime
The are several other factors that could qualify immigrants for a green card, so it is important to check with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consult with a Philadelphia immigration lawyer.
Naturalization Through Marriage Requirements
Once a green card is held for three years, Form N-400 for naturalization can be filled out. Additionally, the American spouse must have held citizenship for at least three years preceding the application. Couples must be living together, and all applicants should be able to read, write, and speak English. Additionally, USCIS notes that applicants must be of good moral character, which are those who have not been convicted of murder, a felony, or violated any immigration laws.
However, even if all requirements are met and the paperwork is completed, couples will be interviewed with the purpose of demonstrating that they share a life together.
How USCIS Detects Marriage Fraud
Those entering a marriage with the purpose of evading U.S. immigration laws risk being charged with marriage fraud. Marriage fraud is considered a felony in the United States and those who are caught in a fraudulent marriage can face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. This applies to both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens that perpetrate this crime.
The U.S. government will not normally investigate an applicant’s life beyond the required paperwork and interviews, but if the marriage relationship is in question, the investigation could extend to employers, friends, parents, and other family members. In some cases, inspectors will visit the marriage home without warning.
However, all of this is usually not necessary because immigration authorities will require substantial proof that will unquestionably identify a marriage as authentic or fraudulent. Although many may feel that the required proof is extensive, the government considers it to be standard fare for those who are truly sharing a life together. For example, joint bank accounts, shared vehicles, and property in both spouses’ names are natural byproducts of a trusting marriage relationship. Children born from the marriage or an adopted step-child will also demonstrate a loving, established connection.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Assist Clients with Obtaining Citizenship
If you need help obtaining a green card, citizenship through marriage, or other immigration assistance, the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC are well versed in immigration law and are ready to fight for your rights. For a free consultation, call us today at 215-496-0690 or contact us online. We are in Philadelphia and we serve clients from the surrounding areas.