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Speedier naturalization through U.S. citizen spouses

When U.S. citizens marry foreign nationals, their spouse does not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship. Most of us in Reading realize this. Having a U.S. citizen as a family member, however, can make the naturalization process a lot quicker. Unlike most immigrants who must spend five years as U.S. permanent residents before they can apply for naturalization, foreign nationals who are married to U.S. citizens need only spend three years as permanent residents before applying.

There are certainly pluses and minuses to being the spouse of a U.S. citizen, though. One of the minuses is that a couple's relationship may come under the scrutiny of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Even though the naturalization process is generally considered to be simpler for spouses and family members of U.S. citizens, it is not easy to become a citizen. Many people rely on their immigration lawyers to navigate the numerous forms, questions, tests and pieces of evidence necessary to prove that they can be sworn in as U.S. citizens.

Lawyers may also be able to help if there are any questions about the validity of a marriage.

In addition to being in the U.S. for three years as a permanent resident, an applicant must also have been in the country for the 18 months prior to applying. He or she must have been married for the three years prior to application, too.

Applying to become an immigrant may be difficult, but it is something that men and women in Pennsylvania are doing all the time. Supposing all of the criteria have been met, it is only a matter of time before many applicants are able to become American citizens.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Citizenship Through Naturalization," Accessed July 17, 2014

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