If you are a permanent or conditional resident of the United States of America, you know that you cannot become full citizen until you have lived on US soil for 5 years. You are probably opening your green card every day counting the days until you can apply to naturalize or apply for citizenship. Are there any exception to the rule? Read below to find out more about the process.
If you have got your residence through marrying with an US citizen, or via an investor visa, you will have two years as a conditional resident and these can count as permanent residence provided at the end of these two years, you successfully become a permanent resident.
What is the 90- days early rule?
Your immigration attorney will explain that you are required to fulfill the five years of permanent residence, but prior to that period ending, you can submit your application for naturalization with the USCIS with three months in advance. You will have to use a N-400 form, and the ensuing process is generally a lengthy one: you will be called for interviews, fingerprints, for application review, US history and government knowledge as well as a language test. As more and more applications are received daily, the USCIS will take at least ninety days to call you for your first interview, this is why it is recommended to start applying early.
What are the rules for people married to US citizens?
If you have been a conditional or permanent resident living in the US as a spouse to a citizen, your waiting period is normally three years. However, you and your immigration attorney will have to provide solid proof that you qualify to apply for citizenship. The exception actually applies to people who have not received their green card as a result of marriage, but rather got it from various other means, employment being one of the most frequent examples. To prove your marriage is not a convenience one, you will need to stay married to the same US citizen all the way through the naturalization and citizenship obtaining process.
If you are wondering: are there any exception to the marriage rule?- the answer is yes. Any seasoned immigration attorney will tell you that, an exception is made in the case of battered spouses of US citizens. According to new rules and regulations, immigrants don’t have to forcefully remain married to an abusive spouse for three years, in order to obtain the three year waiting exception. Your attorney will have to prove your spouse is being emotionally or physically abusive, and when this is done, you can apply for citizenship using this exception.
What are other exception to the five year rule?
People who have entered the United States as asylum seekers or refugees can use one year of that stay as a permanent resident, a situation which is generally called rollback.
For more information on the process, feel free to contact your reliable immigration attorney.