U.S. citizenship comes with tremendous benefits, rights and privileges. While most Americans are born on U.S. soil, there are a few other ways you can earn your citizenship if you are a foreign national. One way of acquiring citizenship is through naturalization by marrying an American citizen. But, what kind of paperwork do you need to go through to become a U.S. citizen by marriage?
Conditions for applying for U.S. citizenship through marriage
To begin your application for naturalization, you will be required to fill and submit the Application for Naturalization form (Form N-400 alongside the USCIS filing fees.
Here are the conditions you must meet to apply for citizenship through marriage.
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must be lawfully a permanent resident of the U.S. for at least three years
Supporting documents you must submit when applying for citizenship through marriage
- Evidence of your spouse’s citizenship
You will be required to provide evidence that your spouse has been an American citizen for at least three years at the time of filing your Form N-400. Acceptable documents for this include a birth certificate, a citizenship certificate, a naturalization certificate, a valid U.S. passport or a consular report to prove overseas birth.
- Evidence of marriage
You must prove that you are legally married to the same spouse for at least three years as at the time of submitting your citizenship application. Acceptable proof of marriage includes a marriage certificate or any other official document stating that your marriage is legal and valid.
- Evidence that any previous marriages have been lawfully terminated
If either spouse was married before, you will be required to provide evidence that those previous marriages have been lawfully terminated. For this, you will be required to submit divorce ruling, annulment or death certificates.
U.S. citizenship is one of the most sought-after certificates by millions of people worldwide. Understanding the steps and documentation you need to provide when applying for citizenship through marriage can ensure that you get the desired outcome and access full rights and privileges that come with being an American.