USCIS Clarifies Marriage and Living in Marital Union Requirements for Naturalization

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a Policy Alert clarifying the requirements for Naturalization for spouses of U.S. citizens. Normally, a person must be a lawful permanent resident (that is has a green card) for 5 years before they can apply for Naturalization as a U.S. citizen. However, spouses of U.S. citizens may apply after only 3 years.

USCIS has clarified that for permanent resident spouses to apply they must have been “living in marital union” (living together) with their spouse for 3 years immediately prior to filing the Naturalization application. Prior guidance had required that the spouses be living together at the time of application AND at the time of the Naturalization interview. That is no longer the case.

The USCIS guidance also confirms that termination of the marriage at any time before the applicant takes the Oath of Allegiance for Naturalization makes the applicant ineligible under the 33-year rule.

If you filed a Naturalization application while you were still living with your spouse and have now separated, you should try to hold off on finalizing your divorce until after you have taken the Oath of Allegiance. So long as you are still legally married when your Oath ceremony takes place, you will remain eligible under the 3-year rule.
Contact a Virginia Naturalization Attorney.

We can help you with your Naturalization application as well as most other immigration issues. Contact attorney Jeffrey Van Doren today for assistance. Mr. Van Doren has more than 20 years’ experience helping clients in Virginia and West Virginia solve their immigration problems.