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Marriage and Citizenship

Posted on in Marriage

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, marriage laws,For millions of people around the world, coming to the United States and becoming a citizen here is a dream. Although the process for becoming an American citizen is basically the same for all entrants to this country, being married to a U.S. citizen means that an individual must take certain steps to obtain his or her green card and begin the naturalization process. The naturalization process is the process through which one becomes a U.S. citizen and involves certain paperwork, passing a written civics exam, and proof of the applicant’s marital relationship with a current citizen. This process cannot begin without a green card.

Obtaining a Green Card

A green card is the proof that an individual holds that shows that he or she is a permanent resident of the United States, rather than a visitor.

An individual who is married to a U.S. citizen may obtain a green card through either of the following methods, depending on whether he or she is in the United States when he or she applies for the document.

If he or she is outside of the United States when he or she applies, the individual must use a process known as consular processing to complete the application. With this route, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services works with the Department of State to issue a visa to the applicant once his or her copy of Form I-130 is approved. With this visa, the individual then becomes a U.S. citizen upon entering the United States.

If the applicant is currently in the United States and married to a U.S. citizen who is also in the country, he or she may apply for a green card by filling out Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The U.S. citizen spouse must also fill out a form, Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative.


Once the applicant has his or her green card, the naturalization process may begin. For an individual who is married to a U.S. citizen, this process may begin as long as he or she meets the following requirements:

  • He or she meets all requirements included in the Immigration and Nationality Act for citizenship applicants who are married to current citizens; and
  • He or she has been a permanent resident of the United States for three years or longer, during which time he or she has lived in a marital union with the U.S. citizen spouse.

Contact an experienced attorney to help you understand all of your legal obligations related to becoming a citizen before you begin the process. He or she can guide you through the process and answer any questions you or your spouse have about your green card or citizenship status.

Family Law Attorneys in Kane County

Goostree Law Group can help you work through the process of obtaining a green card and becoming a U.S. citizen. Sometimes, going through the legal route of becoming a naturalized citizen can be time consuming and offer many opportunities to make mistakes. Let one of the experienced Kane County family law attorneys at our firm guide you through this process and help you become a citizen of the United States.

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