Immigration Law

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Citizenship through Marriage

Many people try to get citizenship of the U.S. through the route of marrying a U.S. citizen. There are specific eligibility criteria which determine whether a person can get a citizenship of the U.S. through marriage. One has to follow those rules to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. Many times there are legal issues that prevent a person from getting their citizenship. When this happens legal question may come up that a person may not have the answers. Listed below are a few commonly asked questions about citizenship through marriage that have been answered by Experts.

I wish to marry a Japanese citizen who came here on a student work visa. She has 8 more months of work permit and 2 months of extension. If we get married what will be her status? What other issues could arise in the future in case we are married? If a Japanese citizen is in the U, S, on a work visa, was to get married what will his/her status be? Is there any other issues that could arise after the marriage?

First of all he/she would need to get a green card. To obtain a green card through work he/she would have to have a sponsor company and this could take anywhere between 3 to 6 years. But in case of marriage, if the future spouse were to petition for him/her they could possibly have one in around 6 months. Initially a 2 year green card may be given after which he/she would need to prove that the marriage is genuine. In the case of a divorce beforehand it would become a bit difficult to prove that it was a genuine marriage. Many times if a falsified marriage is proved, the U.S. citizen is often responsible for life to pay back the U.S. government for any government assistance that was used such as welfare, food stamps, etc. The responsibility ends only under certain circumstances but divorce per se does not end the responsibility.

I am a victim of marriage fraud for citizenship. We are married only on paper we never lived together, how would I get out of this without filing for a divorce?

The only option that may be available is to revoke the sponsorship and withdraw the application you had filed on his/her behalf. Include any identifying information and that would help them locate the file. Remember to send the letter to the same address where you had petitioned earlier on his/her behalf. As far as the marriage is concerned, the only way out of that is by means of divorce. Divorce laws vary by state so you would need to understand how the law applies to you in your state. If you are not sure, you could ask an Expert to provide legal insights.

I am an American citizen and want to marry a Mexican citizen while retaining our original citizenship. Is that possible?

Both U.S. and Mexico allow for dual citizenship. Hence just because of marriage your citizenship status will not be affected. If your spouse wants U.S. citizenship he or she would have to file the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative and the I-485 (Adjustment of Status) application. Your spouse may be able to become a U.S. citizen only after living with you for three years after marriage and has to hold a lawful permanent resident status for three years.

I got residence through marriage to my U.S. citizen husband. I just applied for my citizenship after 3 years of marriage, but one of my two kids turned 19 during that period. Does he have to wait 2 more years as a resident to apply for his citizenship?

The law is clear on this subject leaving no room for ambiguity. If he wants to get automatic citizenship through you, your case has to be settled before he turns 18. As it looks in this case, now he would have to wait for four years and nine months of his residency before his application could be taken up for consideration.

We had petitioned for U.S. citizenship for our son-in-law based on marriage to our daughter. We are going to terminate the marriage due to his lack of moral character and other reasons. Can we file an appeal with NIS regarding his Naturalization if we can prove that his intent for application itself was deceitful?

As per law you cannot withdraw your letters, or oppose his Application for Citizenship. Even if he has repeatedly failed to fulfill his commitments as a husband and displayed traits of moral turpitude, there is little that you can do in terms of thwarting the lawful process of his obtaining the citizenship. Your daughter’s citizenship helped him acquire permanent resident alien status and he may be able to legally claim citizenship status. Citizenship through marriage is one of the many ways a person can become a U.S. citizen. While it is a great way of getting your spouse into the U.S. as a citizen it has legalities that often a person is not ready to face. Legal questions are sure to surface when one does not understand the law regarding citizenship through marriage. Consulting a legal Expert would be in the best interest of anyone facing these situations.

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