Q: 3 years wait time for naturalization, can some time counts towards that 3 years?
I am married to an american citizen for 10 years prior to coming to the US, in 2018, on an L1-A (manager transfer) visa. I received my green card last December of 2019 after a petition for alien relative.
I understand naturalization has a 3 years wait time before applying, after obtaining permanent resident status.
I would like to know in my case if any of the time prior to becoming a permanent resident can count towards that 3 years wait time?
A: Unfortunately, no. The 3-year clock regarding eligibility for naturalization under INA § 319(a) begins as of the date you acquired U.S. legal permanent resident status.
Ana S. Mendieta agrees with this answer
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A: You may qualify for Naturalization if you have been a permanent resident for 3 years or more and meet all eligibility requirements to file as a spouse of a U.S. citizen (i.e. have been living in marital union with the same U.S. citizen spouse during such time), and you must also meet all other eligibility requirements under Section 319(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Of course, there are exceptions, among others is, if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad you MAY qualify for naturalization regardless of your time as permanent resident under Section 319(b) of the INA.
I state these exceptions to reiterate the importance of hiring an Immigration attorney to help you navigate the immigration process.
Ana S. Mendieta, ESQ.
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