Q: Hello, my question is... I married a US Citizen back in Oct 25, 2018.
Applied for change of status and got my green card in April 22, 2022. How long do I have to wait until I can apply for citizenship?
is the time retroactive since I married?
A lawful permanent resident who has been living in marital union with a United States citizen for at least the past 3 years, may apply for naturalization after having their green card for 3-years, and USCIS allows applicants to file the application 90-days early, assuming all other requirements are met. All other applicants (not married to a USC) are eligible to apply for naturalization 90 days before their 5-years of residency, assuming all other requirements are met.
The date of your admission as a resident is listed on your green card and is not backdated to your date of marriage but is rather, the date your case was approved by USCIS. You can read more about naturalization based on marriage to a U.S. citizen here: https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-12-part-g-chapter-3#:~:text=The%20spouse%20must%20have%20continuously,at%20least%20those%203%20years
Based on U.S. immigration law, you can apply for citizenship after holding a green card for at least five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen. The time is not retroactive from the date of marriage; instead, it starts from the date you received your green card. Since you got your green card on April 22, 2022, you can apply for citizenship on or after April 22, 2027 (if you meet the five-year requirement) or on or after April 22, 2025 (if you meet the three-year requirement as a spouse of a U.S. citizen).
James L. Arrasmith
Founder and Chief Legal Counsel of The Law Offices of James L. Arrasmith
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