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How long does it take to get citizenship of an american citizen's spouse?

Foley, MN |

I am american citizen and want to marry in a foreign country.How long will it to bring her here and to make her a citizen?

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Attorney answers 4


If all goes well, the family based petition process can take any where from 7 months to a year. You have to submit a family based petition. Once approved you must deal with the National Visa Center and show that she has a means of economic support here in the US. Then she will go through consular processing. Once the spouse reaches the United States she will be given a green card. It will have conditions that need to be removed at the two year mark if you have been married less than two years.

The spouse may become a United States citizen after three years of being a green card holder so long as you are still a couple. If not, the spouse must wait five years to apply for citizenship.

I know that it sounds easy enough but it actually isn't so simple. I suggest that you contact an attorney for further guidance and so that you can explore your options given that you aren't married yet.


I agree with my colleague, and I add the following. US immigration law has a strong presumption that your marriage will be fraudulent. You must show "by clear and convincing evidence" that it is not. The burden is on you to show documentary proof. If you try to do this without any experience, you will very likely have many problems, delays, and, ultimately, higher legal fees to straighten things out once they get messed up.

Andrew M. Bramante, Rosner Partners, 216-771-5588. Free telephone consultation. You should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney to make certain that the advice you received is appropriate for your particular immigration case.


Citizenship can be obtained after three years in a resident status. If everything goes smoothly, your spouse may be able to enter as a resident 6 to 12 months after you petition for her.

Nothing in this post shall be construed as a legal advice. If you need advice regarding your particular situation, please contact my office directly. This information is transferred without an intent to creat an attorney-client relationship.


About 5.5 years, once she is a permanent resident.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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