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I am a perm resident with an expiring card but want to be a citizen. Should I file on my own or marry my citizen fiance?

Phoenix, AZ |

My card doesn't expire until next year but I would like to become a citizen instead of renewing it. I've been with my fiance since Dec. '08. but lived together since 2010. My question is, which would be the easier, faster and most economical approach? Citizenship through marriage or independantly filing?

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Attorney answers 3


If you have been a green card holder for at least 5 years, you can apply for US citizenship now.
Marriage to a US citizen will make no difference.

Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic, Skype or In-Person
600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: (English) (Spanish)

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


I agree with my colleague, you are eligible to apply on your own based upon having five years as a lawful permanent resident. Marriage will not speed up or change the process in any way.

Best of luck to you!!


You cannot get citizenship through marriage. You must apply for it. The process and cost to get citizenship is exactly the same whether you are married, single, divorced, or widowed.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

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