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I'm a u.s citizen, can I marry a green cardholder?

West Covina, CA |

My boyfriend's father petition him and I believe he has been here in America for 3 years now. And I wanted to know if I can marry a green cardholder? And how long do I have to wait to make him a u.s. citizen.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Of course you can marry a greencard holder. You could marry a person illegally present in the U.S. too for that matter. It would just be a little more difficult to obtain legal status for such a person.

See the link below for general requirements for naturalization. One generally has to have been a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years to naturalize, only 3 if they acquired residency through a spousal relationship.

Jamahl C. Kersey (619) 399-3662 is an Immigration and Criminal Defense attorney licensed in CA. The answer above is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client. Best regards, Jamahl C. Kersey KERSEY & SABAWI 5703 Oberlin Drive Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92121 Tel: 619.399.3662 Fax: 888.765.5894


Yes certainly. Three years but he has to take a test and pass. He may be eligible now to apply if he has held residency for more than 5 years. See a lawyer to determine eligibility.

Robert West



What kind of test is it Mr. West?

Jennifer Doerrie

Jennifer Doerrie


It is the test that is part of the naturalization application/exam process. You may wish to review the naturalization information on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website:


Yes, you can marry whoever you like. The green card holder can apply for naturalization 5 years after he got his green card or 3 years after he marries you, whichever comes first.

(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.