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Should i get married before of after becoming a citizen? and how could this affect the immigration process for my partner?

College Station, TX |

am currently a resident and as of october of this year i can apply for citizenship. my partner has been here about 10 years. we have a 5 year old daughter. he has traffic tickets but nothing major, never been arrested.

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I agree it will not matter, but since you are already a resident and you have a daughter together, you might want to consider getting married and filing a petition for your husband. The officer at USCIS will definitely ask about the father of your child, so as long as he is eligible to apply for permanent residency, you might as well start the process. Since you can apply beginning in October of this year, your interview for citizenship will probably not occur before January 2014. The oath will be several weeks later. By getting married now and filing an immigrant visa petition, you are in effect perfecting your back up plan. It's just a tactical move you might want to take to ensure all bases are covered. Good Luck!


should not matter. they will ask about him on the application. tell them. they do not have the resources to go get everyone and never have. is he eligible for deferred action for childhood arrivals? check that out as well. i am in austin and available for consultation if you want.

The advice that I give in each answer or legal is not intended to take the place of an in person consultation. A complete answer takes an in depth interview. After all, it is a life that is at stake. If you are in another city that I do not service ask me and I might be able to recommend you an attorney there. In general, in Houston, I recommend Adan Vega or Bruce Coane, Specialists. In Dallas I recommend Richard Fernandez, Elizabeth Cedillo or Yong Wood as highly skilled and experienced. In South Texas I recommend Jodi Goodwin from Harlengin or Leonel Perez of Edinburg. In San Antonio I recommend Bob or Nancy Shivers or drive to Austin to see me or my talented associate Jacqueline Watson.


You can get married whenever you want. You use the word "partner" which is usually associated with same sex couples. If you are a same sex couple, immigration benefits are not yet available. If you are not a same sex couple, then what will need to be done will depend on his current status, how he entered the US, whether he qualifies for 245(i), etc.

You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through

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.


I agree with my colleagues it is your decision to get married; since you do have a child together this is a good indication of bona fides of the marriage. As a permanent resident you can petition for a spouse or you can wait until you become a citizen and petition for them as an immediate relative of a US citizen. Whether this would be advisable would depend on several other factors. Consult with a competent AILA immigration attorney to be advised about the benefits of immediate relative status and whether you should petition for him once married. I think I also would be clear that you must always be forthcoming and truthful on any application, including for naturalization and list him as your spouse if you do indeed get married before filing. If this is a same-sex partner that is another issue beyond the scope of this answer but there may be some changes on the horizon relating to same-sex partners in the proposal by President Obama relating to immigration reform.

No attorney-client relationship is created or implied by this communication in any way. Consult a competent immigration attorney preferably one who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).


I agree with other colleagues. It does not matter whether you want to marry now or wait after you have gotten your citizenship. If you marry now and file a petition for your partner before obtaining your citizenship, you should truthfully mention your partner on the petition. Once you become citizen, your partner's status will switch immediate relatives and not F2A category.

If he qualifies, he can apply deferred action benefit at the moment so that he can work legally. DACA application can be taken place at the same time as you file the I-130 petition for your partner.

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