Permanent residents, or green card holders, who have been married to a US citizen for at least 3 years, are eligible to apply for naturalization after just 3 years of permanent residency instead of 5. This is known as the marriage rule.
Learn exactly how marriage changes the eligibility requirements and what you'll need to include in your application to become a US citizen.
|Continuous residency||Physical presence|
30+ months total out of the last 5 years
18+ months total out of the last 3 years
Keep in mind that your spouse must be a citizen for at least 3 years in order to qualify.
You must also meet the standard eligibility requirements:
If you meet these requirements, you can apply for citizenship using USCIS form N-400. In addition to the form, you’ll also need to include 2 passport-style photographs and information that proves you are married to a US citizen.
Unless otherwise noted, make sure to send copies of these documents. USCIS will not return any original documents. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need to include:
1. Your current marriage certificate.
2. Evidence that your spouse has been a US citizen for the last 3 years. Send 1 of the following:
3. If you or your spouse were previously married, send proof that the old marriage has ended (divorce decree, annulment, or death certificate).
4. Documents related to your current marriage. Send 1 of the following options:
Note that USCIS will require a $680 application fee and other supporting documents, depending on your eligibility.
During the interview, the officer might ask you simple questions about your marriage, like how long you have been married or how you met. This is just to verify the information you included in your application. Your spouse will not need to attend the interview.
If you have any questions about your application or eligibility, talk to an immigration lawyer.