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United States citizenship is a legal status that grants citizens rights and benefits through the United States Constitution and laws. The journey to acquiring U.S. citizenship can be daunting and confusing. Below are some common questions often asked.

What is the fastest way to acquire U.S. citizenship?

The fastest way to acquire U.S. Citizenship is to marry a U.S. citizen. Once an immigrant marries a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen spouse can file a petition for permanent residency on behalf of the immigrant. After the immigrant has continuously resided with their U.S. citizen spouse in the United States for 3 years, he/she can file an application for U.S. citizenship. On the other hand, an immigrant must be a permanent resident continuously residing for 5 years before they can file for citizenship if the green card is obtained through a sponsorship other than a U.S. citizen spouse.

What is the 4-year rule for U.S. citizenship?

The 4-year rule for acquiring U.S. citizenship refers to those that fail to meet the requirement of 5 years of continuous residence rule (3 years if married to a U.S. citizen). Individuals who break the residence requirement must wait 4 years and 1 day before applying for U.S. citizenship (2 years and 1 day if married to a U.S. citizen). It is very important individuals do not break the residence requirement or else they will have to start the process all over again.

How can I become a U.S. citizen for free?

Becoming a U.S. citizen is not free. The application for Naturalization has a filing fee of $640 plus the $85 biometrics fee for a total of $725. However, individuals can file for a fee waiver and must prove one of the following:

  • The individual, the spouse, or the head of household living with the individual has a means-tested benefit such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Child Tax Credit, etc.
  • The individual’s household income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • The individual is experiencing financial hardship such as family medical expenses, unemployment, eviction, etc.

The journey is complicated and needs the revision of experts in the field. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.


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