If you live in Kentucky and want to become a United States citizen, you may think marriage is the best route. Naturalization, or the process of becoming a citizen, can occur through marriage, but you must meet a number of other requirements laid out by the government. Also, there are other factors involved that may lead to deportation even when you follow the guidelines.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are a number of eligibility requirements you must meet before qualifying for naturalization. These include:
- Being a green card holder for a minimum of three years
- Being married to the same person for the same time you have had your green card
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Having lived in the jurisdiction district or state for a minimum of three months before applying
- Being present physically in the country for a minimum of 18 months out of the three years
- Not leaving the country between the time of the application filing and naturalization approval
- Being in good moral and legal standing
- Being knowledgeable of civics and having the ability to speak, write and read English
The New York Times warns that even a fully-legal marriage does not guarantee citizenship. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is able to deport married spouses in cases where there was a past deportation notification that was not enforced. Going in for the residency interview can result in both approval and arrest. Some who are arrested are eventually let out and allowed to stay, while others are deported. It is best to speak with an immigration attorney if there is anything in your past that may cause problems for you along the way.