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Naturalization: 3yrs vs. 5yrs

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Hi guys!

I have been a greencard holder for 5 years now based on the marriage to my lovely wife. I haven't really thought much about naturalization the past few years but it has recently started crossing my mind. I looked up form N-400 online and saw that there are 2 options that would apply to me. Option 1 being, having been a legal resident alien for 3 years AND having been married for 3 years. And then option 2, being a permanent resident alien for 5 years. To be honest, my wife and I haven't really been keeping paperwork and bills and all that like we did when we got married and for the following 2 years in order to remove the conditions. Once all of that was over, we were just like.....thank god. Done with that haha So basically, what I am inquiring is, which out of the 2 options would involve the least paperwork. I don't know if this is true but I would imagine if I were to go with the 3 year option I would be required to send in a bunch of stuff to proof that we're still married and all of that, sort of like we did when we removed the conditions. The 5 year option seems just to be based on the fact that I have been a legal alien for 5 years. However, I'm just speculating. I don't know. I don't know if I CAN even use the 5 year option since we are still happily married.

If anyone could clarify that would be great!

Thank you.

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Choose the 5 year option - less paperwork involved. I got my LPR based on marriage (though I divorced 12 years later). When I applied for citizenship based on the 5 year rule I provided a copy of my green card and divorce decree in addition to the application and that was it. If you apply under the 3 year rule based on marriage you'll have to submit a bunch of marriage related paperwork. Save yourself the hassle!

05/01 - Married USC

06/01 - Filed I-130/I-485

01/03 - Conditional LPR approved

05/05 - Conditions removed

12/13 - Divorced USC

10/10/14 - Filed N-400 based on 5+yrs LPR

10/24/14 - NOA

11/12/14 - Fingerprinted

11/14/14 - In line e-notification

12/01/14 - E-notification of interview scheduled

12/05/14 - Received interview letter - Interview scheduled for January 8th.

01/08/15 - Passed citizenship interview and recommended for approval!

01/19/15 - In line for oath ceremony

02/19/15 - Oath scheduled for March 6th, 2015!

03/06/15 - Became a US citizen! :dancing:

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Great. Just a quick double-check....the 5 years are counted from the day my conditional greencard was issued correct? Thank you.

Yes... but that should be the same date as the Resident Since date on your current green card... make sure they're the same.

5 years from that date, minus 90 days is when you can apply.

Use the early filing calculator to determine the exact date you can mail in your application.


For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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