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Apply now or do we have to wait?

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Before you all bite my head off because I am sure this has been asked a million times-hear me out. I got married to my best friend back in 2015 legally and had a religious marriage two years prior (2013). He entered the US legally in 2013 under the DV visa. Since he has been here we have lived together and share a son born in 2015. We want to know the legalities surrounding filing for his citizenship since he has lived here more than 3 years-and been with me the entire time. The state we reside in currently recognizes common law marriage but the previous state does not. Do we need to wait until 2018 to file? At that point it'd be a moot point to apply through marriage vs under 5 year as it would only be a few months difference and I've heard that under the 3 year plan is a lot more work. Yes, I've also asked an attorney for advice but I haven't gotten a straight answer yet. Hopefully someone who has been in a similar situation can chime in. Thanks for reading! :)

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You need to be legally married for 3 years; common law marriage doesn't count, so I'm afraid he will have to wait.

Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Looks like USCIS recognises common law marriage, so long as:

"USCIS ​recognizes common law marriages ​for ​purposes of ​naturalization if the marriage was valid ​and recognized by the state​ in which ​the marriage​ was established​.​ [17] This applies ​even if the ​naturalization ​application is filed in a jurisdiction that does not recognize or has never recognized the principle of common law marriage.​"

via: https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartG-Chapter2.html

But, it seems confusing and based on where you were at the time of the forming the marriage. Did you ever get any paperwork?

Since he seems to prefer the idea of filing under the 5 year rule, anyway - why not just wait til 2018 and forget about it for now? He'll definitely be eligible then, and his LPR status doesn't expire so long as he's maintaining his residency - it's indefinitely renewable.

* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived


* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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Well he'd actually like to apply as soon as possible as would I. The confusion lays in whether or not we can have a successful application using the common law marriage. We have had joint accounts and what not probably a little over two years and filed one joint tax return. Does anyone have any experience using this method? Thanks!

Edited by MaghrebiSun

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