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Kalciaa

New Policy: Marriage and Living in Marital Union Requirements for Naturalization

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Hello,

I hope the thread was not created regarding this matter yet. I couldn't find it, so I'm posting. 

On October 12 new policy was issued. I am a bit confused on the meaning for this document. Can anybody advise? Is my understanding- you have to remain married to USC spouse (even if abusive/ other abnormal circumstances) until the day after naturalization- in order to be eligible? Please let me know your thoughts. 

 

 

image.png.7173c2def981f2dddfbb7f730557169f.png

20181012-MaritalUnion.pdf

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28 minutes ago, Kalciaa said:

Is my understanding- you have to remain married to USC spouse (even if abusive/ other abnormal circumstances) until the day after naturalization- in order to be eligible? Please let me know your thoughts. 

The policy is being updated to clarify that you must remain legally married until naturalized. You only need to be in marital union for 3 years prior to filing the application....not afterwards. Note the distinction between being married and marital union...these are very different aspects.

Abuse cases are handled the same way. An LPR that obtained their green card via an approved VAWA petition can still naturalize under the 3 year rule. Abuse after becoming an LPR is unchanged.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Not really sure what you are asking.  If you are filing under the 3 year rule based on marriage, you have to remain married to one’s USC spouse to be eligible.  This document doesn’t say anything about an abusive spouse and if one has an abusive spouse then they can get a divorce and then eventually file based on the five year rule.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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I don't really get what the question is here or why abusive or abnormal circumstances matter. If an immigrant divorces due to those reasons or others (but does not file VAWA), they are still eligible for naturalization under the 5-year rule.

 

This memo simply states that those filing under the 3-year naturalization must have been living with their USC spouse for at least 3 years before filing. That's the case for most people since AoS and the spousal visa processes take a year by themselves. This is on top of fulfilling the other requirements too.

Edited by mushroomspore

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14 minutes ago, mushroomspore said:

This memo simply states that those filing under the 3-year naturalization must have been living with their USC spouse for at least 3 years before filing. That's the case for most people since AoS and the spousal visa processes take a year by themselves. This is on top of fulfilling the other requirements too.

Just to clarify, it's living in marital union, which is more than just living together.

Only the time spent as an LPR counts....AOS processing time and spousal visa time does not count.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Thank you for your responses. Someone on Houston AOS group on Facebook posted it, and there were a lot of theories regarding the meaning of it. Just to clarify- if divorced prior to neutralizing, but with green card (not the conditional one) one can still naturalize after 5 years of obtaining residency via marriage? 

 

 

image.png.64c468543fcc070290470232b403ce2d.pngimage.png.f093ed43656a6aa1fa1d81e191766da7.png

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You can still naturalize based on 5 years of being an LPR. There are no changes to anything regarding the 5 year rule.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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This is such an odd policy that encourages abused to stay with their abusers, or encourages people to stay together even if they’re better off divorced... if you wanna use the 3 year rule.

 

Who even thought this was a brilliant change clearly didn’t think through all possible scenarios.

Edited by ivyyy

“The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some
of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence.
And there are so many silences to be broken.”

Audre Lorde

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How does this encourage people to stay with their abusers? It's more lenient than before. Previously, one needed to remain in marital union all the way through naturalization for the 3 year rule. Now they only need that until they file for naturalization.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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15 minutes ago, geowrian said:

How does this encourage people to stay with their abusers? It's more lenient than before. Previously, one needed to remain in marital union all the way through naturalization for the 3 year rule. Now they only need that until they file for naturalization.

 

16 minutes ago, Damara said:

Abuse policies have NOT changed- that means if you get a GC through VAWA you can file n-400 at 3yrs. Also if you file 751 with abuse waiver checkbox and are approved you CAN file n-400 at 3yr mark.

 

USCIS does NOT encourage people to stay in abusive situations and have polices to prevent this.

 

It still says termination of marriage prior to oath ceremony makes you ineligible. So, you don’t have to live with your abuser but you can’t terminate a marriage before you do the oath. This to me is STILL all sorts of wrong. 

 

And the whole 3 year requirement to be “living together” seems too traditional & doesn’t take into account special circumstances. This statement is too general that it can be taken too strictly or too loosely. I mean, for instance, I’m married to someone in the military. Since we have careers we both want to pursue, we have only lived together in the same house for 2 of the 6 years we’ve been married.  I know at least 3 more couples who have done the same thing. Under this new policy, our marriages can’t be considered bonafide marriages anymore because we weren’t “living together”. So tragically old-fashioned to the point of being sexist.

Edited by ivyyy

“The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some
of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence.
And there are so many silences to be broken.”

Audre Lorde

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7 minutes ago, ivyyy said:

It still says termination of marriage prior to oath ceremony makes you ineligible. So, you don’t have to live with your abuser but you can’t terminate a marriage before you do the oath. This to me is STILL all sorts of wrong. 

This is a requirement under the INA and has been that way for a while. USCIS policy cannot override law.

In the vast majority of cases, getting divorced in the span between filing for naturalization and taking the oath is unlikely.

If one does divorce, they can still qualify under the 5 year rule like any other LPR.

Edit: An LPR and can leave an abusive marriage at any time without consequence. People who obtained a green card via VAWA can file under the 3 year still...their status was tied to their abuser w/o VAWA.

 

Quote

And the whole 3 year requirement to be “living together” seems too traditional & doesn’t take into account special circumstances. This statement is too general that it can be taken too strictly or too loosely. I mean, for instance, I’m married to someone in the military. Since we have careers we both want to pursue, we have only lived together in the same house for 2 of the 6 years we’ve been married.  I know at least 3 more couples who have done the same thing. Under this new policy, our marriages can’t be considered bonafide marriages anymore because we weren’t “living together”. So arcane.

There is no requirement to live together (although not living together better have a good explanation). The requirement is to live in marital union. Circumstances like you describes are covered.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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@ivyyy

You are not looking at the whole picture just one policy clarification. Meaning yes this policy says 3yrs etc but another (unchanged) policy says 751 abuse waivers and VAWA petitioners are EXEMPT from this 3yr policy discussed here.

I also believe military are exempt from above policy as well. Some one can check and verify.

 

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9 hours ago, ivyyy said:

This is such an odd policy that encourages abused to stay with their abusers, or encourages people to stay together even if they’re better off divorced... if you wanna use the 3 year rule.

 

Who even thought this was a brilliant change clearly didn’t think through all possible scenarios.

It isn't a change.  It's a clarification.  IF you want to use the 3-yr rule based on marriage you have to be married.  If it did not work out it defaults to the 5 year rule anyway.

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