I was told that marrying an American would get you a green card sooner and that you can apply for naturalization in 3 years after getting the green card. However, with an employer green card, the naturalization would happen 5 years later.

How long would one have to wait if they got their green card from their employer and married an American citizen? Would they have to wait for 5 or 3 years before applying for naturalization?

1 Answer 1


You're eligible to apply for naturalization if you were a green card holder for 5 years, or if you were a green card holder and married to a US citizen for 3 years.

How you got the green card doesn't matter. But to qualify for the 3-years eligibility period you have to be both married to the US citizen spouse and have a green card for the 3 years preceding the application. You cannot, for example, marry a US citizen 3 years after getting a green card based on your employment and then immediately apply for naturalization.

See the USCIS eligibility tool for details.

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