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Can US citizenship through marriage be 'transfered' to a new spouse?

hello 22 | 891  
17 Aug 2009 /  #1
I was asked an interesting question regarding US citizenship/immigration status, but I couldn't find a definite answer. So I count on PF community.

Let's assume a woman receives a US citizenship because she got married with a US-born US citizen. But after a couple of years her husband dies.

The question is - can she marry again to a man who has no US-citizenship and after that this man would get US citizenship?

I heard two 'versions' of the story:

a) when they get married, the man can receive green card and then US citizenship,

b) when they get married, the man will not receive green card or US citizenship because a person who got US citizenship through marriage with another US citizen cannot 'transfer' her citizenship status to another person through a future marriage.

Which one is true?
PlasticPole 7 | 2,650  
17 Aug 2009 /  #2
Not sure but it's likely once she is a citizen she can marry someone and if they qualify they can go thru the same process as anyone else married to a citizen and gain citizenship.
OP hello 22 | 891  
17 Aug 2009 /  #3
That would make logical sense. But I also heard you cannot 'transfer' your citizenship status to another immigrant due to possible abuse. Maybe the laws has changed recently in that aspect?
PlasticPole 7 | 2,650  
17 Aug 2009 /  #4
You don't really transfer it anyway. The spouses get some kind of preferential treatment but they go thru the same process to become a citizen. Once they become a citizen they are a full citizen and if they marry someone who isn't one the same thing applies to that person. I don't think it's the actual citizenship that get's transfered.
17 Aug 2009 /  #5
None of them lol… As far as I know getting married doesn't give you anything… you'll need to apply for a permanent resident first (green card), then after a few years of a basic residency you can apply for a citizenship. As for the marring a no-us citizen, it doesn't matter… u can marry whoever hell you want but u still have to go through the immigration process if he/she's not an American.
Amanda91 1 | 135  
17 Aug 2009 /  #6
As far as I know getting married doesn't give you anything

well, it does, at least you can apply for a green card but it's not that easy at all. The best way is to apply for a green card at the American Embassy in Warsaw (if you're Polish). As far as I know, it's a little bit more complicated if you start applying in the US.
plk123 8 | 4,148  
17 Aug 2009 /  #7
a) but if you search the news you will also find that the exact scenario you mentioned has been in the news because the "brides" citizenship was taken away.. there are time frames and other rules that come into play besides the marriage etc..
OP hello 22 | 891  
17 Aug 2009 /  #8
OK thank you, that should clarify this. Someone will sleep better tonight lol
18 Aug 2009 /  #10
As long as you have your US citizenship and are elligible for US passport, you are able to marry and your spouse can apply for marriage visa. It doesnt matter how you become a US citizen...Once you are one, you can pass it on. My fiancee is born in Wroclaw and is now a US citizen...and she sponsored me for a US visa. How it works is first you apply for a marriage or fiancee visa....then you have to stay in the USA for 1 year minimum without leaving....once your year is up, you apply for a US green card (which makes you a landed immigrant and legal resident)...this process takes a year once again to do. Once you have the green card for a couple years, you apply for US citizenship and become a US citizen
TheOther 6 | 3,692  
18 Aug 2009 /  #11
this process takes a year once again to do

Don't count on it. Since 9/11 the INS is so far behind in processing the greencard applications that it can easily take up to 3 years before you get one. Happened to some friends of mine.
kuba0108 - | 1  
26 Aug 2009 /  #12
Once you are a US citizen, all rights as a citizen apply, including sponsoring immediate relatives from other countries for various types of visas or permanent residence. It doesn't matter how you became a citizen. In fact, if you are a permanent resident, you can also sponsor a relative to get permanent residence, just a slightly different process. Immediate family includes spouse, child, parent, sibling. Spouse and child do not have to wait for a visa number to become available - i.e. no waiting in line for a number before you can apply - this may sometimes be what people wait for years for, as only a certain number of visas per year per category per country are available, and it's first applied first served. However, spouses and children of citizens do not have to wait for a number, they go straight to the front of the line, so to speak.

I was born in Poland, emigrated to the US as a small child, became a US citizen in the 90s, and married a Polish woman. Here is what I did to get my wife into the US and to get a green card.

1. She got a B-2 tourist visa last year to come visit me (this was before we decided to get married). I live near Boston, so it was not a big deal for her to get a B-2. NB: on the day she went in to interview for her visa in Warsaw, everyone she met who said they were coming to Chicago was denied, coincidence?

2. We were married in Poland this year. She ket her B-2 visa and her original passport (with her maiden name), and entered the US on her tourist B-2 visa. Did not mention anything at the border about being married already - if you do that, they might send you back and ask you to fill out the paperwork at the US embassy and wait in your home country.

3. Now that we are here, we filled out a bunch of forms for a "change of status" on her visa to permanent residence.

You need USCIS forms: I-130, I-131, I-485, I-693, I-765, I-864, and two G-325A (one for the sponsor, one for the applicant). You may need to use I-485A as well, if you fall into a particular category (you should read the instructions for I-485A to determine this. Everything, including supplementary docs need to be included in one package and sent (with proper payments) to a single lockbox in Chicago.

FYI, I-765 is a temporary work permit application, I-131 is a temporary re-entry permit application. They are temporary until the green card is processed, then they are permanent as a result of having the green card. If they are submitted at the same time as the rest of the application, you don't have to pay the fees for these 2 applications.

Before you do this, or any other method, please read up on it at the state department site (, USCIS site ( Also, you should at least consult with an immigration attorney in your area for advice on the best path for your situation.

Hope this helps!

Amanda91 1 | 135  
26 Aug 2009 /  #13
I need some expert's help here. A friend of mine asked me if someone who was married (marriage in the USA) for almost 10 years but most of it spent in Europe, has the right to live in the USA? The person has never applied for a green card yet. They came to the US about 8 months ago (unfortunately not knowing the regulations, him/her overstayed visa). Can he/she be sent back home or is there any procedure to stop it and legalize him/her in the US without leaving the country?

Only serious advices please. I don't know anything about it but I kind of promised to help so I hope to find someone on this forum to get some useful information.

krysia 23 | 3,058  
26 Aug 2009 /  #14
Did the person marry a US citizen? It doesn't matter where the marriage took place, but if married to a US citizen. The person needs a green card to be legally in the US. If the person has a valid visa, then he/she is also legal untill it expires.

They can apply for a green card, sometimes people get approved for the permanent one right away if married that long, but this all depends if that person was married to a US citizen and sometimes they might be asked to show proof of residency and paying taxes.
Lodz_The_Boat 32 | 1,535  
26 Aug 2009 /  #15
I smell a something wrong here :(
Amanda91 1 | 135  
26 Aug 2009 /  #16
Did the person marry a US citizen?


are you sure about all that?

I smell a something wrong here :(

I would change socks man, lol

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