Family immigration is one of the most popular means for foreign citizens to legally live in New York or another part of the United States. When an American marries a foreign national, both spouses often hope to live together as quickly as possible. However, spouses may face serious delays when dealing with the immigration system. A congressional hearing on immigration delays and processing times identified spousal sponsorships as a particular area of concern needing action. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, or USCIS, publishes average processing times, but these may obscure the lengthy delays that can accompany the process.
Permanent residents who live in New York and who are married to American citizens may be eligible to become citizens themselves. This is true if a person has had a green card for at least three years and has had the same spouse during that time period. Furthermore, that individual must have resided in the United States for three years prior to applying to become a naturalized citizen.
Foreign nationals living in New York who wish to become U.S. citizens through the process of naturalization must fulfill several requirements. They must be at least 18 years old, and there is a requirement to demonstrate a good knowledge of English and pass a civics test although these may be waived for elderly applicants who are permanent residents. These requirements might also be waived for people with certain mental conditions. Applicants must possess an I-551.
Family-based immigration categories are some of the most important to many people as they allow them to connect with their loved ones separated by distance.