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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Expeditious Naturalization for Spouse of a U.S. Citizen Regularly Stationed Abroad and Residing Abroad at the Time of Filing

Published: Aug 1, 2008 By: USCIS Source: My Source

What is expeditious naturalization?

Expeditious naturalization is available to individuals who are seeking to naturalize as the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is regularly stationed abroad. The eligibility requirements for this category of naturalization applicants are outlined in section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and section 319.2, Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives priority to and provides special handling for these types of naturalization applications, an interview, which is a mandatory part of the application process, cannot be scheduled until your background checks have been completed.

Where can I obtain forms and information about Naturalization Requirements?

You may obtain the N-400 application form and a copy of A Guide to Naturalization from our website at www.uscis.gov.

What requirements must I meet for naturalization under section 319(b) of the INA?

· You must be a lawful permanent resident at the time of your interview.

· You must meet the applicable naturalization requirements outlined in sections 312 and 316 of the INA and Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations (physical presence is not required).

· You must be married to a U.S. citizen and living together in a valid marital union.

· Your U.S. citizen spouse must be “regularly stationed abroad” as: o A member of the U.S. Armed Forces;

o An employee or an individual under contract to the U.S. government;

o An employee of an American institution of research recognized as such by the Attorney General;

o An employee of an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce for the United States ;

o An employee of a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty; or

o A person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States .

· You must show evidence that you will depart to join your U.S. citizen spouse within 45 days of your naturalization.

What does the term “regularly stationed abroad” mean regarding my spouse’s employment?

The term “regularly stationed abroad” means that the overseas employment contract for your spouse clearly shows that your spouse’s employment will continue abroad for at least one year after the date that you will be naturalized. When possible, you should file your application prior to your departure overseas. If you are already overseas, you should file your application only if the end date of your spouse’s employment contract will allow you to meet the eligibility criterion of having at least one year remaining overseas at the time of naturalization.

Where can the interview and naturalization take place?

As an applicant for naturalization under section 319(b), you may be interviewed at any USCIS office of your choice in the United States, including Guam, Puerto Rico , and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you choose to be interviewed at our office, you will be naturalized the same day as your interview, in most cases.

Please note that, if you want to change your name, you cannot be naturalized by our office. You will be required to attend your oath ceremony at a Federal Court. Court ceremonies are held only one day each month and, depending upon when in the month you are interviewed, it may take at least two months to be scheduled for a ceremony. As stated previously, although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives priority to and provides special handling for these types of naturalization applications, an interview, which is a mandatory part of the application process, cannot be scheduled until your background checks have been completed.

May I file my naturalization application if I am a conditional resident? What should I do?

If you are a conditional resident, you may file for naturalization. If you are within the 90 days of the two-year anniversary (the expiration date on your green card) or if your naturalization application will not be processed prior to your two-year anniversary, you must filed a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, according to the instructions on the form. If you have already filed your I-751 Petition, please notify our office so that the Form I-751 may be considered and adjudicated at the time of your naturalization interview.

What documents should I submit with the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization?

· A cover letter directed to USCIS advising that you are applying for naturalization under section 319(b) of

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