Gaining citizenship in the United States can be confusing. There is a prevailing thought that if you marry a citizen, you automatically become a citizen or at least get a green card. However, that is not true. Marrying a resident of Illinois will not automatically guarantee you can stay in this country.

According to The New York Times, this is becoming very obvious as of late with immigration reform under the Trump administration. Previous administrations were lenient and often gave a pass to those married to a citizen. Now, if you show up at any immigration hearings, even your marriage hearing, you may end up getting deported if you are not legally here.

Marrying a citizen has never allowed you to automatically become a citizen, but it did speed up the process. That is no longer true. Basically, if you are in violation of the immigration laws, you face deportation regardless of your marriage to a US citizen. It is likely you will be deported and have to pursue your green card from abroad. If you are legally in the country, then you do not have to worry. You can attend hearings and take the steps to legally stay in the country.

One common scenario that many face is that they must leave the U.S. and go home after a certain amount of time here. Then, they may return. Make sure you understand the terms of your visa and that everything is as it should be to help get your green card and stay in the country. This information is for education and is not legal advice.