Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentImmigration · 8 months ago

How can someone be a naturalized citizen without marriage or family sponsorship?

There is a Nicaraguan co-worker in her 50's that recently got her US citizenship in May 2018. She never married, is childless (has 2 dogs instead) and had no family in the US sponsoring her. She isn't a rich/wealthy business owner either, no extraordinary skills and never went to college. She's just an average citizen.

How did she do it? Are cases like her still possible nowadays? When asked how she did it, all she says is ''work hard, learn English and most important be honest''.

Basically she never got sponsored by a US citizen. She learn English on her own and eventually got what she wanted. Her case still intrigues me. How is that possible?

10 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    Not by being honest. At least not usually.

    It was possible for anyone in the country illegal when Reagan was President to get amnesty and eventual citizenship, but only if they were here illegally. Ironically, anyone who had been here legally was not eligible.

  • 8 months ago

    Edit:  I rarely agree with the user Stephen Weinstein but he may be correct about them benefiting from the 1986 amnesty. 

    Most likely she was admitted to the USA as a refugee/asylum seeker or something similar. The people who enter the USA under those circumstances get US Permanent Resident status after a couple of years and five years later they can apply for citizenship.  She may also have won the Diversity Visa Lottery. 

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    I'd guess she entered the US as a refugee during the Sandinista era and worked through the system that way. I know someone from Guatemala who did a similar thing. The US has periodically granted amnesty to certain Central Americans fleeing the various civil wars in those countries.

  • 8 months ago

    YOU DO NOT KNOW this persons history. YEARS AGO the procedures while difficult were not as overwhelmed with applicants.

    Millions TRY every year. Immigration agents assess each application one at a time and determine the next step.

    SO WHAT she is not married. Not a requirement.

    Getting married can help the situation but does not guarantee it.

    So what she has no children.

    Pet Owners and their pets are allowed to both be considered for immigration.

    SO WHAT she  did not go to college. The days of just having the any degree are long past.

     Are cases like her still possible nowadays? YES it can still happen.

    Millions try every year about 10% get a chance to immigrate.

    Many TRY the asylum route MOST (almost all) are turned down.

    Maybe she came as a result of things associated with a Treaty signed by the USA with Nicaragua decades ago.


    Her details are really none of your business if this person wants to explain to you their situation they MIGHT if you ask them. If they DO NOT wish to speak about it so be it. Their situation may have many unpleasant memories and are not really any of your business.

    Is it possible? Of course it is. Is it frequent? NO Is it rare? NO

    Suggest you might not be old enough to remember some not so nice times the AVERAGE Nicaraguan had to deal with day to day many fled to whatever place would give them a chance to survive to old age.

    LEARN some history of other places. It is long , complicated and violent.

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  • 8 months ago

    You can get a work visa, and naturalise that way

  • 8 months ago

    Could she have won an interview through the Diversity Visa Lottery, gotten approved for immigration visa, then green card? Perfectly legal if that was it.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    An asylum seeker maybe

  • 8 months ago

    There are several different ways to get US Permanent Resident status, and only some of them require family sponsorship. Once you have been a PR for 5 years typically, you can then become a naturalized US Citizen.

    Some of the possibilities are the green card lottery and sponsorship by an employer. 

  • Lili
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Well, she had to get legal residency in the first place, so she could stay here long enough to qualify for citizenship, and it's possible that she was given asylum from something.  That's what a lot of the Latin American immigrants coming here are seeking -- asylum from crime-ridden regions or political situations in which their lives are in danger. Many of them have been subjected to specific threats, they have lost relatives, and they know they aren't long for the world if they don't leave.

    If she was a successful asylum seeker, she may not want to talk about her experiences. They could have been quite traumatic.

    As other posters have mentioned, a lottery is a possibility.

  • 8 months ago

    Most immigrants are not sponsored by a citizen. There are several ways she could have come to the country legally. Some countries have lotteries for US work visas. Anyone can apply. You see, rational governments have long known that we needed immigrants to fill up the workforce because our birth rate is so low. Only when a candidate decided to invoke people's fears to get himself elected did immigration become stigmatized.

    Some of your ancestors came here without being sponsored by anyone or having any special skills, too. 

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