Passport Fair

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Post Offices (Atlanta) will host a one-day Passport Fair on March 10, 2012. If you wish to apply for a passport, bring with you proof of American citizenship (previously issued passport, birth certificate, or a certificate of citizenship. In addition, bring any photo identification. This include a driver’s license or state identification card, military photo ID card or government issued photo employee card.

All minor children (below 16 years old), who wish to apply for Passports have to be accompanied by both parents. Note that children who are 16 to 17 should be accompanied by one parent. Also remember if one parent is absent on the day, the other parent should submit proof of sole legal custody of the child. He/she should also bring a notarized written consent of the other parent for issuing the passport. As an alternative, a written statement that explains why the non-applying parent’s consent cannot be obtained can be produced. Adults have to pay a $110 fee for Passports, whereas for children under 16, it is $80. For Passports cards, it is $30 for adults, whereas it is $15 for children. Both will be subject to a $25 acceptance fee. Photographs will be made available onsite for a fee of $15. Should you have your own, make sure the size is 2″x 2″. Note that applications to apply for passports are available online as well as at the Post Office.

Participating Offices/Time

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Acworth Post Office 4915 N Main St. 30101

LaGrange Post Office 950 Lafayette Pkwy 30241

Suwanee Post Office 990 Peachtree Industrial Blvd 30024

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Cumming Post Office 525 Tribble Gap Road 30040

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Howell Mill Station 1984 Howell Mill Rd NW 30327

Northridge Branch 1185 Hightower Trl. 30350

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Pharr Road Station 575 Pharr Road NE 30355

Sandy Springs Station 227 Sandy Springs Pl. NE 30328

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Griffin Post Office 101 N 8th St. 30223

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Adairsville Post Office 10 Finley St. 30103

Athens Main Post Office 575 Olympic Dr. 30608

Marietta Main Post Office 257 Lawrence St. NE 30060

Limestone Station 364 Green St. NE 30501

Lawrenceville Post Office 35 Patterson Rd 30044

10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Forest Park Post Office 4989 Courtney Drive 30297

10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Atlanta Main Post Office 3900 Crown Rd. SW 30321

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Loganville Post Office 4160 Logan Dr. 30052

Newnan Main Post Office 60 Postal Pkwy 30263

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Akers Mill Postal Store 2997 Cobb Pkwy SE 31139

Ben Hill Station 2260 Fairburn Rd. SW 30331

Briarcliff Station 3104 Briarcliff Rd. NE 30345

Doraville Branch 4700 Longmire Ext. 30340

 

USCIS Initiatives

January 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

On January 1, 2012, USCIS brought about a change in the filing locations for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Petitioners are now required to mail their I-130 Forms to either the Chicago Lockbox or the Phoenix Lockbox, depending on where they currently reside in the US. This move is aimed at balancing workloads between the two USCIS offices and to provide more effective processing of Form I-130.

The change is only for stand alone I-130 applications. Note that there is no change in filing locations when submitting Form I-130 and Form I-485 together. If you are filing both these forms together , you can mail them to the Chicago Lockbox facility. If you are abroad and there is no USCIS office there, you can also continue to file at the Chicago Lockbox facility. However, if you in a foreign country where there is a USCIS office, you can send your I-130 form either to the Chicago Lockbox or at the international USCIS office where you currently live. Ensure that you are filing at the correct location. Sending your form to the incorrect address will unnecessarily delay the process. You can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to know the correct filing location.

In addition to the update stated above, USCIS is magnifying the filing process for certain forms related to naturalization and citizenship (N-Forms). Starting Oct. 30, 2011, applicants will be filing the N Forms at a secure Lockbox facility instead of the local USCIS offices. This would streamline the way forms are processed, speeding up the collection and deposit of fees and also improve the consistency of the USCIS intake process.

Beginning Oct. 30, 2011, applicants have to submit these forms directly to the appropriate Lockbox beginning. Though forms received between Oct. 30 and Dec. 2, 2011, will be forwarded to the USCIS Lockbox facility, forms received after Dec. 2, 2011 will be returned to the applicants with further instructions on how to re-file at the USCIS Lockbox facility. Forms N-336, N-600 and N-600K will be handled by the Phoenix Lockbox facility. Form N-300 will be taken care by the Dallas Lockbox facility.

Make sure you read the form instructions carefully before filing your form so that you are filing the correct form type at the correct location. Applicants submitting the wrong form type will not get a fee refund. They will be required to re-apply using the correct form and pay a new fee.

Renouncing US Citizenship

December 27, 2011 § 6 Comments

Section 349(a)(5) of the INA provides for the loss of nationality by voluntarily acting the intent to relinquish his or her US Nationality.

If you want to renounce your American citizenship, you have to do it voluntarily and with intent to relinquish US citizenship.

  1. You are required to appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer
  2. You have to be in a foreign country , generally at a US Embassy or Consulate and
  3. You are required to sign an oath of renunciation

Renunciations that do not meet the requirements stated above have no legal effect. US citizens cannot renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while being in the US. Certain attempts to renounce US citizenship are found to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as stated below :

RENOUNCE ALL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

If you decide to renounce your US citizenship, you cannot decide to retain some of the privileges of citizenship.

DUAL NATIONALITY / STATELESSNESS

If you have decided to renounce US citizenship, you should be aware that, unless you already possess a foreign nationality, you might be left stateless and so, will not get the protection of any government. You will also have difficulty traveling as you will not have a passport from any country. Even if you are not stateless, you will still need a visa to travel to the US. Another important fact is that Renunciation of US citizenship may not prevent a foreign country from deporting you back to the US in some non-citizen status.

TAX & MILITARY OBLIGATIONS

Having decided on renunciation, you should also know that you may have no effect whatsoever on your US tax or military service obligations. Apart from this renouncing will not allow you to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which you would have committed in the US, or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the US or incurred as US citizens abroad.

RENUNCIATION FOR MINOR CHILDREN

You cannot renounce US citizenship on behalf of your minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered, one under the age of eighteen must convince a US diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation and also that he/she is voluntarily renouncing his/her US citizenship.

IRREVOCABILITY OF RENUNCIATION

You have to know that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA .It cannot be canceled. If a person renounced his/her US citizenship before the age of eighteen, he/she can have that citizenship reinstated if he/she informs the Department of State within six months after reaching the age of eighteen.

Physical Presence for US Citizenship

December 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

To be naturalized, before the date of filing your application, you should have resided continuously, after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, within the US for at least five years. During the five years immediately prior to filing your citizenship form, you should have been physically present therein for periods totaling at least half of that time. In addition, you should also have resided within the State or within the district of the Service in the US in which you filed the application for at least three months.

You should have resided continuously in the US from the date of filing the application up to the time of admission to citizenship. During all the periods you should have been and still are a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the US Constitution.
Absence from the US for more than six months but less than one year immediately before filing for American citizenship will break the continuity of such residence, unless you can establish to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that you did not abandon your residence in the US during that period.
Absence from the US for a continuous period of one year or more shall break the continuity of such residence except that in the case you were physically present and residing in the US after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence for a continuous period of at least one year and thereafter, you

  • are employed by or under contract with the Government of the US or an American institution of research,
  • are employed by an American firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the US, or a subsidiary thereof more than 50 percent of whose stock is owned by an American firm or corporation,
  • are employed by a public international organization of which the US is a member by treaty and by which you were not employed until after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, no period of absence from the US shall break the continuity of residence if-

(1) before the beginning of such period of employment, but prior to the expiration of one year of continuous absence from the US, you established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that your absence for such period is to be on behalf of the Government, or for the purpose of carrying on scientific research on behalf of an institution, or to be engaged in the development of such foreign trade and commerce or whose residence abroad is necessary to the protection of the property rights in such countries of firm or corporation, or to be employed by a public international organization of which the US is a member by treaty and by which you were not employed until after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and
(2) you prove to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that your absence from the US for that period has been for such purpose.

After The Citizenship Interview

November 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

The naturalization interview is a very important phase in the naturalization process and it is strongly advised not to miss your interview. If you cannot make it, ensure that you write the office where your interview is to be conducted as soon as possible and request to have your interview rescheduled.

Rescheduling an interview may add to the naturalization process, resulting in a delay in getting your citizenship certificate. So make sure not to change your original interview date. If you do not attend the interview without notifying USCIS, they will “administratively close” your case. If you do not contact them to schedule a new interview within one year after the USCIS closes your case, they will deny your application.

Also make sure the USCIS has your most current address. If they don’t have it, you may not receive any important information from them. It may not be possible for them to notify you about the date and time of your naturalization interview or about additional supporting documents you may be required to send or bring.

If you move to another address after filing your naturalization application, call the USCIS at their toll free telephone number 1-800-375-5283 to change your address on your pending application. Every time you move, it is mandatory by law to inform the USCIS of your new address. To do this, you should file an “Alien’s Change of Address Card” (Form AR-11), apart form calling Customer Service. An important factor to keep in mind is that you should file the Form AR-11 within 10 days of you having moved. However, there is filing fee for this form. Adding to this, you should also keep the U.S. Postal Service aware of your new address to ensure that any mail to you may be forwarded to the new address.

You will become a full fledged US citizen as soon as you take the Oath of Allegiance to the US in a formal naturalization ceremony. Under certain circumstances, you can take the Oath the same day as your interview. If you are not left with that option, or if you choose to have the ceremony at a later date, USCIS will keep you posted of the ceremony date with a Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony”.

If you are not able to go to the oath ceremony on the said date, you will have to return the “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony” (Form N-445) you received to the local USCIS office. Enclose a letter mentioning the reasons as to why you cannot attend the ceremony. Remember to keep a copy of the notice and your letter before you send them to USCIS. On receiving your letter, the USCIS office will reschedule the date and send you a new “Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony” (Form N-445) that will have the re scheduled date.

Not all applications will be approved. If your case is rejected and you think that USCIS was wrong in rejecting the application, you have the right to request a hearing with an immigration officer. The letter the USCIS sends will have the details as to how to request a hearing and will include the form you need. Form N-336, Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings under Section 336 of the INA” is the form for filing an appeal. You have to file this form, along with the required fee to USCIS within 30 days of having received the denial letter.

What Is Citizenship?

April 7, 2011 § 4 Comments

In simple terms, Citizenship can be defined as the status of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national or human resource community. A citizen is a person with citizenship, being a member of a community such as a country or city.

Citizenship can also be understood as the relationship between an individual and a particular nation. In ancient Greece, the major political entity was the city or state. So citizens were generally members of particular city-states. However, during the last five hundred years, citizenship is most closely identified and related to being a member of a particular country.

Subsequently, the policy was divided between jus sanguinis (right of blood) and jus soli (right of soil) countries. A jus sanguinis or the right of blood policy gives citizenship based on ancestry or ethnicity, and very much related to the concept common in Europe. Whereas a jus soli or right of soil policy confers citizenship to anyone born on the territory of the state, very much similar to the one practiced by many countries such as the United States of America..

Another way is getting married to a person holding the citizenship (jure matrimonii) or through the naturalization process.

“Commonwealth Citizenship” is another concept, and it has been in place ever since the establishment of the Commonwealth of Nations. Only citizens of a Commonwealth member state can hold such type of citizenship and it offers specific rights and privileges within some Commonwealth countries: Then there is “honorary citizenship” that is conferred by certain to those who are considered to be especially admirable or worthy of the distinction.

American Citizenship :

US Citizenship is the status granted to a legal member of the United States. A US citizen is entitled to special rights, duties, privileges and economic benefits including federal assistance. The United States also has a dual citizenship system where you can be a citizen of the state of residence as well be a US citizen. To qualify for US citizenship, you should be at least 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder). Apart from these, there are other requirements too. Green card holders meeting all the requirements should file Form N-400, the citizenship application with the USCIS.

Benefits Of Being A U.S. Citizen

February 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

U.S. Immigration laws give many rights to US citizens and to non- citizens as well. But some privileges can be enjoyed only by the citizens. As a U.S. citizen, one has the right to vote in the US federal elections. Another advantage is the that, you can reunite families. US citizens can bring their loved ones to be with them in the US. They can also bring their fiance through the K1 visa or bring their spouse and children through the K-3, K-4 category. US citizens having unmarried children under 21 years old can sponsor them as “Immediate Relatives”. Another significant fact is that only U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents for a green card. Additionally, citizens’ children may be eligible for citizenship based on their parents’ status as US citizens.

Additionally US citizens do not have any restriction to enter/ exit the US. The time they spend outside the U.S. is not limited. And it is also helps in travel abroad as some countries do not need visas of US citizens. Another benefit is that only a US citizen can apply for a US passport. With a U.S. Passport, one can get assistance from the U.S. Government while being overseas. Citizens will also be eligible for federal jobs in the US. and can also become an elected official.

If a Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder) is accused of any illegal activity, there are chances where they can be deported. Whereas US citizens have the right to an attorney and a fair trial and need not face the situation of being deported. These are only a few of the advantages of US citizenship.

 

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