August 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
To become US Citizen one must meet certain requirements. You can become US Citizen by birth or after birth.
To become US Citizen at birth:
• You must be born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States
• You must had a parent or have a parents when you born with Citizenship
To become US Citizen after birth:
•You must apply for citizenship through including naturalization
Green Card is an important step in the way of getting US Citizenship and it allows immigrants to live and work in the United State without time restriction. Green Card subjected for renewal every 10 years.
Once you get Citizenship, you can enjoy all the rights and privileges like any other American Citizen.
The Requirement to get American Citizenship as per the law:
• You must be stayed in America for a minimum of 5 years (3 years for marriage based) as a permanent resident and if any absences shouldn’t be more than year.
• You should be 18 years old and should be of good moral character.
• You must have knowledge in English language and able to speak, write, read.
• You must be able to understand and demonstrate the knowledge of history and government of America.
• You should prove that you are attached to the American Constitution’s principles and must take oath of allegiance.
To apply for Citizenship, you must file the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the USCIS. You need to send this application through mail with required document and the application fee $595 to the Application Service Centre serving their area. To avoid rejection, application fee need to send along with your Naturalization application, information on application to be correct according to your knowledge.
Either you can pay the fee through cheque or money order drawn on a U.S bank and payable to the Department of Homeland Security. Those who reside in Guam should make the fee payable to the “Treasurer, Guam” and US Virgin Islands residents should make the fee payable to the “Commissioner of Finance of the Virgin Islands.”
The Application $595 is not included for Fingerprinting fee which include your photograph and signature. If all the required documents are sent properly with the fee, you will be informed to appear for fingerprint process and also you should attend interview. Most of the Naturalization applicant as a part of the application process must take an English and Civics (US history and government) tests. Depending on your performance in the English and Civics test and completeness of the application, decision will finalised. Depending on age and health factors, some applicants can claim a waiver for the tests.
August 4, 2012 § 2 Comments
Generally while filing for US Citizenship one must demonstrate an understanding of English language, and also reading, writing and speaking ability. English and Civics requirements for naturalization include the understanding of the fundamental of American history and principles.
In certain cases applicant due to physical or development disability or mental impairment that is permanent, and last for 12 months are even expected to be permanent, they shall be exempted from knowing English and Civics requirement while filing for naturalization. But these people should submit Form N-648 along with N-400 for the exemption.
Important Note: If failed to submit the Form N-468 with Form N-400, their application for the delayed for adjudication of Form N-400. Per Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 312(b)(1), applicant with developmental disability or mental impairment are not required to fulfill English and/or Civics requirement.
Applicant with reasonable accommodations includes, sign languages interpreters, extending time for testing and off-site testing – may not be limited. Many people think English and Civic requirement is the main criteria to obtain Citizenship but some medical disability exception.
Only medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy or clinical psychologists licensed to practice in United States. Staff of the medical practice associated with medical professional may assist in the completion of the form and checking accuracy of the form’s content.
Form N-648 must be certified by a licensed medical professional, except for the section “Applicant Attestation” and “Interpreter’s certification”.
Part III of Form N-648 – DSM-IV Codes
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder – Edition IV, currently recognized mental health disorders.
1. Mental Retardation (Mild, Moderate, Severe, Profound).
2. Learning Disorder (Reading, Mathematics, written expression).
3. Motor Skill Disorder (developmental co-ordination).
4. Communication Disorder (expressive languages, phonological, stuttering, mixed respective & expressive).
5. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Autistic, Rett’s, Childhood Disintegrative, Asperger’s)
6. Attention-Deficit & Disruptive Disorder (Hyperactivity, conduct disorder)
7. Feeding & Eating Disorder (Pica, Rumination)
8. Tic Disorder (Tourette’s, Chronic motor, Transient tic)
9. Elimination Disorder (Enuresis – not due to medical condition; Encopresis – with/without constipation and overflow incontinence)
10. Others Disorder (Separation anxiety, Selective mutism, Reactive attachment, Stereotypic attachment)
11. Delirium, Dementia, and Amnestic and other Cognitive Disorders.
12. Alcohol Related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood)
13. Amphetamine Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood)
14. Caffeine-related Disorder (Induced anxiety & sleep, Intoxication)
15. Cannabis-related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood)
16. Cocaine-related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood, Intoxication)
17. Hallucinogen-related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood, Intoxication)
18. Inhalant-related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood, Intoxication)
19. Nicotine-related Disorder (Dependence)
20. Opioid –related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood, Intoxication)
21. Phencyclidine – related Disorder (Abuse, Dependence, Induced mood, Intoxication)
22. Schizophrenia & other psychotic Disorder
23. Mood Disorder (Depressive, Bi Polar, Anxiety, Somatoform, Factitious, Dissociative)
24. Sleep Disorder (Primary sleep, Parasomnias)
Need to provide basic descriptive of the disability. For Example “Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes lifelong intellectual disability (mental retardation) & developmental delays”.
June 17, 2011 § 1 Comment
Section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) governs the ability of a US citizen to renounce his/her US citizenship.
A person wishing to renounce his/her US citizenship should do so voluntarily and with intent to relinquish US citizenship, should appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer. He/she should do so in a foreign country (normally at a US Embassy or Consulate) and will be required to sign an oath of renunciation.
Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no effect legally. US citizens cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while being in US. In fact, US courts have held certain attempts to renounce US citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as discussed below.
Effects Of Renouncing US Citizenship
Renounce All Rights and Privileges
A US citizen who wants to renounce his/her citizenship cannot decide to retain some of the privileges of citizenship, as this would lead to logical inconsistency with the concept of renunciation. The Department of State will not approve a loss of citizenship in such instances.
If you are intending to renounce your American citizenship, you should be aware that, unless you already have a foreign nationality, you might be rendered stateless and will result in the lack of protection from any government. You will also experience difficulty while traveling as you may not be entitled to a passport from any country.
Even if you are not stateless, you have to get a visa to travel to the US, or show that you are eligible for admission pursuant to the terms of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP). If you are considered ineligible for a visa or the VWPP to come to the US, under certain circumstances you could be barred from entering the US. Nonetheless, renunciation of American citizenship may not prevent a foreign country from deporting you back to the US in some non-citizen status.
Tax and Military Obligations
Also, you should also be aware of the fact that if you renounce American citizenship, it may have no effect whatsoever on your US tax or military service obligations. Adding to this, renouncing American citizenship will not allow you to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which you may have committed in the US, or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the US or what you incurred as a US citizen abroad.
Renunciation For Minor Children
You cannot renounce US citizenship on behalf of your minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered, a person under the age of eighteen should be able to convince a US diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her citizenship.
Renunciation is Irrevocable
Another important fact to consider is that renunciation of American citizenship is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA. It cannot be canceled or set aside. However, one who renounced his/her citizenship before the age of eighteen can have that citizenship reinstated if he/she makes that desire known to the Department of State within six months after attaining the age of eighteen.
If you are contemplating renouncing US citizenship, consider the effects of renouncing as described above before jumping to such a conclusion.
May 14, 2011 § 4 Comments
The U.S.Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that manages the entire immigration process in the United States.
While applying for a visa or green card, certain petitions/applications have to be filed either at the American Consulate abroad or with the USCIS if the applicant is in the US. These applications/petitions are available on the USCIS website. In addition, there also are many private organizations who have these forms available on their website and charge a fee for assisting their users in filling and filing the applications/petitions. The USCIS is the authority that manages these applications/petitions.
Form N-400, Application for Naturalization is the form that needs to be filed in order to get US citizenship. When the USCIS proposed a fee hike for immigration applications/petitions, there was deep concern that applications filed could decline. And the USCIS also proposed to revise the English and Civics test, and many feared that immigrants might be discouraged about upcoming revisions to the U.S. civics test.
The test change was aimed to gauge immigrants’ understanding of concepts in US civics and avoid habitual memorization. Some believed the fee hike for the Naturalization application would be a barrier to citizenship.
The USCIS did not revise the submission fee for the US citizenship application, though the fee was revised for many other petitions/applications.
The submission fee for the US citizenship application is $680 and this includes a $85 biometric fee. Applicants must send the fee with your application. They have to pay the fee with a check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank payable to the Department of Homeland Security. Ensure not to use the initials DHS or USDHS and also not to send cash.
Residents of Guam should address the fee payable to the “Treasurer, Guam,”whereas residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands should make the fee payable to the “Commissioner of Finance of the Virgin Islands.”
The $85 Fees for biometric services is separate from your application fee. If required, USCIS may also take your photograph and signature as part of the biometric services. One thing to remember that the application fee is not refundable even if you withdraw your application or if your case is rejected.
If you are applying for naturalization based on your own service in the Armed Forces of the United States, no filing fee is required.
Applicants 75 years or older, or filing on the basis of one’s service in the Armed Forces of the US, or if filing from abroad, need not send the biometric services fee for fingerprinting with his/her application.
Application that do not include the submission fee will be returned to the applicant thus delaying the entire citizenship process. So always ensure the application package has the application, the required supporting documents and the submission fee. Also make sure it is mailed to the correct USCIS address. Not paying due attention to these would result in unnecessary delay.
While submitting your US citizenship application, if you don’t think you can afford to pay the submission fee, you can ask for a “fee waiver” from USCIS. If USCIS grants your request, they will accept your US citizenship application without you having to pay a fee. If they reject your request, they will return your application to you. You will need to reapply and pay the fee.
April 20, 2011 § 2 Comments
Citizenship is the highest status in the US and hence immigration laws strictly limit the number of persons becoming a US citizen. Not everyone who wants to become a US citizen qualifies for the same. US citizenship, whether it’s gained by birth, through naturalization, or through US citizen parents, is the highest benefit available under US immigration laws. However, many people do not realize the rights, and many green card holders ruin their chances of becoming US citizens simply because they do not know what’s required or because they are not aware of the benefits of being a US citizen. Before applying for citizenship, you should have spent some time as a green card holder
Let us take a look at the possible disadvantages of applying for citizenship. Not because the negatives over-weigh the positives, but just to know the pitfalls before launching straight into filling the application and also to tread you in the right path.
If you got your green card fraudulently and apply for citizenship, chances of getting deported are indeed very high. Another factor is that certain countries do not allow dual citizenship. The law in US about dual citizenship is pretty vague as doesn’t state clearly whether it is allows or not. Having a US passport is risky in some countries.
Advantages of Becoming a US Citizen
After becoming a US citizen, you can vote in federal elections, bring your dear ones to the US, travel anywhere with a US passport and also get citizenship for your children born abroad. You can also serve on a jury and become eligible for federal jobs. In addition to these, you become eligible for federal grants and scholarships.
To become a citizen, or to be naturalized, you should meet certain requirements:
• Be at least 18 years old.
• Have lived in the US as a permanent resident for at least 5 years.
• Be of good moral character and loyal to the US.
• Be able to read, write, speak and understand basic English.
• Have basic knowledge and understanding of the US history and the Constitution.
• Be willing to take an oath of allegiance to the US.
Based on the age of the applicants or medically proved physical or mental impairment where this disability affects their ability to learn English and civics, waivers from the citizenship test are available. Under these circumstances, you should file Form N-648 requesting an exception and this should be filed along with your N-400 application.
The Reasons Why You Could Be Barred From Obtaining Citizenship?
You should consult an immigration attorney in any of the following situations: You
• Have been convicted of a crime.
• Have ever lied to an immigration officer, consular or government official.
• Married solely to obtain residency status.
• Have been absent from the US for long periods of time, especially periods over one year since becoming a lawful permanent resident (LPR).
• Have ever been arrested.
• Failed to file an income tax return for any year since becoming a LPR.
• Owe child support.
April 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
All eligible green card holders applying for American Citizenship have to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization with the USCIS.
You can download N400 form at the government website www(dot)uscis(dot)gov . All the basic forms are free on the USCIS website. There are other private companies who specialize in the preparation and completion of the US Immigration forms and they provide you with services similar to those of an immigration lawyer.
The USCIS filing process at times is long, complicated, and confusing. US immigration laws keep changing constantly. Things that are true today might be wrong tomorrow. By filling out USCIS forms without professional assistance, applicants do face the risk of completing their forms incorrectly. This might lead to higher filing costs of additional forms or even having their application delayed or completely rejected by USCIS. In many cases, the USCIS does not give applicants a second chance to file.
After I Download N400 Form, What Next?
When you download N400 form, you can also download the instructions along with it. The instructions page will have all detailed information about the supporting documents that one needs to send with the application. Additionally, information about the mailing address and the appropriate fee will also be found in the instructions page.
Any application that is not signed or accompanied by the appropriate fee will be rejected with a notice that the Form N-400 is deficient. You may correct the deficiency and submit the application again. Until accepted by USCIS, an application or petition is not considered properly filed.
Once the application has been received, it will be checked for completeness, including submission of the required initial evidence. If the applicant does not completely fill out the form, or file it without required initial evidence, he/she will not establish a basis for eligibility and the USCIS may deny your Form N-400. Additionally, the USCIS may request more information or evidence, or may request that you appear at a USCIS office for an interview. They might also request that the applicant submit certain original documents. They will return the originals when they are no longer required.
Finally, the decision on the application involves a determination of whether the applicant has established eligibility for the requested benefit. All applicants will be notified of the decision in writing.
The submission fee for Form N-400 is $595.00. However, all naturalization applicants filing under the military provisions, Section 328 or 329 of the INA need not pay the filing fee.
Apart from the submission fee, a biometric fee of $85.00 is required when filing the Naturalization application. After you submit Form N-400, the USCIS will keep you informed about when and where to go for biometric services. However, applicants above 75 years of age are exempted from biometric services fee.
Applicants may pay through one check or money order for both the application and biometric fees, for a total of $680.00. The check or money order should be drawn on a bank or other financial institution located in the United States and should be payable in U.S. Currency.
March 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
To qualify for American citizenship, you should be at least 18 years or older and a permanent resident (Green Card holder). You have to be a permanent resident for five years to be eligible to file for citizenship. If your spouse is a US citizen, the permanent residency requirement for you is only three years. In such a case, you have to be in marriage to a U.S citizen and be living with that U.S citizen spouse for the past three years of your permanent residency for these criteria to be applicable.
You should have also resided in the US for a considerable period before filing the citizenship application. If you are not married to a US citizen, you should have resided. for a continuous period of five years in the U.S after becoming a permanent resident. Whereas, if you are married to a U.S. citizen, you should have resided in the U.S. for a continuous period of three years after being given permanent resident status in the U.S.
If you are away from the U.S. for a long time, it will break the continuity of your residence in the U.S. if you are applying for US citizenship. But this will not affect your return to the U.S. as a permanent resident. For citizenship purpose, though an absence from the U.S. of less than six months will not break the continuity of residence, absence for a period of six months or more will break the continuity of residence. If the break is between six months and one year, it can be excused if a reasonable explanation is provided, an overseas employment for instance. If the break is for over one year, the continuity of residence can be preserved if suitable steps are taken before the expiration of a year overseas to preserve the residence and if you meet certain requirements.
These requirements alone are not sufficient to qualify for citizenship. You should also satisfy certain physical presence requirements. You should have been physically present in the US for a certain period of time. You should also have resided in your current state for at least three months. Current state is the state where you are filing your application.
Another requirement in the citizenship process is that you should not have broken any US immigration laws and should not have been ordered to leave the US. Additionally, you should also prove at least 5 years of good moral character. You should also take an English language test and a civics test. Most applicants have to prove that they can read, write and speak basic English. You should also prove that you have basic knowledge of US history and government.
But some applicants will be exempted from taking this citizenship test based on their age and also if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, where it affects one’s ability to learn English and civics. And finally, you should take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
As a US citizen, you will have the right to hold federal jobs and also the right to vote. You can travel wherever and for however long you want. You will also be protected even when you are abroad. The State Department ensures you travel home safely and you can get assistance from the US consulate abroad. Your spouse and children can also become US citizens through your status. Though they have to file certain applications to document their status, the process will be less difficult.