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.
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.
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.
November 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
LPR Entrants before 1980
Earlier, it was considered that all non-citizen residents of the US in 2010 who entered prior to 1980 were legal permanent residents (LPRs). Per certain provisions in the immigration law, foreign nationals of good moral character who are eligible for Naturalization are not removable on terrorism grounds and have lived in the US continuously since January 1, 1972 are eligible for green card status. In addition to this, some persons living in the US before 1982 as unauthorized residents were allowed to adjust their status to LPR. DHS estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population assume that the foreign-born population entering the US before 1980 is legally resident. Estimates of the LPR population in 2010 that entered before 1980 were from data from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) of the US Census Bureau on non-citizen residents with a year of entry before 1980.
LPR Entrants from 1980 through 2009
Estimates on LPRs who entered the US between January 1980 and December 2009 were got from application case tracking systems of USCIS. Information on persons obtaining LPR status is through two applications. Foreign nationals living outside the US use the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration of the U.S. Department of State. Such applicants who subsequently become LPRs are known as “new arrivals.” Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Residence is filed by foreign nationals already living in the US. Any information about the naturalization of LPRs if obtained from the Application for Naturalization (N-400). The citizenship form, N-400 is used by applicants aged 18 years and over. The general information maintained in the USCIS case tracking systems are alien identification number (A-number), date of birth, country of birth, gender, US address, date, LPR status or naturalization was obtained, and class of admission for LPR status.
Estimates were done in such a way that records for LPR entrants from January 1980 through December 2009 were matched by the Alien Registration Number (A number) with naturalization records for the same time period to exclude LPRs who later got naturalized. Then, many adjustments were then made to reduce the total of 1980-2009 LPRs to a 2010 LPR population of 1980-2009 entrants. The methods for adjustments and mortality are the same as those used in DHS unauthorized immigrant population estimates. An adjustment for derivative citizenship is unique to the LPR population calculation. LPRs who entered the US before 1980 were excluded from the estimates as such persons were counted in the pre-1980 entrant population from the ACS.
Remember that the date of entry for “new arrival” LPRs is the date of approval for permanent resident status. However, for “adjustment of status”, the entry date is usually not recorded directly so the year of last entry prior to adjustment of status is generally taken as an approximation. Year of last entry was imputed where missing (approximately 40 percent of adjustment of status records during 1998-2005) using category of admission, year of LPR adjustment, and known last entry date. Additional adjustments were made for LPR children who had derived citizenship, mortality, and emigration.
October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
The USCIS forms are in PDF format. To view, print, or fill out these forms, you should have the latest version of Adobe Reader. Incomplete forms will be rejected. So to submit your application correctly, remember to read any notices, warnings, or explanations on the Forms Entry Page (FEP) before you print (or download) the form itself, fill it out and send it to USCIS. Do not forget to verify the filing location of the forms for the specific benefit you are seeking.
Immigration (“I”) or naturalization (“N”) forms come with detailed instructions which has information regarding where to file and those instructions will differ with specific circumstances. If you do not file the forms with the appropriate office or with the correct fee, your application or petition will be returned to you which will result in further delay in processing.
Fees and Fee Waiver Information :
A submission fee is required for most immigration forms and the fee has to be mailed along with the completed application. Make sure you include your payment of all required fees, including any fingerprint fees, while submitting your application. Checks should be payable to “Department of Homeland Security.” USCIS will then inform you of the time and place where your fingerprints will be taken.
If you cannot afford to pay the fee, you may apply for and be granted a fee waiver while filing certain immigration forms. Under such instances, you have to file Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, for requesting a fee waiver. The instructions page that come with Form I-912 has information on the methodology that USCIS uses to make a decision on a fee waiver request, whether the request is submitted on Form I-912 or through a written statement by the applicant requesting a fee waiver. The USCIS will determine whether you are receiving a means-tested benefit, or reviewing whether your household income level and/or recent financial hardship makes you eligible for the fee waiver.
Most immigration forms require photographs to be submitted with the application package and the photo specifications are given in the form instructions.
“Fillable” Immigration Forms :
Forms are provided in a format that allows you to fill them out on your computer, print them out, and mail it to the appropriate USCIS office. Some of the forms are rather large files. To use them easily, you can download them directly to your local computer, instead of filling them out through your web browser. As mentioned earlier, you should use the latest version of Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded free.
September 29, 2011 § 2 Comments
Most naturalization applicants are required to demonstrate their proficiency in the English language by reading, writing and speaking. In addition, applicants have to take a civics test. On Oct. 1, 2008, the USCIS re-designed the citizenship questions and switched over to a new set of questions. If you had filed on or after October 1, 2008, you have to take the new test.
Previously, the citizenship test had many questions surrounding basic historical facts of the US. Many of these questions were re-designed and now it just requires more than just a one-word answer for you to prove your knowledge on the subject. Topics in the civics section were expanded and the questions re-designed. The new test was aimed at leading citizenship aspirants to a deeper and better understanding of US history and government.
During the interview, the immigration officer will speak to you in English and will ask you questions related to the citizenship application package you submitted. You have to just prove that you can understand what the interviewer is asking, and answer in simple English. You will be dictated three sentences and you should be able to write at least one sentence correctly and possibly more if the officer is not satisfied with your writing skills. Remember that there are no standard sentences and it is the interviewer’s discretion what to ask and will generally base his/her decision on your level of education and background.
Apart from English, your knowledge in US history and government will be tested. The interviewing officer does not expect you to have in depth knowledge. However, you should demonstrate that you understand the system of the US government, how it works, how and why the United States was founded and about the important events in US history. This test will be oral and the interviewer will ask ten questions from the given bunch of hundred questions. If you can answer at least six out of ten questions correctly, you will be considered to have passed the test.
There are free study materials and public libraries also have the resources/study materials to help you prepare for the test. If you have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment where that impairment is affecting your ability to learn English and Civics, you may be exempted from taking the test. You have to file Form N-648 requesting an exception and this form has to be filed along with the citizenship form, N-400. If you qualify for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement, you should be prepared to bring an interpreter with you for the interview.
September 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
There is an option in the immigration law where one can become a US citizen if born in the US or born to US citizen parent(s) apart from becoming a US voluntarily through the Naturalization process.
The process for children born outside to US citizen parents claiming citizenship through their parents’ status is very much sophisticated as there are certain strict eligibility requirements to be met. The immigration laws that existed at the time the child was born is also taken into consideration while claiming citizenship through the Child Citizenship Act. Children born in the US automatically become US citizens, even if their parents do not have an immigration status in the US.
If your child was born in the US, you can apply for a US passport that would serve as a proof of his/her citizenship status. To document your child’s citizenship, you can file Form N- 600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship with the USCIS (formerly the INS) to get the citizenship certificate.
There are many and a combination of requirements that are to be fulfilled before applying for citizenship for your child. One requirement is is that at least one parent was a US citizen when the child was born AND should have lived in the US or its possessions for a given period of time. In addition, child(ren) born outside the US can also claim citizenship based on their parents’ citizenship.
As mentioned earlier, you can become a US citizen only if you meet certain important requirements.
- You should below 18 years of age and at least one of your parents should be a US citizen.
- You should reside in the US in the legal and physical custody of your citizen parent
To qualify as a “child” for the purpose of getting a certificate of citizenship through your parents’ status,the child should not be married. Children born out of wedlock have to be“legitimated” when they were under 16 years old and in the legal custody of the legitimating parent. Stepchildren who were not adopted will not qualify as a “child” for citizenship purposes.
If you meet these requirements before reaching 18 years of age, you establish the eligibility for US citizenship. However,to document your citizenship status, you have to file Form N-600 with the USCIS.
Per the Child Citizenship Act, if you were 18 years old or older as of February 27, 2001, you will not be eligible for citizenship based on your parents’ status. In such a case, you can apply for naturalization (Form N-400) based on your own eligibility. There is also an alternative where persons above the age of 18 as on February 27, 2001, qualify for a citizenship certificate per the law in effect before the enactment of the CCA.