Naturalization FAQs

Effect of a career change on naturalization process and timing

Authored on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 10:13

Question

I am in field A and have received my green card, still working with my sponsoring employer. I am contemplating a career change to field B that is totally unrelated to field A due to personal dissatisfaction with field A on the whole. Is there a safe time frame to do this without repercussions to my current green card and the naturalization process?

Answer

Video URL

After I get my green card, is it legal to work for two companies (and not the original company) simultaneously?

Authored on: Thu, 04/15/2021 - 05:19

Question

I got my GC on March of 2016 through my then employer. Soon after getting my GC my project ended (May 2016) abruptly because of the change at client location. I did not had any project at hand so I started looking for a new job and started to work with new employer in June of 2016. There was no official end date of my employment with my previous employer through which I got my GC because they were looking for a new project for me but without any certainty how long it could be before they can find me a new project. While they were looking for a project for me, I already started working for my new employer so I just moved on without any official end date with my previous employer.

In Feb of 2019, I started a second job with another employer. Currently, I'm working 2 jobs full time on GC.

I am now eligible to file for citizenship through 5 years of permanent residency requirement. I'm worried if there will be any issues while I file for my citizenship because I did not stay with the employer that file my GC long enough after receiving my GC. Also will there be any issues because I am currently working 2 full time jobs when I file for citizenship?

Answer

Video URL

Citizenship/naturalization trips of more than six months abroad

Authored on: Wed, 03/11/2020 - 01:39

Question

I have been scheduled for my interview next month after cancellation of the first one. I took three trips outside the US, and one last more than 6 months but less than one year. I waited for more than 5years since my last entrance which is June 2013 before applying for citizenship. Should I be worried about my interview since I broke the continuity of residency?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Citizenship/naturalization trips of more than six months abroad

Video Transcript:


 I do not think the previous trip should be a major issue, but I do recommend you discuss with your lawyer about your visits abroad prior to 2013. FAQ in detail...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Citizenship for Employees of Consulting Companies who have Projects in Different Cities after Green Card

Authored on: Tue, 12/04/2018 - 02:25

Question

My Question is after getting green card and leaving consulting employer after 14 months, when person applies for US Citizenship (8 years after getting green card) can USCIS ( knowing that sponsoring company was consulting) asks for client letter, contracts ( like H-1B documentation ) for the period when employee was working with GC employer( after GC approved) ?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Citizenship for employees of consulting companies

who have projects in different cities after green card

Video Transcript

First of all, remember the laws has changed since 2017. Now supplement J has become an issue. Previously, when you did a AC21 shift of jobs, there were no filings required. So in older cases even if you don't join the employer, chances are that you are in a pretty good shape. Another thing that I always consider to be important and it often doesn't come up is your state of mind. Green card is based upon an intention of an employee to join an employer on a permanent full time basis either before or after the approval of the green card. I do want you to take a consultation and I want you to spend some time with a lawyer to go over your situation and make sure there's nothing else that's going to be bothersome. More...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Effect On Green Card And Naturalization Of Using Public Or Government Benefits

Authored on: Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:31

Question

I & my wife are completing 5 years now on US Green Card, but are apprehensive to go ahead and file for our US Citizenship under the current circumstances. We also read that PR's who are using state or federal benefits are more susceptible to denials. I am making close to 200K salary and not dependent on any govt sponsored benefits or funds. But our kid has been diagnosed for Autism and he is receiving services from Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The State alone is not paying for his services but we are primarily being billed on our private medical insurance for his therapy sessions every week. The school he is attending may be getting some funds for his additional care at school, considering his medical condition. Our questions are: Since we have been using DDD services for genuine medical reasons and I am in the higher salary bracket, would this be an issue for us in getting our Citizenship? Are the denials only for low income groups who are getting benefits from the government? Should we wait for some more time to apply for Citizenship?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ - Effect on green card and naturalization of using public or government benefits

Video Transcript:

Under the current regulations the prohibited benefits are: 

1. they have to be means-tested benefits which means they are based upon how much money you make. 

2. either they must be used to supplement your income like receiving some kind of a cash or cash equivalent or they should be giving you a long term medical facility residence. You can look up for the particular policy at the USCIS website.

You should have a lawyer research this issue for you specifically, but there is no need for you to hold back your naturalization. More...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

How To Add Forgotten Information On To A Naturalization Application/N-400?

Authored on: Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:01

Question

I filed for my N-400 and then had requested my Driver's History from NJ DMV just to be sure that my account is in good standing. I received my Driver's History after few weeks and my account is good standing, however, I had one traffic ticket 16 years ago about which I had completely forgotten to mention on my N-400. Therefore on my N-400 I had selected "No" to the citation question. <br>
My question - should I let the officer know right in the beginning of the interview that I would like to amend my N-400 for that particular question OR should I wait until he gets to that question and then let him know? What's the best way to deal with this error on the application?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: How to add forgotten information on to a naturalization application/N-400?

Video Transcript

The first thing you should do is contact the customer service. Let them know you got this issue and make a note of the date and time you called and to whom you spoke so that you have a record that you tried to correct the situation as soon you discovered the omission. The second thing you do is put it in writing, send it to the government, whichever address you filed the N-400 or whichever address you received the last response from the government and inform them what the issue is and the third thing you do is when you go for the interview bring it up yourself, let the officer know that there is some information missing and you would like that to be corrected. If you do all of these things I think you should be fine. More...

 

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Form N-470

Authored on: Thu, 03/08/2018 - 01:02

Question

You stated : "The Form N-470 must be filed before the person departs from the United States except religious workers who may apply before or after departure, or after return to the United States. The religious workers are not required to have lived in the United States for a specific period of time prior to the filing of N-470. Similar exception is granted to alien members of the U.S. Armed Forces. In such cases the LPR employee who filed N-470 is considered physically present in the US during such employment abroad and does not need a reentry permit."<br>
Does that mean a religious worker does not have to spend a full one uninterrupted year of physical presence in the US? If a religious worker can apply any time and once approved, all time spent outside of the US will be counted towards his naturalization qualification, it means that religious worker doesn't need to be physically present for a full year at any time prior to applying for his/her citizenship, correct?

Answer

The law says:

1. Generally, you must have been physically present and residing in the United States for an uninterrupted period, without any absences, for at least one year after your admission as a lawful permanent resident before you can file Form N-470.

2. You do not have to be in the United States to file Form N-470, but you must file it before you have been absent from the United States for a continuous period of one year.

 

Religious Workers Exception to the One Year Absence Requirement

Religious workers may apply:

1. Before departing from the United States;

2. After departing from the United States; or

3. After returning to the United States.

Religious workers are not required to have lived in the United States for a specific period of time prior to filing Form N-470.

Effect of a Speeding Ticket on Green Card or Naturalization/Citizenship

Authored on: Tue, 11/07/2017 - 07:23

Question

I got a speeding ticket ( It is not related to DUI and no arrest, just a ticket) recently. I didn’t contest the ticket and plead guilty by paying fine of 170$, I have receipt of payment. Do I have to wait for another 5 years from the date I got a ticket (Good moral character period of 5 yrs as per USCIS) to apply for US citizenship to show good moral character?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Effect of a speeding ticket on green card or naturalization/citizenship

Video Transcript

If you have a traffic violation which is not a crime such as speeding, but not reckless driving, speeding but not driving while intoxicated these traffic offenses are no issue for a green card. But if you get too many of them like if you get ten speeding tickets in a couple of years that can become an issue for your naturalization because the government says you are irresponsible as it is a question of your good moral character which is a requirement for naturalization. Hence, generally speaking, a single ticket is no problem. More...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Denial of Naturalization/Citizenship Applications

Authored on: Tue, 09/12/2017 - 04:54

Question

Back in 2007 I started dating my now ex husband back in high school. In 2010 we got married, we were 18 at the time. The Process was estressful because the IO thought we got married for the papers, we had 30 days to prove it was a bonafide marriage, we hired a lawyer, sent the proof, waited for a long time, finally got the permanent green card after 2 years. A month after he left, he said wasn't happy anymore, we didn't get a divorce but 5 months later I met someone, and then 3 months after I got pregnant, my ex and I ended up getting a divorce in December 2016. Could they use it against me applying now for my citizenship after being a resident for 5 years? Could they use that they thought it was fraud before (even though it was proven otherwise) against me because of everything that happened after(us separating, him leaving, me getting pregnant)?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Denial of naturalization/citizenship applications - the new trend

Video Transcript

Under the Trump administration, I am noticing there has been a much higher incidence of naturalization applications getting denied for some. Some of them are very odd reasons. I will discuss three cases so that you folks can share and be mindful before you file naturalization application. 

One was an employee who had been a green card holder for six or seven years and applied for naturalization and government denied his naturalization saying that when we approved your I-485 we should not have approved it because you were working in a place where you were not authorized to work without getting a proper amendment back in 1998. So, they have gone back so many years to say that because of that your green card was approved in error. According to them, It should not have been approved and they were not going to give naturalization. The interesting thing is that I had told them that I had represented the company that was being hauled up for fraud only to the extent that I wanted to negotiate upon the employer’s request with the US attorney's office so that the employees don't get hurt because none of the employees was implicated in any of the allegedly fraudulent dealings. But I was not able to convince the USCIS. We could get the US Attorney's office on our side and make them see that these employees do not need to suffer. So, the result is several years later somebody’s notice is being denied.  The problem being if USCIS can deny naturalization by stating there was an error in the green card application they can also go after the green card. That could be the next logical step and that's what worries me and that's highly unfair. Of course, we are going to take up the case and fight it for these folks. 

The second case being the employer signed a Form 9089. According to the government that was fraudulent because they failed to disclose the relationship of the employee with the CEO of the employer.  The lawyer had told them that this is a far-removed relationship it’s not immediate family so you can say “no” to the Form 9089 question where it says, “are you related to the employee under the green card process” and they said “no” and their notice is being denied because government says you lied on that form. Again, we would be able to fight this case.

The third case is order. People have lived here for 15 to 17 years. Everybody in the family is a citizen, the lady of the house who is not a citizen yet applied for naturalization but in the meantime, husband got a great temporary job offer outside the United States and the government says you are going to lose your green card. They have just moved recently and I don't see how they can do that. I don't see how it is questionable, and it is outrageous, but we must be prepared for the new paradigm of immigration law. 

So, when you go for naturalization I strongly advise you to please discuss your background with a competent counsel. More...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Traveling after applying for naturalization/citizenship pending

Authored on: Thu, 03/23/2017 - 06:51

Question

1. My husband and I are planning to apply for citizenship and had Green Card for the 9 years. We are planning to travel to India for approx. 3 weeks in spring (March 2017)?<br>
2. Can I travel after filling application for citizenship?<br>
3. Should I plan that after biometrics or can be before that as well? <br>
4. The Green Card expires Nov. 2017?<br>
5. Also, is employment necessary or helpful when applying?<br>
6. Do we have to reside in USA 3 months at a stretch?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Traveling after applying for naturalization/citizenship pending


Video Transcript:

1. That's not a problem.

2. Sure.

3. As long as you appear for biometrics or request that biometrics has been scheduled, I don't see any problem. 

4. I don't think that matters either.

5. No, it is not needed, as long as your taxes are paid up I don't see any problem.

6. I don't think three weeks absence is going to cause a problem in the domicile requirement. But if you want to be overly cautious, you can come back and stay extra three weeks before you apply. 

More...

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Naturalization Delays

Authored on: Mon, 12/21/2015 - 04:16

Question

I am living in Lexington, Ky. My wife and I filed N-400 for citizenship on 2nd Feb 2015. Our 5 years’ green card date was 14th April 2015. My wife already got her interview, oath, passport done 3.5 months back but I am still waiting for my interview. Its already 9.5 months. Our field office is in Louisville, KY and their website shows that their processing time is 5 months. My application is way beyond 5 months. I did submit case inquiries and first time (9/11/15) they told me that “Due to workload unrelated to your case there is a delay” and second time 10/15/15 they told me that “security clearance is being done”. I took the infopass and went to Louisville field office. They told me that my case is with “national service center” I think and they are waiting for security clearance. Just wondering, is there a time limit to the security clearance?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.

https://youtu.be/1QbgUmUUJvc?t=1115

FAQ Transcript:

Typically, there is a law on the box that allows you to file a lawsuit against the government. If there has been an unreasonable delay and there has been a certain time period provided. But some courts (depends on which place you reside) have said that the time for which we start counting the delay does not begin until the security clearance are received.  

Question: I am living in Lexington, Ky. My wife and I filed N-400 for citizenship on 2nd Feb 2015. Our 5 years’ green card date was 14th April 2015. My wife already got her interview, oath, passport done 3.5 months back but I am still waiting for my interview. Its already 9.5 months. Our field office is in Louisville, KY and their website shows that their processing time is 5 months. My application is way beyond 5 months. I did submit case inquiries and first time (9/11/15) they told me that “Due to workload unrelated to your case there is a delay” and second time 10/15/15 they told me that “security clearance is being done”. I took the infopass and went to Louisville field office. They told me that my case is with “national service center” I think and they are waiting for security clearance. Just wondering, is there a time limit to the security clearance? I was reading over the web that some people in my situation did something called “writ of mandamus” with the help of a Lawyer. Do you think, this is something an option for me? 

I think what you should do is get with your congressmen’s office. Call your congressmen, tell them to follow up the case. Let’s see what they say. That would be the quickest and zero cost method for you.

Naturalization/Citizenship Delay

Authored on: Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:12

Question

My Citizenship Interview was held on July 8th 2013 (become PR 6/2007) and it is pending since then due to middle name issue. My Indian passport and documents in US does not have middle name, but my Birth certificate has listed my name along with middle name (there is no middle name section in the birth certificate, so they did not bother to mark it separately.
<p>
So it has been approx. 2 years and I reached out multiple times about the status and so far I got an answer “Will let you know once the decision is made”. Also I have been told that they need to do another round of security check with my name, including the middle name.
<p>
Now, my company wants me to send me to Germany for some years (approx. 2+ years). I am not sure how I can proceed further. My wife and Kids are US citizens and they will have to move with me to Germany for couple of years.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baprYGs8IzQ&t=556

FAQ Transcript

When you have this length of delay for two years the best thing to do is first approach your congressman’s office. Go to https://www.congress.gov/ enter your zip code and it tells you who your house of representative members are and who your senator is. Contact either one of them. Send a letter to the representative and tell them you live in their area and you are a constituent and you have a pending naturalization application that has been stuck for two years. If they are not able to resolve it get yourself a lawyer and file for a law suit. Normally I don’t recommend a law suit but when naturalization applications have been delayed so long a law suit is a good bet.

Permanent residency in more than one country

Authored on: Sat, 02/21/2015 - 01:08

Question

If a GC holder applies for permanent residency in another country (say Canada or Australia) is that automatically considered an abandonment of the GC here in the US?
I am getting a very good job offer in Australia and would like to go try it out for a few months to see if its a good fit.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BDxO6-OQbc#t=375

FAQ Transcript:

The question here is can I have permanent residency in more than one country?

Yes. You can. I can only comment about USA. I don't know about other countries, so if you have a Green Card in the United States there are possibilities you have a Green Card in U.S. and you have permanent residence for Canada as well. But in fact you stay in USA permanently, you work here, you stay here we really don't care what other permanent residency you have. So if as a matter of fact you are living in the United States we don't care how many other permanent residency you have. 
If on the other hand, you quit your job, go to other country and take permanent residency there, it can be an issue for your Green Card here in the United States. Government can ask you, what is your intention. I would advice you to take detail consultation with your lawyer and make sure your particular circumstances covered. I think re-entry can be applied to protect your Green Card. But in that case getting a permanent residency in a third country may not be very good idea. However temporary visa would be OK specially when combined with re-entry permit, Form I-131 and or N-470 to preserve your Naturalization. 
So look into that before you make any firm plan. As a theoretical matter if you are permanent resident of USA and you are living here we don't care how many other permanent residency you have.

Expeditious Naturalization

Authored on: Mon, 02/10/2014 - 14:06

Question

What is expeditious naturalization?

Answer

Expeditious naturalization is available to individuals who are seeking to naturalize as the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is regularly stationed abroad. The eligibility requirements for this category of naturalization applicants are outlined in section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and section 319.2, Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives priority to and provides special handling for these types of naturalization applications, an interview, which is a mandatory part of the application process, cannot be scheduled until your background checks have been completed. 

Where can I obtain forms and information about Naturalization Requirements? 

You may obtain the N-400 application form and a copy of A Guide to Naturalization from our website at www.uscis.gov.&nbsp;

What requirements must I meet for naturalization under section 319 (b) of the INA? 

• You must be a lawful permanent resident at the time of your interview. 

• You must meet the applicable naturalization requirements outlined in sections 3 1 2 and 3 16 of  the INA and Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations (physical presence is not required), 

• You must be married to a U.S. citizen and living together in a valid marital union. 

• Your U.S. citizen spouse must be "regularly stationed abroad" as: 

o A member of the U.S. Armed Forces; 

o An employee or an individual under contract to the U.S. government; 

o An employee of an American institution of research recognized as such by the Attorney General; 

o An employee of an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce for the United States; 

o An employee of a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty; or 

o A person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States. 

• You must show evidence that you will depart to join your U.S. citizen spouse within 45 days of your naturalization. 

What does the term "regularly stationed abroad" mean regarding my spouse's employment? 

The term "regularly stationed abroad" means that the overseas employment contract for your spouse clearly shows that your spouse's employment will continue abroad for at least one year after the date that you will be naturalized. When possible, you should file your application prior to your departure overseas. If you are already overseas, you should file your application only if the end date of your spouse's employment contract will allow you to meet the eligibility criterion of having at least one year remaining overseas at the time of naturalization. 

Where can the interview and naturalization take place? 

As an applicant for naturalization under section 319(b), you may be interviewed at any USCIS office of your choice in the United States, including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you choose to be interviewed at our office, you will be naturalized the same day as your interview, in most cases. Please note that, if you want to change your name, you cannot be naturalized by our office. You will be required to attend your oath ceremony at a Federal Court. Court ceremonies are held only one day each month and, depending upon when in the month you are interviewed, it may take at least two months to be scheduled for a ceremony. As stated previously, although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives priority to and provides special handling for these types of naturalization applications, an interview, which is a mandatory part of the application process, cannot be scheduled until your background checks have been completed. 

May I file my naturalization application if I am a conditional resident? What should I do? 

If you are a conditional resident, you may file for naturalization. If you are within the 90 days of the two-year anniversary (the expiration date on your green card) or if your naturalization application will not be processed prior to your two-year anniversary, you must filed a Form 1-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, according to the instructions on the form. If you have already filed your 1-751 Petition, please notify our office so that the Form 1-751 may be considered and adjudicated at the time of your naturalization interview. 

What documents should I submit with the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization? 

• A cover letter directed to USCIS advising that you are applying for naturalization under section 319(b) of the INA. You must state on your cover letter where you wish to be interviewed. 

• Application fee. Please visit our website at www.uscis.gov for a listing of the current fee. 

• Fingerprint fee OR two(s) sets of FD-258 fingerprint cards. 

o If you are living overseas at the time of filing your application, you must go to a U.S. Embassy/Consulate or U.S. installation to have your fingerprints taken. You do not 

need to pay a fingerprinting fee to USCIS (you must check with the entity taking your fingerprints to find out if there is an associated fee). 

o If you are living in the United States at the time of filing your application, you must submit a fingerprinting fee so that you can be printed at an Application Support 

Center. Please visit our website at www.uscis.gov for a listing of the current fee. 

• Documentation to establish that your U.S. citizen spouse's employer is a qualifying employer and the length of your spouse's overseas assignment. 

U.S. MILITARY 

• Form DD-1278 issued no earlier than 90 days prior to the scheduled date of overseas travel, if you are authorized concurrent travel. If you cannot submit this form, the letter 

from your spouse's Commanding Officer that is described below must also include permission for you to reside abroad with your spouse after naturalization. 

• A letter from your spouse's Commanding Officer on official letterhead certifying that he or she is your spouse's Commanding Officer and the official date of rotation (DEROS) of your 

spouse from the overseas assignment. 

U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCY (NON-MILITARY) 

• A letter on official agency/department letterhead that states the facts of your spouse's employment, the basis of your spouse's hire (contract, permanent employee, etc.), and the 

length of your spouse's overseas employment. 

ALL OTHER EMPLOYERS (an American institution of research recognized as such by the Attorney General, an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of 

foreign trade and commerce for the United States, a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty, or a religious denomination or an 

interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States). 

• A letter on official letterhead which states: 

o The title of the official attesting to the facts in the letter; 

o The name of the institution, firm or corporation and whether the official has access to the company's records; 

o The nature of the business that the employer conducts; 

o The name of the State under the laws of which the employer was organized and the date of incorporation, etc.; 

o The ownership structure of the enterprise; and 

o The facts of your spouse's employment, the basis of your spouse's hire (contract, permanent employee, etc.), and the length of your spouse's overseas employment. 

• A copy of your 1-5 51 permanent resident card (green card) 

• Proof of your spouse's U.S. citizenship (copy) 

• Your birth certificate (copy) 

• Your marriage certificate (copy) 

• Proof of termination of all prior marriages for you and your spouse (copies) 

Fore more information please visit this page  http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/About%20Us/Find%20A%20US… 

Naturalized Citizen Sponsoring Parents

Authored on: Tue, 09/17/2013 - 01:42

Question

I am a brand new citizen and I am filing papers to bring my parents from England to NY to live with my husband and our four children. As I understand it once they get their interview and medical stuff out of the way, and get their visas do they enter as Legal Permanent residences?

Answer

They will enter the USA as permanent residents. The duration of the immigrant visa is stated on the visa stamp (I think it will be 6 months) and they must enter the USA within that time. They can come and leave after they get their green card in the USA. Read the instructions on the Form I-131 for reentry permit if they expect to be gone for 6 months or more.

N-400 Application and Prosecutorial Discretion

Authored on: Mon, 04/15/2013 - 04:01

Question

What happens when an applicant for naturalization is eligible, but also subject to removal because of a crime committed outside the statutory period? If it is determined that the application will be held in abeyance pending the outcome of removal proceedings, is there a process for evaluating prosecutorial discretion? Would an offer to withdraw the N-400 application be a favorable factor in the consideration for prosecutorial discretion?

Answer

USCIS has said that its policy is to refer an applicant for naturalization who is removable to a prosecutorial discretion panel.  All factual and legal circumstances of the applicant’s case are considered.  Adjudication of the naturalization application is held a decision is made to issue or not to issue the Notice to Appear (NTA).  If the NTA is issued, the naturalization adjudication continues to be held until the removal proceedings have concluded.  Withdrawing an N-400 would remove the case from the panel’s consideration process.

Proof of Speeding Tickets During an N-400 Interview

Authored on: Sat, 03/30/2013 - 05:45

Question

Should applicants provide proof of speeding tickets during an N-400 interview?

Answer

Applicant should try to provide proof of the ticket and proof of payment of any fine or additional penalties for any tickets over the past five years.

Applicants for Naturalization to Demonstrate Ability to Read, Write, Speak,and Understand English

Authored on: Sat, 03/30/2013 - 05:40

Question

Assuming all other criteria are met, under what circumstances will an application for naturalization be denied where the applicant passed the English test and responded meaningfully to all interview questions, but allegedly does not understand the oath of allegiance? Please provide examples, if possible.

Answer

USCIS says that applicants for naturalization are required to demonstrate an ability to read, write, speak,and understand English.  The ability to read and write English is determined byadministering the reading and writing tests to the applicant.  An applicant’s ability to understand and speak English is determined by the applicant’s ability to understand and speak English during the interview.  This includes responding to all questions on the application including understanding the oath requirements.  When an applicant cannot demonstrate the ability to understand the oath (or other questions crucial to making aneligibility determination), the application will be denied as not fulfilling the English requirement. It should be noted that officers are trained to give applicants multiple opportunities to respond to questions when they appear to have difficulty understanding.  They do this by restating the question in multiple ways.

Application for Naturalization Denied for Lack of Good Moral Character

Authored on: Sat, 03/30/2013 - 05:35

Question

Assuming no other negative factors, under what circumstances will an application for naturalization be denied for lack of good moral character if USCIS determines that an applicant received benefits for which he or she was not entitled? What if the applicant pays back or is paying back the amount owed? Does it matter the extent to which the benefits were received fraudulently (with intent) vs. inadvertently/unknowingly?

Answer

USCIS says that these situations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis looking at all of the factors in the case and that intent would certainly be a factor to consider.

Naturalization Cases Involving Outstanding Tax

Authored on: Sat, 03/30/2013 - 05:31

Question

USCIS notes that naturalization may be denied in the exercise of discretion if an applicant fails to file required tax returns or owes back taxes. Assuming no other negative factors, under what circumstances will USCIS deny an application for naturalization in an exercise of discretion for lack of good moral character where the applicant has filed all required taxes correctly, has a tax debt, has come to a formal agreement with the IRS or other tax authority to repay the taxes owed, and is paying off the debt?

Answer

USCIS instructs officers to accept proof that regular tax payments are being made.  USCIS says that all N-400 cases involving an outstanding tax debt will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, looking at the totality of circumstances.

Naturalization Procedures at Atlanta Office

Authored on: Mon, 11/19/2012 - 10:30

Question

Will the USCIS Atlanta Office go back to swearing in applicants on the same day as the interview?

Answer

It is unlikely that the Atlanta District Office will resume swearing-in applicants on the same day as the N-400 interview, aside from customers who come from Alabama or at least four hours away, who CIS makes every effort to swear in the same day due to the distance traveled for the interview. It is unable to do so for applicants who live closer to the local office because the room where oath ceremonies are conducted isn’t large enough to accommodate the number of applicants being interviewed per day. Currently, USCIS is having two ceremonies a day (in the morning and again in the afternoon) and is holding additional ceremonies on Fridays and at the National Archives. This has helped but it’s not a perfect solution. USCIS also has to consider the quality review checks that must be done for each case before an applicant can be sworn in. It found that the quality review was too rushed when swearing in applicants the same day, so it continues to explore options for balancing the volume of cases, the desire of customers to be naturalized as soon as possible, and the agency’s internal needs.

Naturalization Policy Regarding Adjustment of Status

Authored on: Mon, 11/19/2012 - 10:28

Question

Has USCIS discussed the new Naturalization policy regarding the review of the underlying adjustment case? Should clients come prepared to discuss their marriages, for example?

Answer

Review of the underlying adjustment of status is not a new policy. Officers have always had the authority to look back at the underlying adjustment, at any time, and doing so is not a new process.

Recanting of Misrepresentation in Naturalization Application

Authored on: Sun, 11/11/2012 - 23:56

Question

With regard to any removal risk, how would USCIS view a voluntary recanting of an intentional misrepresentation in a naturalization application? For example, what if the beneficiary brings the issue to USCIS’s attention and formally withdraws the misrepresentation, thereby subjecting him/herself to denaturalization?

Answer

USCIS would submit the case to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) counsel for determination.

Misrepresentation in Naturalization Application

Authored on: Sun, 11/11/2012 - 23:54

Question

If there is a knowing misrepresentation in a naturalization application, as opposed to a simple failure to disclose, would this lead to removal proceedings in addition to denaturalization?

Answer

It might.  If Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) counsel proceeds with denaturalization and is successful, removal proceedings may be instituted.

Denaturalization

Authored on: Sun, 11/11/2012 - 23:51

Question

How does USICS handle a situation when, during a marriage-based adjustment application, it transpires that there might have been an eligibility issue with the Naturalization application of the U.S. Citizen (USC) spouse petitioner? For example, it is discovered that divorce proceedings had been initiated after the naturalization application was filed,but prior to the interview and the divorce was finalized soon after the oath, and eligibility being based on three years of residence in marital union with USC. What factual issues arise and what is the standard for proceeding with an action for denaturalization?

Answer

If USCIS determines that an applicant for naturalization was not eligible to naturalize, the evidence is obtained and submitted to Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) counsel for determination of denaturalization.

Application for Naturalization

Authored on: Tue, 04/12/2011 - 08:58

Question

I have a question regarding naturalization filing period. I will complete my 5 years in US in June. Can I only file after 5 years or I can submit my documents after 4 years 9 months only.

Answer

You are allowed to submit Naturalization application any time after 90 days following the 5th year from your green card approval.

I am a US citizen and spouse on B-2 visa

Authored on: Wed, 02/02/2011 - 03:06

Question

I am US citizen and my wife is here on B-2 visa, her I-94 just expired, applied for extension, denied. Can I file I-130 and 485 for her now and can she wait here for her GC legally without leaving the country?

Answer

You can file I-130 and I-485, but she must not travel outside USA until she gets her green card.

N400 Interview and selective services

Authored on: Mon, 07/05/2010 - 04:48

Question

How important is your enrollment in selective services when you appear in a citizenship interview. Will the interview officer ask you about why u did not register in selective service.

Answer

I believe this can be a problem. You should speak with a lawyer. You will need to establish that the failure to register was inadvertent, not intentional.

Citizenship and criminal record

Authored on: Wed, 06/09/2010 - 16:12

Question

In 2001 I was charged with shoplifting (retail fraud 3rd degree in michigan. I was convicted and paid fine and 7 days community service. In 2005 i got my green card. The case was expunged in 2008. Ever since 2001 i do not have any other criminal record in the last 9 years. Would this be a problem during the citizenship cause the application says good moral character in the last 5 years. My case is 9 years old and so i satisfy the 5 year rule for good moral character but not sure.

Answer

Generally speaking, USCIS looks at the last five years preceding the application, but they CAN go back as long as they wish for adjudicating good moral character. My guess is, you should be fine.

Reentry permits and citizenship application

Authored on: Thu, 03/25/2010 - 07:43

Question

My husband is a LPR (since 1993) interested in applying for naturalization. He was granted a reentry permit and used it to enter the country nearly 2 years ago. How long does he have to wait to apply for naturalization?

Answer

If he was out of USA for more than one year at any one time, the reentry permit will allow him to file after 4 years and 1 day from re-establishing domicile in USA.

Shoplifting and naturalization

Authored on: Fri, 03/19/2010 - 04:28

Question

I am permanent resident of USA for 5 years,and I was shoplift in JCPenny and caught by securities in 2008,they took me to their office,took my picture, and got copy of my driver license,and asked me to sign 2 form of documents,one was saying I can't enter store for a year,second one was a civil demand($500 fines),they did't called police,do I have criminal record? FBI will check it out? I already sent in the citizenship application,and have wait for 3 months after the fingerprint taken,still didn't receive interview notice. Will they reject my application?

Answer

From what you have described it does not appear you have a criminal conviction. Nevertheless, in my view, you should get yourself a local lawyer to assist you with the naturalization process.

Travel while citizenship/naturalization pending

Authored on: Tue, 03/09/2010 - 13:54

Question

I am currently a GC holder and have resided in the US for 30 month out of 5 years. I will be eligible to file my Citizenship (N400) paperwork next month. Once I have filed my application for Citizenship, can I leave the US and travel to Canada to visit my daughter? I was planning to be out of the US in Canada for 3 months. Will it be ok or me to leave the US once I have filed my application or Citizenship? or should wait to file upon return back from Canada?. Do I need to live continuously in the US while my application for Citizenship is in process?

Answer

Temporary absence of three months while your citizenship application is pending should not pose a problem as long as you remain a permanent resident of USA.

Citizenship Form

Authored on: Mon, 03/01/2010 - 06:41

Question

Iam a US citizen I want to fill for citizen for my mom I dont know which form I should fill out to send to immigration.

Answer

I am assuming she has been a green card holder for 5 years the form is N-400.

US Citizenship, misdemeanor case

Authored on: Fri, 01/15/2010 - 06:41

Question

First of all I would like to thank Rajiv for this website. I am a new user but I've read some answers and felt so easy already. I had a misdemeanor charge back in 2007, shoplifting (less than 500). I did community service 24 hours and was on probation, got early termination of probation in 2008. All records got cleared in the state of Colorado. I am thinking to apply for US citizenship but very nervious about it. Please advise. I have two daughters. My husband could apply first with kids and I could try after them. Please help me. Need your advice.

Answer

Thanks for your kind comments about our web site. You can apply, but USCIS can certainly make an issue about the misdemeanor. You may want to retain a local lawyer.

My naturalization interview experience

Authored on: Wed, 01/13/2010 - 06:38

Question

I had my interview today.The officer asked me simple direct questions like my DOB,when I came to USA ,when I moved to this state..then on the trips section he said "what was your purpose of your visits, becuase I see trips for like 3 months "i said " i visited my husband and relatives"and thats it on this section,given that i made 6 trips out,the longest is for 5.5months after civics,he said I passed,but no decision was made because they need to review my physical residency. Is my case very bad? I am worried!total days spent out were 554(1.5yr)in my 5yr residency!how bad is that? do they take long time to respond?

Answer

I see no problem with the visits - they were all less than 6 months. I think it should be ok. It is difficult to estimate how long it will take.

How does Immigration office verify the dates of entries/exits

Authored on: Wed, 01/06/2010 - 08:09

Question

Could you tell me how does the Naturalization Office verify dates of US entries/exits? My wife and I have been lawful US Green Card Holders since 1990 and we're interest in applying for naturalization now. We've been traveling in and out the US for the past 19 years and I didn't save all the plane stubs. I believe we only have some of the US entries (not exit) stamps on our passports. Also we've renewed our passports once, so our passports only show the entries stamps for the past 3 years or so.

Answer

As far as I know they rely upon your passport and their own entry-exit records through Form I-94 system. This situation is common and can be corrected by supplying affidavits from applicants along with any other evidence you may have.

Renewing Expired GC and Citizenship for autistic/disabled persons

Authored on: Mon, 03/16/2009 - 01:00

Question

One of our clients (I think I have worked with these folks for over a decade) had these questions:

Answer

Quote:  A member of our family was issued a Green Card in November 1980. The green card did not have any renewal date (see enclosed). I assume Green Cards at that time did not have a renewal date. Does this need to be renewed?

Ans: Replace the green card. See:
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-90instr.pdf

Quote: The child is an autistic and her parents have not applied for a US citizenship for her. Can she apply for citizenship? Passing a citizenship exam might be a challenge for her though.

Ans: The law on disability is:

Disability — If you have a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment so severe that it prevents you from acquiring or demonstrating the required knowledge of English and civics, you may be eligible for an exception to these requirements. To request an exception, you must file a “Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions” (Form N-648). If you believe you qualify, contact a licensed medical or osteopathic doctor or licensed clinical psychologist who will need to complete and sign your Form N-648. To apply for a disability exception, your disability:
• Must be at least 1 year old (or be expected to last 1 year); and
• Must not have been caused by illegal drug use.
If you qualify for this exception, an interpreter, who is proficient in English and the language of your choice, must accompany you to the interview

Consequences of DUI's on naturalization and green card

Authored on: Tue, 01/06/2009 - 01:00

Question

Dear Mr.Khanna, I have reading all your post and found you quite informative. I will appreciate if you can let me know the possible consequences of my case.

I was in restaurant in Gaithersburg MD on Jan 29 2008 with my boss who was visiting from Atlanta. I had a beer and 2 glasses of wine with dinner came out sat in the car and started backing up. As you know it was winter and had rained earlier the windscreen at the back got fogged out. While backing up I hit a car parked. Police was in that parking lot and arrested for drunk driving. I blew .09. I was given a bunch of tickets after being 30 minutes in the precinct and was released. In the court they dismissed 2 tickets like DUI and DUI par se and convicted me DWI and Failure to control Speed to Avoid Collision. BTW DWI in MD is a lesser offence when you blow less than the state .08 BAC typically .07. And Failure to control speed to avoid collision which is maximum fine $130.00.Now the Judge gave me Supervised Probation till I finish my MADD Class. After that the Probation goes to Unsupervised for 12 Months. Now I am elligible to file citizenship. I have finished 5 years of LPR time with minimal travel aborad.

Now my questions are :

1.) Will I get deported or removed.
2.) Will I have problems while entering POE while travelling from overseas.
3.) Will my Citizenship be denied if I file after my probation gets over.

Please share your knowledge It will immensly help my stress. This one mistake of my life has really taken a toll in my life.

Your earliest reply will highly appreciated.

Answer

Let us look at the law for green cards and removal (deportation) first.

Remember the following GENERAL elements of the law (there is more to it).

  1. Traffic violations that are not considered crimes under state law have no implications and create no problems for your green card.
  2. If you have only one conviction ever and it is a misdemeanor, you are AUTOMATICALLY protected by law and forgiven under a provision of law called "petty offense exception."
  3. If you have a conviction for a felony we have to look at the law very carefully, but not all felonies are necessarily a problem fro your green card

For naturalization, even too many traffic tickets can become an issue, if CIS wants to make it so. Generally speaking they look at only the last five years from your application for you history, but there is no law prohibiting them from going back further in time.

Any kind of crimes could become a problem for naturalization and you must get yourself a lawyer if you have a criminal history of any kind.

Both traffic tickets and crimes go to the issue of "good moral character," a prerequisite to naturalization. 

Does lay-off affect natutralization?

Authored on: Mon, 01/05/2009 - 01:00

Question

I obtained my green card 4 1/2 years ago through employment. My former employer sponsored me h-1 visa for 6 years and labor certificate and green card as well.

Unfortunately, I was terminated by the employer last year, which ended my 10 years career at the company. After the termination, I then filed workers compensation claim for the injuries at work, and civil lawsuit for discrimations and under-paid wages through lawyers. The two cases are pending at courts.

Now I have a part time job which is not related to the job that helped me get the green card.

It is almost time for me to apply for citizenship. However I am worried about how much the two cases would affect the application. I will be asked in the citizenship interview why I left the green card sponsor, why you were terminated and so on, so forth.

Please help advise if my worries are correct ?
Is it better to apply for citizenship when the problems above are ended in courts ?

Thank you very much for your help.

Answer

 I see no reason to worry here. Neither the civil cases nor the fact that you have left and taken a PT job should have any bearing on your naturalization.

Naturalization - travel before oath

Authored on: Thu, 10/09/2008 - 01:00

Question

Answer

My husband and I have our N400 petition pending for almost 18 months. We passed our interview in July 2007 and had our 2nd fingerprinting 2 weeks ago. We were also informed that we have been cleared from background check. We have to leave for an international assignment in December and would like to understand the steps we need to take so it does not impact/disrupt our naturalization process, in case we do not get called for oath by then.

My husband and I have our N400 petition pending for almost 18 months. We passed our interview in July 2007 and had our 2nd fingerprinting 2 weeks ago. We were also informed that we have been cleared from background check. We have to leave for an international assignment in December and would like to understand the steps we need to take so it does not impact/disrupt our naturalization process, in case we do not get called for oath by then.
Ans. As far as I know, the two most important things are not to abandon your permanent residence in USA and to make sure you do go for the oath ceremony. You may want to approach your Congressman's office for an expedited resolution so you have taken the oath before you leave.