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Naturalization

Family Immigration, Naturalization, Travel Document

Travel while N-400 naturalization application is pending

Can I travel abroad while my N-400 naturalization application is pending?

Travel outside of the U.S. is generally acceptable while a naturalization application is pending. Leaving the U.S. does not trigger abandonment of the N-400 and your application will continue processing during your travels. However, there are a few implications to consider before you book your trip:

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Citizenship/Naturalization, Family Immigration, Naturalization

Modifying oath for new U.S. Citizens based on religious objection to bearing arms

Can I modify my oath based on religion when I become a US Citizen? I do not believe in bearing arms.

Yes, you are allowed to modify parts of your oath of allegiance based on your sincere, meaningful, and deeply held religious principles against bearing arms or serving in non-combatant military services. Modifying the naturalization oath is a serious decision allowed in some situations. Make sure you fully understand, or talk with an attorney about the oath and your reasons for requesting a modification before making your final decision:  Continue Reading

Employment Immigration, Family Immigration, Fees, Naturalization

New Year, New Immigration Fees and Forms

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017! A new year is a time for goals and resolutions, which may include applying for US citizenship, renewing a green card, or meeting with an attorney to discuss available immigration paths.

Applicants should be aware that USCIS is beginning the new year with recently updated fees and forms for almost all immigration cases.  Continue Reading

Children, Citizenship/Naturalization, Naturalization, Students

Students may apply for naturalization where they attend school

USCIS released a message earlier this month stating that eligible students can apply for naturalization in the state where they attend school, or in the state where their family lives as reflected in the USCIS Policy Manual.

Who is eligible? 
* Students 18 years of age or older who are applying for naturalization
* who attend educational institution in a different state from where their family lives
* and who are unmarried and financially dependent on their parents.
How does this benefit students?
Eligible students may apply for US Citizenship in the state where they attend school, rather than applying from their parent’s home state. This is helpful since the naturalization process takes months, and requires a biometrics appointment at the local USCIS office. Students who apply from the city where their University is located will not need to travel to their parents state to be fingerprinted, and to be interviewed by USCIS.
Citizenship/Naturalization, Employment Immigration, Family Immigration, Naturalization

Overcoming trips outside the US when applying for Naturalization

Q: I applied for US citizenship by submitting the n-400, but I have 2 trips within the last 5 years that lasted 9 months. What can I do?

A: Among many other requirements, those who apply for naturalization need to show they meet continuous residence and physical presence.

Continuous Residence means the applicant has resided in the US for 5 years before applying, or resided continuously for 3 years if he or she is a qualified spouse of a US Citizen. Trips outside the US that last more than 6 months can disrupt continuous residence, as can trips longer than 1 year.

Physical Presence means the applicant was physically present in the US more than half of the time. Applicants need to show they were present in the US for thirty months or more within the last 5 years (or 18 months out of the last 3 years for qualified spouses of US Citizens.) Also, US law requires that applicants have resided for at least 3 months in state where they apply for naturalization before submitting the application.

Since you mentioned two trips that were between 6 months and 1 year, this response will focus on continuous residence, though you should also check to make sure you meet physical presence requirements. This information is meant to be general and review the most common situations. For specific advice related to your case, be sure to speak with a qualified immigration attorney. Continue Reading

Children, Citizenship/Naturalization, Naturalization, Passport

What are the steps for my child to become a US Citizen?

Q: My 5-year-old son and I have been in the US as permanent residents and I recently married a US Citizen. My new US Citizen wife has adopted my son. What steps do we need to follow to get my son US Citizenship? Can he naturalize more quickly now that he has been adopted by a US Citizen? 

A: Congratulations on your recent marriage! Your child has a couple options, but none of the options will allow him to immediately become a US Citizen (USC). The process will involve simply applying for a US Passport for him. He does not likely need to go through the naturalization process.

There are 2 paths your son could follow to become a USC:

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