Applying for Citizenship from Outside America

Posted on October 4, 2013. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Non-U.S. citizens can gain American citizenship through a process called Naturalization.

The process of naturalization begins with permanent residency. Being a green card holder (permanent resident) for a certain period of time is one of the main requirements for citizenship. The requirements will differ depending on your situation.

Under most circumstances, you must be in the U.S. when you apply for citizenship.

U.S. Citizenship General Requirements

If you are not the spouse of a U.S. citizen and you are not in the military, the general requirements for citizenship are that you must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Have been a green card holder (permanent resident) for five years
  • Have not left the country for more than six months
  • Have remained in the U.S. for at least 30 months in the last five years
  • Have lived in the district or state where you are applying for at least three months
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have basic knowledge of English and U.S. government

If you are the spouse of U.S citizen and have been living with the same U.S. citizen, the general requirements for citizenship are that you must:

  • Be 18 years old
  • Have been a green card holder (permanent resident) for three years
  • Have not left the country for more than six months
  • Have remained in the U.S. for at least 18 months in the last three years
  • Have lived in the district or state where you are applying for at least three months
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have basic knowledge of English and U.S. government

Note: In order for the above to apply, your U.S. citizen spouse must have been a U.S. citizen for the past three years.

If you are in the U.S. military and have served for at least a year, the general requirements for citizenship are that you must:

  • Have been a permanent resident for one year
  • Have been a green card holder (permanent resident) for one year if you are in the military
  • Have honorable service

Citizenship Application and working abroad

U.S. military personnel and other applicants who are working abroad are exempt from continuous residence requirements. The applicants must be working for:

  • The U.S. government
  • Contractors of the U.S. government
  • A recognized American Institution of research
  • A public international organization
  • An organization designed under the International Immunities Act

If working outside the U.S. for one of the above, you must file Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes.

 

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Fundamental Information on Immigration and Naturalization

Posted on September 11, 2013. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |

Naturalization is the process by which an immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen.

An immigrant, according to U.S. immigration law, is someone who has the intention to be a permanent resident while a nonimmigrant is someone who is seeking to remain in the U.S. temporarily. Immigration and naturalization is a process that begins with obtaining a green card.

Lawful immigrants are immigrants who have a green card. A green card is the official document that proves lawful permanent residency. Most people become lawful permanent residents with the help of a U.S. family member or U.S. employer.

To be eligible for citizenship, most applicants are required tohave lived in the U.S. with permanent residency for at least five years.There are two cases when the five-year requirement does not apply:

  • For applicants married to U.S. citizens, the requirement is permanent residency for at least three years.
  • For applicants who are in the military, the requirement is permanent residency for at least one year.

Naturalization Requirements

There are more requirements for naturalization than just having had a green card for a certain period of time. The other citizenship requirements are:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing the citizenship application
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have the ability to read, write and speak basic English
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and civics (government)
  • Prove an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. constitution.
  • Prove continuous residence during the five years immediately before filing the citizenship application. The requirement is three years for spouses of U.S. citizens. This Requirement does not apply to military servicemen applicants.
  • Prove physical presence in the U.S. at least 30 months out of the five years immediately before filing the citizenship application. The requirement is 18 months for spouses of U.S. This requirement does not apply to military servicemen applicants.
  • Demonstrate residency for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where submitting citizenship application

 

Naturalization Process

The naturalization process is completed through these steps:

  • File Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • Attend the biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment
  • Attend interview (Includes citizenship test to determine if the applicant fulfills knowledge of Basic English and basic understanding of U.S. history and civics requirements.)
  • Receive USCIS decision on application
  • Attend naturalization ceremony (Includes swearing loyalty to the U.S. by saying the Oath of Allegiance.)
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Immigration Reform Bill’s Big Question is Path to Citizenship

Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Should the 11 million immigrants living undocumented in the U.S. get a path to citizenship?

That is the big question as Congress prepares to debate immigration reform & citizenship in the next few weeks.

While some House Republicans agree that undocumented immigrants should get some form of legal status, most disagree with the Senate’s plan.

The Senate immigration reform bill proposes to create a path to citizenship called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI).

RPI would give undocumented immigrants legal status valid for six years with an option for renewal. After 10 years of lawful status, the RPI immigrants would be eligible for permanent residency, green card status.They would have to remain green card holders for three years and then they would be eligible for citizenship. The path to citizenship from RPI status to citizenship would take at least 13 years.

House Republicans say people who are living in the U.S. without authorization because they either illegally crossed the border or overstayed their visas should not be rewarded a special path to American citizenship. They say it is unfair to millions of people who are waiting in line for a green card through the current legal process.

Congress will return from its summer break the week of Sept. 9. All the focus will be on the Republican-led House of Representatives. It’s likely that the House will reject the Senate’s bill. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said recently the he did not support the bill: “We think a legal status in the United States, but not a special pathway to citizenship, might be appropriate.”

The Senate bill passed in June and aside from the path to citizenship provision, it includes provisions to increase border security and streamline the legal immigration system.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Steps On How To Apply For US Citizenship?

Posted on August 21, 2013. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , |

Each year, the U.S. welcomes thousands of new citizens.According to USCIS, in fiscal year 2013, approximately 503,104 people have been naturalized.

What is naturalization? Naturalization is the process by which someone from another country becomes a U.S. citizen. People who were born in the U.S. or who were born in another country but had at least one U.S. citizen parent do not have to become naturalized for they are citizens by birth.

Here are the Steps on How to Apply for U.S. Citizenship:

Step 1: The first step is finding out if you are eligible for naturalization. To be eligible to apply, all applicants have to be at least 18 years. Since children automatically become citizens when their parents or guardians become citizens, they are not eligible to apply directly. Most applicants will also have to have been permanent residents (green card holders) for at least five years. The two types of applicants who do not have to fulfill that five-year requirement are spouses of U.S. citizen and military men.

Step 2: The second step is preparing your documents. If you have determined that you are eligible to apply for citizenship, the thing to do next is to prepare the documents you must submit. You are required to include:

  • 2 passport-sized taken within 30 days of application
  • A photocopy of both sides of your permanent resident card (green card)

Other documents necessary will depend on your specific case. Unless USCIS requests originals, you will only have to submit copies.

Documents that are not in English must be translated.

Step 3: The third step is completing form N-400, Application for Naturalization. The application is separated into eight parts. You will be asked to answer several questions, including questions about your eligibility and your time spent abroad. You must sign and date Form N-400 once you have filled out all the information. Be sure to check that all information is correct.

Step 4: The fourth step is mailing N-400. You have to include the current fee for citizenship, which is $595. You are only allowed to pay by check or money order. It must be payable to “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security”

Step 5: After these steps have been completed, you will wait for a notification from USCIS. USCIS will let you know when to attend your biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment, which are used to conduct an FBI background check.

After the biometrics appointment, you will have to attend an interview, during which your application will be reviewed and you will take your citizenship test.

 

Step 6: The final step of the process is finally the citizenship ceremony. This is where you take the Oath of Allegiance and promise loyalty to the U.S. After you take your oath, you will receive your citizenship certificate and be an official U.S. citizen.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

What is the USCIS?

Posted on May 14, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , |

The Unites States of America is often described as a “Melting Pot”. People from all over the world immigrate here in search of a better life for themselves and/or their families. Others come here seeking an advanced education at our colleges and universities. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency assigned in overseeing the lawful immigration of foreign nationals who are temporarily or permanently settling in the United States and is responsible for granting or denying immigration benefits to those individuals. But besides legal entry, the USCIS also tackles those that illegally enter the United States, making sure that those individuals do not receive benefits, such as social security or unemployment benefits, and investigating, detaining, and deporting those illegally living in the United States.

The Unites States of America is often described as a “Melting Pot”. People from all over the world immigrate here in search of a better life for themselves and/or their families. Others come here seeking an advanced education at our colleges and universities. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency assigned in overseeing the lawful immigration of foreign nationals who are temporarily or permanently settling in the United States and is responsible for granting or denying immigration benefits to those individuals. But besides legal entry, the USCIS also tackles those that illegally enter the United States, making sure that those individuals do not receive benefits, such as social security or unemployment benefits, and investigating, detaining, and deporting those illegally living in the United States.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was established on March 1, 2003 and is under purview of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Before that date, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was responsible for all things related with immigration, including administrative and investigative functions. After the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Congress passed into law the Homeland Security Act of 2002, which led to the dismantling of the INS into three agencies within the DHS to enhance national security and improve efficiency: the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), which is responsible for immigration service functions, such as those listed below; and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bureaus, which handle immigration enforcement and border security functions. The USCIS was briefly named the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), before becoming USCIS.

Unlike most other federal agencies, the majority of the USCIS’ budget (99%) comes from fees the USCIS collects from processing millions of immigration ins benefit applications and petitions annually.

Some of the services provided by the the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are:

* Citizenship (Includes the Related Naturalization Process): Individuals who wish to become US citizens through naturalization submit their applications, such as the Form N-400, to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. The USCIS determines eligibility, processes the applications and, if approved, schedules the applicant for a ceremony to take the Oath of Allegiance. The USCIS can help in determining the eligibility and provide documentation of U.S. citizenship for people who acquired U.S. citizenship through their parents by using Form N-600.

* Immigration of Family Members: USCIS also manages the process that allows current permanent residents and US citizens to bring close relatives to live and work in the United States by submitting forms such as the Form I-130.

* Working in the US: USCIS manages the process that allows individuals from other countries to come and work in the United States. Some of the opportunities are temporary, and some provide a path to a green card (permanent residence).

* Verifying an Individual’s Legal Right to Work in the United States: USCIS manages the system that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

* Humanitarian Programs for Asylees and Refugees: USCIS administers humanitarian programs that provide protection to individuals inside and outside the United States who are displaced by war, famine and civil and political unrest, and those who are forced to flee their countries to escape the risk of death and torture at the hands of persecutors.

* Adoptions: USCIS manages the first steps in the process for US citizens to adopt children from other countries.

* Civic Integration: USCIS promotes instruction and training on citizenship rights and responsibilities and provide immigrants with the information and tools necessary to successfully integrate into American civic culture.

Source: What is the USCIS?

Read more at immigrationins.multiply.com

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...