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Articles Posted in Citizenship

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares the latest update regarding reopening procedures for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field offices nationwide.

Keep on watching for more information.


Overview


On May 27, 2020, USCIS announced that some domestic field offices and asylum offices would begin to reopen to the public on or after June 4, 2020. Unfortunately, as June 4th came and went, it became evident that USCIS would not be able to reopen its offices on June 4th. USCIS recently published an office closure webpage which shows that all field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers are still closed to the public, except for those seeking urgent emergency services. Unfortunately, this means that there will be delays in reopening offices nationwide. We have received information that the San Diego Field Office plans to reopen during the month of July. Based on this information we believe that the majority of field offices, asylum offices, and application support centers will also reopen around this time frame.

Even when USCIS offices do reopen, it will not be business as usual. USCIS has said it will be reducing the number of appointments and interviews at its offices to comply with social distancing requirements. As a result, USCIS will not be scheduling nearly as many biometrics appointments and interviews as it did before the coronavirus pandemic. This will result in further delays in the adjudication of applications and petitions that require an interview such as applications for permanent residency and naturalization.

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Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a frequently asked question: can someone who is in the process of getting divorced overseas re-marry in the United States before that divorce is final?

Overview:

In many foreign countries the process of getting divorced is a very long and tedious process with many divorces taking many years to come to a final conclusion.

Many clients are left wondering whether they can lawfully re-marry in the United States while their divorce process is pending overseas, so that they can move on with their lives and apply for adjustment of status based on their marriage in the United States.

Unfortunately, you may not lawfully re-marry in the United States until all prior marriages have been terminated. A prior marriage is terminated when divorce proceedings come to a conclusion. A prior marriage is terminated by a government order or decree of dissolution of marriage issued by the appropriate authority in the country where your divorce proceedings took place. If you have not received a final order or decree of dissolution from such an authority, your prior marriage has not been terminated.

Filing a petition for adjustment of status while you remain married to someone else, even in a foreign country, carries with it very serious legal consequences.

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Welcome back to Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we cover a new policy update handed down by USCIS that affects children of U.S. service members and government employees stationed abroad.

The new policy update states that certain children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members, employed or stationed outside the United States, will not be considered to be “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring citizenship under INA 320 beginning October 29, 2019.

In other words, some children of U.S. government workers and members of the U.S. armed forces stationed abroad will no longer be granted automatic citizenship. Instead, their parents will need to apply for their citizenship by filing Form N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 before the child’s 18th birthday.

Who does the Policy affect?

This policy applies to the following categories of children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members:

  • children of non-U.S. citizens adopted by U.S. citizen employees or service members;
  • children of non-U.S. citizen parents who become citizens after the child’s birth; and
  • children of U.S. citizens who do not meet residency requirements to transmit citizenship to their children at birth.

While these children will no longer obtain citizenship automatically, U.S. citizen parents residing outside the United States, with children who are not U.S. citizens, can still apply for their citizenship, by filing Form N-600K before the child’s 18th birthday.

Who does the Policy not affect?

The policy DOES NOT affect children who are citizens at birth or who have already acquired citizenship prior to October 29, 2019.

The Takeaway

This new policy does not take away the citizenship rights of children of U.S. service members and government employees stationed abroad, but rather makes it harder for these children to acquire citizenship by requiring parents to submit Form N-600K with supporting documentation. Previously, children who regularly resided outside the United States could acquire citizenship automatically.

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What happens when you have let your green card expire, and you now want to apply for citizenship?

Overview: 

Under current immigration law, a naturalization applicant is not required to have a valid green card at the time of filing for citizenship.

Because of this, individuals with a now expired green card do not need to apply to renew their green cards before applying for citizenship.

However, in cases where the green card was lost or stolen it is recommended that the individual file Form I-90 to renew a lost or stolen green card.  Even in this case you may still apply for citizenship and provide a copy of your I-90 receipt notice as proof that your green card renewal is in process.

Exception: Individuals who are traveling or individuals who need to have a valid green card to prove that they are eligible to engage in lawful employment,  should apply to renew their green cards as soon as possible.

Remember that as a general rule, applicants are allowed to apply for citizenship even if their green card has now expired, but in certain cases it may be a good idea to apply for a green card renewal prior to applying for naturalization.

Conditional Green Cards

If you have received a conditional 2-year green card, you must first remove the conditions on your conditional permanent residence on Form I-751. Conditional residents may apply for citizenship on their third anniversary of becoming a resident, if they remain married to the same individual who petitioned for their green card.

For more information about citizenship please click here.

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Overview:

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new USCIS policy that says that individuals who use marijuana, may be barred from obtaining U.S. Citizenship, even if smoking marijuana is not an offense in that state. This includes individuals who work in the marijuana industry.

Under federal law, marijuana remains a controlled substance, and the possession, cultivation, and distribution of both medical and non-medical marijuana remains illegal, even though these activities are lawful in some states. Such conduct can result in very serious immigration consequences for non-citizens who are interested in applying for naturalization. That is because immigration is regulated at the federal level, and the federal rules apply.

A candidate for naturalization must demonstrate that they are a person of good moral character in the five years prior to filing for naturalization. A violation for the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana within the five-year period prior to filing your application for naturalization, may result in conditional bar to good moral character and require the applicant to file for a waiver to remove the bar, or delay the process of applying for naturalization.

Please speak with your immigration attorney for more information about how this new policy may affect you. For more information please contact our office.

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Can I lose my green card if my citizenship application is denied after the interview?

A person typically acquires a green card based on employment or an underlying family petition. As part of the process of becoming a permanent resident, an applicant must pass a background check, and meet all other eligibility requirements to become a permanent resident.

During the citizenship application process, USCIS is given another opportunity to further vet the applicant and ensure that the applicant meets all of the criteria required to become a United States Citizen, as well as ensuring that the applicant has not committed fraud or any other immigration violations to obtain an immigration benefit.

If during your citizenship application process, USCIS finds that there was an inaccuracy or inconsistency during the process of obtaining your green card, it is possible that such a finding might adversely affect the outcome of your citizenship application, depending on the type of defect.

USCIS may or may not decide to investigate further depending on the inaccuracy or inconsistency involved. If USCIS decides to investigate any inaccuracies or inconsistencies involved in your prior green card case, they may decide to not only deny your citizenship application, but also to rescind your permanent resident card. Typically, this occurs where there is an instance of fraud or an individual gained a green card through misrepresentation.

An applicant who is denied for other reasons, such as failing the Civics or English examination, failing to prove good moral character, or failing to meet the continuous residence requirement, is typically not at risk of losing their green card.

If you have any concerns that are specific to your case, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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In this post, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the top reasons applications are denied at their citizenship interview.

Requirements to apply for citizenship:

In order to become a United States Citizen, you must meet the following general requirements at the time of filing your N-400 Application for Naturalization:

You must be:

  • A lawful permanent resident
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Maintained continuous residence in the United States since becoming a permanent resident
  • Be physically present in the United States
  • Have certain time living within the jurisdiction of a USCIS office
  • Be a person of Good Moral Character
  • Have Knowledge of English and U.S. Civics with some exceptions outlined below
  • Declare loyalty to the U.S. Constitution

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In this episode, Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the top 7 reasons why citizenship applications are denied. We outline the top 7 reasons below.

Overview: 

There are several reasons why an N-400 application can be denied. The most common reason an application may be denied is because the applicant failed to meet the minimum requirements of the N-400 application for naturalization. Other reasons may include that the applicant has a bad moral character, an excessive number of absences from the country, a combination of both of these factors, an issue with taxes, child support, etc. It is important to be aware that officers at an immigration interview have a broad range of discretion in deciding whether to approve or deny your application. Always be prepared for potential issues that may arise during your interview.

Top 7 reasons why citizenship applications are denied:

  • Selective Service: Males between ages 18 and 26 are required to register for the Selective Service. Failure to do so, or to not have a valid reason for not registering for Selective Service may result in a denial
  • Fraudulently obtaining a green card: Immigration officials scrutinize an individual’s citizenship application very closely. This means that more often than not immigration officials take a careful and detailed look into the applicant’s immigration history including how they obtained their permanent residence and potential red flags in the applicant’s file
  • Serious Crimes: Committing certain crimes (especially crimes of moral turpitude) can make an individual ineligible for citizenship
  • Lying: An individual caught lying to an immigration officer will likely be sanctioned by the immigration officer in the form of an immigration violation or worse
  • Taxes: Individuals owing back taxes are not considered persons of good moral character because they have not abided with the law in paying their taxes. If you owe back taxes your application will likely be denied
  • Child Support: Similar to the above
  • English: In order to be eligible for citizenship, the applicant must satisfy the language requirement. Applicants must be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language, although exemptions exist for certain applicants.

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In this video, our clients speak about their unique experience with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your first time consultation.

For more information please visit our website.

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In this video attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick speaks in Las Vegas, Nevada about our immigration practice, what makes us unique, and our partnership with SimpleCitizen, a start up company that helps individuals file certain immigration petitions on their own.

https://www.facebook.com/myimmigrationlawyer/videos/10154275209208766/

For more information regarding the services we provide please visit our website.

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