Articles Posted in Naturalization

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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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.

Continue reading

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 free first time consultation.

For more information please visit our website.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick speaks at an informational immigration seminar in Istanbul, Turkey. In the seminar, he discusses his book My American Job, which teaches foreign born immigrants how to navigate the complicated process of immigrating to the United States and how they too can make the American dream possible for themselves, as well as different immigration options for highly skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, start up companies, and many other immigration classifications. To learn more just keep on watching.

Coming to America for entrepreneurs – Live from Istanbul

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To read more about the different visa types and immigration classifications please visit our website. If you need more information regarding your eligibility for a particular visa, please contact our office, to schedule a free first time consultation.

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It is our pleasure to introduce you to our in-house attorney Marie Puertollano. From preparing clients for their citizenship and marriage interviews to successfully filing I-601A waivers and I-360 applications, Marie Puertollano Esq. is an attorney that wears many hats.

Marie Puertollano specializes in processing various types of applications with USCIS including the successful processing of H1-B’s, I-751 waivers, religious worker visas, asylum, I-601A waivers, F-1 reinstatement, B-2 tourist visitors, B-1 business visitors, H-3 trainees, I-360 abused spouses, etc.

Bio: Marie Puertollano was born and raised in France. She earned two Master Degrees in Law at California Western School of Law; one in France in Public Law and one in the United States in Comparative Law (LL.M). Marie Puertollano is fluent in French, English and Spanish. Marie has been with the law offices of Jacob Sapochnick since March 2012.

Marie developed a passion for the protection of immigrants’ rights, while being a social worker in Gainesville, GA. Marie worked with an organization helping battered women to obtain their visa and for an organization helping detained and non-detained people seeking cancellation of removal proceedings.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, biking, and dancing. She regularly serves food to the homeless and is a motivational speaker.

To schedule a first time consultation please contact our office. Remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram 

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Attorney Charles Ward has been a long time attorney at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Charles received his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Southern Methodist University graduating Cum Laude. He has been a California licensed attorney since 1997 and is also licensed to practice before the Federal Court system. His area of expertise includes Immigration and Family Law. Charles Ward is a stand-out member of our team and is known for his professionalism, compassion, infectious laughter, and colorful personality.

At the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick Charles handles cases that are in removal proceedings, including Asylum, Adjustment of Status, and Voluntary Departure. Mr. Ward also helps clients prepare for courtroom hearings, trials, green card interviews, fraud interviews, citizenship interviews, and much more. Mr. Ward is an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association and served as President of the “Small Firms & Solo Practitioners” section.

Outside of the office, Charles enjoys swimming in the ocean, hiking, traveling, and going to sporting events.

To learn more about the dedicated staff members serving and supporting our clients here.

To schedule a free consultation please contact us.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq., discusses the requirements of naturalization and citizenship. For more information about the N-400 application for naturalization please click here.

Overview:

There are several reasons why you may want to become a U.S. Citizen. Whether it be to obtain a job or for purposes of family unity, our office can help you file the perfect application for naturalization. U.S. Citizens have certain immigration benefits that other individuals such as legal permanent residents and non-immigrant visa holders cannot exercise. U.S. Citizens can leave the country and spend time abroad without worrying about their immigration status. They can also immigrate their immediate relatives and other family members more quickly than permanent residents. These are only some of the benefits U.S. Citizens have.

There are strict and specific requirements to become a U.S. Citizen.

The most important requirements are as follows:

  • You must be able to speak the English language in order to take the Citizenship test although some exceptions exist.
  • You must be over the age of 18 to apply
  • Residency requirement. A person must be a U.S. resident for at least five years or three years if the person obtained their green card based on their marriage to a U.S. Citizen.
  • As long as four years and 9 months have passed since obtaining permanent residency a person can file their application for naturalization
  • You must be physically present in the United States for 30 months out of the 5 years preceding the application for naturalization
  • You must reside in the state or county at least 3 months before filing of the application for naturalization
  • You must be a person of good moral character at the time you are filing your application. If you have committed a crime, committed fraud, or misrepresentation this may preclude you from filing your application for naturalization. If you have received a DUI you may not be eligible to apply for naturalization.

If you have any criminal issues or other issues that may cause the immigration officer to question your good moral character, you should consult with an attorney before filing your application for naturalization.

Special Considerations for Military and other individuals 

Members of the armed forces receive special consideration when applying for citizenship. They are not required to meet all of these requirements

Individuals of a certain age who have spent a certain amount of years in the U.S. also receive special consideration for example they are exempt from the language requirement.

For more information please contact our office. 

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