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Posts Tagged ‘citizenship application’

If you are not sure if you are eligible for file the application for citizenship because of your criminal record, you should consult an immigration attorney who can properly advise you. If you have been convicted of murder or any other aggravated felony, you may be permanently ineligible to get U.S. citizenship immaterial of how long ago the crime was committed. Other types of crimes may result in temporary bars to citizenship. The details of the conviction are very important in making this determination.

Form N-400, the citizenship application asks for information about your criminal record. You have to report your complete criminal record to the USCIS. Failure to do so may also result in a denial of your Application

DUI incidents also have to be reported and it also depends in part on how long ago the offense was committed, whether the applicant has ever committed any other crimes, and whether there are any other factors which may lead USCIS to conclude an absence of “good moral character.”

Applicants should always be honest with USCIS about all:

• Arrests (even if they were not charged or convicted);

• Convictions (even if their record was cleared or expunged);

• Crimes they committed for which they were not arrested or convicted; and

• Any countervailing evidence, or evidence in their favor concerning the circumstances of the arrests, and/or convictions or offenses that the applicant would want the USCIS to consider.

Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your case if you do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Unless a traffic incident was alcohol or drug related, applicants need not submit documentation for traffic fines and incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than $500 and/or points on the applicant’s driver’s license.

Applicants should enter the complete details of any incident that is branded a crime including the verdict. The USCIS will always do a background check with the FBI on all applicants. If applicants do not put in these details when they apply for citizenship, the USCIS can later try to reject the application claiming that the applicant failed to disclose the truth. So in the best interest, it will be better to put down the details transparently.

Being transparent will give you a better chance to Naturalize. Simple traffic violations are mostly not considered as crime, but there are some exceptions. To know them, you can contact the nearest INS office or the contact the INS at 1-800-375-5283.

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You will have to provide the selective service registration number in your American Citizenship application.

All men aged between 18 and 25 and living in the US have to register with Selective Service. Per US immigration laws, a man has to register within 30 days of his 18th birthday. Though no harm in registering late, it cannot be done after a man has reached 26 years of age. You can register at any US Post Office and to do so, you don’t need a social security number. When you do get a social security number, inform the Selective Service.

Should I Register for Selective Service?

  • With few exceptions, all male citizens of the United States and male aliens residing in the US and its territories should register within the period starting 30 days before and ending 30 days after their 18th birthday.
  • Parolees, refugees, and applicants for asylum are regarded as residents of the U.S. and therefore have to register.
  • Handicapped men who can function in public, with or without any assistance from others have to register. If he is not able to do it himself, a friend/relative can help fill the registration form.
  • Members of the National Guard and Reserve Forces who are not on full-time active duty also have to register.

Exemptions From Registration?

  • All Females.
  • Non-immigrant aliens (men on visitor or student visas and members of diplomatic or trade missions and their families who were admitted lawfully). This is because they are residing in the US temporarily.
  • Men who did not register due to unavoidable and unseen circumstances, such as being hospitalized, institutionalized, or incarcerated. However, these persons should ensure they register within 30 days after their release.
  • Armed Forces Members on full-time active duty are also exempted from registering for Selective Service. This also applies to cadets and midshipmen at the US service academies. But, upon release from active duty, even these persons should make sure they register within 30 days if the person is not yet 26 years of age and has not yet registered.

Another important fact to keep in mind is that men cannot register after reaching age 26.

The USCIS gives much importance to Selective Service registration and is used to assess whether an applicant has “good moral character.”, which is a significant aspect in the citizenship application.

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Rights of U.S. Citizens : You can

  • vote in federal elections
  • Bring your dear ones to be with you the US
  • Travel abroad with a U.S. passport
  • get citizenship for your children born overseas
  • serve on a jury
  • become eligible for federal jobs.
  • Also become eligible for federal grants and scholarship.

Disadvantages :

If you got your green card using fraudulent practices and try applying for American citizenship, chances of getting deported are indeed very high. Some countries do not allow dual citizenship. The law in US about dual citizenship is unclear as it neither states it allows it nor denies. Having a US passport is risky in some unfriendly countries.

Responsibilities of U.S. Citizens :

  • Support and defend the Constitution
  • Serve the country when required
  • Participate in the democratic process
  • Obey federal, state, and local laws
  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others

The reasons you could be barred from obtaining citizenship :

You should consult an immigration attorney before filing the citizenship application in any of the following situations: You

  • were convicted of a crime.
  • lied to an immigration officer, consular or government official.
  • married for the sole purpose to obtain residency status.
  • were absent from the US for long periods of time, especially periods over one year since becoming a lawful permanent resident
  • have ever been arrested.
  • Did not file an income tax return for any year since becoming a LPR.
  • owe child support

 

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The American citizenship test is not a multiple choice test. Your knowledge in US civics will be tested orally. The USCIS interviewing official will ask ten questions from the available hundred questions and you will be considered PASS if you are able to answer at least six out of ten questions correctly.

As far as the English language is concerned, your speaking, reading and writing ability and how well you understand English will be evaluated Out of the given three sentences, you should read one sentence correctly to prove to the USCIS interviewing officials that you are able to understand the meaning of the sentence.

Apart from this, you should also write one sentence correctly from the given three. Your ability to speak English will be judged by the way you reply to the questions asked by USCIS officers during the interview. Finally, the result of your test will be based on how you performed in the test.

If I Fail The Immigration Test?

If your application was rejected/denied because of your failure to pass the English or Civics test, you can apply again as soon as you think you have gathered enough knowledge in English or Civics to pass the tests. You will be given a second chance if you fail any of the tests at your interview, and will be tested again on the portion of the test that you failed between 60 and 90 days from the date of your original interview. If you fail again, your case will be denied.

If you think the USCIS made a mistake in rejecting your application, you can request a hearing with an immigration official. The denial letter that USCIS sends to you will have all the details about how to request a hearing. In this case, you have to file Form N-336,”Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings” under Section 336 of the INA with the correct fee within 30 days from the date you received the denial letter.

After the appeal hearing, if you still feel your case was wrongly denied, you can file a petition for a new review of your citizenship application in a US district court.

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If you satisfy all the requirements to apply for US citizenship, the first step is to get Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization.

Complete the N-400 application.

• Take two passport-style photographs.

Get the necessary supporting documents.

Mail your citizenship application along with passport-style photographs, documents and fee to the designated Service Center. Do not send cash.

• Have a copy of everything you send to USCIS.

You will receive an appointment letter from USCIS.

Go to place mentioned in the letter and have your fingerprints taken.

In case USCIS requests for additional documents, mail them

Wait till you receive an appointment for your interview.

Go to the local USCIS office as mentioned in the letter at the given time.

If USCIS requests, bring identification and provide additional documents. Having two additional passport-style photographs at the time of interview would be useful.

• Answer questions about your application package and background.

Take the citizenship test which comprises of English and Civics.

•  If everything goes on well, your case is approved and you will be notified about the ceremony date.

At the ceremony, return your Permanent Resident Card (green card)

You have to answer a few questions about what you have done since your interview.

Take the Oath of Allegiance.

Finally, receive your Certificate of Naturalization.

 

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Per the USCIS, some civics test answers in the citizenship application process will change due to recent elections.

20: Who is one of your state’s U.S. Senators now?

The answer to this question may change as of January 5, 2011, depending on where you live.

Answers will vary. Give the name of one of your state’s U.S. Senators serving in the 112th Congress, which begins on January 5, 2011. For a list of current members of the U.S. Senate, please visit www.senate.gov.

23: Name your U.S. Representative.

The answer to this question may change as of January 5, 2011, depending on where you live. Answers will vary. Give the name of your U.S. Representative serving in the 112th Congress, which begins on January 5, 2011. For a list of current members of the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit www.house.gov.

43: Who is the Governor of your state now?

The answer to this question may change depending on where you live. Answers will vary. Give the name of your state’s Governor now. Inauguration dates will vary.

For a list of current governors, please visit http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml.

47: What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?

As of January 5, 2011, the answer to this question is:

(John) Boehner

Source : http://www.uscis.gov

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During your citizenship interview, a USCIS Officer will ask you questions about your application and background. To qualify for U.S. citizenship, almost all applicants should take an English language test and a Civics test. Generally, applicants must demonstrate the fact that they can read, write and speak basic English and also that they have basic knowledge of US history and government to pass the  US citizenship test and interview. The English test has three components namely reading, writing, and speaking whereas the civics test covers important U.S. history and government topics.

Your speaking ability will be checked a USCIS Officer during your interview. As far as reading ability is concerned, you have to read one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate your ability to read in English. To demonstrate your writing ability, you should write one out of three sentences correctly. In Civics, there are 100 questions on the naturalization test. During your interview, you will be asked up to 10 questions from the list of 100 questions. You should answer at least six out of the ten questions correctly to pass the civics test. If you fail any section of the test, you will be retested on the same section of the test that you failed within the next 90 days.

There are a few who are exempted from taking the English Language and Civics Test. Applicants above 50 years of age and who have been permanent residents for periods totaling at least 20 years need not take the English test. But they have to take the Civics test, but can take it in a language of their choice. Such applicants should mark in red 50/20 on top of their citizenship application.

Applicants above 55 years of age and who have been permanent residents for periods totaling at least 15 years need not take the English test. But they have to take the Civics test and can take it in language of their choice. Applicants under this category should mark in red 55/15 on top of their citizenship application.

Applicants above 65 years of age and who have been permanent residents for periods totaling at least 20 years need not take the English test. But they have to take the Civics test, and can take it in a language of their choice. This test will be a simpler version. You will be asked about 10 questions out of a list of 25. Applicants under this category should mark in red 65/20 on top of their citizenship application.

Applicants who have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment where that impairment affects their ability to learn English and Civics are eligible for an exception. Such applicants should file Form N-648 requesting an exception. This form has to be filed along with the citizenship application.

If you are eligible for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement, you should bring an interpreter.

The test is not a multiple choice test. The applicant’s civics knowledge will be tested orally. The interviewing Officer will ask around 10 questions out of the 100 questions. Applicants should answer six out of ten questions correctly to pass the civics test.

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