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Posts Tagged ‘citizenship’

There are advantages and disadvantages to dual citizenship. The advantages are as follows:

  1. A dual passport brings in financial advantages.
  2. Processing a dual passport is easier and takes lesser time than the normal visa and passport.
  3. Business people find this easier to invest in real estate in that country.
  4. Investment in both countries helps them in the two-way income they are able to get.
  5. A dual citizen is mostly bilingual, so he or she is an asset to the company they work for.
  6. People get multiple opportunities to showcase their talents in both countries.

However, there are disadvantages too. They have to be viewed with regard to the merits so as to weigh both sides equally.

  1. Each country has its own set of legal transactions, so if a person of dual citizenship is found guilty of crime the country is uncertain as to which laws he or she should be punished with. This uncertainty will be magnified in case of serious crime or fraud.
  2. Another issue is whether the state should give them equal rights with regard to political and social cases.
  3. Some people argue that dual citizenship could threaten the politics of the country. National security could be threatened when people find this an easy path to cross borders. This could also lead to illegal immigration.
  4. If a dual citizen is participating in the military training or war, it is difficult as to what job should be assigned to him as the uncertainty in this situation is that he or she may quit voluntarily and go back to their country with the intent of returning after the war is over. For such breach of national trust what can be done, is a debatable issue.

Dual citizenship is an ongoing debate and every one including immigration law makers have different views on it. It is successful in many countries especially the liberalized economies.

 

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Through the Federal Register, the State Department announced new consular fees. It includes fee changes that was proposed in 2010. Persons renouncing US citizenship will be paying a $450 fee. Earlier, there was no fee involved while renouncing American citizenship. The State Department did not cite any reasons for the dramatic rise in the fee nor has it mentioned any reason for why it changed the fees.

One who wishes to formally renouncing his/her US citizenship has to take an Oath of renunciation. One of the main reasons for renouncing US citizenship is because he/she adopts citizenship in a country that does not allow dual citizenship. Foreign nationals who wish to become naturalized citizens normally spend hundreds of dollars, first to get a green card and then while filing for naturalization.

Per the new fee schedule posted through the Federal Register, other citizenship oriented costs are also rising. The cost of applying for a new passport will be $70. The security surcharge for US passports has increased to $40 from $20. Adding to this, if you want to add new pages to your US passport book, you have to shell out $82. Earlier, there was no fee involved with this service. However, the State Department justifies the hike by mentioning this hike is needed due to increasing the cost of labor to affix the pages, endorse the passport, print the pages, processing the application, and to also to perform a quality-control check.

If you are registering the birth of an American child abroad, you will be paying a higher fee this time. This is another citizenship related fee change. Earlier, while reporting such a birth abroad, you had to pay $65, but now it has risen to $100 to report the birth of an American child abroad. In addition, if you are notarizing documents at US embassies, you have to pay more. Earlier, the cost of notarizing a single page at a US embassy overseas was $30. Per the Federal Register, this service now costs $50 per single page. All said and done, one should not forget the privileges and benefits of American citizenship. But the new fee schedule has thrown a higher cost on many citizenship related services.

 

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USCIS will change the filing locations for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. From Jan. 1, 2012, petitioners have to mail their stand-alone I-130 applications to either the Chicago Lockbox or the Phoenix Lockbox, depending on where they stay in the US. The USCIS will inform about the new filing locations on Jan.1 on their website. This effort is to ensure more efficient and effective processing of Form I-130.

However, note that there will be no change in filing locations when an individual is submitting Form I-130 along with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Such petitioners can continue to mail them to the Chicago Lockbox facility.

Petitioners filing from outside the US in countries without USCIS offices will also continue to file at the Chicago Lockbox facility. If there is a USCIS office abroad, petitioners may send their I-130 forms to the Chicago Lockbox, or they may file their Forms I-130 at the international USCIS office. Petitioners should make sure they are filing at the proper location because submitting Form I-130 packages to the incorrect Lockbox location may experience a delay in processing.

In addition to this update, On Oct. 19, 2011, a USCIS announced processing improvements for certain naturalization and citizenship forms. It has centralized intake of Forms N-336, N-600 and N-600K to the Phoenix Lockbox facility. Form N-300 is handled by the Dallas Lockbox facility. This change is aimed at streamlining the way forms are processed, speeding up the collection and deposit of fees and improves the consistency of our intake process.

Forms that are received at local and district offices after Dec. 2, 2011, will no longer be forwarded to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox facility. Beginning Dec. 5, impacted forms received locally will be returned to the petitioners and they will also be informed on how to re-file at a designated USCIS Lockbox facility. Petitioners are advised to read form instructions carefully before filing their form to ensure that they are filing the correct form type and edition at the correct location.

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The USCIS recently launched an enhanced Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and a redesigned Form N-560, Certificate of Citizenship, with additional features to strengthen security and deter fraud.

A state-of-the-art technology has been incorporated into the new documents which will help in detering counterfeit, obstruct tampering, and help in quick and accurate authentication. More than 1 million people are expected to get the new documents over the next year. The USCIS started issuing new EADs and will begin using the redesigned certificates from Oct. 30 , 2011.

With the added features, the EAD will better equip employees, employers and law enforcement officials to recognize the card as the most reliable proof of authorization to work in the US. The USCIS, in coordination with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Forensic Document Laboratory incorporated this technology and features as a measure to deter fraud. In addition, a secure printing process has helped in making the certificate more tamper-proof.

Though the look and feel of the documents is new, the filing and the entire application process remain unchanged. EADs already in circulation will be replaced as individuals apply for their renewal or replacement. Remember that all EADs issued previously continue to remain valid until the expiration date printed on the card. Certificates of Citizenship issued earlier remain valid indefinitely.

These steps show USCIS’s efforts to producing more secure documentation. Earlier in 2010, USCIS issued a new Permanent Resident Card (green card), which had security features to the card and technology improvements in the card production process. Apart from this, they launched the redesigned Certificate of Naturalization that had the naturalization candidate’s digitized photo and signature on the document. The USCIS will continue its efforts of strengthening document security features as technology improves.

Features

You will find the card number on the front of the card and it has the alien registration number without the initial letter “A.” The front of the card also has the case number, which reflects the case receipt number. It is a fine-line artwork and the card is multi-layered making it difficult to reproduce. The design of the card and the personalized features are meant to deter fraud.

In addition, the new process of producing certificates will rely on a printing process that is more tamper and fraud resistant than the earlier methods used. The new certificate will have the updated physical security features that makes it less susceptible to fraud. This new process is less labor intensive, less prone to human error and more importantly, more secure.

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One of the most commonly used non immigrant visas is the B visa. Through this visa classification, you can come to the United States for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2). As a visa holder in this classification, you are not allowed to study or work within the US.

Student Visas

There are two types of student visas, F-1 and M1. The F-1 visa is for students attending a full-time degree or academic program at a school, college, or university approved by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in compliance with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, also known as SEVIS. The M-1 visa is for students who are enrolled in non-academic or “vocational study”. Mechanical study, technical study, cooking classes, a language program, flight school or cosmetology program are a few examples that fall under “vocational study.”

Work Visas

You can become eligible for a E-1 Treaty Trader visa, if your country of citizenship has a treaty of friendship, commerce, or navigation with the US and if you are coming to the US to engage in substantial trade between the US and your country.

If your country has a bilateral investment treaty or agreement with the US and if you are coming to the US to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested or are in the process of investing, you may qualify for a E-2 Treaty Investor visa .

If you qualify for specialty occupations and are coming to the US to work in such occupations, you may get a H-1B visa. Foreign companies who already have or wish to establish US offices may have to transfer executive, managerial, or specialized persons to the U.S. Through the L-1 Visa, employees can be posted temporarily at the US parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office.

If you can demonstrate extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, or athletics, and are coming temporarily to the US to work in your area of extraordinary ability, you may well qualify under the O-1 visa classification.

The TN visa classification is reserved for citizens of Canada and Mexico who qualify for a work-authorized visa under NAFTA. NAFTA is an international trade agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico.

If you have either a degree or professional certificate from a post-secondary academic institution overseas and at least one year of related work experience outside the US, you may qualify as a J-1 trainee. Even if you do not have a degree, you may still qualify if you have five years of related work experience acquired outside the US.

Family Visas

The K-1 Visa category provides an alternative to the marriage-based visa process for individuals who are engaged to be married. The V-1/V-2 visa classification authorizes spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents ( green card holders ) to enter the US without waiting for an immigrant visa number to become available.

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Per the USCIS, the following naturalization ceremonies for those who applied for US citizenship are occuring across the country Jan. 11 – 21, 2011.

Date Location
1/11; 11 AM The National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St., Memphis, TN 38103
1/11; 9:15 AM Florida State College, 11901 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246
1/11; 11 AM Florida State College, 11901 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246
1/14; 8 AM USCIS Orlando Field Office, 6680 Corporate Centre Blvd., Orlando, FL 32822
1/14; 10 AM USCIS Orlando Field Office, 6680 Corporate Centre Blvd., Orlando, FL 32822
1/14; 9 AM USCIS New York City Field Office, Jacob K. Javits Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza, 3rd Floor, Room 3-120, New York, NY 10278
1/14; 9 AM USCIS Providence Field Office, 1543 Atwood Ave., Johnston, RI 02919
1/14; 10 AM The King Center, Freedom Hall Auditorium, 449 Auburn Ave., Atlanta, GA 30312
1/14; 11 AM YWCA Center for Race and Gender Equity, 305 Wood St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15222
1/14; 1 PM USCIS Providence Field Office, 1543 Atwood Ave., Johnston, RI 02919
1/14; 1 PM USCIS Reno Field Office, 790 Sandhill Rd., Reno, NV 89521
1/15; 11 AM Chandler Multicultural Festival, 124 E. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler, AZ 85225
1/20; 2 PM USCIS New Orleans Field Office, Metairie Centre, Suite 300 (3rd Floor), 2424 Edenborn Ave., Metairie, LA 70001
1/20; 11 AM St. Paul U.S. Federal Court, 316 N. Roberts St, St.Paul, MN  55101
1/20; 2PM St. Paul U.S. Federal Court, 316 N. Roberts St, St.Paul, MN  55101
1/21; 8:30 AM USCIS San Jose Field Office, 1887 Monterey Rd., San Jose, CA 95112
1/21; 10:30 AM USCIS San Jose Field Office, 1887 Monterey Rd., San Jose, CA 95112
1/21; 12 PM The International Civil Rights Center and Museum, 134 South Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401

 

Source : USCIS

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U.S. laws give many rights to citizens as well as non- citizens. But certain privileges go only to the citizens. As a U.S. citizen, you have the right to vote in the federal elections. Another major advantages is that, you can reunite families. You can bring your loved ones to be with you. You can bring your fiance through the K1 visa or bring through your spouse and children under the K-3,K-4 category. US citizens with unmarried children under the age of 21 can sponsor them as “Immediate Relatives”. Only U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents for a green card. Additionally, your children may be eligible for US citizenship based on parents’ status as a US citizen.

Being a U.S. citizen, there is no restriction for you to enter/ exit the US. The time you spend outside of the U.S. is not restricted. And it is also convenient for travel as certain countries do not require visas of US citizens. Another added benefit is that only a US citizen can apply for a US passport. Having a U.S. Passport, you can get assistance from the U.S. Government when you are overseas. You also will be eligible for federal jobs in the US. and can also become an elected official.

If a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) is accused of any illegal activity, there are chances where he/she can be deported. Whereas as a US citizen, you have the right to an attorney and a fair trial and need not face the hardship of being deported. These are only a few of the advantages of US citizenship and does not include all.

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