Presentation on theme: "Basic Naturalization Eligibility Requirements"— Presentation transcript:
1Basic Naturalization Eligibility Requirements At least 18 years oldResidency requirementsPhysical presence requirementsGood Moral Character requirementSpeak, read and write EnglishKnowledge of U.S. history and civicsWilling to take Oath of Allegiance
2Residence Requirements LPRFor 5 years (3 years if married to USC and living in marital union at filing)**Rollback rule for asylees and refugeesOpp for CIS to investigate whether eligible for admission for LPR & whether maintained status (look for admissibility/removability issues + abandonment issues);Residence = principal dwelling placeRollback: Refugees can start counting 5 years from day arrived in US;Asylees can start counting from one yr before LPR status grantedBoth these dates should be reflected on gr card.Sec. 316VAWA Natz: 3 year rule also applies to LPRs who got status via I360 or I751 waiver based on marriage to USC (altho no longer married)
3Residence Requirements (cont. #2) Residence must be continuous -- certain absences may break continuity of residenceGenerallyAbsences < 6 mos. - OKAbsences 6 mos. – 1 yr – shift/proveAbsences > 1 year – CP “broken”< 6 mos: no disruption of cont residence6 mos – 1 yr: USCIS presumes residence was disrupted, but applicant can prove otherwise. (maintained ties to us: job, house, immed family, bank accounts, filed taxes, school records, etc.)> 1yr: automatically disrupts cont. resid. Can apply 4 yrs + 1 day after ret’g to US (bc can be absend up to 364 days w/out auto’ly breaking continuity of resid.) or 2 yrs + 1 day if spouse of USC.
4Residence Requirements (cont. #4) 3 months residence in CIS Service District or state where file N-400Must reside in U.S. from filing of application to oathMay apply 3 months before residence period (3 or 5 yrs) completed2. don’t need to remain in US after filing, only “reside”; same rules as continuous residence before filing3. Can’t file 3 mos early if haven’t lived w/spouse for full 3 yrs already.
5Physical Presence Requirements Physically present in the U.S. for at least 1/2 of previous 5 years or 1/2 of 3 years if married to a US citizenPhysical presence exceptions: USC spouses, US AF members, US nationals (can meet in outlying possession)PP doesn’t have to be continuous – just add up all time in US
6Good Moral Character Requirement Must prove “good moral character” for same statutory period as the residence requirement (3 or 5 years).Statutory BarsDiscretionary BarsCIS not limited to stat period – can look beyond sec. 316(e)Case-by case evaluation; no stat definition of what GMC is;CIS uses standards of average citizen in communityCIS conducts FBI FP check to investigate background
7English-language Ability Speaking ability established at interviewRead and write 1-2 basic sentences at interviewExemptions fromEnglish requirement:-50/20-55/15-N-648 DisabilityWaiverVerbal/writing skills at 4th grade levelList of sample sentencesMust meet age/resid time on date of filing application
8Statutory Bars to GMC Permanent and Temporary Bars Permanent Bars: Conviction of aggravated felony after 11/29/1990Conviction of murder at any timeLook to date of bad act, not date of subsequent conviction or court actions
9Statutory Bars to GMC (cont. #2) Temporary Bars: (Mandatory bars if acts within the 3/5 year period)conviction or admission of CIMTcommitted two or more offenses and aggregate sentence 5+ yrscontrolled substance violationconviction(s) plus180+ days in jailprostitution or commercialized vice“alien” smugglingpolygamyhabitual drunkardillegal gamblingfalse testimony to obtain immigration benefit101(f)
10Discretionary Bars to GMC **Submit good moral character evidence!Child supportExtramarital affairsSelective Service RegistrationTax violationsCrimes outside statutory periodIncorrect/false information on N-400/interviewFalse claim to USC/illegal votingOther unlawful acts
11GMC Practice TipsLook at date of “bad act,” not date of subsequent court actionsApply under 3 year rule if possibleConsider waiting to file until bad act outside 3/5 year periodCriminal records:-get certified copies of all court records before filing-do not send sealed police reportsIf records not available get letter so stating
12Who should not apply for citizenship Who should not apply for citizenship? Offenses that may make an LPR removableConvicted of an Aggravated FelonyMade false claim to U.S. citizenshipLying, giving false misleading information to government official to obtain or retain immigration benefitConviction for Crime of Moral Turpitude within 5 years of “admission”Unlawful Votingappears that s/he intended to abandon residence in U.S.
13N-648 Disability WaiversExempts the applicant from English, US history and civics requirementsMust be a “medically determinable” physical, developmental or mental disability that is expected to last 12 monthsApplicant is unable to learn US history and civics due to disabilityMD, DO, or psychologist completes N-648Qualifying disabilities: depression, mental retardation, PTSD, stroke, etc.Refer to NJP or NWIRP
14Child Citizenship Act – effective 2/27/2001 Children are automatically citizens when following conditions are met:Child under 18At least one parent naturalizesChild is residing in physical and legal custody of citizen parentChild is LPRParent can be USC by birth too
15N-400: Key Points (cont. #6)Selective Srvc Registration: Pg 9, Part 10 F/G• Check• Requirements: all men must register unless nonimmigrant• still w/in last 5 years. Affidavit re not knowing and willful• > age 31, outside 5 years, not absolute bar. May still want affidavit
16New Citizens can VOTE (usually) In Ohio, must be a registered voter for 30 days before election.In Kentucky, must be registered 29 days before election.