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Basic Naturalization Eligibility Requirements

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Presentation on theme: "Basic Naturalization Eligibility Requirements"— Presentation transcript:

1 Basic Naturalization Eligibility Requirements
At least 18 years old Residency requirements Physical presence requirements Good Moral Character requirement Speak, read and write English Knowledge of U.S. history and civics Willing to take Oath of Allegiance

2 Residence Requirements
LPR For 5 years (3 years if married to USC and living in marital union at filing) **Rollback rule for asylees and refugees Opp for CIS to investigate whether eligible for admission for LPR & whether maintained status (look for admissibility/removability issues + abandonment issues); Residence = principal dwelling place Rollback: Refugees can start counting 5 years from day arrived in US; Asylees can start counting from one yr before LPR status granted Both these dates should be reflected on gr card. Sec. 316 VAWA 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)

3 Residence Requirements (cont. #2)
Residence must be continuous -- certain absences may break continuity of residence Generally Absences < 6 mos. - OK Absences 6 mos. – 1 yr – shift/prove Absences > 1 year – CP “broken” < 6 mos: no disruption of cont residence 6 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.

4 Residence Requirements (cont. #4)
3 months residence in CIS Service District or state where file N-400 Must reside in U.S. from filing of application to oath May apply 3 months before residence period (3 or 5 yrs) completed 2. don’t need to remain in US after filing, only “reside”; same rules as continuous residence before filing 3. Can’t file 3 mos early if haven’t lived w/spouse for full 3 yrs already.

5 Physical 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 citizen Physical 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

6 Good Moral Character Requirement
Must prove “good moral character” for same statutory period as the residence requirement (3 or 5 years). Statutory Bars Discretionary Bars CIS 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 community CIS conducts FBI FP check to investigate background

7 English-language Ability
Speaking ability established at interview Read and write 1-2 basic sentences at interview Exemptions from English requirement: -50/20 -55/15 -N-648 Disability Waiver Verbal/writing skills at 4th grade level List of sample sentences Must meet age/resid time on date of filing application

8 Statutory Bars to GMC Permanent and Temporary Bars Permanent Bars:
Conviction of aggravated felony after 11/29/1990 Conviction of murder at any time Look to date of bad act, not date of subsequent conviction or court actions

9 Statutory Bars to GMC (cont. #2)
Temporary Bars: (Mandatory bars if acts within the 3/5 year period) conviction or admission of CIMT committed two or more offenses and aggregate sentence 5+ yrs controlled substance violation conviction(s) plus180+ days in jail prostitution or commercialized vice “alien” smuggling polygamy habitual drunkard illegal gambling false testimony to obtain immigration benefit 101(f)

10 Discretionary Bars to GMC
**Submit good moral character evidence! Child support Extramarital affairs Selective Service Registration Tax violations Crimes outside statutory period Incorrect/false information on N-400/interview False claim to USC/illegal voting Other unlawful acts

11 GMC Practice Tips Look at date of “bad act,” not date of subsequent court actions Apply under 3 year rule if possible Consider waiting to file until bad act outside 3/5 year period Criminal records: -get certified copies of all court records before filing -do not send sealed police reports If records not available get letter so stating

12 Who should not apply for citizenship
Who should not apply for citizenship? Offenses that may make an LPR removable Convicted of an Aggravated Felony Made false claim to U.S. citizenship Lying, giving false misleading information to government official to obtain or retain immigration benefit Conviction for Crime of Moral Turpitude within 5 years of “admission” Unlawful Voting appears that s/he intended to abandon residence in U.S.

13 N-648 Disability Waivers Exempts the applicant from English, US history and civics requirements Must be a “medically determinable” physical, developmental or mental disability that is expected to last 12 months Applicant is unable to learn US history and civics due to disability MD, DO, or psychologist completes N-648 Qualifying disabilities: depression, mental retardation, PTSD, stroke, etc. Refer to NJP or NWIRP

14 Child Citizenship Act – effective 2/27/2001
Children are automatically citizens when following conditions are met: Child under 18 At least one parent naturalizes Child is residing in physical and legal custody of citizen parent Child is LPR Parent can be USC by birth too

15 N-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

16 New 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.

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