Presentation on theme: "Web Seminar on Immigration Fundamentals of Citizenship Thursday October 21, 2010 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST."— Presentation transcript:
Web Seminar on Immigration Fundamentals of Citizenship Thursday October 21, :30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
Patricia Wonder Instructor, CUNY School of Professional Studies and Partner, Johnson Wonder, PLLC
Our Panel of Presenters Midori Hills Staff Attorney, York College Immigration Center CUNY Citizenship Now! Luz Medrano Staff Attorney, Hostos Community College Immigration Center CUNY Citizenship Now!
Immigration Law Studies Advance Graduate Certificate Program Courses Introduction to Immigration Law Business Immigration Law Family-Based Immigration Law Proceedings in Immigration Court Naturalization and Citizenship
The goal of Citizenship Now! events is to help eligible individuals prepare their forms N-400, Application for Naturalization. Most events are held on Saturdays. CUNY Citizenship Now! Events
The CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project centers offer free immigration services to all members of the community- CUNY students and non-students. CUNY Citizenship Now! Immigration Centers
The Corps consists of volunteers who provide free naturalization application assistance at Citizenship Now! Events in New York City.
Volunteer with the CUNY/NYC Citizenship Now! Corps Complete a registration form at
Fundamentals of Citizenship Why Naturalize? Overview of Eligibility for Naturalization Naturalization Fee Waivers Questions and Answers
Midori Hills Staff Attorney, York College Immigration Center CUNY Citizenship Now!
Benefits of Citizenship Midori Hills Voting Sponsorship of relatives Access to public benefits Access to restricted professions Ease of travel Can reside abroad Cannot be deported
Overview of Eligibility for Naturalization
Eligibility Requirements Must be 18 years of age Continuous residency Residence for three months in the state where you live Physical presence Good moral character Ability to speak, read and write English Knowledge of U.S. history and civics Willingness to take the Oath of Allegiance Midori Hills
Continuous Residence The applicant has been an LPR for five years If the LPR has been married to and living with the same U.S. citizen, then the period of continuous residence is only three years Spouse/child who acquired LPR status under VAWA and has three years continuous residence Midori Hills
Poll Question Annabelle is a nurse. She became a lawful permanent resident in 2007 when the hospital where she works sponsored her. She’s been married to Joe, a U.S. citizen, since August 8, When will she be able to apply for citizenship?
Break of Continuous Residence An LPR who travels abroad for 365 days or more has broken continuous residence and must start counting the three or five year period from the last date of entry into the United States Midori Hills
Physical Presence The applicant must have been physically present in the United States for more than half of the five (or three year) period. Midori Hills
Poll Question Jean Claude is a lawful permanent resident since He has been going to medical school in France for the last four years, coming into the United States for two weeks over the New Year’s break and two months of July and August. Jean Claude has been out of the country for 9 ½ months each year since 2006.
Luz Medrano Staff Attorney, Hostos Community College Immigration Center CUNY Citizenship Now!
Good Moral Character During the three or five year period, the applicant must show good moral character Things to consider are: -Taxes -Child support -Selective Service -Crimes outside three or five year period -Other unlawful acts Luz Medrano
Good Moral Character Crimes Applicants who have prior arrests and convictions should see an immigration expert before filing! Crimes can make noncitizens, including LPRs, ineligible for naturalization, removable (deportable) or inadmissible Luz Medrano
Poll Question Maria Lourdes was a troubled teen. She was arrested several times during high school, mostly for shoplifting, but also a couple of times for fighting with other girls. She’s 23 now and has settled down a lot. She goes to Hunter College where she is studying history and has a part time job at a café. Will Maria Lourdes have trouble naturalizing?
Taxes If the applicant filed tax returns within the three or five year qualifying period, s/he must bring copies of returns filed to the interview If there is no obligation to pay taxes, that should be documented with proof of support If applicant owes taxes, s/he must have an installment payment agreement with IRS Luz Medrano Good Moral Character
Child Support Applicants required to provide child support to children who do not reside with them should provide proof of regular child support payments or proof of termination of child support. Luz Medrano
Selective Service Registration Males between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service, and must do so before filing the application Applicants who failed to register must explain that they did not do so willfully and knowingly. Otherwise, they must wait until the failure to register is beyond the three or five year qualifying period Luz Medrano Good Moral Character
English Language and U.S. History and Civics Most applicants must show basic proficiency in English and U.S. civics. They will be questioned on civics, will be asked to write sentences in English, and will communicate with the officer in English. -15/55 Exception -20/50 Exception Sample question from Civics Test: What is the political party of the President now? Luz Medrano
Poll Question Enrique is 78 years old and has been a lawful permanent resident for 12 years. He got his green card through his U.S. citizen son. Enrique does not speak English, and because he grew up on a farm in a remote area of his country, he never learned to read or write. Will Enrique qualify for citizenship?
Oath of Allegiance Must be willing to take oath or a modified oath. Waiver available under certain circumstances. Midori Hills
Naturalization Fee Waivers
Fee Waivers Applicants may request a fee waiver if their income is less than their expenses or if they receive public assistance. Midori Hills
Acknowledgements Paul Russo Director of Online Programs CUNY School of Professional Studies Kelley Kawano Instructional Technology Fellow CUNY School of Professional Studies Antonia Levy Instructional Technology Fellow CUNY School of Professional Studies Allan Wernick Director CUNY Citizenship Now! A. Sofia Carreño Communications Coordinator CUNY Citizenship Now! David Sturniolo Communications Assistant CUNY Citizenship Now! Gabriel Espinal Communications Assistant CUNY Citizenship Now!