Presentation on theme: "CITIZENSHIP DAY 2007 VOLUNTEER TRAINING Paul Soreff Seattle University Law School Seattle, Washington."— Presentation transcript:
CITIZENSHIP DAY 2007 VOLUNTEER TRAINING Paul Soreff Seattle University Law School Seattle, Washington
2 Basic Naturalization Eligibility Requirements 18 years of age LPR for 5 years or 3 years if married to US citizen (and living in marital union) Physical presence requirements Good Moral Character Speak, read and write English Knowledge of US history and civics Willing to take Oath of Allegiance
3 Physical Presence Requirements Physically present in the US for at least 1/2 of previous 5 years or 1/2 of 3 years if married to a US citizen No single absence from US of one year or more (if absent more than 6 months but less than a year, must prove did not abandon residence) Reside for at least 3 months in USCIS Service District prior to filing application.
4 Establish Good Moral Character Must prove they have had “good moral character” for the same time period as the physical presence requirement - 5 years or 3 years if married to a US citizen. Discretionary Bars - Issues that USCIS may use to find that a person does not have GMC – balance with good acts Required Bars - Issues that make it impossible to prove GMC.
5 English-language Ability Speaking ability is established at the interview Must read and write 1-2 basic sentences at the interview About 4th grade level Exemptions from English Requirement: 50/20 55/15 N-648 Disability Waiver – Referral
6 Knowledge of U.S. History and Civics Knowledge is established at interview by test of 6-10 questions Questions come from “100 Sample Questions” (actually 96) Even if English-exempt under 50/20 and 55/15 must still pass history and civics test Exemptions from US history and civics requirements: 65/20 - can take simplified test in native language N-648 Disability Waiver New Test is Optional, if fail can take old test
7 Filing the Completed N-400 Application Complete and accurate N-400 2 Passport-style photos Check/money order for $ 675 filing + biometric fee or fee waiver Copy of both sides of Green Card Send by certified mail, return receipt requested and keep a copy!!
8 Discretionary Bars to Good Moral Character Fail to pay child support Extramarital affair (rare) Fail to register with Selective Service (most men in U.S. between18-26 years old) Tax violations, unpaid or past due taxes (unless payment plan agreed to) Crimes outside statutory period Failure to fully disclose or provide incorrect information on N-400 or during interview Commit unlawful acts that reflect adversely on GMC ***If there are negative factors, applicant should submit good moral character evidence
9 Statutory Bars to Good Moral Character Conviction of aggravated felony after 11/29/1990 Certain acts within “statutory 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 false testimony to gain immigration benefit prostitution or commercialized vice “alien” smuggling polygamy habitual drunkard Illegal gambling
10 Who Should not Apply for Citizenship? Offenses that may make a LPR deportable 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 Bad Green Card
11 N-648 Disability Waivers Exempts the applicant from English, US history and civics tests Must be a “medically determinable” physical, developmental or mental disability that is expected to last 12 months Disability must have so impaired the individual’s functioning as to cause him/her to be unable to learn English and/or US history and civics
12 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 lawful permanent resident