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CITIZENSHIP DAY 2007 VOLUNTEER TRAINING Paul Soreff Seattle University Law School Seattle, Washington.

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Presentation on theme: "CITIZENSHIP DAY 2007 VOLUNTEER TRAINING Paul Soreff Seattle University Law School Seattle, Washington."— Presentation transcript:

1 CITIZENSHIP DAY 2007 VOLUNTEER TRAINING Paul Soreff Seattle University Law School Seattle, Washington

2 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

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