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Posts Tagged ‘Naturalization

Can a Divorce after Issuance of a Green-card affect a Divorced Spouse’s Right to Obtain U.S. Citizenship?

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In bad economic times, divorce rates increase dramatically as money issues drive couples apart and many spouses who receive their green-card/permanent residency through marriage to a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident worry that a later divorce may affect their citizenship or naturalization application.

Assuming, that the marriage was not a sham or for fraudulent purposes, divorce does not adversely affect a spouse’s immigration status after the spouse obtains a green card or permanent residence unconditionally and a divorce will not invalidate the green card or cause the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deny a citizenship application automatically.

Divorce may however pose doubts and require the divorced spouse seeking to obtain U.S. Citizenship to reassure the USCIS interviewing officer that the marriage was not a sham. A good way to prove that your marriage was genuine is to take copies and originals of documents that show that you and your ex-spouse lived together, had joint bank accounts, and shared important and memorable moments together. Examples of documents include, home title or rent receipts or home lease in both names, joint bank account statements, credit card statements, photographs of both spouses on vacation, birth certificates of children born during the marriage, etc.

Also, divorce may delay a spouse’s right in obtaining citizenship in certain cases. For instance, a divorced spouse having a green-card who was married to a U.S. citizen will not be able to avail the short three year residency requirement, if the spouse is not married to the U.S. citizen for at least three years before the naturalization exam date. In essence, if the green-card holder spouse divorces the U.S. citizen spouse before three years of marriage have passed, then s/he will have to wait until the normal five year residency requirement has elapsed before s/he is eligible to apply to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen and cannot take advantage of the three year residency requirement.

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Written by MithrasLaw

March 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm

New Addition of N-400 for US Citizenship and Updated Naturalization Study Materials

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If you are eligible for US Citizenship and decided to apply to become a U.S. Citizen, you should now use the 1/22/09 edition for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, which is posted to the USCIS website.

The 1/22/09 edition requires that applicants must submit Form N-40o to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox for processing:

If you currently reside in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, you must send your application to the USCIS Lockbox Facility at:

USCIS
P.O. Box 21251
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For express/courier deliveries, use:

USCIS
Attn: N-400
1820 E Skyharbor Cicle S, Floor 1
Phoenix, AZ 85034

If you reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, you must send your application to the USCIS Lockbox Facility at:

USCIS
P.O. Box 299026
Lewisville, TX 75029

For express/courier deliveries, use:

USCIS
Attn: N-400
2501 S State Hwy 121, Bldg. #4
Lewisville, TX 75067

All naturalization applicants filing under the military provisions, section 328 or 329, should file their application at the Nebraska Service Center regardless of geographic location or jurisdiction. Please send your application to:

Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87426
Lincoln, NE 68501-7426

USCIS has also updated its Naturalization Publications and Study Materials:

1. Guide to Naturalization, M-476 — English available online at www.uscis.gov/natzguide

2. The Citizen’s Almanac, M-76 — English available online at www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/M-76.pdf

3. Information and study materials for the new naturalization test can be found at  www.uscis.gov/newtest

Written by MithrasLaw

March 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm

USCIS Naturalization Processing Times at end of FY 2008

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) days ago released a fact sheet listing the Naturalization processing times at the end of FY 2008 by city and in months.

Charleston, S.C. has the longest processing time of 14.8 months and Boston ranks in between at an average of 8 months. 

Naturalization Processing Times At End Of Fiscal Year 2008

Office                                   Months 

Agana, Guam …………………………… 5.0  

Albany, N.Y. ……………………………. 5.3 

Albuquerque, N.M. …………………… 5.3 

Anchorage, Alaska …………………….6.5 

Atlanta, Ga. ………………………………6.8 

Baltimore, Md. …………………………..7.8

Boise, Idaho ………………………………8.2 

Boston, Mass……………………………..8.0 

Buffalo, N.Y……………………………….7.7 

Charleston, S.C. ………………………..14.8 

Charlotte Amalie, Virgin Islands ….5.0 

Charlotte, N.C. ………………………….14.7 

Chicago, Ill………………………………..6.1 

Cincinnati, Ohio…………………………5.0 

Cleveland, Ohio …………………………6.5 

Columbus, Ohio ………………………..5.0

Dallas, Texas……………………………..7.3

Denver, Colo. …………………………….5.0 

Des Moines, Iowa ……………………….7.3 

Detroit, Mich………………………………5.0 

El Paso, Texas…………………………….8.5 

Fort Smith, Ark. …………………………6.9

Fresno, Calif………………………………6.7 

Harlingen, Texas ……………………….8.6 

Hartford, Conn. …………………………14.4 

Helena, Mont……………………………..6.7 

Honolulu, Hawaii ……………………….5.4 

Houston, Texas …………………………8.4 

Indianapolis, Ind………………………..6.9 

Jacksonville, Fla…………………………7.8 

Kansas City, Mo…………………………7.1 

Las Vegas, Nev. ………………………..9.0 

Los Angeles, Calif……………………..14.2 

Louisville, Ky…………………………….5.9 

Manchester, N.H. ………………………5.4 

Memphis, Tenn. ………………………..13.5

Miami, Fla. ……………………………….9.8

Milwaukee, Wis………………………….7.3

Mount Laurel, N.J……………………….5.2

New Orleans, La. ……………………….14.0

New York, N.Y……………………………10.1

Newark, N.J. ……………………………..7.2

Norfolk, Va. ……………………………..7.4

Oklahoma City, Okla. …………………5.1

Omaha, Neb. …………………………….5.0

Orlando, Fla. …………………………….14.0

Philadelphia, Pa. ………………………..8.8

Phoenix, Ariz. ……………………………8.0

Pittsburgh, Pa…………………………….5.0

Portland, Maine………………………….5.4

Portland, Ore…………………………….5.6

Providence, R.I. ………………………..8.2

Reno, Nev. ………………………………5.5

Sacramento, Calif. ……………………5.8

Salt Lake City, Utah ………………….5.0

San Antonio, Texas…………………..5.0

San Diego, Calif……………………….8.3

San Francisco, Calif………………….5.9

San Jose, Calif. ……………………….8.6

Suan, Puerto Rico ……………………6.0

Seattle, Wash. ………………………..8.6

Spokane, Wash. ……………………..5.0

St Albans, Vt………………………….8.9

St Louis, Mo. …………………………11.3

St Paul, Minn. ………………………..6.7

Tampa, Fla. …………………………..10.1

Tucson, Ariz. ………………………..10.9

Washington, D.C. ……………………9.8

West Palm Beach, Fla………………..6.1

Yakima, Wash………………………….5.0

Written by MithrasLaw

November 11, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Naturalization Applicants – USCIS will begin administering the Redesigned Test on October 1, 2008.

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All applicants who file for naturalization on or after October 1, 2008 will be required to take the new naturalization test. For those applicants who file prior to October 1, 2008 but are not interviewed until after October 1, 2008 (but before October 1, 2009), there will be an option of taking the new test or the current one.

See here for the chart to determine whether you will be taking the old test or the new test.

With respect to the question whether the current rule “English Exemption for people 55 or older and resident in the US for 15 or more years” be still applicable?

The USCIS has responded, that the new naturalization test will not change the regulations that allow exemptions for testing based on age and time as a permanent resident.

The USCIS has stated that “the English language requirement may be waived for an applicant who on the date of filing the application, was over 50 years old and has been lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years, or was over 55 years old and has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 15 years. If either exception applies, the applicant may take the civics examination in the applicant’s language of choice. Further, an applicant qualifies to take a modified civics test if on the date of filing the application, the applicant was 65 years old and has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years. If this exception applies, the applicant will be administered a simpler version of the civics examination in the applicant’s language of choice. This modified civics test is a sample of 20 civics questions from the list of 100. The sample civics questions have been identified for applicants qualifying under this exception. If applicants qualify for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement, they must bring an interpreter to their naturalization interview.”

Written by MithrasLaw

September 28, 2008 at 6:13 pm

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