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Posts Tagged ‘US Citizenship

Global Entry Pilot Program Reached 100,000 Members

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced recently that the Global Entry trusted traveler pilot program has reached the 100,000-member milestone.

Global Entry is a voluntary pilot program that streamlines the international arrivals process for pre-approved travelers through use of self-service kiosks located at 20 major U.S. airports. The pilot program is an alternative to regular passport-processing lines and known to reduce average wait times by 70 percent.

To date, Global Entry members have used the kiosks more than 600,000 times. “Global Entry is an excellent example of our efforts to securely facilitate international travel byexpediting trusted travelers,” said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin.

Global Entry is available to U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents who are able to pass an intensive background check. Citizens of the Netherlands may also apply under a special reciprocal arrangement that links Global Entry with the Privium program in Amsterdam. Applications to Global Entry first must be submitted online at ( globalentry.gov ). A fee of $100 also is collected via the website for a five-year membership. Applicants must then complete an interview and fingerprint data collection in person at any of the 20 airport sites.

Once enrolled in the pilot program, Global Entry members may proceed directly to the kiosks in the international arrivals area upon arrival in the U.S. At the kiosk, members insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a document reader, provide digital fingerprints for comparison with fingerprints on file, answer customs declaration questions on the kiosk’stouch-screen, and then present a transaction receipt to CBP officers before leaving theinspection area.

Current Airport Sites:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston (IAH)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  • Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB)
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • San Juan-Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (SJU)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport-SeaTac (SEA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

 

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Written by MithrasLaw

January 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

Limited Consular Services in Peshawar, Pakistan

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U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan has issued a notice to remind U.S. Citizens that routine consular services at the U.S. Consulate in Peshawar remain suspended until further notice. The Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad will provide all routine consular services for Americans living in the Northwest Frontier Province.
The U.S. embassy has advised all U.S. citizens to take precautions and measures for their safety and security, including maintaining a good situational awareness, avoiding crowded areas and demonstrations, and keeping a low profile. U.S.citizens should also ensure that their travel documents and visas are valid at all times.
For U.S. citizens living and travelling abroad,  the latest security information can be monitored at the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website at: http://travel.state.gov/
U.S. Citizens are also encouraged to register with the nearest Embassy or Consulate. Registration can be done online at https://travelregistration.state.gov/. Travel registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to, or living in, a foreign country. Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency or to get routine information from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

Posted in Immigration

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The Social Security Administration’s Policy on SSN Issuance for United States Citizen children Born to Undocumented Parents

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) clarified its policy to the American Immigration Lawyers Association on issuance of social security cards (SSN) to United States citizen (USC) children born to undocumented parents.

Q: Are SSNs issued automatically to USC children born in US hospitals?
A: Yes, if the parents choose Enumeration at Birth (EAB), which is a request made while mother and newborn are in the hospital.

Q: Are there any restrictions on undocumented parents requesting or receiving SSNs or SSN cards for their USC children?
A: If the SSN is requested through Enumeration at Birth (EAB) then there are no restrictions.

Q: What happens if a USC newborn is issued an SSN through Enumeration at Birth but the SSN Card is lost or misplaced?
A: A replacement SSN card can be issued but only a relative with acceptable evidence of identity can apply for a replacement card on behalf of the USC child.

Q: Can a non-citizen parent without valid status apply for an SSN for his/her USC newborn outside an Enumeration at Birth request?
A: No. A person filing an application on behalf of a numberholder or someone entitled to be a numberholder must submit the same types of identification documents required for the numberholder. For non-citizens, U.S. immigration documents are the only acceptable type of identification document, unless the applicant meets the requirements to be issued a non-work-authorized SSN. Foreign passports are not acceptable unless they contain current immigration entries, such as an I-94 or a stamp or visa indicating it is temporary evidence of permanent resident status.

Q: If Enumeration at Birth (EAB) was not utilized, what options are there for SSA to issue SSN and card to USC child if the parents are undocumented?
A: Another relative, who is able to submit documents SSA accepts, could apply, or the child can apply once he or she is old enough to sign his or her name (no age limits apply).

Written by MithrasLaw

January 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm

New Filing Address for Naturalization Applicants (N-400)

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on December 17, 2009 that all applications for Naturalization (Form N-400) are to be filed at new USCIS Lockbox facilities in Phoenix and Dallas and that the change in filing address takes effect immediately.

N-400 naturalization applicants who live 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, Tennesee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands are to file their N-400 applications by regular mail with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox at:

USCIS
P.O. Box 660060
Dallas, TX 75266

Express Mail and Courier deliveries (which I highly recommend) must send their N-400 application to:
USCIS
ATTN: N-400
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

N-400 naturalization applicants who live 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, Territory of Guam, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands are to file their N-400 applications by regular mail with the USCIS Phoenix Lockbox at:

USCIS
PO Box 21251
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For Express Mail and Courier deliveries the N-400 must be sent to:
USCIS
ATTN: N-400
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Written by MithrasLaw

December 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm

New Naturalization Test Now Fully Implemented

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Up until Oct. 1, 2009, applicants who had filed for naturalization before Oct. 1, 2008, had a choice of taking the old test or the new test.  Beginning Oct. 1, 2009, however, all citizenship applicants must take the new naturalization test, regardless of when they filed their Application for Naturalization (Form N-400).

Once an applicant has completed and submitted the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and an applicant has had  his or her fingerprints taken at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) facility, s/he will receive an appointment for an interview. At the naturalization interview, the applicant will be required to answer questions about his/her application and background. The applicant will also take an English and civics test unless s/he qualify for an exemption or waiver.

Applicants are given two opportunities to take the English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to their naturalization application in English.  If an applicant fails any portion of the test (English or civics) s/he will be given another opportunity to attempt the failed portion between 60 and 90 days from the date of his/her initial interview.

At present the overall pass rate for the new test is 91 percent. For a naturalization self test study tool click here.

Written by MithrasLaw

October 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

A New USCIS Field Office Opens in Massachusetts

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) yesterday opened the state’s only field office outside Boston, in Lawrence, where immigrants in Northern and Central Massachusetts can apply for work permits, green cards, citizenship, and other immigration related benefits.

The Globe reported that in Massachusetts, citizenship applications declined by almost half since 2007, to 15,652 this year. Green card applications dropped from 10,266 in 2007 to 7,970 this budget year which ends on September 30th.

Associated Press reported that as a result of the poor economy the federal government is collecting $282 million less than expected from the fee increases this budget year. It remains to be seen whether this large shortfall will result in another round of fee increases or not.

Written by MithrasLaw

September 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Deferred Action Authorized by USCIS for Certain Surviving Spouses and Children of U.S. Citizens

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  has recently issued guidance on the subject matter of deferred action for surviving spouses of U.S.  Citizens who died before the second anniversary of their marriage. Deferred action is a temporary discretionary relief to remedy the “widow penalty” situation and an exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to pursue removal from the United States of a particular foreigner for a specific  period. It should be noted that the deferred action program does not cover surviving spouses or qualifying children of deceased U.S. citizens who are residing outside the United States or surviving spouses and children of a lawful permanent resident or other non-U.S. citizen. Also, this program also does not cover surviving spouses or qualifying children of deceased U.S. citizens if the surviving spouse remarried at any time after the U.S. citizen’s death.

The “widow penalty” prevents widow(er) of deceased U.S.Citizens, who were married less than two years at the time of theirs U.S. Citizen spouse’s death, from becoming permanent residents.  Deferred action helps temporarily remedy the widow penalty but it should be noted that the grant of deferred action by USCIS does not confer or alter any immigration status. The grant of deferred action does not convey or imply any waivers of inadmissibility that may exist, regardless of whether or not that inadmissibility is known to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at the time of the request for deferred action. Likewise, deferred action cannot be used to establish eligibility for any immigration benefit that requires maintenance of lawful status.

Surviving spouses (and their qualifying children), whose U.S. citizen spouses died before the second anniversary of marriage, who have not remarried since the death of the spouse, and are currently residing in the United States. Such surviving spouses are covered without restrictions on how long the U.S. citizen spouse has been deceased as long as the surviving spouse has not remarried. Also a “qualifying child” can be listed on your form I-360 for deferred action. A “qualifying child” is is the unmarried son or daughter of the surviving spouse, who is currently residing in the United States. Generally, a “qualifying child” must be younger than age 21 at the time the request for deferred action is made.

If you were legally married for less than two years to a now deceased U.S. citizen, at the time of the U.S. citizen’s death, you may submit a completed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, with the appropriate filing fee ($375) to the Vermont Service Center, if a Form I-130 was not filed on your behalf. You must check box “m. Other, explain:” in Part 2 of the petition and cite the basis for eligibility as “Deferred Action — Surviving spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen, married less than two years.”

You Are Not Eligible for Deferred Action if you are the:

  • Surviving spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen, or qualifying child who is residing outside the United States;
  • Surviving spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident alien or other non-U.S. citizen;
  • Surviving spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen or qualifying child if the surviving spouse remarried at any time after the U.S. citizen’s death (regardless of whether or not the subsequent marriage has been terminated);
  • Surviving spouse who was legally separated or divorced from his or her U.S. citizen spouse at the time of the citizen’s death (or the surviving spouse’s child);
  • U.S. born child of either the surviving spouse or the deceased U.S. citizen spouse or such beneficiary’s children; or
  • Deceased U.S. spouse’s child who previously derived U.S. citizenship.

For more information see http://www.uscis.gov

Written by MithrasLaw

September 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm

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