So, an N-600 gets denied, what’s next?Following the denial of a form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship one...
If one disagrees with the N-600 Denial decision they may file an appeal on Form I-290B, withfee, and with any additional e...
Derivative Citizenship Claim through Parents’ Naturalization:The applicable law for derivative citizenship purposes is "th...
Section 309(c) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1409(c), requires that the applicant establish that he wasborn out of wedlock to a U...
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N 600 standard of review


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Know what you need to show to prove a citizenship claim and hope to appeal a denial.

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N 600 standard of review

  1. 1. So, an N-600 gets denied, what’s next?Following the denial of a form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship one has the rightto appeal the decision. USCIS might not currently explain them fully in its decisions.8 CFR 103.3 Denials, appeals, and precedent decisions.(a) Denials and appeals —(1) General —(i) Denial of application or petition. When a Serviceofficer denies an application or petition filed under §103.2 of this part, the officer shall explain inwriting the specific reasons for denial. If Form I–292 (a denial form including notification ofthe right of appeal) is used to notify the applicant or petitioner, the duplicate of Form I–292constitutes the denial order.8 CFR § 341.6 Denial of application.If it is the decision of the district director to deny the application for a Certificate of Citizenship,the applicant shall be furnished the reasons for denial and advised of the right to appeal inaccordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 103.3(a). After an application for a Certificate ofCitizenship has been denied and the appeal time has run, a second application submitted by thesame individual shall be rejected and the applicant instructed to submit a motion for reopening orreconsideration in accordance with 8 CFR 103.5. The motion shall be accompanied by therejected application and the fee specified in 8 CFR 103.7 reduced by the amount of the fee paidwith the rejected application. A decision shall be issued with notification of appeal rights in allCertificate of Citizenship cases, including any case denied due to the applicants failure toprosecute the application. {This last sentence does not limit appeal rights to those described in8 CFR § 103.3(a), it is void of any legal reference. The first sentence addresses denials issuedby the district director thus implying that administrative appeals must be exhausted first as isthoroughly recognized by the courts and supported by the APA [5 USC]. The last sentencedoes not absolve the AAO from further explaining legal appeal rights available from that pointonward rather, it instructs them to do so. Following the Dismissal of an Appeal or Motion bythe AAO, an applicant is afforded further rights to judicial review by one of two means. First,if the applicant is merely seeking a determination of United States Nationality (Citizenship)then they may file a "Petition for a Judicial Declaration of United States Nationality" inaccordance with INA § 360(a) [8 USC § 1503(a)] pursuant to 28 USC § 2201, with the U.S.District Court of jurisdiction. Secondly, if the claim to U.S. nationality/citizenship arose whilein ,or as an issue in, Removal Proceedings, the applicant may seek a review of that claim as apart of their "Petition for Review of a Removal Order" under INA § 242(b)(5) [8 USC §1252(b)(5)] before the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of jurisdiction. The concept of advisingapplicants of their judicial appeal rights by AAO is not unprecedented, they routinely do sowhen denying certain forms N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/CitizenshipDocument.}{Emphasis and commentary liberally added throughout.}[50 FR 39649, Sept. 30, 1985] 1
  2. 2. If one disagrees with the N-600 Denial decision they may file an appeal on Form I-290B, withfee, and with any additional evidence to be considered and/or a brief identifying specifically anyerroneous conclusion of law or statement of fact along with legal references and/or specifyingthe evidence that they believe was misinterpreted with an explanation of the facts and evidenceas they interpret them.An appeal to the AAO must be filed with the office that made the decision within 30 days of thedate of the Denial Notice for personal service, 33 days if received by mail. The AAO does nothave the capacity to accept payments and they do not have the file in question. Also, anysubmission will be returned to the original Officer that decided the case (or another one if thatone is unavailable or no longer there) to see if the case can be readily approved without anymajor legal interpretation involved.If an appeal is not filed within the time allowed, a new N-600 may not be filed see 8 CFR §341.6. Instead, if at a later date the applicant wishes to pursue the citizenship claim anew, theymay file, pursuant to 8 CFR § 341.6, a form I-290B, with the current fee as of the date of thatfiling, for:1.) a late Motion to Reopen with additional evidence and/or,2.) a late Motion to Reconsider along with a brief identifying specifically any erroneousconclusion of law or statement of fact, along with legal references, and/or identifying theevidence that they believe was misinterpreted with an explanation of the facts as they interpretthem.The applicant must exhaust the administrative appeal process afforded under the law by firstappealing to the AAO (USCIS Administrative Appeals Office) before they may seek judicialreview of the agency decision in the case, which would be to file a lawsuit in a U.S. DistrictCourt under INA § 360(a) [8 U.S.C. § 1503(a)] and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201.The existence of concurrent Removal Proceedings would preclude U.S. District Court judicialreview under the above cited section and restrict review to a Petition for Review in a U.S. CircuitCourt of Appeals of any Removal Order following a BIA Dismissal of a Removal Order under 8USC § 1252(b) [INA § 242(b)].N-600 Standard of Review for the Initial Decision and before the AAOClaim to USC At Birth Abroad:―The applicable law for transmitting citizenship to a child born abroad when one parent is a U.S.citizen is the statute that was in effect at the time of the childs birth.‖ Chau v. Immigration andNaturalization Service, 247 F.3d 1026, 1029 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). 2
  3. 3. Derivative Citizenship Claim through Parents’ Naturalization:The applicable law for derivative citizenship purposes is "the law in effect at the time the criticalevents giving rise to eligibility occurred." Minasyan v. Gonzales, 401 F.3d 1069, 1075 (91h Cir.2005); accord Jordon v. Attorney General, 424 F.3d 320, 328 (31d Cir. 2005).Evidentiary Burden and Burden of Proof:"There must be strict compliance with all the congressionally imposed prerequisites to theacquisition of citizenship." Fedorenko v. United States, 449 U.S. 490, 506 (1981). 8 C.F.R. §341.2(c) provides that the burden of proof shall be on the claimant to establish the claimedcitizenship by a preponderance of the evidence. In order to meet this burden, the applicant mustsubmit relevant, probative and credible evidence to establish that the claim is "probably true" or"more likely than not." Matter of E-M-, 20 I&N Dec. 77,79-80 (Comm. 1989).A person may only obtain citizenship in strict compliance with the statutory requirementsimposed by Congress. INS v. Pangilinan, 486 U.S. 875, 884 (1988). Moreover, "it has beenuniversally accepted that the burden is on the alien applicant to show his eligibility forcitizenship in every respect" and that any doubts concerning citizenship are to be resolved infavor of the United States. Berenyi v. District Director, INS, 385 U. S. 630, 637 (1 967). Theapplicant must meet this burden by establishing the claimed citizenship by a preponderance ofthe evidence. 8 C.F.R. § 341.2(c).Matter of Chawathe, 25 I&N Dec. 369 (AAO 2010) held, in pertinent part: (3) In most administrative immigration proceedings, the applicant must prove by a preponderance of evidence that he or she is eligible for the benefit sought.1 (4) Even if the director has some doubt as to the truth, if the petitioner submits relevant, probative, and credible evidence that leads the director to believe that the claim is ―more likely than not‖ or ―probably‖ true, the applicant has satisfied the standard of proof. Matter of E-M-, 20 I&N Dec. 77, 79-80 (Comm‘r 1989), followed. (5) If the director can articulate a material doubt, it is appropriate for the director to either request additional evidence or, if that doubt leads the director to believe that the claim is probably not true, deny the application or petition.Specific Requirements:Because the applicant was born abroad, she is presumed to be an alien and bears the burden ofestablishing her claim to U.S. citizenship by a preponderance of credible evidence. See Matter ofBaires-Larios, 24 I&N Dec. 467, 468 (BIA 2008).1 Although not footnoted in the Precedent Decision, for the source of that see U.S. v. Cardozo-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987) (defining ―morelikely than not‖ as a greater than 50 percent probability of something occurring). 3
  4. 4. Section 309(c) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1409(c), requires that the applicant establish that he wasborn out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother who had been physically present in the UnitedStates for a continuous period of one year.―Both the director and counsel erred by applying the so-called "Fleuti doctrine" to evaluate whetherthe applicants departures were interruptive of his physical presence in the United States. As notedabove, the field office director and counsel relied on a 1963 Supreme Court decision, Rosenberg v.Fleuti, 374 U.S. at 449, in addressing whether the applicants numerous trips abroad were"meaningfully interruptive" or "significant." The AAO notes that the Fleuti decision, and the doctrineof "brief, casual, and innocent" departures, was nullified by the enactment of section 301(a) of theIllegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-208, 110Stat. 3009-546, 3009-575 ("IIRIRA"). The Fleuti doctrine, with its origins in the no longer existentstatutory definition of "entry," did not survive as a judicial doctrine beyond the enactment of IIRIRA.Matter of Collado, 21 I&N Dec. 106 1, 1065 (BIA 1998). Accordingly, the director erred when heweighed whether the applicants absences were meaningful and significant.‖2―The term "legal separation" in the context of derivative citizenship means either a limited orabsolute divorce obtained through judicial proceedings. Matter of H, 3 I&N Dec. 742, 743-44(Cent. Office 1949). See Morgan v. Attorney General, 432 F.3d 226, 233 (3d Cir. 2005) (findingno legal separation absent a judicial decree); Nehme v. INS, 252 F.3d 415,426 (5th Cir. 2001)(finding that "in the United States, the term ‗legal separation‘ is uniformly understood to meanjudicial separation") (emphasis in original).‖3Beyond AAO’s Authority:―The AAO, like the Board of Immigration Appeals, is without authority to apply the doctrine ofequitable estoppel so as to preclude a component part of USCIS from undertaking a lawfulcourse of action that it is empowered to pursue by statute or regulation. See Matter ofHernandez-Puente, 20 I&N Dec. 335, 338 (BIA 1991). Res judicata and estoppel are equitableforms of relief that are available only through the courts. The jurisdiction of the AAO is limitedto that authority specifically granted to it by the Secretary of the United States Department ofHomeland Security. See DHS Delegation Number 0150.1 (effective March 1, 2003); see also 8C.F.R. § 103.1 (f)(3)(E)(iii) (as in effect on February 28, 2003) [and subsequent amendments,this includes N-600‘s]. Accordingly, the AAO has no authority to address the petitionersequitable estoppel and res judicata claims.‖4―Even if the applicants assertions regarding the delays in his fathers naturalization and his ownapplication were true, the AAO is without authority to apply the doctrine of equitable estoppel toapprove an application for derivative citizenship nunc pro tunc.‖52An N-470 Decision at: See: May182010_03E2309.pdf4 A non-precedent AAO Administrative Decision pertaining to an I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, as a Member of the ProfessionsHolding an advanced Degree or an Alien of Exceptional Ability Pursuant to Section 203(b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C.§1153(b)(2). See: Apr282009_01B5203.pdf on www.uscis.gov5 From the most recent non-precedent AAO Decision on an N-600 at: May192010_01E2309.pdf at 4