CITIZENSHIP GENERALLY <ul><li>There are two main ways to become American citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Vested citizenship - Bi...
CITIZENSHIP <ul><li>Automatic citizenship status if born in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Birth outside of U.S. to U.S. citiz...
NATURALIZATION <ul><li>Administrative Process </li></ul><ul><li>Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Servi...
REQUIREMENTS FOR NATZ <ul><li>Continuous Residence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 years immediately preceding the filing of the a...
CLOSER LOOK – RESIDENCY <ul><li>During the required statutory continuous residence, an applicant for naturalization must h...
TRAVEL ABROAD – EFFECT ON RESIDENCY <ul><li>Absence of less than 6 months at a time – will not break the required 5 years ...
IMPORTANT DETAILS - RESIDENCE <ul><li>Residence must be after lawful admission to permanent residence (“Green Card”) </li>...
<ul><li>Good moral character within statutory 5 years (USCIS is not precluded from looking beyond 5  years) </li></ul><ul>...
APPLICATION FILING AND PROCEDURE <ul><li>Filing of Application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill out and submit N-400 Application...
Naturalization Interview <ul><li>The naturalization interview consists of 3 main parts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal/Bio...
EXEMPTIONS <ul><li>Several groups of people are excused from taking the exam: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persons who are physic...
Deportation Issues <ul><li>Prior to applying for Naturalization, an applicant is strongly encouraged to consult with an im...
<ul><li>QUESTIONS </li></ul>
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How to Become a United States Citizen

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How to Become a United States Citizen

  1. 2. CITIZENSHIP GENERALLY <ul><li>There are two main ways to become American citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Vested citizenship - Birth in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>Acquired citizenship - Naturalization </li></ul>
  2. 3. CITIZENSHIP <ul><li>Automatic citizenship status if born in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Birth outside of U.S. to U.S. citizen parents </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic citizenship for children under 18 years of age, if parent(s) become citizen(s) </li></ul>
  3. 4. NATURALIZATION <ul><li>Administrative Process </li></ul><ul><li>Administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (formerly “INS”) </li></ul><ul><li>Applicant for Naturalization has to meet certain criteria established by the Immigration Nationality Act (“INA”) and submit an Application for Naturalization </li></ul>
  4. 5. REQUIREMENTS FOR NATZ <ul><li>Continuous Residence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 years immediately preceding the filing of the application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 years immediately preceding the filing, if LPR status acquired due to marriage to USC; marriage still valid. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good Moral Character </li></ul><ul><li>Oath to Support the U.S. Constitution </li></ul>
  5. 6. CLOSER LOOK – RESIDENCY <ul><li>During the required statutory continuous residence, an applicant for naturalization must have been physically present in the United States for one-half of the required length of time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2.5 years physical presence within last 5 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1.5 years physical presence within last 3 years (if received permanent resident status due to marriage) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Residency within the USCIS district for 3 months </li></ul>
  6. 7. TRAVEL ABROAD – EFFECT ON RESIDENCY <ul><li>Absence of less than 6 months at a time – will not break the required 5 years of continuous residence </li></ul><ul><li>Absences between 6 months to one year – may break the continuity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Retain proof of non-abandonment of residence (such as work in the U.S., immediate family in the U.S., no job outside of the U.S.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Absences of more than one year – automatically break continuity of 5-year residence requirement, with limited exceptions (ex: service in the U.S. army abroad) </li></ul>
  7. 8. IMPORTANT DETAILS - RESIDENCE <ul><li>Residence must be after lawful admission to permanent residence (“Green Card”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Refugees are considered permanent residents as of the date of entry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asylees are deemed to be permanent residents as of one year before the date of approval of permanent resident status, as shown on a “Green Card” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The requirement of continuous residence also applies to the time between the filing of the application for naturalization until the time of admission to citizenship. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Good moral character within statutory 5 years (USCIS is not precluded from looking beyond 5 years) </li></ul><ul><li>NO Good moral character during the required period: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal convictions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Crimes involving moral turpitude </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drug offenses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prostitution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Smuggling of aliens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prison term of 180 days or more, as a result of a conviction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggravated Felony conviction – no matter how old – automatic forever bar to establishing g.m.c. </li></ul></ul>IMPORTANT DETAILS – GOOD MORAL CHARACTER
  9. 10. APPLICATION FILING AND PROCEDURE <ul><li>Filing of Application </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fill out and submit N-400 Application for Naturalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Filing Fee - $675 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attach copy of Green Card and supporting documentation; 2 photographs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Receipt Notice </li></ul><ul><li>Fingerprinting appointment </li></ul><ul><li>Interview with the U.S.C.I.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Oath Ceremony </li></ul>
  10. 11. Naturalization Interview <ul><li>The naturalization interview consists of 3 main parts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal/Biographic interview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of English language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The applicant needs to demonstrates “an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of history and the government of the United States (“Civics”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People who fail the English or civics portion of the test at the first interview will be given a second opportunity to pass the exam within 90 days of the first interview. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. EXEMPTIONS <ul><li>Several groups of people are excused from taking the exam: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Persons who are physically unable to comply – mentally impaired, developmentally disabled (exempted from both English and Civics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persons who are over 50 years old and have been LPRs for more than 20 years (only exempted from English) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persons who are over 55 years old and have been LPRs for more than 15 years (only exempted from English) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hmong veterans (refugees from Laos) and victims of September 11 attacks (were allowed to be naturalized posthumous) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Deportation Issues <ul><li>Prior to applying for Naturalization, an applicant is strongly encouraged to consult with an immigration attorney because the application for naturalization might trigger removal in some cases </li></ul><ul><li>Expungement –treated as if conviction exists </li></ul><ul><li>Grounds of removability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal convictions after obtaining “Green Card” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlawful voting; False claim of citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fraud obtaining “Green Card” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><li>QUESTIONS </li></ul>

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