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9,000 become U.S. Citizens as part of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

USCIS announcement that more than 9,000 individuals will become U.S. citizens as part of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on 9/17/10. Included is a list of 2010 Citizenship Day ceremonies, including naturalizations at 22 national park sites across the country.

Largest Number of Service Members granted Citizenship in FY2010

USCIS press release announcing that in FY2010, it granted citizenship to the highest number of service members in any year since 1955. A fact sheet on naturalization through military service follows the press release.

I have a green card, should i get citizenship?

I have a green card,should i get citizenship? – Avvo.com http://ping.fm/iKY9e

Citizenship Status

Citizenship Status – Avvo.com http://ping.fm/TbFTZ

USCIS published a 30-day notice extending use of Form N-644

On 7/15/10, USCIS published a 30-day notice extending use of Form N-644. However, USCIS should have published a 30-day notice on a revision to the Form N-644, not an extension.

The US to help possible lawful permanent residents to prepare for citizenship

A US Governmental agency announced the availability of two different grants designed to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for citizenship and advance integration in the United States

Derivative Citizenship

Many times people do not realize that they are United States citizens. Derivative Citizenship is the process whereby the Immigration and Naturalization Service will give you a Certificate of Citizenship proving that you are a United States citizen.

There are many ways that people are considered to be United States citizens. Many times, it will help people significantly to be citizens of the United States. Sometimes people are put in deportation proceedings, and have very little hope of not being deported. In these situations, they must explore the possibility whether they are a United States citizen through derivative citizenship.

Additionally, it is usually considerably faster to obtain the Certificate of Citizenship rather than going through the Naturalization process.

Child Citizenship Act of 2000

 On October 30, 2000, President Clinton signed into law H.R. 2883, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. The new law permits foreign-born children—including adopted children —to acquire citizenship automatically if they meet certain requirements. It becomes effective on February 27, 2001. This is citizenship immigration, not naturalization.

Which Children Automatically Become Citizens Under the New Law?

Beginning February 27, 2001, certain foreign-born children—including adopted children—currently residing permanently in the United States will acquire citizenship automatically. The term “child” is defined differently under immigration law for purposes of naturalization than for other immigration purposes, including adoption. To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of “child” for naturalization purposes under immigration law and must also meet the following requirements:

  • The child has at least one United States citizen parent (by birth or naturalization);
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is currently residing permanently in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent;
  • The child is a lawful permanent resident;
  • An adopted child meets the requirements applicable to adopted children under immigration law; and
  • Acquiring citizenship automatically means citizenship acquired by law without the need to apply for citizenship. A child who is currently under the age of 18 and has already met all of the above requirements will acquire citizenship automatically on February 27, 2001. Otherwise, a child will acquire citizenship automatically on the date the child meets all of the above requirements.

Is the Law Retroactive? Is Automatic Citizenship Provided for Those Who Are 18 Years of Age or Older?

No. The new law is not retroactive. Individuals who are 18 years of age or older on February 27, 2001, do not qualify for citizenship under this law, even if they meet all other criteria. If they choose to become U.S. citizens, they must apply for naturalization and meet eligibility requirements that currently exist for adult lawful permanent residents.

Will Eligible Children Automatically Receive Proof of Citizenship—Such As Citizenship Certificates and Passports?

No. Proof of citizenship will not be automatically issued to eligible children. However, if proof of citizenship is desired, beginning February 27, 2001, parents of children who meet the conditions of the new law may apply for a certificate of citizenship for their child with INS and/or for a passport for their child with the Department of State.

What Will INS Do With Currently Pending Applications for Certificates of Citizenship?

For pending applications filed to recognize citizenship status already acquired, INS will continue to adjudicate such applications under the relevant law applicable to the case. For applications that required INS approval before an individual could be deemed a U.S. citizen, INS will adjudicate those cases under current law until February 27, 2001. On February 27, 2001, INS will adjudicate those cases under the new law and for applicants who automatically acquire citizenship as of the effective date, INS will issue certificates of citizenship reflecting the person’s citizenship as of that date.

Is Automatic Citizenship Provided for Children (Including Adopted Children) Born and Residing Outside the United States?

No. In order for a child born and residing outside the United States to acquire citizenship, the United States citizen parent must apply for naturalization on behalf of the child. The naturalization process for such a child cannot take place overseas. The child will need to be in the United States temporarily to complete naturalization processing and take the oath of allegiance.

To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of “child” for naturalization purposes under immigration law3, and must also meet the following requirements:

  • The child has at least one U.S. citizen parent (by birth or naturalization);
  • The U.S. citizen parent has been physically present in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14—or the United States citizen parent has a citizen parent who has been physically present in the United States for at least five years, at least two of which were after the age of 14;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is residing outside the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent;
  • The child is temporarily present in the United States—having entered the United States lawfully and maintaining lawful status in the United States;
  • An adopted child meets the requirements applicable to adopted children under immigration law; and
  • If the naturalization application is approved, the child must take the same oath of allegiance administered to adult naturalization applicants. If the child is too young to understand the oath, INS may waive the oath requirement.

How can I become a U.S. Citizen?

Question: I have been in the United States for many years and would like to become a U.S. Citizen. Can you tell me how someone qualifies?

Answer: You may become a U.S. citizen (1) by birth or (2) through naturalization. Generally, people are born U.S. citizens if they are born in the United States or if they are born to U.S. citizens. If you were born in the United States, including, in most cases, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, you are an American citizen at birth. Your birth certificate is proof of your citizenship.

If you were born abroad and both of your parents are U.S. citizens and at least one of your parents lived in the United States at some point in his or her life, then in most cases you are a U.S. citizen.

If you were born abroad and only one of your parents is a U.S. citizen, then in most cases, you are a U.S. citizen if ALL of the following are true: One of your parents was a U.S. citizen when you were born; Your citizen parent lived at least 5 years in the United States before you were born; and at least 2 of these 5 years in the United States were after your citizen parent’s 14th birthday.

If you were born before November 14, 1986, you are a citizen if your U.S. citizen parent lived in the United States for at least 10 years and 5 of those years in the United States were after your citizen parent’s 14th birthday.

Question: If I have my Green Card, how do I become a naturalized citizen?

Answer: If you are not a U.S. citizen by birth or did not acquire U.S. citizenship automatically after birth, you may still be eligible to become a citizen through the normal naturalization process. People who are 18 years and older use the “Application for Naturalization” (Form N-400) to become naturalized. Persons who acquired citizenship from parent(s) while under 18 years of age use the “Application for a Certificate of Citizenship” (Form N-600) to document their citizenship. Qualified children who reside abroad use the “Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate under Section 322” (Form N-600K) to document their naturalization.

Question: What are the requirements for naturalization?

Answer: Basically, you need to have been a permanent resident for at least five years (unless you became a lawful permanent resident through marriage to a U.S. Citizen which changes the time to 3 years) and need to have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 2 ½ of the previous 5 years with no absence for more than 6 months. You must have good moral character and be able to speak, read and write English.

Question: When does my time as a Permanent Resident begin?

Answer: Your time as a Permanent Resident begins on the date you were granted permanent resident status. This date is on your Permanent Resident Card shows where you can find important information like the date your Permanent Residence began.

Question: If I have been convicted of a crime but my record has been expunged, do I need to write that on my application or tell an USCIS officer?

Answer: Yes. You should always be honest with USCIS about all arrests (even if you were not charged or convicted) and convictions (even if your record was cleared or expunged). Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident.

Thus, you might be a U.S. Citizen without knowing it if one of your parents or both are U.S. Citizens. Alternatively, if you have committed a crime, or ineligible for some reason to Naturalize, USCIS might put you into deportation if you wrongfully apply for Naturalization. Therefore, you should make certain you qualify before you apply.

My child is a U.S. Citizen – and I didn’t even know!

Question: We just petitioned our child after not seeing him in our home country for over 2 years. He will be coming to the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident. When can we apply for citizenship for him?

Answer: On October 30, 2000, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) was signed into law. The new law permitted foreign-born children (including adopted children) to acquire citizenship automatically if they meet certain requirements. It became effective on February 27, 2001.

Question: Which Children Automatically Become Citizens Under the CCA?

Answer: Since February 27, 2001, certain foreign-born children of U.S. citizens (including adopted children) residing permanently in the United States acquired citizenship automatically. The term “child” is defined differently under immigration law for purposes of naturalization than for other immigration purposes, including adoption. To be eligible, a child must meet the definition of “child” for naturalization purposes under immigration law, and must also meet the following requirements: The child has at least one United States citizen parent (by birth or naturalization); The child is under 18 years of age; The child is currently residing permanently in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent; The child has been admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident or has been adjusted to this status; An adopted child must also meet the requirements applicable to the particular provision under which they qualified for admission as an adopted child under immigration law. Acquiring citizenship automatically means citizenship is acquired by operation of law, without the need to apply for citizenship.

Question: Must an application be filed with USCIS to establish a child’s citizenship?

Answer: No. If a child qualifies for citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act, the child’s citizenship status is no longer dependent on USCIS approving a naturalization application. The child’s parents may, however, file an application for a certificate of citizenship on the child’s behalf to obtain evidence of citizenship. If a child satisfies the requirements listed above, he or she automatically acquires U.S. citizenship by operation of law either on the day of admission to the United States or on the day that the last condition for acquiring citizenship is satisfied.

Question: Will Eligible Children Automatically Receive Proof of Citizenship?

Answer: If the child falls under this provision, they will automatically receive a Certificate of Citizenship within 45 days of admission into the U.S. This program eliminates the need for the issuance of a Permanent Resident Card for newly entering children, since these cards are not applicable to U.S. citizens.

In other words, if the child falls under this provision of law, the moment they are admitted as a Lawful Permanent Resident, they are immediately considered to be a U.S. Citizen.

 

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