Immigration Lawyer Portland

On November 13th, USCIS announced its plans to implement a revised civics test for U.S. citizenship applicants. According to their memo last week, USCIS has revised this test “as part of a decennial update to ensure that it remains an instrument that comprehensively assesses applicants’ knowledge of American history, government and civic values.” USCIS had originally announced these plans in July 2019.

The new civics test must be taken orally and consists of 128 questions and answers. The test officer will ask an applicant 20 questions of the total 128, and an applicant must answer at least 12 questions correctly to pass the 2020 version of the civics portion of the naturalization test.

The previous test consisted of a total of 10 questions from a bank of 100 civics questions, and an applicant had to correctly answer 6 of the 10 questions. In this previous test, the civic portion of the test ended as soon as the applicant answered 6 of the questions correctly. However, in this revised test, the officer must ask all 20 questions, even if the applicant answers 12 correctly before the end of the exam. Note, however, that applicants who are 65 years or older and have permanently lived in the U.S. for at least 20 years will be asked 10 questions and must answer at least six correctly in order to pass the new test.

Don L. Fisher, who has spent the past 10 years teaching classes to immigrants preparing classes for their citizenship test, summarized the new test, “The exam is longer, requires more answers and more detailed answers.”

The U.S. civics test is taken by applicants for the U.S. Citizenship, and is a requirement for becoming naturalized as a U.S. citizen. This updated test will be taken by applicants who apply for naturalization on or after December 1st, 2020. If you have applied for citizenship before December 1st, you will take the current version of the test.

According to their November 13th memo, USCIS conducted pilot tests with volunteers and community organizations across the country. Using this pilot data, USCIS made choices about language and grammatical structure of every test item and determined the linguistic and cognitive weight of every test item as well.
The content of this revised test has also been altered. All the questions about U.S. geography, including oceans, rivers and states have been removed. Rather, the revised test includes more questions about politics, about the presidency, Congress and Supreme Court, and a bit about the U.S. founding fathers.
Certain updated answers to questions have sparked criticism. For instance, question number 31 asks, “Who does a U.S. senator represent?” In the 2008 version of the civics test, the answer to this question was “All people of the state.” But in the 2020 version, the answer is “Citizens of their state.” This seems to target and marginalized undocumented individuals in the United States.
Many community organizations and immigration activists have criticized these changes to the civics test. Eva Millona, CEO and President of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition said that the revised test is “another example of the Trump Administration seeking to put barriers to citizenship with little opportunity for input from communities that will be most impacted.” Millona is hopeful that the Biden Administration will reverse this change to civics tests. Many activists push for immigrants to take the civics test before December 1st if possible.
If you are planning to apply for citizenship on or after December 1st, 2020, consider the test items and study guides that are found on the Citizenship Resource Center on the USCIS website. There is a 2020 Civics Test Practice posted on the USCIS website with 128 questions. There is also an updated USCIS Policy Manual (PDF, 323.82 KB). For the English and Civics testing, see Volume 12, Part E, English and Civics Testing and Exceptions, Chapter 2, English and Civics Testing.

If you are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship, now is the time to apply!   Contact us today at (866) 691-9894.

On July 31st, 2020, DHS announced a final rule regarding the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee schedule, which would dramatically increase USCIS filing fees for certain immigration and naturalization benefit requests. Overall, USCIS fees are being increased by a weighted average of 20 percent, according to USCIS.

The changes to filing fees include a first-ever $50.00 fee for asylum seekers and an 80% increase for naturalization services, which would raise the cost of online naturalization applications from $640 to $1,160. In addition, the changes announced include a $10 fee for the registration requirement for petitioners filing H-1B petitions on behalf of cap-subject aliens. I-765 Application for Employment Authorization fees will be increased by $140 (34% increase of the original $410 fee) and I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence fees have been reduced by $10 to amount to $1,130.

A detailed fee schedule, noting old fees and new fees for each application type, can be found here (or on on the USCIS website. On its website, USCIS specified that all filings postmarked December 23rd, 2016 or later must include the new fees or they will be rejected.

Effective on October 2nd, 2020, this new rule will support payroll, technology, and operations of USCIS. According to the agency, current fees would leave USCIS underfunded by around $1 billion per year. Immigration fees have risen to an extraordinary level in recent decades in the United States. For instance, in the 1990s, naturalization application fees were under $100.

The addition of a new asylum fee is important, as the U.S. joins Iran, Fiji, and Australia as countries that impose fees on asylum-seekers. Many immigration attorneys and activists have decried the added financial burden, as the right to seek asylum in the U.S. should not be conditioned on the ability to pay a fee, no matter what amount.

Human Rights First, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) international human rights organization, denounced the rule soon after it was issued. The organization’s Deputy Legal Director, Anwen Hughes, stated: “Asylum seekers typically arrive in the United States with very limited resources that quickly dwindle. For some who are detained upon arrival, the total amount of money they have available to them by the time they are filing for asylum can be less than this application fee.”

While these fee changes have been added, the proposed $275 renewal fee for DACA recipients has been removed so that DACA fees for employment authorization and biometric services will remain at 2017-levels.  

USCIS deputy director for policy, Joseph Edlow, has stated that “USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures and make adjustments based on that analysis.” He added, “These overdue adjustments in fees are necessary to efficiently and fairly administer our nation’s lawful immigration system, secure the homeland and protect Americans.” In a Facebook post, USCIS announced that these fees are reviewed every other year by law.

Note that USCIS, experiencing the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, risks facing a revenue shortfall for the calendar year, despite having a budget surplus for the fiscal year. This will likely contribute to over 13,000 furloughs if USCIS does not receive a $1.2 billion emergency fund from Congress. USCIS is a peculiar federal agency because, rather than coming from the government, it receives its funds mainly from fee collection. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump’s recent immigration restriction-oriented policies, the agency has received fewer applications, contributing to its revenue shortfall.

According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, such furloughs will halt U.S. immigration, which will hurt families, businesses, educational institutions, medical facilities, and churches. Additionally, if USCIS is close to being shut down, immigrants in the process of naturalization will be unable to complete the process in time to register to vote, DACA recipients will not be able to renew their benefits, asylum applicants will face significant delays to their cases, and businesses will be unable to hire and retain non-citizen employees. The Migration Policy Institute concluded that for every month that the USCIS furlough lasts, 75,000 applications will not be processed. Fortunately, USCIS has agreed to move the previously-set date for these furloughs from August 3rd to August 30th.

non citizens and social media

Social media is ubiquitous these days, and while it can be a great way to communicate with family and friends, it’s important to keep in mind that it is largely public. Even with the use of privacy settings, DHS has used social media monitoring and vetting as a justification to approve or deny visas. They have even used social media vetting in order make determinations about citizenship. DHS now uses what they call a “shared social media screening service” to analyze data on non-citizens, and according to the Brennan Center  they had prepared to screen approximately 15 million visitors’ social media accounts in 2019.

While many  human rights groups  are warning against the implications of curtailing free speech with such monitoring, and taking steps to advocate for better policies, it’s still important to take some precautions on social media. If you’re a non-citizen who is   active on social media, there are steps you can take to ensure that you’re better protected.

Social Media: Don’t Share Everything.

While many social media platforms will try to gather as much information on you as possible, you don’t need to answer every question. Certain fields are necessary for verification. You’re under no obligation to share the name of your middle school or other personal information you don’t want to disclose. It’s recommended to treat the “about me” section on social media as “optional”. If there is information that you don’t feel comfortable putting into a public space, don’t include it.

Don’t Rely on Privacy Settings.

Absolutely do use your privacy settings. But, assuming that because your profile is set to “friends only” that it’s impossible for DHS to monitor you is inaccurate. While the ACLU  has been demanding more transparency around how the government collects and monitors social media, there is still not enough openness about how and when this information is used. Therefore, caution is important.

Social media monitoring from DHS does not mean that they need to be your social media “friend” so what you consider private is relative. Activate your privacy settings but remain cautious about what information you put out there. Remember, you’re sharing with other people, even if many of them are your friends in real life. If there’s information you wouldn’t share with a stranger it’s a good idea to keep it off social media.

Be Aware of What You Say on Social Media.

Social media is a great way to share ideas, and there’s nothing wrong with being opinionated. Many advocacy groups are working hard to ensure that freedom of speech is protected, and that protection extends to social media. However, using a little caution is important. Anything that can be interpreted as a threat should obviously be avoided, but unfortunately it can be more complicated. Sometimes even jokes can be taken the wrong way. So even if you’re sure your tone is sarcastic, it’s wise not to give anyone any possibility of misunderstanding.

DHS doesn’t necessarily have a person sorting through data. They often rely on algorithms that can make mistakes, especially when interpreting tone and intent. These algorithms have programs to pick up on certain words and phrases. This means that many individuals who are posting perfectly common and appropriate things can be flagged unnecessarily. So always exercise caution, and know when to contact a lawyer.

Call Immigration Law Group!

It’s important that you know your rights and protect yourself when it comes to your social media information. With immigration law group, we can help you familiarize yourself with your rights, and we’ll advocate on your behalf. Our top rated lawyers are here to assist you and guide you on the path to citizenship. For more information,  contact us  today!

non-US citizen

Starting a business can be an invigorating process that can yield high dividends. It’s an enticing opportunity that many want to be involved in. However, with the continually evolving political climate, the issue becomes whether a Non-U.S. Citizen can own a business in the United States?

What Rights Do Non-U.S. Citizens Have?

The U.S. Constitution includes provisions that describe the rights of its “citizens” and the “persons” in the country. This “persons” terminology is a term that was created to apply to everyone in the United States. Specifically, it means that everyone (permanent residents, visitors, and even illegal immigrants) in the United States should have equal rights when it comes to specific U.S. laws. These rights include the following:

  • The right to legal counsel
  • Freedom of speech
  • The right to peaceful assembly
  • Freedom of religion
  • The right to bear arms
  • The right to education
  • The ability to seek a government’s assistance without  punishment or reprisals
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right to have due process of law
  • The right to have trial by jury

Can Non-U.S. Citizens Open a Small Business?

The good news is that the United States not only welcomes foreign business, but it will most likely continue to do so into the future. That’s why incorporating a business as a Non-U.S. citizen is not only doable, but the procedure is not as daunting as some may think.   However, there are specific provisions that Non-U.S. citizens need to consider, which can interfere with their plan of opening up a business that is headquartered in the United States. These rules state that without the proper visas, Non-U.S. citizens will not be able to live in the United States, work for the company in the United States, or be able to receive a salary from the company.   That’s why a Non-U.S. citizen must discuss all their options with a professional before proceeding with any business plan.

Types of Business Non-U.S. Citizens Can Open:

  • Corporation (C-Corp)
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

Additional Business Requirements:

  • When opening a business in the United States, annual tax returns are required.
  • A U.S. address is not required to incorporate a business in the United States. However, most states will require incorporation renewals each year.
  • A Non-U.S. citizen cannot obtain a salary from the United States-based company; however, they can receive payment from a branch that is located in their home country.
  • Certain Visa’s can make the process of owning a business in the U.S. more accessible, and they should be considered when starting this process. However, you will need to discuss them with a professional to see if you are qualified for either of these visas.
    • E2 Visa (most accessible for entrepreneurs) and L1 visa

How Will This Change Affect Immigrants and the Country?

Allowing Non-U.S. citizens the opportunity to start and grow a business in the United States, is crucial for not just encouraging immigrants to invest in the United States, but also for the United States’ continuous economic growth. These companies are employing millions of U.S. citizens across the country and putting money back into the nation’s economy. Some may fear that these companies will hurt the U.S.

However,   their overall impact on the people and the country’s economic health is not only positive but also a vital driving force in improving the local commerce. These companies have a rippling effect on the United States with their ability to contribute money to not only small towns and schools, but also bring in consultants, managers, and other employees, who, in turn, will provide additional jobs. Their ability to continually grow the economy is why the people and the country are so eager for these types of investors to invest continuously.

Call Immigration Law Group

Living this American dream of owning a business in the United States is possible, even as a Non-U.S. Citizen. However, to fully grasp all the options and avoid any issues, it is critical to hire professionals that are not only experienced in this field but can navigate the ever-changing immigration laws. With  Immigration Law Group,  you will have a dedicated team that not only will help you make this business dream a reality but provide you with all the options that can set you up for a lifetime of success. For more information,  contact us  today.

new visa policies

U.S. work and student visa policies have been changing since time immemorial. However, President Donald Trump proposed a change in immigration policies. These changes restrict non-US citizens and immigrants permanently or temporarily from studying, living, and working in the United States.

According to the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data analysis shows that the denial rates for H-1B visa petition has risen from 6% to 32% in 2015 and mid 2019 respectively. This is as a result of the USCIS raising the standards of approved H-1b petition.

What Visa Policies Are Changing?

The most affected policy is the H-1b visa. The policy changes are aimed at improving and streamlining of the allocation of the H-1B visa. This will be achieved by slicing the administrative burden of processing the application, and to transform the selection process in favor of U.S. applicants holding master’s degrees.

The other proposed changes refers to the OPT (Optional Practical Training) program, which allows international students under the F-1 study visas to freely work in the USA for only 12 months. The changes might limit them from receiving work authorization.

Another proposed change involves the H-4 work permit program allowing H-1B visa holders’ spouses to work in the United States. Trump’s administration will not give work permit to these spouses.

How Do New Visa Policies Impact Immigrants?

1. Decline in jobs for international students

A study by NACE  (National Association of Colleges and Employers) showed that the number of employers in the U.S. planning to hire international students dropped to 23.4% in 2018 after years of consistent growth that reached 34.2% in 2015.

2. Increase in immigration fees

The cost of becoming a U.S citizen will be 83% more expensive,  and it will raise the application fees required for legal permanent residency from $1,022, to 2,915 and the citizen application fee from $640 to $1,170.

3. Fewer students applying for colleges in the U.S.

According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), enrollment of new international students in the United States has reduced by 6.6% between 2017 and 2018, and has continued to go down.

This is not favorable for the economy or the universities as well because international students pay higher fees that native Americans. For instance, in 2017, the students contributed up to $42 billion to the economy through board and room, tuition among other expenses. That’s why some colleges have reclassified economic majors into STEM degrees.

4. Foreign tech workers are moving to Canada

As a result of the proposed changes, most large corporations may be forced to relocate their jobs abroad. For example,  Microsoft had announced  a huge expansion in Canada planning to build new headquarters in Toronto and hire 500 more employees.

In addition, the  Canadian government invited skilled people in the computer and tech related fields to sign up for permanent residence under the Express Entry Program. Out of the 86,022 invites sent in 2017, Indians got 42%, China behind by 9%, Nigeria received 6% and Pakistan got 4%. The number of Indians admitted in 2016 was 9,584, which rose to 26,340 in 2017.

Do Changing Visa Policies Affect the U.S.?

Change in visa policies has pushed highly skilled foreigners out of the U.S. significantly reducing innovation. As a result, foreign affiliate employment has increased due to the increasingly strict restrictions on the H-1B visas. Multinational firms are likely to establish new foreign affiliates outside the U.S., especially in fields where services can be off-shored.

Contact Immigration Law Group!

Looking for an immigration lawyer? Well, look no further! At Immigration Law Group we have top-rated immigration lawyers to help you obtain U.S. citizenship and visas. Contact us  today to help you become a lawful permanent U.S. citizen.

daca and dapa

There’s much debate about the DACA and DAPA programs, which has an impact on the lives of undocumented immigrants. Many immigrants, U.S citizens and residents will need to learn the details and issues affecting the existing US immigration policy. Currently, the U. S Citizenship and Immigration Services do not accept applications for DACA and DAPA programs. There is a temporary block from a federal court in Texas that block the expansion and implementation of the programs.

What Is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is an American Immigration Policy shielding people who came to the United States as children from deportation. The policy was founded in 2014 by the Obama administration. Initially, the program protected people who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before June 2007. The policy provides undocumented immigrants with temporary citizenship, Social Security Number, and a 2-year renewable work permit.

What Is DAPA?

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents or Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program is a policy by the Obama administration of 2014. It offers temporary relief from deportation to people without lawful immigration status and has been in the US since the year 2010. These are the immigrants whose children are lawful permanent American residents or citizens. DAPA enables immigrants to hold a renewable 3-year work permit.

Who Qualifies for the DACA and DAPA?

The recipients of DACA and DAPA programs have a better chance to be integrated into the US as legal citizens and residents. However, they must meet the outlined requirements to be eligible for deferred action, and these are:


  • Lives in the US continuously since 1st January 2010
  • Present in the US before 15th June 2012 and continuously lived since 15th August 2012
  • Has lived in the US before the age of 16 years
  • Free of certain criminal convictions
  • Graduates with completion of high school, GED certificate and must be in school when applying for DACA


  • Continuously lives in the US since 1st January 2010
  • Been always present (every day) in the US since 20th November 2014
  • Is a parent to children who are a lawful permanent resident or US citizen
  • Does not have a conviction of certain misdemeanors, felonies, and criminal offenses
  • Must have entered the US unlawfully, or with lawful immigration that has expired before 20th November 2014

Impact of DACA and DAPA to Immigrants

The policy has a social and economic effect on those who are eligible for the DACA and DAPA programs.

  • These programs help to improve the affected immigrant families with the creation of better jobs and the growth of the economy. People with work permits will benefit from better job matches and higher wages. The impact of an improved economy influenced by the immigrants may hasten the steps to make the process lawful. In result, will reduce their fears of deportation.
  • The program helps families to remain united as the parents, and their children do not face separation. Parents who face deportation may cause their children to develop an emotional strain, and they may not succeed in education and financially. Children with the assurance of a family, have the opportunity for scholarships, can attend public universities, new jobs, and open bank accounts. Furthermore, this event reduces the number of children in foster care.
  • The policy doesn’t guarantee automatic legal US citizenship, there is hope that the process will be easier and quicker for those in and out of the program. With an expanded program, there will be trust-building and cooperation that will help to reduce tensions among the immigrant communities and law enforcers.

Call Us Today!

If you are an immigrant in the US, then you will need the services of an attorney who specializes in all aspects of immigration. With Immigration Law Group, we advocate for policies that will benefit the undocumented immigrant. We represent clients in removal proceedings, family, and employment-based immigration issues before the US Immigration Courts.

For more information,  contact us, and our team of qualified attorneys will help you to obtain legal status in the US.

DACA dreamers

The  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals  (DACA) program, since its inception, has offered protection to an estimated 820,000 immigrants who are undocumented from getting deported. Surprisingly, virtually all the immigrants happen to have come to the United States while young, and have been residents for the last ten years. Currently, however, the progress is in serious jeopardy as the government is fighting to phase out the program.

So, what will happen to Dreamers if DACA is rescinded?

What Is DACA?

DACA is an American program founded in June 2012 that offers undocumented immigrants reprieve from deportation and eligibility to work in the US.

Who Are Dreamers?

Dreamers are typically those individuals who are protected under DACA. Approximately 787,580 undocumented immigrants had been approved for the program by the time Trump stated his decision to discontinue the program.

Those eligible for DACA were typically immigrants who came into the US as children below 16 years of age and have grown up as citizens. For applicants to qualify, they must have been below age 31 when the program was initiated. The applicants were also required to have no record of serious misdemeanors, felonies, or a threat to the national security.

Most Dreamers are reported to have come from Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala. The White House also reports a huge number of them to being between 15 and 36 years of age. The majority of them reside in Florida, New York, Texas, and California.

Why Is It Being Reviewed by the Supreme Court?

In 2017, the Trump administration announced to rescind DACA, claiming that it was created unlawfully as the then president had exceeded his executive power. Then followed several legal trials in federal courts, declaring Trump’s decision was faulty-legal reasoning and failed to properly justify ending the policy. These permitted DACA to temporarily continue renewing recipients’ permits, but all new registrations were suspended.

Then, earlier this year the Supreme Court granted to review the case to determine if the administration’s move to end DACA was actually unlawful. So far, lower courts have been in supporting the initiative claiming that the decision by the administration was unlawful and they should provide a concrete rationale for ending the DACA program. The ruling is expected by the end of June 2020.

How Will This Change Affect Immigrants/ People/ Country?

The loss of the DACA would likely have immense consequences for Dreamers and a substantial impact on the nation’s economy.

• Loss of protection from deportation

DACA offers a two-year period of deportation shield and work authorization for eligible immigrants. Ending the program means recipients will lose their work permits as well as deportation protection as their DACA expires. By the end of 2019, at least two-thirds of DACA permits will have expired. Plus, an estimated 156,250 Dreamers would have no protections by July 2020.

According to a 2018 report, 89 percent of Dreamers are employed in different sectors across the country. Therefore, ending DACA would lead to significant economic consequences. It will reduce the overall GGDP by approximately 42 billion dollars.

• Lose Driving license

DACA recipients are allowed by all states to apply for driver’s licenses, which means that as their DACA permits expire, they could end up losing their driving licenses too.

While all 50 states currently permit DACA recipients to acquire driver’s licenses, about 12 states allow all undocumented immigrants. This means some of the recipients will be able to keep their driver’s licenses depending on the state they live.

• Education Opportunities

The end of DACA could result in higher education being less accessible for the recipients. Some recipients, however, will still enjoy education opportunities as several states allow in-state tuition even to undocumented immigrants. Additionally, some states have never permitted DACA recipients to cover in-state tuition.

Unfortunately, the larger numbers of undocumented students reside in states that allow DACA recipients to apply for public colleges but restrict access for undocumented ones.

This would mean Dreamers in such states would lose their eligibility for higher education once their permits expire.

Why Call Immigration Law Group

With Immigration Law Group, you are guaranteed to work with top-rated immigration lawyers. We can give you the help you need to become a lawful permanent resident green card holder.

Contact us today by phone or online via Skype and one of our immigration attorneys will answer your immigration questions. We can help you get on the right track!

Portland Immigration Lawyer

The cost for becoming a United States Citizen might become 83 percent more expensive. The Trump Administration is attempting to raise the application fees from citizenship to legal permanent residency.

Last Thursday, USCIS announced the proposed price hikes, in their statement “current fees do not recover the full costs of providing adjudication and naturalization services.”   The citizenship application fee is currently 640 dollars, the proposed price hike would make the fee 1,170 dollars. The legal permanent residency fee is currently 1,220 and USCIS is attempting to raise it to 2,195.

The proposed price hikes would have a major affect on immigration. There are also price hikes for Asylum, Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries, and DACA recipients. DACA renewals would go from 495 dollars to 765 dollars. The administration is also seeking to transfer $207.6 million of USCIS funding and divert it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Advocacy groups are pressing people who are eligible to apply as soon as possible. USCIS and the Trump Administration must place the proposed price hikes in a comment period, the period ends on December 16th.

These price hikes have very little blocking their way to becoming a reality. Congress is really the only option to prevent the price hikes from becoming implemented.

The time to apply for your green card or citizenship application is now!   Don’t wait until the fees increase a substantial amount more than they already are.   Feel free to contact us with any questions.


How to become a United States Citizen:

You have been a permanent resident green card holder for the last five years, or a permanent resident green card holder for the last three years if you are filing as the spouse of a US citizen. Now you want to enjoy the benefits of being a United States citizen, maybe you want to vote, maybe you want to have the chance of working federal jobs, or maybe you just don’t want to worry about renewing your green card every 10 years and have the peace of mind that comes with being a United States citizen. Below are the steps and requirements that are necessary to become a United States citizen.

Phase one: Eligibility

The applicant must be at least eighteen years old at the time of filing N-400 form. You also must be a permanent resident green card holder of at least five years OR a permanent resident green card holder of at least three years if you are filing as the spouse of a person who is a United States citizen.

There is a ninety-day filing exception. You may submit your N-400 to USCIS as early as
ninety days before reaching your three- or five-year wait period as a green card holder —
as long as you’ve satisfied all other eligibility requirements. You must still wait the full three or five years, however, to become a U.S. citizen. Filing early just lets you get ahead in the application process. (Our guide to citizenship has the full details.)

You can apply if you are married to, and living with, a US citizen. You also must have been married to that US citizen for at least the past three years. The US citizen spouse must have been a US citizen for at least the past three years.

Also during the past three years, you must not have been out of the country for eighteen months or more. You are eligible to apply based on five-year residency if during the last five years you have NOT been out of the United States for thirty months or more.

There are exceptions to the thirty-month rule. If you are a person who has served on board a vessel operated by or registered in the United States OR are an employee or an individual under contract to the US Government OR a person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States.

To qualify for citizenship eligibility you must have not gone a trip outside the United
States for one year or more without an approved “Application to Preserve Residence for
Naturalization Purposes.”

You must reside in the state or district in which you applied for citizenship for at least the last three months.

Next Step – Biometrics Appointment

The next step is to set up your biometrics appointment — basically, getting your
fingerprints taken — at your local USCIS field office. As with the marriage-based green
card process, USCIS will take your fingerprints during naturalization in order to conduct
a background check. The fingerprinting appointment usually takes place about a month
after USCIS receives your U.S. citizenship application.

You must have “good moral character,” broadly defined as a character that measures up to
the standards of average citizens in your community. More specifically, however, it
means you did not have certain types of crimes — such as murder, illegal gambling, or intentionally lying to the U.S. government in order to gain immigration benefits — on
your record at any time before filing, and you did not lie during your naturalization

Phase Two: Exam and Oath

You must pass a two-part naturalization test: the first is an English language test
(covering reading, writing, and speaking skills) and the second a civics test (covering
knowledge of U.S. history and government).

You must be able to read, write and speak basic English. There are some exceptions to
this requirement. If you are over the age of fifty years old and have lived in the United
States for at least the last twenty years since becoming a Permanent resident OR you are over the age of fifty-five years old and have lived in the United States for at least fifteen
years since becoming a Permanent Resident OR you have a disability that prevents you from fulfilling this requirement and you will file a “Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions” (Form N-648) completed a signed by a doctor with your application.

You must know the fundamentals of US History and the form and principles of the US
Government. Must be willing to serve in the U.S. military or perform civilian service for the
The United States if called upon to do so. You must register with the Selective Service System if you are male and have lived in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25. You must be willing to defend the U.S. Constitution.

If you are able to pass through the two phases of requirements then you can become a United States citizen. If you want to determine your citizenship eligibility, please give us a call at (866)-691-9894 for a consultation to begin your path to becoming a United States citizen.

Dated: May 30, 2019

Recently the United States and Immigration Services Website has released naturalization statistics. According to the USCIS a total of 163,000 people were naturalized during 2018. This has been a 55% increase from the year before. Some immigration attorneys believe it is due to the recent political climate and the ability to vote is the driving factor behind the spike in citizenship applications and naturalizations. Immigration attorney, Iliana Holguin believes the raise in naturalizations is “that now they’re really seeing the importance of having a voice in our democracy by being able to vote. Especially with all the negative rhetoric that’s being said about immigrant and immigrant communities.”

The desire to vote has been a major factor for permanent residents to become citizens. Washington Post reporter, Allison Klein, reported last year that Maria Valles Vda De Bonilla officially became a United States Citizen at the age of 106-years-old. Bonilla is not the oldest immigrant to become a citizen, a Turkish man became a United States citizen at the age of 117. Both wanted their voice to be heard and it proves that becoming a United States citizen does not have an expiration. Enjoying the benefits of being a United States citizen does not have an age limit.

If you want to enjoy these benefits and have your voice be heard in the upcoming elections please reach out to us at (866)691-9894