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Background checks and naturalization

 Posted on May 01, 2022 in naturalization & citizenship

If you are preparing to move forward with naturalization, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the process and prepare for your interview. For example, you should take a look at how the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services carries out background checks.

The outcome of a background investigation can have an impact on an applicant’s ability to go ahead with a naturalization interview, and you may need to review unique issues (such as securing a fingerprint waiver).

Naturalization and fingerprint requirements

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, those pursuing naturalization must go through background checks that include fingerprints and name checks with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). You must satisfy these requirements before you can attend a naturalization interview.

The USCIS collects fingerprints from naturalization applicants no matter how old they are. Those who do not appear at a fingerprinting appointment without informing the USCIS beforehand have abandoned their application. However, if you need a waiver because you have birth defects, a skin condition or another condition that prevents you from providing fingerprints, you might have the ability to secure a fingerprint waiver after meeting with a USCIS officer in person.

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Immediate Relative vs. Family Preference : Which type visa is easier to get?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in family-based immigration

Once you successfully emigrate from your country of origin to the United States, it is only natural for you to want to bring others of your family to join you here.

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, advises that you have two visa options: Family Preference and Immediate Relative. The question then becomes: Which type of visa can you more easily obtain? The answer depends on who you need to obtain the visa for.

Immediate Relative visas

Assuming you are a permanent U.S. resident, Immediate Relative visas are easier to obtain than Family Preference visas. The U.S. government issues an unlimited number of IR visas each year. The downside, however, is that you can only obtain this class of visas for your immediate family members. The following lists the five types of Immediate Relative visas and your family members to whom each applies:

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Is there a waiver for making a false claim of U.S. citizenship?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in green cards

Being an American citizen comes with a variety of important and valuable benefits. Still, if you are not a citizen of the U.S., it is imperative to understand the consequences of claiming to be one. Simply put, making a false claim to U.S. citizenship may make you forever ineligible to become a legal permanent resident or to obtain a nonimmigrant visa.

Falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen makes you inadmissible to the country. This means immigration officials will not allow you to enter legally. It also makes you deportable, meaning government lawyers may try to remove you from the country.

No general waiver

There are several grounds for both inadmissibility and deportability. With many of these grounds, though, a person can seek a waiver. With a waiver, government officials essentially agree to ignore your violations of U.S. immigration law.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there is no general waiver for making a false claim to U.S. citizenship. Therefore, if you falsely claim you are a U.S. citizen, you may have few or no options for gaining legal status.

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What should you do after naturalization?

 Posted on April 01, 2022 in naturalization & citizenship

After all of the excitement of getting your U.S. citizenship, you may wonder what comes next. Getting involved in your community and celebrating your accomplishments can help you embrace your newfound freedom.

Knowing some of the things you can do after completing the naturalization process may help you identify your next steps. Setting goals for your progress may increase your motivation for the future.

Learn about your privileges

Your citizenship opens a whole world of possibilities. In fact, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, after acquiring citizenship you have the chance to get your passport, update your driver’s license and register to vote. Each of these tasks requires various documentation and the completion of an application.

You may also want to take a moment to update your social security records. The Social Security Administration can direct you where to go to make any needed changes to your record.

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2 components of the naturalization test

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in naturalization & citizenship

One of the steps to become a citizen of the United States is to take the naturalization test. This is a requirement unless you qualify for an exemption. You may qualify for exemptions because of age or medical disability.

If you do not qualify for an exemption, the test consists of two parts: A civics test and an English language test.

1. Civics test

The civics test consists of questions about the history of the United States and how its government functions. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the civics test underwent a change in 2020. Under the new rules, the examiner will ask you 20 questions out of a possible 128. To pass this portion of the test, you must answer 12 of the 20 questions correctly.

2. English test

The English test gauges your ability to communicate effectively in the primary language of the United States. There are different parts of the test to assess your reading, writing and speaking abilities in English. For the writing portion, you will have a choice of three sentences and must choose one of them to write out. For the reading portion, you will again have a choice of three sentences and must read one of them out loud to demonstrate your ability to understand written English.

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What is a bona fide marriage?

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in family-based immigration

One of the primary objectives of U.S. immigration law is to keep families together. Consequently, if you are a U.S. citizen and marry a person who lives elsewhere, you probably have a streamlined process for securing legal permanent residency for your spouse.

Even though the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to reunify families, immigration officials also want to prevent immigration fraud. Therefore, you can expect a USCIS officer to determine whether you have a bona fide marriage before approving your immigration paperwork.

Your marriage is for the right reasons

Everyone has his or her own reasons for choosing to walk down the aisle. To comply with U.S. immigration law, however, your marriage must not be for the purpose of securing immigration benefits. Therefore, you should provide evidence that shows your marriage has love and commitment as its foundation.

You have the right documentation

USCIS officers review thousands of immigrant visa petitions every single year. Consequently, you can make the officer’s review easier by providing the right documentation. According to the USCIS, in addition to a copy of your marriage certificate, you also may want to include the following items with your filing:

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Avoid these common mistakes when applying for a green card

 Posted on March 01, 2022 in green cards

If you are applying for a green card, you are probably looking forward to the benefits of being a permanent resident. As a permanent resident, you can live and work anywhere in the U.S.

If you are currently living in the United States, you will need to apply for an adjustment of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This application process is complex, and you will want to avoid these common mistakes that could lead to delays or denial.

Failing to provide required supporting documents

There are many different documents that you will need to include with your green card application. The exact requirements will depend on your unique situation. For example, if a spouse is sponsoring you, you and your spouse may need to provide a marriage certificate, joint leases and joint bank account statements. Other commonly required supporting documents include:

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Are you eligible for naturalization?

 Posted on February 01, 2022 in naturalization & citizenship

Naturalization is the culmination of the American Dream for many immigrants who come to the United States, and you may have similar goals as well as questions about how to become a citizen. In most cases, discovering your eligibility is the first step in the process.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration notes that several factors, such as your parents’ citizenship status, can help you determine your own status and which you must meet before you reach eligibility.


You must reach the age of 18 before attempting to apply for naturalization. You may want to obtain documents that prove your age. Children under the age of 18 receive automatic citizenship if they were born in the U.S. or if their parents carry U.S. citizenship.

Marital status

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, then you are likely eligible to apply for citizenship. The time span required for residency is also shorter if your spouse is already a U.S. citizen, at three years compared to five for non-married green cardholders.

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Can your fiancé find work in the country?

 Posted on February 01, 2022 in fiancé visas

Starting over anew in a different country is often enough to rattle even the strongest of people. However, getting started on the right foot can help build a strong foundation that can make the transition easier to bear.

With the right authorization, it is possible for your fiancé to gain the ability to work, which is one step toward making the process of transitioning smooth.

Work authorization approval

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services take a look at how fiancé visas work in the country. They note that after your fiancé arrives in the country, they can apply for work authorization with form I-765. If approved, this privilege lasts for 90 days. If your fiancé applies for a green card at the same time, the privilege lasts for one year instead.

In order to work each year, your fiancé will still need to refresh their approval, renewing the authorization to work any time it expires.

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Texas sheriff investigated for illegal money seizure

 Posted on January 01, 2022 in family-based immigration

Immigrants face many challenges as they work to settle and build a life in Texas and the rest of the United States. These challenges are often exacerbated when the immigrants are undocumented and local law enforcement officials are not playing by the rules.

According to CNN, the Real County sheriff in Texas is being investigated for stealing money during traffics tops from undocumented immigrants. Although no charges were filed, the attorney general’s office and the Texas Rangers executed search warrants in the small county located close to 90 miles away from the United States and Mexico border.

Immigration disagreements often fuel allegations

Local government officials have often sparred and disagreed with the current presidential administration over issues such as immigration. In Texas, property and money can be seized during a stop if there is clear evidence that links it to some type of criminal activity. The allegations leveled against the sheriff suggest that he seized money that was not involved in any specific crime.

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