Q&As on Immigration

U.S. Citizen Child Born Out-of-Wedlock Petitioning for Father

August 17, 2012 | Family Petition

Q.  I am a 23-year-old US citizen. I was born in New York and now I am petitioning for my father. The problem, however, is that my father never married my mother and was previously and still is married to another person. My question is, how can I petition for him since the I-130 form […]

Q. I am very much interested in becoming a citizen. I’ve been here legally since 1985 and have worked ever since paying taxes. Unfortunately, I got arrested on a grand larceny charge in 1991. Is there any chance of me becoming a citizen? Can I request a pardon from the governor?

July 20, 2012 | Criminal Convictions, Legal Permanent Residents (LPR), Naturalization

A. I’m presuming that you are a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder). There is a potential problem with your filing a citizenship application. Criminal convictions, even if they occurred many years ago, can have various immigration consequences for green card holders. Immigration law has several categories of crimes that can make a green holder […]

Q. I am a U.S. Citizen while my wife is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). We have been married for over five years now but my wife has only been a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) since August 14, 2009. I am looking into an expedited naturalization for my wife based on work. I am about to begin with Harvard University as a Master of Liberal Arts Student. I have to complete a Master’s thesis proposal and eventually a thesis for which I will need to be in the United Arab Emirates for about 12 to 20 months. I don’t get paid by the Harvard Extension School as this is a self-paced research which one has to complete in order to obtain the Masters of Liberal Arts program. Does my wife qualify for an expedited naturalization based on 319(b)?

June 15, 2012 | Family Petition, Legal Permanent Residents (LPR), Naturalization

A. Your question refers to section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a provision that allows certain permanent residents to have their naturalization “expedited” if their U.S. citizen spouse is working overseas.  The naturalization is expedited, for an eligible applicant, in the sense that she does not have to meet the requirements of […]

Q. I filed a Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship, for my son, along with a fee waiver request in New York City in March 2011. I have not received any receipt or confirmation from USCIS. How long does an N-600 take to be processed when it is submitted with a fee waiver application? My son is 15 years old. He became a U.S. citizen automatically when I naturalized. He received an American passport, but we need a Certificate of Citizenship to prove that he is a U.S. citizen.

May 18, 2012 | Naturalization

A. A U.S. passport is evidence of U.S. citizenship and, legally, its weight is equal to that of a Certificate of Citizenship. There are some limited circumstances where it would be beneficial to apply for a Certificate of Citizenship. For instance, if your son ever loses his U.S. passport, he will need to provide evidence […]

Q. I have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) right now since I am from El Salvador, but I just got married to a U.S. citizen. I would like to know what is the next step in order to obtain my green card? -Maria Tobar

April 20, 2012 | Adjustment of Status, Family Petition, Temporary Protected Status

A. If you entered legally, you qualify to adjust status, that is, interview here. Your husband can petition for you and in the same envelope, you can submit your application for permanent residence. If you entered the United States without speaking to an immigration officer, you have two possibilities. You can travel home with what […]

Q. Can a child who came in with a humanitarian visa and is being petitioned by his/her resident mother apply for adjustment of status, or will this child have to go back to his/her country to get a green card? -Name withheld

March 16, 2012 | Adjustment of Status, Family Petition, Immigrant Visas, Legal Permanent Residents (LPR)

A. Adjustment of status is a process that allows an individual who is already present in the United States to apply for permanent residence and receive it without leaving the country. Though there are many exceptions, in order to qualify for adjustment of status, an individual generally must meet three criteria: He/she must have a […]

Q. My uncle has filed an I-130 petition for his daughter who is over 21, married, and has children. I know the law says the process can take up to 10 years. Can he apply for a visitor’s visa and adjust her status while the I-130 petition is processing? In addition, can this process speed up as a result of my uncle’s disability and his age?

February 17, 2012 | Adjustment of Status, Family Petition, Immigrant Visas

A. It is unlikely the daughter will get a visitor’s visa while she is waiting to process for an immigrant visa. Even if she got the visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services might not let her stay here legally until she gets to the front of the line for her immigrant visa. If she stays […]

Q. I filed for my mother to come to the United States and on April 2009 she was granted a green card. My question is, when will she be able to file for citizenship?

January 20, 2012 | Naturalization

A. Your mother is eligible for naturalization after being a lawful permanent resident for five years. The date she became a permanent resident is on her green card. She can file her Application for Naturalization, USCIS form N-400, 90 days before completing the five years. Your mother can naturalize after just three years if she […]

Q. I was born in New York, but I left when I was 3 years old. My parents are originally from Africa. I came back to New York fourteen years later. Now I am 21. USCIS refuses to give me a green card, even though I have a birth certificate. I would like to know what’s the procedure to get a green card?

December 16, 2011 | Naturalization

A. Thanks for your question. Almost everyone who is born in the United States is a United States citizen. There is an exception for the children of diplomats who are born in the United States. Those children are granted permanent resident status at their birth. So unless your parents were diplomats, you are a citizen, […]

Q. I have a couple of questions about my daughter who came to the United States on November 2009 with a Visa B1/B2 and never returned to her country. She now needs to return to her country. Can I in the future fill the Form I-130 for her? Will she have the appointment for a Green Card? Will she need to fill out the Form I-601? My daughter is 12 years old. Thank you for your time.

November 18, 2011 | Family Petition, Immigrant Visas, Naturalization

A . If you are a U.S. citizen you may want to consider filing an application for permanent residence now. She can get travel permission as part of the application process.  Of course, if the USCIS approves her green card application before she leaves, she can return as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) or ‘”green […]