Citizenship FAQs

Can parents of U.S. citizens travel to the U.S. on an existing B-2 visa while their GC is pending?

Authored on: Tue, 03/22/2022 - 06:50

Question

I got my USA citizenship this Jan, and I want to start the green card process for my parents. They are currently with me in the USA on a visitor visa, however, they would like to go back to India in March after the 6 months of allowed stay in the USA.

So I want to know when I start the green card process for my parents when they are in India, can they still travel to the USA on their existing B-2 visitor visa (valid till 2026), or should they be in India until the consular processing for their green card is complete?

 

Answer

Video URL

 

Are you eligible to become a naturalized US citizen?

Authored on: Wed, 01/26/2022 - 04:04

Question

1. My Son was born in February 2020 in the USA, where my wife is on an F1 visa working on OPT. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, I couldn't meet my son for two years. Kindly suggest to me the way forward to meet my son and wife. I also tried to travel on a tourist visa and F1 Visa. Unfortunately, I got both rejections. I'm an Indian taxpayer and an IT employee. 

2. My brother is a US citizen, and he applied for our mother's green card. Everything is clear, all paperwork is done, but due to the pandemic, we are waiting for the interview date from March 2021. Do you have any information on how we get the date or how much time it will take?

3. My daughter is in Dallas, US, and under medical treatment. She is there with an IN40 visa. As a father, I want to be there during her medical urgency. How can I get a visa now to be with her in the US?

4. I am a US citizen currently in India. I am traveling back to the States in mid-February for two months and want to take my Indian-citizen senior citizen mother with me for that duration. Her last US tourist visa expired eight years ago. (She has an active Schengen visa on her passport) Is there a way she can get a short-term two-month visa to the US?

5. I stayed outside of the US for more than two years because of COVID-19. Am I eligible for naturalization? I came to the USA in August 2016.

 

Answer

*Please note that the queries have been put together and edited by the Economic Times to address similar questions at once and that the answers are clear and relevant to the audience.

1. My Son was born in February 2020 in the USA, where my wife is on an F1 visa working on OPT. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, I couldn't meet my son for two years. Kindly suggest to me the way forward to meet my son and wife. I also tried to travel on a tourist visa and F1 Visa. Unfortunately, I got both rejections. I'm an Indian taxpayer and an IT employee. 

You seem to be referring to a visa denial under Immigration and Nationality Act, section 214(b).

This law applies only to nonimmigrant visa categories. If you are refused a visa under section 214(b), it means that you did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent required by law by sufficiently demonstrating that you have strong ties to your home country. Such ties are seen as a reason you will not be tempted to exceed your allowed stay in the USA.

When your spouse is already in the US, your ties to your home country are difficult to demonstrate. If you feel there is additional information that should be considered related to the visa decision, or there are significant changes in your circumstances since your last application, you may reapply for a visa. Note that visas like H-1, H-4 (if your spouse gets an H-1), and L-1 are immune from this problem. So, when your wife obtains an H-1B status, or you can qualify for an L-1 visa, you should not have the section 214(b) denials impede your visa.

2. My brother is a US citizen, and he applied for our mother's green card. Everything is clear, all paperwork is done, but due to the pandemic, we are waiting for the interview date from March 2021. Do you have any information on how we get the date or how much time it will take?

Because of the resurgence of the pandemic and a huge backlog of cases, it is unlikely we will see an immediate resolution of the delays. But consulates have indicated that give preference to families of immediate relatives, like parents, of US citizens. Also, the US consulates have started waiving some nonimmigrant visa interviews, which should streamline their operations for green cards as well.

3. My daughter is in Dallas, US, and under medical treatment. She is there with an IN40 visa. As a father, I want to be there during her medical urgency. How can I get a visa now to be with her in the US?

I am not sure what type of visa your daughter has, but your choice appears to be the same as for any other foreign national, a B visa. The consulates usually issue a B-1/B-2 visa or a B-1 visa for medical issues and attending family members.

4. I am a US citizen currently in India. I am traveling back to the States in mid-February for two months and want to take my Indian-citizen senior citizen mother with me for that duration. Her last US tourist visa expired eight years ago. (She has an active Schengen visa on her passport) Is there a way she can get a short-term two-month visa to the US?

You will have to apply for her tourist visa again.

5. I stayed outside of the US for more than two years because of COVID-19. Am I eligible for naturalization? I came to the USA in August 2016.

It appears that the continuity of your stay required for naturalization has been broken by an absence of one year. An absence from the United States for a continuous period of 1 year or more (365 days or more) will automatically break the continuity of residence. It appears you could apply after 4 years and one day after returning, or easier, 4 years and 6 months after returning. The USCIS provides the following example for your situation:

“An applicant for naturalization under INA 316 departs the United States on January 1, 2010, and returns January 2, 2011. The applicant has been outside the United States for exactly 1 year (365 days) and has therefore broken the continuity of his or her residence in the United States. The applicant must wait until at least January 3, 2015, to apply for naturalization, when the 5-year statutory period immediately preceding the application will date back to January 3, 2010. At that time, although the applicant will have been absent from the United States for less than 1 year during the statutory period, the applicant will still have been absent from the United States for more than 6 months (180 days) during the statutory period and may be eligible for naturalization if he or she successfully rebuts the presumption that he or she has broken the continuity of her residence.

If the applicant cannot overcome the presumption of a break in the continuity of his or her residence, the applicant must wait until at least July 6, 2015, to apply for naturalization, when the 5-year statutory period immediately preceding the application will date back to July 6, 2010. During the 5-year period of July 6, 2010 to July 6, 2015, assuming the applicant did not make any additional trips outside the United States that would cause USCIS to presume a break in continuity of residence, the applicant was only absent from the United States between July 6, 2010 and January 2, 2011, a period that is not more than 6 months. Therefore, no presumption of a break in continuous residence applies.”

Green Card through several categories

Authored on: Thu, 12/02/2021 - 02:30

Question

I got married last month ! My husband is a GC holder and next year is going to become Citizen , I have my GC (I-140- Approved) with a priority date of September 2019 on EB3 . What are my best options here ? Do I wait for him to become a citizen and then apply for my GC through his citizenship ? Or shall I apply GC now through his GC status, before he becomes a citizen ? Or shall I wait for mine ? Will my pending GC still be valid if I apply through my spouse ?

Answer

You should apply through as many green card categories as are available to you. The family-based green card can be upgraded once he becomes a US citizen. You will be able to get and keep the green card through whichever category comes through first.

 

Effect of a career change on naturalization process and timing

Authored on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 10:13

Question

I am in field A and have received my green card, still working with my sponsoring employer. I am contemplating a career change to field B that is totally unrelated to field A due to personal dissatisfaction with field A on the whole. Is there a safe time frame to do this without repercussions to my current green card and the naturalization process?

Answer

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After I get my green card, is it legal to work for two companies (and not the original company) simultaneously?

Authored on: Thu, 04/15/2021 - 05:19

Question

I got my GC on March of 2016 through my then employer. Soon after getting my GC my project ended (May 2016) abruptly because of the change at client location. I did not had any project at hand so I started looking for a new job and started to work with new employer in June of 2016. There was no official end date of my employment with my previous employer through which I got my GC because they were looking for a new project for me but without any certainty how long it could be before they can find me a new project. While they were looking for a project for me, I already started working for my new employer so I just moved on without any official end date with my previous employer.

In Feb of 2019, I started a second job with another employer. Currently, I'm working 2 jobs full time on GC.

I am now eligible to file for citizenship through 5 years of permanent residency requirement. I'm worried if there will be any issues while I file for my citizenship because I did not stay with the employer that file my GC long enough after receiving my GC. Also will there be any issues because I am currently working 2 full time jobs when I file for citizenship?

Answer

Video URL

Green Card holder stuck outside the US for more than a year

Authored on: Thu, 10/01/2020 - 07:46

Question

I am a US citizen who Sponsored my fathers green card in 2010. His green card is expiring oct 2020. He had to stay in India since Jan 2019 due to health conditions. With the Covid pandemic situation and his age (81) and health conditions, he is not able to travel back to the united States before the green card expiry. My father does not have any family in India to take care of him and will have to come here so that my brother and I can take care of him. What are our options for avoiding the expiry of the green card? Secondly, is there a 60 day extension on the expiry date due to Covid 19?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Green Card holder stuck outside the US for more than a year

Video Transcript

You should try to get in touch with the consulate and send them emails, etc., asking them their guidance and that way you have at least some proof that you are trying to get back into the USA on time, but if it goes past one year it can't be helped, you can always start a new green card if you like, not too many options here. FAQ in detail...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Citizenship/naturalization trips of more than six months abroad

Authored on: Wed, 03/11/2020 - 01:39

Question

I have been scheduled for my interview next month after cancellation of the first one. I took three trips outside the US, and one last more than 6 months but less than one year. I waited for more than 5years since my last entrance which is June 2013 before applying for citizenship. Should I be worried about my interview since I broke the continuity of residency?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Citizenship/naturalization trips of more than six months abroad

Video Transcript:


 I do not think the previous trip should be a major issue, but I do recommend you discuss with your lawyer about your visits abroad prior to 2013. FAQ in detail...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Citizenship for Employees of Consulting Companies who have Projects in Different Cities after Green Card

Authored on: Tue, 12/04/2018 - 02:25

Question

My Question is after getting green card and leaving consulting employer after 14 months, when person applies for US Citizenship (8 years after getting green card) can USCIS ( knowing that sponsoring company was consulting) asks for client letter, contracts ( like H-1B documentation ) for the period when employee was working with GC employer( after GC approved) ?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ:

Citizenship for employees of consulting companies

who have projects in different cities after green card

Video Transcript

First of all, remember the laws has changed since 2017. Now supplement J has become an issue. Previously, when you did a AC21 shift of jobs, there were no filings required. So in older cases even if you don't join the employer, chances are that you are in a pretty good shape. Another thing that I always consider to be important and it often doesn't come up is your state of mind. Green card is based upon an intention of an employee to join an employer on a permanent full time basis either before or after the approval of the green card. I do want you to take a consultation and I want you to spend some time with a lawyer to go over your situation and make sure there's nothing else that's going to be bothersome. More...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Effect On Green Card And Naturalization Of Using Public Or Government Benefits

Authored on: Mon, 09/24/2018 - 05:31

Question

I & my wife are completing 5 years now on US Green Card, but are apprehensive to go ahead and file for our US Citizenship under the current circumstances. We also read that PR's who are using state or federal benefits are more susceptible to denials. I am making close to 200K salary and not dependent on any govt sponsored benefits or funds. But our kid has been diagnosed for Autism and he is receiving services from Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). The State alone is not paying for his services but we are primarily being billed on our private medical insurance for his therapy sessions every week. The school he is attending may be getting some funds for his additional care at school, considering his medical condition. Our questions are: Since we have been using DDD services for genuine medical reasons and I am in the higher salary bracket, would this be an issue for us in getting our Citizenship? Are the denials only for low income groups who are getting benefits from the government? Should we wait for some more time to apply for Citizenship?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ - Effect on green card and naturalization of using public or government benefits

Video Transcript:

Under the current regulations the prohibited benefits are: 

1. they have to be means-tested benefits which means they are based upon how much money you make. 

2. either they must be used to supplement your income like receiving some kind of a cash or cash equivalent or they should be giving you a long term medical facility residence. You can look up for the particular policy at the USCIS website.

You should have a lawyer research this issue for you specifically, but there is no need for you to hold back your naturalization. More...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

How To Add Forgotten Information On To A Naturalization Application/N-400?

Authored on: Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:01

Question

I filed for my N-400 and then had requested my Driver's History from NJ DMV just to be sure that my account is in good standing. I received my Driver's History after few weeks and my account is good standing, however, I had one traffic ticket 16 years ago about which I had completely forgotten to mention on my N-400. Therefore on my N-400 I had selected "No" to the citation question. <br>
My question - should I let the officer know right in the beginning of the interview that I would like to amend my N-400 for that particular question OR should I wait until he gets to that question and then let him know? What's the best way to deal with this error on the application?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: How to add forgotten information on to a naturalization application/N-400?

Video Transcript

The first thing you should do is contact the customer service. Let them know you got this issue and make a note of the date and time you called and to whom you spoke so that you have a record that you tried to correct the situation as soon you discovered the omission. The second thing you do is put it in writing, send it to the government, whichever address you filed the N-400 or whichever address you received the last response from the government and inform them what the issue is and the third thing you do is when you go for the interview bring it up yourself, let the officer know that there is some information missing and you would like that to be corrected. If you do all of these things I think you should be fine. More...

 

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.