This year, many deserving immigrants will lose their sole opportunity to legally immigrate to the United States.To be sure, some immigrants file for benefits when they have a zero chance of winning. But countless immigrants, with good cases, also lose.Too often they fail because they’re influenced by immigration mythology. These immigrants, lacking the knowledge to distinguish good from bad advice, file for benefits in a blindfolded fashion. They do not perceive the potential obstacles in their path to permanent residence.By the time they speak to an immigration deportation defense attorney, it’s often too late to reverse their mistakes.Since I hate to see such opportunities wasted, I decided to share my insights. My goal is to unravel common myths about the immigration process, myths which may prevent you from achieving your dreams.1) “Immigration rules are the same as a few years ago.”Family members often tell their relatives things like, “I followed the advice of my Uncle Tony, who emigrated successfully five years ago. He didn’t hire a lawyer and still received a green card.” This advice can be dangerous. It’s simply not true – rules and regulations in immigration law are rarely static.Tactics, successful last year, might now be obsolete. Your family member may have won a green card through an immigration program that no longer exists.This can cut both ways: new laws might be your ticket to achieving your dreams.The moral to the story. Be careful not to rely on laws which no longer exist or apply to your situation.2) “You can complete immigration paperwork on your own. They’re simple.”There are at least two problems with this advice. Before submitting your petition, you should know why immigration officials want to know certain things about you. Additionally, you should be aware of the consequences if you’re unsuccessful.The information sought in immigration applications seems simplistic. Don’t be fooled – providing too much or too little background information may undermine your case.Most immigrants are truthful when they complete their applications. It’s still quite simple to make an error.Not all mistakes will be overlooked or qualify for forgiveness.With minor mistakes, you’re usually allowed time to make adjustments. With larger issues, you may not get a second chance. On the more serious errors, your mistakes will lead to rejection. It’s also possible, if you lose, you may end up facing deportation charges..On the other hand, an experienced green card attorney will recognize red flags which can sink your ship – problems that go unnoticed by do-it-yourself applicants. More significantly, government agents are also likely to recognize the shortcomings.Such problems can be minimized, if not eliminated, with the help of an immigration attorney.The main problem with this myth should be obvious. If you do not understand what you’re filling out in the first place, you also do not have the ability to correct your errors.3) “Just hire an immigration services company if you need help.”Like the do-it yourself applicants, immigrants seeking non-lawyer assistance focus on price.Nothing wrong with that… if the different services provided by attorneys vis-a-vis consultants are fully considered.Normally, non-lawyer consultants and advisers will do no more than fill out immigration forms and applications. They are not responsible for legal troubles which arise after the documents are filed. Even after immigration applications are submitted, attorneys have a responsibility to handle issues which come up later.Moreover, attorneys have a professional responsibility to stay abreast of changes in law that might affect their clients’ cases. When immigration rules change, attorneys must guide you if they might potentially harm your chances of success. Non-lawyer assistants might do their utmost to guide you, but without legal training, most will not know how to decipher recent changes.These are not small differences.Attorney fees, in most instances, are set at a higher rate than consultant fees. The difference in fees reflect the difference in responsibilities.Whatever you spend is an investment.If you succeed, you acquire legal residency. Should you fail, your dreams of living here may be forever shattered.But only you can decide whether the potential benefits justify the costs of pursuing your dreams.4) ConclusionFollowing these guidelines will not guarantee a visa, green card, or legal residence. Nonetheless, in some cases, they greatly improve the chances for your success.
Canada is a land of immense natural beauty that also holds unlimited opportunities for landed immigrants through best socio economic welfare programs. The country also holds prominent position on tourism map of the world due to its unbelievable geographical variety and an array of National Parks.Canada has been the most popular country in India for permanent immigration. Stable socio-economic structure and ample employment opportunities are also some of the reasons for the same. The major reason why the country is so admired for immigration is their governing laws, which are not very stringent.Canada Immigration and Citizenship Department has developed very systematic immigration criteria to recruit economic class immigrants like skilled workers, and business class immigrants in to Canada. As Canada recognizes dual-citizenship one may be able to retain the citizenship of his homeland.The immigration policy of the country is divided into two parts which are Temporary entry and Permanent immigration. Under the temporary entry category individuals can make applications for visitor’s visa, student’s visa and work permit visa. Under any of these categories one can apply for extension of visa while in Canada.There are other categories of visa which may lead to permanent immigration visa. These categories include Conventional refugee, live in caregiver, immigrant visa of Canada as a spouse. Under the category of permanent immigration on e can apply under the independent class, Entrepreneur/Investor and Family class. The country was declared as the best country to reside by the UN, for eight subsequent years from 1992-1999.In order to apply for immigration to Canada, the applicant is required to make the application using the prescribed immigration application forms. The preparation of Immigration application is most critical as this application is reviewed by Canada immigration authorities, who determine whether one is eligible to get Canada Permanent Resident Visa.Most of the immigration consulting firms provide useful guidance regarding the entire visa application process. These firms assess the chances of the visa applicant of being accepted as a Canada permanent resident by asking them to fill an online free assessment form. If the results are positive, the applicants are asked to proceed further with the application procedure.These consultancies help to prepare the file containing the documents and an introductory letter regarding the eligibility for immigration and initiate the suitable procedures. After studying the application, the government authorities send summon regarding the interview with an immigration officer.Canada immigration authorities send a list of local accredited doctors list from whom the applicant take their medical examinations to attest their good health. The applicant’s criminal record is also verified by Canadian authorities. If no disqualifying elements are found during medical and security investigations, Canadian authorities issue a permanent resident visa which also includes dependents.Immigration consulting firms hold interactive sessions between the applicants and legal professionals and guide them regarding Immigration, Visa types, careers and employment opportunities, passport guidance and post landing services. aims at providing convenient immigration facilities and visa related guidance at reasonable rates.
Immigration Bond is as complicated as other areas of Immigration Law. The possibility for Bond and the procedures were changed with the passing of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA). AEDPA required mandatory detention for certain immigrants and IIRAIRA increased number of immigrants subject to mandatory detention.Many immigrants taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody will be given bond; however many others will have to fight for bond if it is even permitted. Courts have held that if an immigrant falls in the group of people subject to mandatory detention, then the Immigration Judge does not even have the right or ability to give the immigrant bond. The Immigration Judge does have the power to determine if the immigrant falls within the group of people for whom the Immigration Judge does not have the power to give bond. The hearing where the Immigration Judge determines this is commonly referred to as a Joseph hearing or Matter of Joseph hearing, named after a case with this issue. See Matter of Joseph, 22 I&N Dec. 799 (BIA 1999).At the Matter of Joseph hearing, the immigrant has the burden or responsibility to show that the immigrant is not in the group of people to whom the Immigration Judge doesn’t have the power to give bond. The immigrant must do that by showing that the government (Department of Homeland Security) is “substantially unlikely to prevail” on the charges which relate to those in which the immigrant is being held for mandatory detention.This generally requires legal arguments why state crimes do not fit within the definitions of the crimes in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 236(c), which is the mandatory detention section. Sometimes the argument is impossible but there is another argument to be made when an immigrant is released from criminal custody and then months or years later detained by ICE for no other reason than to detain them and attempt to remove (deport) them from the United States. The plain language of INA section 236(c) indicates that in order to be subject to mandatory detention that they should be detained by ICE immediately after release from criminal custody.In addition to the plain language, there is also a practical consideration. People are released from criminal custody and strongly encouraged to become model citizens, eg stay out of trouble, obtain gainful employment, pay taxes, serve the community, etc. Yet, those Legal Permanent Residents or other immigrants are encouraged not to do those things if they are counting the days until ICE takes them into custody for which they cannot have the opportunity for bail. Some still get released from criminal custody and make a new life for themselves and then if they are taken into ICE custody, they risk losing it all because their jobs likely will not keep them, uncertainty will exist for their families which causes strain and stress on even the strongest relationships, among all the other problems people face while in custody.The legal argument that those persons are not immediately taken into ICE custody from criminal custody should be eligible for bond starts with a review of the statutory language.INA section 236(c) states, in relevant part:(1)Custody. The Attorney General shall take into custody any alien who (A)-(D)[enumerated criminal sections omitted]When the alien is released, without regard to whether the alien is released on parole, supervised release, or probation, and without regard to whether the alien may be arrested or imprisoned again for the same offense.U.S. District Courts have found that the statutes language is unambiguous and therefore, the Courts were not bound by the holding in Matter of Rojas, 23 I&N Dec. 117 (BIA 2001) and rather held that in order for an alien to be subject to mandatory detention under INA § 236(c), the Attorney General must have taken the alien into custody when the alien was released from criminal custody. One court looked to the dictionary to define “when” and found it was defined as “just after the moment that.” Alikhani v. Fasano, (1999) 70 F. Supp. 2d 1124 (Dist. Court, S.D. Cal.) (internal citations omitted). The Court in Velasquez v. Reno, (1999) 37 F. Supp. 2d 663 (Dist. Court, D. N.J.) also found that a Respondent was not subject to mandatory detention under INA § 236(c). Another District Court in Waffi v. Loiselle, (2007) 527 F. Supp. 2d 480 (Dist. Court, E.D. Virginia) also found that the “when the alien is released” language is unambiguous and refused to follow Matter of Rojas, 23 I&N Dec. 117. Further, the Court in Waffi looked at a few dictionaries and found that a meaning involving immediacy was the correct meaning of “when” in this statute. 527 F. Supp. 2d at 488. The Court in Quezada-Bucio v. Ridge, (2004) 317 F. Supp. 2d 1221 (Dist. Court, W.D. Washington) went through a detained analysis of statutory construction and deference to agency decisions to determine it was not bound by Matter of Rojas, 23 I&N Dec. 117 and that “when the alien is released” language in INA § 236(c) operates to exclude those persons from the mandatory detention requirement in INA §236(c) who are detained by ICE months or years after being released from criminal custody.We must not forget about the logical argument that also follows that a person should not be released and given the opportunity to make a life and then re-detain them without the possibility for bond. The practical and logical argument especially comes into play to show that the statute’s authors must have considered this situation and therefore added the “when released” language to cure it.
Immigration laws can be complicated and very detailed. These laws even seem to change frequently. This leaves United States (US) immigrants wondering about their rights. They have many questions and one of the most prominent one is if they really do have any rights as immigrants.First, legal immigrants do have rights. When it comes to the US Immigration Laws all immigrants have the right to earn a minimum pay for their full time work. If they work overtime, they should be given wages higher than regular hour pay. Immigrants also have the right to be treated fairly as well as being paid a fair wage. Immigrants should keep in mind, they should be allowed to hold onto their own identification documents and passport. Any breach of law or holding the foreign worker’s identification papers is completely illegal and complaints can ne lodged against the employers.Immigration laws allow immigrant workers to ask for help from groups including unions, labor rights and immigrant work while they have the right to report any abuse related to their job. This includes having a safe working environment. There are to be no hazardous situations or materials in the workplace. The equipment must also be in proper and safe working order. If needed immigrants may work with the US courts to resolve an issue or conflict.When it comes to immigration law and the immigrant, there are a variety of rights available to them just as a permanent US resident. When watching a movie or TV show those being arrested often hear their rights read. This is true in real life and for immigrants. They have the right to remain silent when they are stopped, questioned or arrested. This includes remaining silent about immigration status such as in the home, work place or a public place. Immigrants also have the right to ask for an attorney to represent them and discuss their situation.Another Immigration Law protecting immigrants is refusing to sign documents. They can refuse to sign any document and ask to talk to an attorney. Having an attorney will help them make sure it is a legal document and properly drawn. It is indicated to always talk to an expert, usually an immigration law lawyer, before signing documents. This is especially helpful for the immigrant that is still not sure of the language.Many rights are available for immigrants in place to protect them. It is also important to know that it is in the immigrant’s best interest to seek legal advice as well to make sure Immigration Laws are not violated.In your best interest, it is better to carry the proper identification papers or their copies at all times. The proof of the immigration status is necessary so whether you are a Green Card holder or a non-immigrant alien, carry the I-94 card, the passport and any other required document that proves your status. However, in case you are questioned or detained, you can ask to remain silent and seek the help of an attorney.
Anyone that needs a visa or is dealing with any immigration issues need to seek an attorney. Having an expert in immigration law and experience in a variety of immigration situations is considered helpful. If you are actually looking to hire an attorney, it is best to look online, check the advertisements on TV, in the newspaper, on the radio and even in the phone book. The location where you are working on getting your visa or dealing with an immigration issue might have pamphlets available about the area immigration attorneys. When there is a need for an immigration attorney, check out foreign directories.Immigration attorneys promote themselves to let people know they are experienced as well as helpful to serve every client. They want the potential client to know they will listen to them and work out everything they can, for each situation. Many individuals know having a knowledgeable lawyer with them that knows the law is important. It can help the client get the best results as well as having the chance to get things handled quickly. No matter the reason, the main assistance for hiring an attorney is it will save you headaches. You can leave the situation for the expert and they will help you meet all the requirements as well as handling all the immigration hassles that might arise.There are numerous different cases that are handled by an immigration attorney, other than assistance in obtaining a visa. It could be dealing with the adoption of a child from other country or migration to another country. There could be an obligation of cargo or goods as well. If there is an issue of citizenship, the immigration law governs the legal status of the individual and an attorney can help. However, just as each country has different laws and immigration regulations governing the citizenship and naturalization prerequisites, USA is no different.An attorney is required to always keep up-to-date with immigration law. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is an immigration advocacy group that is non-profit and works to help deal with numerous aspects of immigration laws. The basic aim is to advocate fair immigration practices, promote justice and assist those that cannot afford private lawyers. Apart from hiring the services of the immigration lawyer, it might be beneficial to read about the practices, rules and regulations about the US immigration policies. That will also help you understand the details that the attorney will provide you.If you are seeking an attorney, it is best to consult one that is registered with American Immigration Attorney’s Association. These individuals know the rules and regulations in a way that is beneficial to you. Another benefit is that immigration attorneys often talk with a potential client about their case first. This is often a no-cost and no-obligation meeting. It can help the person requiring assistance to get advice and an idea of what they need. It will even be a way to help them determine which immigration attorney would be best for them. Visit a few immigration attorneys to find the best fit.
In this, part 3 of a 4 part series that explores Italian immigration into the United States, we will explore the progression and ascension of Italian immigrants into American culture. In part 1 and 2 we discussed the background of various Italian immigrants and why they came to America, and the often poor treatment these immigrants received at the hands of both Americans themselves and their own countrymen.Newly arriving Italian immigrants were much different from those who had previously arrived. These were mostly laborers and farmers looking for steady work. They only came to visit for a short time, a minimum of five years, just long enough to make a decent amount of money to take back to Italy to gain economic security. These Italians were called “birds of passage.” Most were young men in their teens and twenties who left their parents, young wives, and children behind, determined to return as soon as possible. The ones that did decide to stay, taking occasional visits back and forth to their homeland, worked extremely hard to send money to their families or to bring their families to America. The Italian government stood to benefit from this exodus by $4 million to $30 million each year.One of the first procedures at Castle Garden and Ellis Island that the immigrant had to face as they arrived in America was the medical evaluation. The second test was to determine mental deficiency. Immigrants who showed no signs of mental or physical deficiencies were asked questions by the immigration inspectors in the native tongue of the immigrant. The Italians who didn’t have papers had tags hung on them with the letters W.O.P. (without papers).Many of the immigrants arrived penniless, having exhausted their savings on the journey; those few with money soon fell prey to the waterfront sharper.From the hills and vineyards of Lombardy and Tuscany, from the mountains of Abruzzi and the farms of Basilicata and the mines of Sicily, they all came with big dreams and great expectations. Upon release from Ellis Island, the new Italian immigrants would fan throughout New York City. New York consisted of crowded and neglected tenements in the lower part of Manhattan. Once in America, Northerners and Southerners were treated identically. They all had to find a way to survive. Since the majority of Italian immigrants expected their stay in America to be brief, they had to live as inexpensively as possible. This led to intolerable conditions. Large numbers of Italians were confined to a claustrophobic indoor life, existing in the worst tenement living conditions of the Mulberry bend of Lower Manhattan. They had to live in damp smelly cellars or attics, up to 6 or 10 people, men, women and children, packed into crowded single rooms where “filth for so many years reigned undisturbed and pestilence wiping out hundreds of lives annually.” These tenement buildings were dangerous fire-traps, a breeding place for murderous rodents that would kill babies in their cribs. The poor did not have the luxury of water, especially if they lived on the upper level. Water had to be carted from the fire hydrant in the street all the way upstairs. The Italian immigrants would come to the dumps to search for rags. They would bring food with them, squatting down in the filth to eat their lunch. As they did not plan to stay long in America, assimilation was the furthest thing from their mind.Poverty forced the immigrants to take whatever work was offered, accepting the jobs that other Americans didn’t want, just so they could support themselves. Since most of the Southern Italian immigrants were farmers or farm hands, the only jobs they could get were unqualified and dangerous with the lowest pay-scale possible. Many families would create sweat shops and bring projects into the home. Everyone participated. Even children were sent out to find work in factories, mines or on farms.There were many that were not fortunate enough to find steady work. They returned to their native Italy, discouraged with empty pockets. These Italian immigrants, tricked by the stories told to them in Europe about plentiful work and big wages in America, were induced to leave their native land, only to find suffering and hunger as a result of the deception of the steamship agents. The illusion that American streets were paved with gold and that there was steady work at high wages only added to their disappointment when they realized that America was by no means the labor paradise they expected.There were others with an entrepreneurial spirit, armed with knowledge and skills. They were able to live a better existence. Northern men accepted tough jobs at lower wages just to survive and keep their families together. In 1912, the Northern Italian immigrant averaged $11.28 in income per week, while the Southerner earned a meager $9.61.The early Italian immigrants were not welcomed in America; they were verbally abused with slurs such as “wop,” “guinea,” and “dago,” which resulted in open hostility, suspicion and distrust. In some areas, the early Italian immigrants met with anti-Roman Catholic, anti-immigrant discrimination and violence, such as the lynching in 1891 of eleven Italians in New Orleans, Louisiana, even though they were found not guilty of murder. They were disliked and treated harshly by Americans. They found themselves in a strange land where they were forced to adapt to an urban way of life, contrary to their own backgrounds. They were looked upon as ignorant and unworthy, living in crowded apartments where disease ran rampant. They were even associated with crime, namely with the Mafia.These aspects of American life influenced an unfavorable American experience among the early Italian immigrants. Most of them had no interest in assimilation.The treatment they received from Americans gave the immigrants a greater wanting to keep to themselves. For the Italian, family was and still is extremely valuable. Anyone outside the blood line was treated with suspicion and indifference. Associations were limited to family and paesanos.The early Italian immigrants from all parts of Italy set aside their pre-existing differences and deep divisions, banding together and fending for themselves in this new hostile environment. Most of the Italian immigrants settled in cities, establishing their own neighborhoods according to their native province or village of origin, almost independent of the life of the great city. An Italian neighborhood, undaunted despite discrimination, hardships and suffering, has always worked diligently and consistently, preserving and promoting their cultural heritage. It was a neighborhood where life-long relationships never ceased to be formed. So powerful was this sense of neighborhood, that many families and their descendants till this day spend their entire lives living within its confines?They possessed a fierce pride and loyalty to provincial customs and dialects. In these neighborhoods they could be free to speak their own language, eat their own ethnic foods, and practice their customs and religion as if back in their homeland without any hindrance. These communities were designated as “Little Italy”. Here, the people followed the customs and ways of their forefathers. They would put their savings into Italian banks, Italian newspapers were published for their benefit, Italian theaters and moving-picture shows furnished them with recreation. The stores would display Italian names; Italian priests would minister to spiritual needs.In the last part of this series, we will explore the importance of family to Italian-Americans in both the past and present-day.
Or… Why use a Canadian Immigration website?Considering that immigrating to Canada is going to be an undertaking needing your time & patience. Here are 2 pieces of advice:
Don’t make the process even more difficult by going off of incomplete or bad information.
Don’t spend time talking to individuals who may tell you the the same things in less detail and with possibly less accuracy than a well researched Canadian Immigration website can.Sound contradictory? Look at these guidelines and you should have a good way of knowing when one would or wouldn’t be useful.What a Canadian Immigration website is likely to be good for in regards to:
Getting general information and figuring out where to start regarding the whole immigration process.
Getting (if well researched) good and credible information and figuring out the right questions to ask. For example, a Canadian Immigration Lawyer will charge a lot of money to answer simple questions as well as the ones that you really need his or her expertise.
Finding out experiences from others. For example: A good Canadian Immigration website forum can give you good information as to what the process has been like for other “real” people. They can vet companies and give you a vantage point as to what actually happens instead of what professionals in the process might say happens.What a Canadian Immigration Immigration website is not going to be good in regards to:Getting information that MUST be completely accurate in order for the process to move forward.Any Canadian Immigration website might have information that’s inaccurate or even out of date. When it comes time to act, speak to someone who knows- things like Canadian Immigration Forms ought to not be left to piecing together from a website if you are at all unsure. If you have ANY questions, PLEASE- call someone who would know… which brings us to the topic of legal advice! There is the old saying that the most expensive advice you will ever get is free advice. In any case it’s expensive- in this case it could cost you months or years in addition to money spent to fix a mess caused by going off the wrong information.
Immigration is a life changing decision for anyone who wishes to take it. It involves huge sacrifices on the part of the immigrant as well as his dependants. Migrant steps into a foreign land with many apprehensions and butterflies in his stomach. Every migrant irrespective to where he is heading to takes up this decision with big dreams of giving a new dimension to his career. However as a famous English idiom goes “the grass is always greener on the other side” the picture is not as good as it seems to portray. The hopes of the majority of the migrants crash the moment they come to terms with the partiality subjected to them in the employment sector.Problems faced by the immigrants
A common problem faced by the immigrants once they have migrated is finding a job in the new place. In spite of having good qualifications and skills they are marginalized. The very fact that they are migrants and not natives prevents them from getting jobs which are at par to their standards. Inevitably and under the demand of the situation to secure means of earning a living, they have to be complacent with menial jobs. Most of them are segregated into unskilled and low paid work. Researchers have shown that there is a large concentration of the immigrants in those sectors having poor wages and enormous work pressures and thereby opportunities for career development are at its minimum.Reasons for such injustice
Many factors can be put on table as reasons for the prejudices the immigrants are subjected to, thus resulting into discrimination. Racism is the first and foremost factor. This is all the more true in the case of minorities where racism does play a significant role. Moreover in most cases the migrants come from places which are completely contrasting to their new place. Therefore language barriers, cultural and religious differences make their integration into the employment market more dubious. The immigrants’ lack of knowledge of the labor market further hinders them to demand for standard wages and to top it all since the employer is not familiar with the background of the migrant he is less willing to shell out more money from his pocket. All these reasons put together compels the immigrants to work below their skills and education levels.Government Assistance
In many cases the government has been blamed for formulating such policies which places the immigrants to secondary sector occupations. However with the economic condition of the immigrants deteriorating day by day the government has taken stern measures so as to ameliorate the situation. Today most of the governments have departments and programmers to ensure the well-being of the immigrants. The Canadian government has provided settlement assistance to its immigrants. They are given free language training called Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada. Even the UK government has widened its measures so that the migrants have a wide range of occupations to choose from. Thus with all these initiatives the plight of the working immigrants to improve can be considered.
The United States of America is one of the countries having strict rules with regard to immigration law and the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) is the basic body of immigration law. Because USA is the leading country of choice among individuals looking for greener pastures, thus they had made the process timely, tedious and costly and it is just ideal to hire an immigration lawyer. Nowadays, many immigration law firms have emerged because of the growing number of individuals needing their services.Following are simple guidelines for hiring an immigration attorneyIt is a must to verify if the immigration lawyer you are considering to employ is a member of good reputation of the “bar” of the United States. You must also verify if the said attorney is allowed to practice the law in your state. Also verify the attorney licensing document of the immigration attorney is valid. Likewise confirm if the immigration lawyer has not been or is not suspended or expelled from practicing the law. If you are sure of the immigration attorney that you have chosen, the next thing to do is to go every court proceedings that directly involves with your case and listen to whatever the judge and your attorney asked you to do.Apply for NaturalizationIf you have received the permanent resident status, you can now apply for naturalization. Like the process of immigration, the process for naturalization is timely, costly and tedious hence a lawyer will be most likely hired. It is advisable that you will familiarize the legal process in order to be prepared. There are sites on the internet that gives details regarding to naturalization.Before starting the naturalization process, make sure you have the follow requirements:- you must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing.- It is a must for you to have received the permanent resident status and have at least 5 consecutive years residence in US.- It is a must that you have stayed for at least three years consecutively at any state.- You must not have been accused or convicted of any crime during your stay in US.- You must be able to write, read, understand and speak basic English.- You should also have knowledge with regard to US history, government and civic principles.- It is also a must that you have received the Certificate of Naturalization from the US government.- You must also be ready to take a citizenship test. This American citizenship test is a civic test given by a Citizenship and Immigration officer and this is usually given orally. The questions are usually taken from a 100-item questionnaire however the officer is not limited to such questions alone. The test is mandatory to all and you should pass it before you could take the Oath of Allegiance and become a citizen legally.
Three of the most pressing concerns of immigrants wanting to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. are: (1) What options do I have to get my permanent residency through my husband or wife? (2) What is the process to apply for my finance/fiance? and (3) What specific criteria must my marriage meet to pass scrutiny by Immigration?Family-based immigration is the process of applying for permanent residency (a green card) through a spouse or other family member. This process can be extremely complex, lengthy (sometimes lasting years), and frustrating for the applicant who must be fingerprinted, undergo a thorough medical exam and subject herself to a thorough security clearance check. Below is a brief overview of the issues concerning family-based immigration cases.What Are My Options if I Want to Apply for My Spouse? A spouse of a United States citizen may apply for permanent resident status (a green card) and obtain a work permit within the United States, only if the spouse:• entered the U.S. legally, or
• had a petition filed on their behalf prior to April 30, 2001.Generally speaking, if neither of these is the case then the spouse must leave the United States and return to their home country to proceed with the process of Consular Processing (applying for permanent residence from abroad).What Specific Criteria Must a Marriage Meet to Be Considered Valid for Immigration Purposes?Immigration officials conduct very thorough reviews of marital relationships when an immigration case is based upon a marriage. According to a recent Department of Homeland Security report nearly half of spousal immigration cases are fraudulent.At a minimum, for a marriage to be recognized as valid for immigration purposes, each party must have been legally able to marry at the time of the marriage (i.e. all previous divorces were final), the marriage ceremony must have been considered legal under the laws where it was performed, and the couple must have married out of a true desire to enter into a marital relationship and not just for immigration purposes.Common Law marriages are accepted for immigration purposes if they are legally recognized by the law in the place of residence of the couple. In these cases, however, extra evidence generally needs to be submitted to support the common law marriage-based petition. Customary marriages, those performed according to local custom but not licensed by civil authorities, may be valid if the law of the country where the marriage occurred recognizes the marriage as valid. Same sex marriages, however, although they may be legal in the state or country in which the marriage was performed, are not recognized for immigration purposes (due to the lack of federal recognition of the validity of same-sex marriages). This policy may change in the future.What Are My Options If I Want to Apply for My Fiance?If the couple is not yet married, a U.S. citizen may apply for a K-1 visa in order to bring his or her fiancée to the United States in order to get married. The couple has only 90 days in which to legally marry in the United States. Once the couple is married, the immigrant relative can then apply for permanent resident status. In order to obtain a fiancé/fiancée visa, the couple must prove:• That they have met in person within the past two years (in some cases this requirement can be waived);
• That they have a good faith intention to marry; and
• That they are legally able and willing to marry within 90 days of the fiance’s arrival to the U.S.It is important for immigrants to plan carefully before filing any family-based immigration paperwork with USCIS. Applying for a benefit that an immigrant is not eligible for could result in removal proceedings, and possible deportation from the United States.