Immigration Law Blog
Kalamazoo - Immigration Law Blog

Requirements to Apply for Naturalization:

Posted January 9, 2017

The process of applying for U.S. citizenship is known as naturalization. In order to be eligible for naturalization, you must first meet certain requirements required by U.S. immigration law. Generally, to be eligible for naturalization you must:

  • Be age 18 or older;
  • Be a permanent resident for a certain amount of time (usually 5 years or 3 years, depending on how you obtained status);
  • Be a person of good moral character;
  • Have a basic knowledge of U.S. government (this, too, can be excepted due to permanent physical or mental impairment);
  • Have a period of continuous residence and physical presence in the United States; and
  • Be able to read, write, and speak basic English.

There are exceptions to this rule for someone who at the time of filing:

  • Is 55 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 15 years; or
  • Is 50 years old and has been a permanent resident for at least 20 years; or
  • Has a permanent physical or mental impairment that makes the individual unable to fulfill these requirements.

You may be able to apply for naturalization if you are at least 18 years of age and have been a permanent resident of the United States:

  • For at least 5 years; or
  • For at least 3 years during which time you have been, and continue to be, married to and living in a marriage relationship with your U.S. citizen husband or wife; or
  • Have honorable service in the U.S. military. Certain spouses of U.S. citizens and/or members of the military may be able to file for naturalization sooner than noted above.

www.uscis.gov

 

Establishing Asylum Eligibility under Section 1208.13:

Posted December 12, 2016

The burden of proof is on the applicant for asylum to establish that he or she is a refugee as defined in section 101(a)(42) of the Act. The testimony of the applicant, if credible, may be sufficient to sustain the burden of proof without corroboration. The fact that the applicant previously established a credible fear of persecution for purposes of section 235(b)(1)(B) of the Act does not relieve the alien of the additional burden of establishing eligibility for asylum. The applicant may qualify as a refugee either because he or she has suffered past persecution or because he or she has a well-founded fear of future persecution.

An applicant shall be found to be a refugee on the basis of past persecution if the applicant can establish that he or she has suffered persecution in the past in the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, in his or her country of last habitual residence, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and is unable or unwilling to return to, or avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country owing to such persecution. An applicant who has been found to have established such past persecution shall also be presumed to have a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of the original claim. That presumption may be rebutted if an asylum officer or immigration judge makes one of the findings described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section. If the applicant's fear of future persecution is unrelated to the past persecution, the applicant bears the burden of establishing that the fear is well-founded. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section, an asylum officer shall, in the exercise of his or her discretion, refer or deny, or an immigration judge, in the exercise of his or her discretion, shall deny the asylum application of an alien found to be a refugee on the basis of past persecution if any of the following is found by a preponderance of the evidence:

  • There has been a fundamental change in circumstances such that the applicant no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution in the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, in the applicant's country of last habitual residence, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; or
  • The applicant could avoid future persecution by relocating to another part of the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, another part of the applicant's country of last habitual residence, and under all the circumstances, it would be reasonable to expect the applicant to do so.

In cases in which an applicant has demonstrated past persecution under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Service shall bear the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1)(i)(A) or (B) of this section. An applicant described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section who is not barred from a grant of asylum under paragraph (c) of this section, may be granted asylum, in the exercise of the decision-maker's discretion, if:

  • The applicant has demonstrated compelling reasons for being unwilling or unable to return to the country arising out of the severity of the past persecution; or
  • The applicant has established that there is a reasonable possibility that he or she may suffer other serious harm upon removal to that country.
  • Well-founded fear of persecution. (i) An applicant has a well-founded fear of persecution if:
  • The applicant has a fear of persecution in his or her country of nationality or, if stateless, in his or her country of last habitual residence, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  • There is a reasonable possibility of suffering such persecution if he or she were to return to that country; and
  • He or she is unable or unwilling to return to, or avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of such fear.

www.uscis.gov/laws

 

Apprehension, Custody, and Detention under Section 236.1:

Posted November 1, 2016

In general. At the time of issuance of the notice to appear, or at any time thereafter and up to the time removal proceedings are completed, the respondent may be arrested and taken into custody under the authority of Form I-200. A warrant of arrest may be issued only by those immigration officers listed in § 287.5(e)(2) of this chapter and may be served only by those immigration officers listed in § 287.5(e)(3) of this chapter. If, after the issuance of a warrant of arrest, a determination is made not to serve it, any officer authorized to issue such warrant may authorize its cancellation.

In General (i) After the expiration of the Transition Period Custody Rules (TPCR) set forth in section 303(b)(3) of Div. C of Pub. L. 104-208 , no alien described in section 236(c)(1) of the Act may be released from custody during removal proceedings except pursuant to section 236(c)(2) of the Act. (Corrected 4/1/97; 62 FR 15362 ) (Revised effective 6/18/98; 63 FR 27441 ) (ii) Paragraph (c)(2) through (c)(8) of this section shall govern custody determinations for aliens subject to the TPCR while they remain in effect. For purposes of this section, an alien "subject to the TPCR" is an alien described in section 303(b)(3)(A) of Div. C of Pub. L. 104-208 who is in deportation proceedings, subject to a final order of deportation, or in removal proceedings. The TPCR do not apply to aliens in exclusion proceedings under former section 236 of the Act, aliens in expedited removal proceedings under section 235(b)(1) of the Act, or aliens subject to a final order of removal. (Corrected by adding (ii) 4/1/97; 62 FR 15362 ) (Revised effective 6/18/98; 63 FR 27441 )

Subject to paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section, but notwithstanding any other provision within this section, an alien subject to the TPCR who is not lawfully admitted is not eligible to be considered for release from custody. An alien who remains in status as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, conditionally admitted for permanent residence, or lawfully admitted for temporary residence is "lawfully admitted" for purposes of this section.An alien in removal proceedings, in deportation proceedings, or subject to a final order of deportation, and not described in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, is not "lawfully admitted" for purposes of this section unless the alien last entered the United States lawfully and is not presently an applicant for admission to the United States. (Paragraph (c)(2) added effective 6/18/98, previous (c)(2) redesignated as (c)(8); 63 FR 27441 )

Except as provided in this section, or otherwise provided by law, an alien subject to the TPCR may be considered for release from custody if lawfully admitted. Such an alien must first demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that release would not pose a danger to the safety of other persons or of property. If an alien meets this burden, the alien must further demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that the alien is likely to appear for any scheduled proceeding (including any appearance required by the Service or EOIR) in order to be considered for release in the exercise of discretion. An alien, other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, subject to section 303(b)(3)(A) (ii) or (iii) of Div. C. of Pub. L. 104-208 is ineligible to be considered for release if the alien:

  • Is described in section 241(a)(2) (C) of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997), or has been convicted of a crime described in section 101(a)(43)(B) , (E)(ii) or (F) of the Act (as in effect on April 1, 1997);
  • Has been convicted of a crime described in section 101(a)(43)(G) of the Act (as in effect on April 1, 1997) or a crime or crimes involving moral turpitude related to property, and sentenced therefor (including in the aggregate) to at least 3 years' imprisonment;
  • Has failed to appear for an immigration proceeding without reasonable cause or has been subject to a bench warrant or similar legal process (unless quashed, withdrawn, or cancelled as improvidently issued);
  • Has been convicted of a crime described in section 101(a)(43)(Q) or (T) of the Act (as in effect on April 1, 1997);
  • Has been convicted in a criminal proceeding of a violation of section 273 , 274 , 274C , 276 , or 277 of the Act, or has admitted the factual elements of such a violation;
  • Has overstayed a period granted for voluntary departure;
  • Has failed to surrender or report for removal pursuant to an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
  • Does not wish to pursue, or is statutorily ineligible for, any form of relief from exclusion, deportation, or removal under this chapter or the Act; or
  • Is described in paragraphs (c)(5)(i)(A), (B), or (C) of this section but has not been sentenced, including in the aggregate but not including any portions suspended, to at least 2 years' imprisonment, unless the alien was lawfully admitted and has not, since the commencement of proceedings and within the 10 years prior thereto, been convicted of a crime, failed to comply with an order to surrender or a period of voluntary departure, or been subject to a bench warrant or similar legal process (unless qu ashed, withdrawn, or cancelled as improvidently issued). An alien eligible to be considered for release under this paragraph must meet the burdens described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section in order to be released from custody in the exercise of discretion.

www.uscis.gov/laws

Fingerprints and Photographs under Section 236.5:

Posted October 21, 2016

Every alien 14 years of age or older against whom proceedings based on deportability under section 237 of the Act are commenced under this part by service of a notice to appear shall be fingerprinted and photographed. Such fingerprints and photographs shall be made available to Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies upon request to the district director or chief patrol agent having jurisdiction over the alien's record. Any such alien, regardless of his or her age, shall be photographed and/or fingerprinted if required by any immigration officer authorized to issue a notice to appear. Every alien 14 years of age or older who is found to be inadmissible to the United States and ordered removed by an immigration judge shall be fingerprinted, unless during the preceding year he or she has been fingerprinted at an American consular office.

www.uscis.gov/laws

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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