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Showing posts from August, 2013

Top Three Excuses for Not Becoming a US Citizen and Why They are Meaningless

If you have ever listened to our radio show, you know that we are constantly encouraging individuals to apply for US citizenship if they are fortunate enough to qualify.  Here are the top three excuses that I often hear as well as reasons these excuses just don’t hold up.
1.I’m worried about the English Exam.  I have good news for everyone who has ever used this as an excuse for not applying for citizenship:   The English exam is not that hard!  Immigration understands that English is your second language.  Immigration does not expect you to be an English language expert.  All that is required is a basic English and the ability to answer a few questions in English.  And the best news is that Immigration gives you a list of the questions beforehand so you will have plenty of time to practice.  Additionally, many individuals over age 50 can qualify for a waiver of some or all of the English language requirements. Thus, the English language requirement is no excuse for not applying for c…

The New Provisional Waiver – A Promising Program Foundering

For a year we waited for USCIS to put into effect changes it had discussed in processing the needed waiver for the 10 year bar found in INA § 212(a)(9)(B) for those people married to U.S. Citizens who had entered the United States without inspection.  The announcement of the change to a “provisional” waiver program brought with it much anticipation and joy to those who would most benefit from this change.  Nothing was worse than leaving your spouse behind in the United States, many times with young children, for an uncertain number of months, with a strong possibility you would not come back home for 10 years.  And, as a result, many people chose not to take advantage of the waiver because of the fear of the unknown.
The Provisional Waiver regulation announced on January 2, 2013, and effective on March 1, 2013, now made it possible for foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to apply for the permanent residence without the risk associated with departing the U.S. without having the forgiveness…


​When longtime permanent residents come to my office I sometimes ask why they haven’t applied for U.S. citizenship. The most common answer is that it’s too expensive and they can’t afford it. Some answer by asking what good it will do them. I respond by telling them that there are many good reasons to apply for citizenship such as the right to vote, the right to hold public office, and the right to apply for certain governmental positions. I then add that the best reason to become a citizen is that once you are a citizen the immigration courts and USCIS no longer have control over your life. Your right to remain in the United States is absolute. You can’t be deported! ​While this may not seem like a big deal if you consider yourself a law abiding person, it is when you think about how many ways a permanent resident can slip up and be deported. All it takes is one slip-up, one mistake and your life can be forever altered. ​To illustrate this point let me share with you a few details abou…