- 1. Introduction
- 2. Requirements for Naturalization
- 3. Requirements for Expeditious Naturalization
- 3.1 Overview of the Requirements
- 3.2 Employed by an American Firm or Corporation, or a Subsidiary Thereof
- 3.3 Engaged in the Development of U.S. Foreign Trade or Commerce
- 3.4 Public International Organizations
- 3.5 American Institutions of Research
- 3.6 The U.S. Citizen Spouse Is Regularly Stationed Abroad
- 3.7 Marital Status
- 3.8 Departing the U.S. to Live with the Citizen Spouse Abroad
- 3.9 Good faith intention to take up residence within the U.S.
- 4. Procedures
- 5. Conclusion
This article covers the requirements for the spouses of certain U.S. citizens employed abroad by U.S. entities or pubic international organizations to apply for U.S. naturalization on an expedited basis under section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.[2 ]
Spending too much time abroad can put a lawful permanent resident (LPR) at risk of losing eligibility for naturalization. As a matter of public policy, prior to naturalization an LPR generally must live in the U.S. to learn English, to become familiar with U.S. customs and institutions, to shed foreign attachments, to acquire attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution and government, to demonstrate law-abiding conduct, and to prove fitness to be accepted as a citizen of the U.S.
However, there are countervailing public policies that favor allowing individuals to reside abroad with their U.S. citizen spouses who work for designated employers where such work promotes the foreign trade and commerce of the United States. In certain cases, they are eligible for expeditious naturalization.
1.1 Benefits of Expeditious Naturalization
One who meets the above requirements is exempt from the following regular requirements for naturalization: (a) continuous residence requirement before filing the naturalization application; (b) continuous residence in the U.S. between the time of filing and the naturalization examination; (c) physical presence requirement; and (d) state residence requirement. Those requirements are discussed below.
In addition, the good moral character requirement is modified for expeditious naturalization. In a standard naturalization case, the applicant must prove good moral character during the required five years of continuous residence and up to the time of the naturalization ceremony. To be eligible for expeditious naturalization, the applicant must show merely that he or she is a person of good moral character, with no test of prior character except as it may relate to present character.
1.2 Scope of this Article
Related topics not covered in this article include:
- Naturalization Guide: This article focuses just on eligibility for expeditious naturalization benefits. For an overview of naturalization in general, request a copy of our firm’s Guide to Naturalization in the United States.
- Abandonment of LPR Status: What steps should LPRs staying abroad for extended periods take to protect themselves against losing their green cards due to “abandonment”? In short, LPR status confers the right to “reside” in the U.S., but that can be taken away by the government if an LPR makes a trip or series of trips abroad which are not “temporary.” For more on this topic see our article, Green Card Holders Who Stay Abroad Over 6 Months Risk Abandonment, http://lawandborder.com/?p=2355.
- Form N-470, Application to Preserve Permanent Residence for Naturalization Purposes: For an LPR employed abroad by certain U.S. employers or public international organizations, or performing certain ministerial or priestly functions, absence will not break the required continuity of residence for naturalization if the applicant has an approved Form N-470. The applicant’s spouse and dependent unmarried children residing abroad with the applicant may be eligible for the same benefits, except in the case of the family members of persons covered by the religious duties provision. There are limitations, however. First, most applicants are required to have completed one year continuous physical presence in the U.S. as an LPR before filing the N-470. Second, an approved N-470 doesn’t relieve a naturalization applicant of the requirement of U.S. physical presence during half the continuous residence period, except in the case of (a) a naturalization applicant employed by, or contracted to work for, the U.S. government abroad is relieved of the requirement; or (b) an applicant who falls within the religious duties provision is relieved of the physical presence requirement.
- Expeditious naturalization provisions covering “[a]ny person who is employed by a bona fide U.S. incorporated nonprofit organization which is principally engaged in conducting dissemination of information abroad through communications media which significantly promotes U.S. interests abroad and which is recognized as such by the Attorney General.”
- Expeditious naturalization for members of the military and their families.
2. Requirements for Naturalization
2.1 In General
Generally speaking, the requirements for naturalization include that the applicant must:
- be at least 18 years old;
- be an LPR;
- be of good moral character, attached to the constitution, and be favorably disposed toward the good order and happiness of the U.S. (As a practical matter, for purposes of expeditious naturalization, USCIS requires good moral character for at least 3 years prior to filing the naturalization application and until the time of naturalization.)
- pass a test of English language, history, and U.S. government; and
- meet the residence-related requirements, which include:
- continuously residing in the U.S., after being admitted for LPR status, for the five years (or three years in the case of an applicant who has been married to and living in marital union with a U.S. citizen) immediately preceding the date of filing application for naturalization as well as between the date of applying for naturalization and the date that citizenship is granted;
- residing in a State or Service District having jurisdiction over the naturalization application for at least three months; and
- being physically present in the U.S. for half of the required continuous residence period.
A more detailed analysis of the residence-related requirements follows:
2.2 Continuous Residence in the U.S.
Generally a naturalization applicant must continuously reside in the U.S., after being admitted for LPR status, for the five years (or three years in the case of an applicant who has been married to and living in marital union with a U.S. citizen) immediately preceding the date of filing application for naturalization.
In addition, an applicant must generally continuously reside within the U.S. between the date of applying for naturalization and the date that citizenship is granted.
Naturalization rules do allow an applicant to file their naturalization application as early as “3 months before the date the applicant” meets the continuous residence requirement.
Residency is defined as the applicant’s “principal, actual dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent.”
The prevailing view is that any absences from the U.S. by a naturalization applicant which last less than six months will not disrupt the naturalization application process. In contrast, absences from the U.S. that last in excess of six months and less than one year prior to the filing date of the naturalization application shall break the continuous residence requirement, unless the applicant can establish through evidence that he or she did not abandon his residence in the U.S. during that period to the satisfaction of the U.S. Attorney General. Such evidence includes proof of continued employment within the U.S., continued residence within the U.S. by the applicant’s immediate family, retention of housing accommodations within the U.S., and evidence that the applicant did not obtain employment while outside of the U.S.
Absences from the U.S. for a continuous period of one year or more will disrupt the continuous residence naturalization requirement, unless the applicant has an approved N-470 or the applicant qualifies for expeditious naturalization, in which case the residence requirement is waived.
2.3 Residence within a State or USCIS District
According to Congress, a naturalization applicant must show that “immediately preceding the filing of the application” they have “resided within the State or within the [USCIS District] in which the applicant filed the application for at least three months.”
Regulations also discuss the effect on state residence of absences abroad. If the absence is less than 1 year, state residence continues to be where the applicant last resided. If the applicant returns to that state or district, the applicant can count from the date when he or she first established residence (including periods abroad) for purposes of meeting the state residence requirement. If the applicant establishes a residence in a new state or district, the applicant must reside there for three months before filing.
As explained below, N-470 applicants must satisfy the state residence requirement, but the requirement is waived for expeditious naturalization applicants.
2.4 Physical Presence During the Period of Required Continuous Residence
The “physical presence” requirement for naturalization is that “during the five years [or 3 years for applicants who need to prove only 3 years of continuous residence] immediately preceding the date of filing [the naturalization] application,” a person must have been “physically present” in the U.S. “for periods totaling at least half of that time.”
As explained below, the physical presence requirement is waived for expeditious naturalization applicants but still applies to most N-470 applicants.
3. Requirements for Expeditious Naturalization
3.1 Overview of the Requirements
Expeditious naturalization benefits are available to a person who meets the general requirements for naturalization, described in Part 2, if in addition:
1. The applicant is married to a U.S. citizen at the time of filing for naturalization.
2. The U.S. citizen spouse is “regularly stationed abroad” in such employment.
3. The citizen is in the employment of one of the following:
- the U.S. Government;
- an American institution of research recognized as such by the Attorney General;
- “an American firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce of the United States, or a subsidiary thereof”;
- a public international organization in which the U.S. participates by treaty or statute; or
- is (a) authorized to perform the ministerial or priestly functions of a religious denomination having a bona fide organization within the U.S.; or (b) is engaged solely as a missionary with a religious denomination or an interdenominational mission organization having a bona fide organization within the U.S.
4. The applicant is in the United States at the time of naturalization.
6. The applicant will depart the U.S. to live abroad with the citizen spouse within 30 to 45 days after the date of naturalization. And
7. The applicant declares in good faith an intention to take up residence within the United States immediately following the termination of such employment abroad of the citizen spouse.
3.2 Employed by an American Firm or Corporation, or a Subsidiary Thereof
More explanation is required of the key statutory requirements that the citizen spouse is or will be employed by an American firm or corporation, or a subsidiary thereof.
American Firm or Corporation
The term “American firm or corporation” means a company owned more than 50% by U.S. nationals.
- Publicly traded corporation: A publicly traded corporation is considered to be an “American firm or corporation” if the applicant can demonstrate that the corporation is incorporated in the U.S. and trades its stock exclusively on the U.S. stock exchange. The corporation’s annual report is usually enough to prove this.
- Privately held corporation: Evidence that the employer is a qualifying American firm or corporation may include: copies of the business’ articles of incorporation, evidence of ownership including copies of stock certificates and ledgers, and proof of the shareholders’ nationality.
- Partnership: For a partnership to qualify as an “American firm,” 51% of the partners must be of U.S. nationality.
- Sole proprietorship: It is unclear whether a sole proprietorship counts as an “American firm.” There is at least one INS memorandum implicitly supporting this position. Still, as discussed below, the sole owner may have problems proving he “employs” himself.
- Nonprofit corporation: The statute doesn’t limit the term “American firm or corporation” to for-profit entities. The legacy INS has recognized that nonprofits incorporated in the U.S. qualify.
Subsidiary of an American Firm or Corporation
To qualify as the “subsidiary” of an American firm or corporation, over fifty percent of the subsidiary’s stock must be owned by the American firm or corporation. For example, in the below example Acme (China) Co. Ltd. would qualify as the subsidiary of an American firm, namely Acme Inc.:
Here’s the explanation: Acme Inc. is an American firm because it is incorporated in the U.S. and because U.S. citizens own more than 51%. (In this example, U.S. citizens own 75%.) Acme (China) Co. Ltd. counts as the “subsidiary” of an American corporation because over 50% of its stock is owned (indirectly) by Acme Inc. Note that to prove this relationship, the following types of evidence may be required:
- Copies of Alan and Bob’s U.S. passport ID pages (or certificates of naturalization or other evidence of citizenship).
- Acme Inc.’s certificate of incorporation and stock ledger showing that Alan and Bob own 75% of the corporation.
- Acme (BVI) Inc.’s certificate of incorporation and stock ledger showing that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acme Inc.
- Acme (China) Co. Ltd.’s business license showing that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Acme (BVI) Inc.
The U.S. citizen spouse must be “employed by” the American firm or corporation. For this provision, it’s not enough to be “under contract with” the American firm or corporation.
The term “employed by” within the analogous Form N-470 context has been defined as “to use, to have in service, to cause to be engaged in doing something, it does not mean to hire, but to use, whether under hire or not.” Employment for N-470 purposes can be either on a commission basis or according to a fixed-wage arrangement.
Part-time employment will not qualify unless the individual “devotes a substantial portion of his time to the employment.
The owner of a sole proprietorship—i.e., a self-employed individual—doesn’t meet this definition of “employed by” the firm. In contrast, the sole owner of a corporation who is also employed by that corporation may count as “employed by an American firm.”
3.3 Engaged in the Development of U.S. Foreign Trade or Commerce
The American firm or corporation must be engaged in whole or in part in the development of U.S. foreign trade or commerce. Unlike the requirements for an N-470, the applicant need not personally be engaged in foreign trade or commerce or protection of the firm or corporation’s property rights.
There is some authority—an unpublished decision of the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office—that a company that has overseas operations only but not U.S. operations (only a “paper business” in the U.S.) is not engaged in the development of U.S. trade and commerce.
The term “trade” should be “construed broadly” and “liberally.” Trade means
the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods and/or services. Goods are tangible commodities or merchandise having intrinsic value. Services are economic activities whose outputs are other than tangible goods. Such service activities include, but are not limited to, banking, insurance, transportation, communications and data processing, advertising, accounting, design and engineering, management consulting, tourism, and technology transfer.
The term “commerce” has been defined as “the exchange of goods, productions, or property of any kind; especially, exchange on a large scale, as between states or nations.”
INS has considered certain refugee relief agencies and non-profit organizations to be engaged in development of foreign trade and commerce.
Evidence of being “engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce” could include, for example: a list of foreign clients with their contact information, a specific description of all projects, contracts, and properties which the company is pursuing, a description of the funding of the work to be performed abroad, evidence that the employing firm or corporation is permitted to conduct business abroad, copies of all contracts, proposals, requests for proposals, or requests for bids for work to be performed abroad, and copies of financial statements and the applicants tax returns and transcripts.
3.4 Public International Organizations
The regulations list the eligible public international organizations of which the U.S. is a member by treaty or statute. This includes NATO, the United Nations, and all agencies and organizations which are a part of the UN.
3.5 American Institutions of Research
The eligible American institutions of research in which an applicant may be employed by or under contract to work for are listed in the regulations. In some circumstances, USCIS may also regard research conducted abroad under a grant from a recognized institution of research as qualifying employment.
3.6 The U.S. Citizen Spouse Is Regularly Stationed Abroad
A U.S. citizen spouse is regularly stationed abroad if he or she has proceeded or will proceed abroad “for a period of not less than one year” pursuant to an employment contract or orders and in fact assumes the duties of employment. The contract or orders must have already been issued and must specify the term of employment.
Both the statute and the corresponding regulations are silent on when to being calculating the one year period. USCIS interprets this requirement to mean that the citizen spouse must have at least 1 year remaining on his or her overseas duty at the time of the application is filed. Ina addition, the applicant must intend to reside abroad with the U.S. citizen spouse after naturalization, as explained below.
There is no requirement that the U.S. citizen spouse already be abroad before the naturalization application is filed. The application can be filed and approved before the overseas assignment begins. The regulations also clearly allow the application to be filed after the citizen spouse has already taken up the overseas employment.
3.7 Marital Status
The applicant for expeditious naturalization must be married to a U.S. citizen at the time of applying for naturalization and at the time of the oath ceremony. If the U.S. citizen spouse has passed away, if the marriage has ended, or if the applicant’s spouse is no longer a U.S. citizen, the application for expeditious naturalization will be denied.
3.8 Departing the U.S. to Live with the Citizen Spouse Abroad
As mentioned above, the applicant must establish that he or she intends to leave the U.S. in order to “reside with” the citizen spouse within 30 to 45 days after the date of naturalization.
The applicant may move abroad for that purpose before filing the application. But it’s not necessary that the applicant and the U.S. citizen lived together before 45 days after naturalization.
If there is any delay in departure from the U.S. or any cancellation of the U.S. citizen spouse’s employment abroad, or if the applicant is unable to reside with the U.S. citizen spouse because the U.S. citizen spouse is employed in an area of hostility where dependents may not reside, the applicant-spouse must notify USCIS immediately. If the U.S. citizen spouse is restricted from joining the U.S. citizen where he or she is employed, USCIS will not deny the expeditious naturalization application. Spouses of U.S. citizens employed in areas where the applicant spouse is restricted from joining them may still be granted expeditious naturalization regardless of how far the applicant lives from his or her U.S. citizen spouse as long as the applicant had the intention of going abroad to reside with his or her spouse. However, USCIS will not grant expeditious naturalization to the applicant spouse of a U.S. citizen working abroad if the applicant does not initially at least intend to take up residence in the foreign country where their U.S. citizen spouse is employed.
3.9 Good faith intention to take up residence within the U.S.
The applicant for expeditious naturalization must declare before the Attorney General in good faith an intention to take up residence within the United States immediately once the U.S. citizen spouse concludes their employment abroad
See our Firm’s Naturalization Guide for general information about naturalization procedures.
4.2 Coordinating the N-400 with a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
For an applicant who is a conditional resident, it’s still possible to apply for expeditious naturalization. You won’t even be required to file a Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, unless you are within 90 days of the expiration of your green card or if your naturalization will not be completed before that date. If you have already filed your I-751, notify the USCIS office handling your naturalization case so that the I-751 can be adjudicated at the same time as the naturalization application.
Our law firm is available to represent clients with respect to expeditious naturalization. Feel free to contact us for further information.
- Thanks to Yehudah Handler for assistance with an earlier version of this article. ↑
- See generally 8 U.S.C. § 1330, INA § 319(b). ↑
- U.S. v. Mulvey, 232 Fed. 513 (2d Cir. 1916). ↑
- Legal Opinion of General Counsel, HQ 319-C (Feb. 23, 1993). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(3). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 319.2(a)(2)-(3). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(3). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(3); AFM § 73.4(h)(1). ↑
- INA § 316(a). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(a)(5). ↑
- INA § 316(b). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.5(d)(1)(ii); Robert C. Divine, Immigration Practice 2009-2010, §12-19. ↑
- See INA § 317. ↑
- INA § 316(b)(2); 8 C.F.R. 316.5(d)(2). ↑
- INA § 317(3). ↑
- INA § 319(c). ↑
- INA §319(d) and (e). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.2(a)(1). ↑
- INA 316(a); 8 C.F.R. 316.2(a)(2). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 316.2(a)(7). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(b); USCIS Policy Manual ch. 4A. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. Part 312. ↑
- INA § 319(a); 8 C.F.R. § 319.1(a)(3). Certain battered spouses and children also are eligible for naturalization upon completion of three years of residence. INA § 319(a). ↑
- INA § 316(a); 8 C.F.R. 316.2(a)(3). ↑
- INA 316(a); 8 C.F.R. 316.2(a)(6). ↑
- INA 316(a); 8 C.F.R. 316.2(a)(5). ↑
- INA 316(a); 8 C.F.R. 316.2(a)(4). ↑
- INA § 319(a); 8 C.F.R. § 319.1(a)(3). Certain battered spouses and children also are eligible for naturalization upon completion of three years of residence. INA § 319(a). ↑
- INA § 316(a); 8 C.F.R. § 316.2(a)(3). ↑
- INA 316(a); 8 C.F.R. § 316.2(a)(6). ↑
- INA § 334(a). ↑
- INA §101(a)(33); see 8 CFR § 316.5(a) (similar regulatory definition). ↑
- INA § 316(b); 8 C.F.R. § 316.5(c)(1)(i). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.5(c)(1)(i)(A). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.5(c)(1)(i)(B). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.5(c)(1)(i)(D). ↑
- INA § 316(b); 8 C.F.R. § 316.5(c)(1)(ii). ↑
- INA § 316(a); 8 C.F.R. §316.2. ↑
- Students attending an educational institution in a state or district other than their home residence may apply either (a) where the institution is located, or (b) where their home residence is located, if “financially dependent” upon their parents at the time the application is filed and during the naturalization process. 8 C.F.R. § 316.5(b)(2); USCIS M-476, p. 24. The Internal Revenue Service guidelines for determining whether a child qualifies as “dependent” for tax purposes may be relevant to determining whether a child is “financially dependent” for naturalization purposes. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 316.5(b)(4) (“If an applicant claims residence in more than one State, the residence for purposes of this part shall be determined by reference to the location from which the annual federal income tax returns have been and are being filed.”). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 316.5(b)(5) provides:(5) Residence during absences of less than one year.(i) An applicant’s residence during any absence of less than one year shall continue to be the State or Service district where the applicant last resided at the time of the applicant’s departure abroad.(ii) Return to the United States. If, upon returning to the United States, an applicant returns to the State or Service district where the applicant last resided, the applicant will have complied with the continuous residence requirement specified in § 316.2(a)(5) [state residence requirement] when at least three months have elapsed, including any part of the applicant’s absence, from the date on which the applicant first established that residence. If the applicant establishes residence in a State or Service district other than the one in which he or she last resided, the applicant must complete three months at that new residence to be eligible for naturalization. ↑
- INA § 316(a). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(A); 8 C.F.R. 319.2(b)(3)(c). See 8 C.F.R. 319(b)(3)(c) (which states that if the marital union between the applicant and the U.S. citizen ends as a result of death of the U.S. citizen, divorce, or expatriation of the U.S. citizen at any time prior to naturalization, the applicant under this provision will become ineligible for expeditious naturalization, even if the applicant marries another U.S. citizen). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(B). This requirement is the same as for an N-470 applicant, except that here it is not enough to be “under contract with” the U.S. Government. Cf. INA § 316(b). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(B). This is the same requirement that applies to N-470 applicants, except that for expeditious naturalization it is not enough to be “under contract with” the institution and the applicant need not personally be “carrying on scientific research” on behalf of the institution. Cf. INA § 316(b). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(B). This statutory requirement is the same as the N-470 requirement, with the following exceptions. (A) The statute here, unlike the N-470 statute, doesn’t specify that the subsidiary must be “more than 50 per centum … owned by an American firm or corporation.” Cf. INA § 316(b). Nevertheless, the INS General Counsel has opined that the 50 per centum criterion should apply to expeditious naturalization too. INS General Counsel Opinion No. 95-21, 1995 WL 1796328. (B) There is no statutory requirement here that the employee personally be “engaged in the development of such foreign trade and commerce” or in protecting the employer’s property rights. Cf. INA § 316(b). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(B). This requirement is similar to N-470 requirement, except that for expeditious naturalization there is no requirement analogous to the N-470 requirement that the employment must not have been “employed until after being lawfully admitted for permanent residence.” Cf. INA § 316(b). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(B). This requirement differs from the requirement for the N-470 application. For N-470 purposes, brothers, nuns, or sisters are eligible. Cf. INA § 317. ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(C). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(2). ↑
- The requirement of lawful permanent residence is not specifically waived and so must be complied with. Immigration L. & Proc. §97.03(2)(b), citing 40 Op. Att’y Gen. 64 (1941). See USCIS Policy Manual, vol. 2, Part G, § A (Applicant under § 319(b) (must be an “LPR at the time of filing the naturalization application.”). But see Robert C. Divine, Immigration Practice 2009-2010, §12-28, footnote 115 (suggesting that it may be possible to file the N-400 at the same time that a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and immigrant visa application are pursued). ↑
- The applicant must “at the time of examination on the application for naturalization, be present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence.” 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(a)(2). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(b)(1). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(3); 8 C.F.R. § 319(a)(4)(i)-(ii). ↑
- INA § 319(b)(1)(B). ↑
- INA § 316(b). ↑
- USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual, Appendix 74-14 (June 18, 2007). See Matter of Chawathe, In Preservation of Residence for Naturalization Proceedings On Behalf of Self-Represented., INS Administrative Appeals Unit A74 254 994+ (2006) (where court held that a corporation was an “American firm or corporation” under INA §316(b) since it had been established that the corporation was incorporated in the U.S. and that it was a publicly held corporation whose stock is exclusively sold on U.S. stock exchange). ↑
- In Re [name withheld] (AAO May 16, 2008), published at 2008 WL 4052012; In Re [name withheld] (AAO Mar. 28, 2008), published at 2008 WL 3990712. ↑
- See the Department of Justice INS Memorandum dated December 1, 2008 (2008 WL 5745277(INS)) (where INS stated that a limited liability partnership formed under state law does not establish that it is an “American firm or corporation”; but instead, the nationality of 51% of the partners determines whether the entity is, or is not, an “American firm or corporation.”). ↑
- INS Ass’t Comm., file CO 316a.1-P, Mar. 8, 1961 (a person other than the sole owner who is employed abroad representing the sole proprietorship doing business under a trade name is eligible for extended absence benefits.) ↑
- INS Interpretations 316.5(c)(6) (recognizing that certain nonprofit relief agencies meet the requirement of being an “American firm or corporation” engaged in the development of trade or commerce for purposes of filing an N-470). ↑
- Robert C. Divine, Immigration Practice 2009-2010, §12-19; Matter of Warrach, 17 I&N Dec. 285; United States Department of Justice Immigration & Naturalization Service Interpretation Letter: Interpretation 316.1(c)(4)(iii). ↑
- Cf. INA § 316(b) (N-470 benefits available to persons “employed by” and “under contract with” U.S. Government); Interpretations 316.1(c)(4)(ii) (independent contractors with American firms not covered). ↑
- Matter of R-, 4 I. & N. Dec. 196, 203 (1950), citing Matter of O-, 2270-D-460267 (1944) (USO entertainer considered “employed by or under contract with the Government of the United States”). ↑
- Interpretations 316.1(4)(i); Matter of R-, 4 I. & N. Dec. 196, 203 (1950). ↑
- Interpretations 316.1(4)(ii), citing Matter of P-, 5 I. & N. Dec. 332 (1953) (Part-time employment sufficient for N-470 where applicant “handled all the language [teaching] in a school.” The work required a “substantial portion of his time,” even though his “full time during the usual working day was not required.” He received more than a “token payment of salary.” Irrelevant that applicant’s primary purpose in going abroad was for study.) ↑
- In re Nathan, 114 F. Supp. 361 (S.D.N.Y. 1953). ↑
- In re Nathan, 114 F. Supp. 361 (S.D.N.Y. 1953). Contra INS Interpretations § 316.1(c)(4) (citing Gen. Coun., No. 7-54, Feb. 5, 1954). ↑
- INA § 319(b). The regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 319.2 do not elaborate, nor does the USCIS Policy Manual ch. 4. ↑
- Cf. INA § 316(b)(1); Matter of P, 5 I. & N. Dec. 332 (B.I.A. 1953) (requiring for N-470s that a “substantial” portion of the applicant’s time be devoted to such purposes). ↑
- In Re [name withheld] (AAO Apr. 26, 2007), published at 2007 WL 5317983. ↑
- Memo, Grover J. Rees III, INS General Counsel, Interpretation of “Foreign Trade and Commerce” for Purposes of Section 319(b) of the Act, HQ 319-C (Feb. 23, 1993). ↑
- Id. Prior to this definition being adopted by the INS in 1993, a court held that teaching does not fall within the definition of trade. See In re Fang Lan Dankowski, 478 F. Supp. 1203, 1208 (D. Guam 1979) (where court cited Jeu Jo Wan v. Nagle, 9 F.2d 309 (9th Cir. 1925) which asserted that responsibilities of a “teacher” did not fall within the term “trade” as defined by the Immigration Act of 1924. The court held in Fang Lan Dankowski that although the Immigration Act of 1924 was repealed, the rationale was still applicable in the context of defining “foreign trade or commerce” for expeditious naturalization purposes. In that case, the U.S. citizen teacher gave classes to dependents of U.S. citizens engaged in foreign commerce and trade, but the court held that the teacher was not directly involved in “foreign trade or commerce.”). ↑
- In re Fang Lan Dankowski, 478 F. Supp. 1203, 1207 (D. Guam 1979). ↑
- INS Interpretation 316.1(c)(6). Qualifying businesses have included CARE, United HIAS Service, Inc., American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc. and Catholic Relief Services. Id. INS reasoned that relief supplies, such as food and clothing, were purchased in the United States and then distributed to those in need throughout the world, and U.S. ship holding companies were contracted to transport the donated supplies abroad and bring the refugees to the United States. Id. ↑
- In re [name withheld] (AAO May 16, 2008), published at 2008 WL 4052012; In re [name withheld] (AAO Mar. 28, 2008), published at 2008 WL 3990712. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.20(b) and (c); Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook, §11:6. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 316.20(b). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 316.20(a). ↑
- See Matter of M-J-, 8 I. & N. Dec. 520 (B.I.A. 1960); Interpretations 319.2(e)(5)(ii) (where the court found that a U.S. citizen conducting his doctoral dissertation abroad, through a fellowship grant by the Foreign Area Fellowship Program, a unit of a recognized American institution of research, the Social Science Research Council, was considered to be regularly stationed abroad in the “employment.” According to the terms of the fellowship grant, the citizen spouse would need to devote most of his time to receiving training and engaging in research for which he would be compensated. The court agreed that the citizen’s engagement abroad under these conditions amounted to “employment” in the broad sense of employment.); Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook, §11:6. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(a)(1). ↑
- Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook, §11:6; Interpretations 319.2(c)(3)(ii). ↑
- USCIS Policy Manual ch. 4D. INA § 319(b) states merely that the citizen must be “regularly stationed abroad.” 8 C.F.R. 319.2(a)(1) defines the term “regularly” to mean stationed abroad “for a period of not less than one year.” The INS Interpretations are not helpful because they pre-date the regulation specifically defining the one-year period. Interpretations 319.2(c)(2). ↑
- USCIS Policy Manual ch. 4D. ↑
- Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook, §11:6; INS Interp. 319.2(c)(2)(i)-(ii). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 319.2; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook, §11:6; Interpretations 319.2(c)(2)(i)-(ii). ↑
- “An applicant … shall submit … an application [stating] the nature of the activity in which the citizen spouse is engaged.” 8 C.F.R. § 319.11(a), (a)(4) (emphasis added). See INA § 319(b)(1) – (3). ↑
- INA § 319(b); 8 C.F.R. § 319.2; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6. ↑
- AFM § 74.2(b)(2) (applicant who files while abroad is still required to return to the U.S. for their interview, naturalization, and any other related naturalization procedure, such as the biometrics appointment). ↑
- See 8 C.F.R. 319.2; USCIS Policy Manual ch. 4B; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(b). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. § 319.2; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6; INS Interp. 319.2(c)(3)(iii) citing to In re Petition of Sun Cha Tom, 294 F.Supp. 791; In re Simpson, 315 F.Supp. 584 (W.D.La. 1970). ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 319.2; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6. ↑
- 8 C.F.R. 319.2; Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6; Interpretations 319.2(c)(3)(iii). ↑
- INA § 319; 8 C.F.R. § 319.2(a)(2); Daniel Levy, U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Handbook §11:6. ↑
- You’ll still be required to prove, at the time of your naturalization interview, that the qualifying marriage was entered into in accordance with the laws of the place where the marriage occurred; has not been judicially annulled or terminated; was not entered into for the purpose of procuring an alien’s admission as an immigrant; and that no fee or other consideration was given for filing the immigrant or fiancée visa petition that forms the basis for admission to the United States. ↑
- USCIS Honolulu, Naturalization FAQ Sheet for Spouse of a U.S. Citizen Regularly Stationed Abroad: The Honolulu Process (May 10, 2004), http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/pdfs/wwwf319b.pdf. ↑