USCIS Announces New Cycle Time Goals

I recently wrote about how USCIS processing times for family-sponsored immigration, which increased during the Trump administration, remain stubbornly high. For example, adjudication of a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of a citizen’s spouse or child, can take up to 16 months. And that’s just the first of multiple steps for the… Continue reading USCIS Announces New Cycle Time Goals

USCIS Albuquerque Field Office Updates

The USCIS Albuquerque Field Office provided the following updates during the Mar. 17, 2022, stakeholder meeting. Processing Times for Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status January: 11.01 average months, 185 cases adjudicated February: 9.7 average months, 203 cases adjudicated March: 11.67 average months, 55 cases adjudicated to date Some cases have experienced delays because the… Continue reading USCIS Albuquerque Field Office Updates

Eileen Gu: What’s the Deal with Her Nationality?

Eileen Gu (谷爱凌) is a Chinese-American freestyle skier competing in three events at the Winter Olympics in Beijing: halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air. At the same time, the San Francisco native is the subject of intense controversy for switching from the U.S. to China’s national team. This article addresses the question, what’s the deal with… Continue reading Eileen Gu: What’s the Deal with Her Nationality?

Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes

Certain classes of naturalization applicants are eligible to count time residing abroad towards meeting the requirement of “continuous residence” in the United States. The table below serves as a quick reference guide on certain “continuous residence” and “physical presence” provisions for persons residing abroad under qualifying employment. Employer or Vocation Provision Continuous Residence Physical Presence… Continue reading Form N-470, Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes

Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?

The article addresses the question, does a short stay establish a “residence” for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)? This may seem like a trivial question, but it comes up in many contexts for U.S. immigration cases. For example, the following forms all appear to ask about residence history: USCIS Form N-400, Application… Continue reading Does a Short Stay Establish a “Residence” for Immigration Law Purposes?

319(b) Expeditious Naturalization: USCIS Washington DC Field Office Procedures Update

The USCIS Washington DC Field Office has provided an update regarding their procedures for appointments and oath ceremonies for applicants for expeditious naturalization under section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Section 319(b) allows the spouses of U.S. citizens employed abroad by certain U.S. employers to qualify for naturalization without completing the normally required… Continue reading 319(b) Expeditious Naturalization: USCIS Washington DC Field Office Procedures Update

U.S. State Department Loosens Citizenship Requirements for Children Born Abroad thru Assisted Reproductive Technology

The State Department announced on May 18 that it is easing restrictions on the ties children born abroad must have with their parents in order to automatically acquire citizenship at birth abroad under section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The U.S. will now only require children born abroad to have a “genetic or… Continue reading U.S. State Department Loosens Citizenship Requirements for Children Born Abroad thru Assisted Reproductive Technology

USCIS Rolls Back Trump-Era Civics Test Changes for Naturalization Applicants

On Feb. 22, USCIS announced it is rolling back Trump-era changes to the civics test for naturalization applicants. The purpose of the civics test is for a naturalization applicant to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States. As background, on… Continue reading USCIS Rolls Back Trump-Era Civics Test Changes for Naturalization Applicants

Guide to Naturalization in the United States

1. Introduction This Guide summarizes the requirements and procedures to apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for naturalization. Naturalization is the manner in which a person not born in the U.S. voluntarily applies for citizenship.[1] This Guide does not cover the special naturalization provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans.… Continue reading Guide to Naturalization in the United States

USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays

In a December 29, 2020 Stakeholder Message, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provided an update on biometrics appointment delays at Application Support Centers (ASCs) due to COVID-19. USCIS collects biometrics for certain kinds of applications, including but not limited to: Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (including reentry permit)… Continue reading USCIS Update: Biometrics Appointment Delays

USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal

Dec. 29, 2020 Update Yesterday, the government filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Immigrant Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., a legal challenge to the USCIS final rule from Aug. 20, which increased filing fees and required new versions of… Continue reading USCIS Filing Fees Update: Gov’t Withdraws 9th Circuit Appeal

Poll: Which USCIS Office Is Best for a 319(b) Expeditious Naturalization Interview?

One of the advantages of expeditious naturalization under section 319(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act is that an applicant can choose the USCIS office where their interview will be held. (For background information about expeditious naturalization under section 319(b), see here). Poll: Please use the comments section below to explain your reasons for which… Continue reading Poll: Which USCIS Office Is Best for a 319(b) Expeditious Naturalization Interview?

Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?

If an individual previously submitted biometrics in connection with a prior application, can USCIS reuse those biometrics in connection with a new application? USCIS requires biometrics appointments in connection with various types of applications, such as for adjustment of status (Form I-485), reentry permits (Form I-131), employment authorization (Form I-765), and naturalization (Form N-400). Once… Continue reading Can USCIS Reuse Biometrics Submitted Previously?

Expeditious Naturalization under Section 319(b) for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad

New Citizens Saying the Pledge of Allegiance

Are you considering applying for expeditious naturalization as the spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad by a U.S. company, the U.S. government, an international organization, a research institution, or a religious organization? Chodorow Law Offices can help:

Applying to Renounce Chinese Citizenship

A child may automatically acquire dual citizenship in China and another country at birth. For example, a child born in China to a Chinese parent and a U.S. citizen parent may acquire both nationalities. Similarly, a child born in the U.S. to a U.S. citizen parent and a Chinese parent who has not settled in the… Continue reading Applying to Renounce Chinese Citizenship

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes inadmissible (i.e., ineligible) for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key… Continue reading Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

“Birth Tourism” Restricted by New State Department Rule

The State Department has published a Jan. 24 rule taking aim at birth tourism. The rule prohibits issuance of a B-2 (visitor for pleasure) visa if the applicant’s primary purpose for traveling to the U.S. is to gain citizenship for a child by giving birth in the U.S. The new rule will not prohibit pregnant… Continue reading “Birth Tourism” Restricted by New State Department Rule

See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization

Most applicants for naturalization must first reside in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident for a continuous period of 5 years. However, that requirement can be waived if you are eligible for expeditious naturalization based on your U.S. citizen spouse’s employment abroad for one of the following types of employers: an American firm or corporation… Continue reading See if You Are Eligible for Expeditious Naturalization

Making a Congressional Inquiry for Help with Your Immigration Case

If you are having problems with your immigration case, a member of the U.S. Congress may be willing to inquire with a Federal immigration agency, such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) on your behalf.