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Attorney Ashwin Sharma Interviewed by BBC Radio (Hindi) on President Trump’s Proposed Plans to End Birthright Citizenship in the U.S.

Ashwin Sharma was interviewed by BBC Radio (Hindi) on President Trump’s recent announcement that he intends to end birthright citizenship in the USA through an Executive Order.

Link to BBC News Site – Full Story

Link to Interview Excerpt on on Birthright Citizenship

By way of background, President Trump had stated earlier this week that, “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.” However this is incorrect, as at least three dozen other countries, including Canada and Mexico, follow the principles of “Jus Soli”, Latin for “right of the soil”, as a near unconditional basis for citizenship.

Birthright Citizenship in the United States is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” Thus, an Executive Order alone, even one with a magical signature, cannot effect the changes to Birthright Citizenship as proposed by the President.

 

Key Facts on President Obama’s Immigration Action – Via USCIS.gov

Via USCIS.gov

Fixing Our Broken Immigration System Through Executive Action – Key Facts

The President asked Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming our broken immigration system through executive action. This review sought the advice and input from the men and women charged with implementing the policies, as well as the ideas of a broad range of stakeholders and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. Our assessment identified the following ten areas where we, within the confines of the law, could take action to increase border security, focus enforcement resources, and ensure accountability in our immigration system.

Read More…

Dying wish to become U.S. citizen granted

Via Channel 4 News

Attorney Ashwin Sharma was recently interviewed by Channel 4 News, Jacksonville in regards to his firm’s Pro Bono representation in coordinating an expedited Naturalization ceremony for Mr. Seferi.

USCIS Improves Processing for Naturalization and Citizenship Forms

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is enhancing the filing process for select forms dealing with naturalization and citizenship (N-Forms). Beginning Oct. 30, 2011, the new process will allow individuals to file N-Forms at a secure Lockbox facility instead of our local offices. This change streamlines the way forms are processed, accelerates the collection and deposit of fees and improves the consistency of our intake process. 

Individuals should begin submitting affected forms directly to the appropriate Lockbox beginning Oct. 30, 2011. Forms received by local USCIS offices during a transition period between Oct. 30 and Dec. 2, 2011, will be forwarded to the USCIS Lockbox facility for processing. Forms received at local USCIS offices after Dec. 2, 2011, will no longer be forwarded but will be returned to the individual with instructions on how to re-file at a designated USCIS Lockbox facility. USCIS will centralize intake of Forms N-336, N-600 and N-600K at the Phoenix Lockbox facility. The Dallas Lockbox facility will handle the Form N-300. Individuals filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, already file at a Lockbox facility.

The following table lists N-Forms affected by this filing change: 

Affected N-Forms

Date that Lockbox starts accepting
N-Forms

Last receipt date that local offices will forward
N-forms to Lockbox

  • N-300, Application to File Declaration of Intention
  • N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings
  • N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship
  • N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011

Friday, Dec. 2, 2011

USCIS has updated the information on our N-Form Web pages regarding filing forms at a Lockbox to clearly identify this change in procedure. Please carefully read the form instructions before filing your form to ensure that you are filing the correct form type at the correct location. Any individual submitting the wrong form type for the benefit sought will not receive a fee refund. Instead, individuals will have to re-apply using the correct form and pay a new fee.

Citizenship/Naturalization Test

VIA USCIS

The Naturalization Test

To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, you must pass the naturalization test. At your naturalization interview, you will be required to answer questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and Civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.

Study Materials

USCIS offers a variety of study materials, including:

These and other citizenship resources for immigrants, educators, and organizations are available on the Citizenship Resource Center website.

Exceptions from English & Civics Requirements

For information on exceptions or modifications to the English and civics requirements for naturalization, visit our Exceptions & Accommodations page.

If You Don’t Pass

You will be given two opportunities to take the English and Civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. If you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or Civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview. See 8 CFR 312.5(a) and 335.3(b)

US Department of State Announces a Redesigned Birth Abroad Certificate

Media Note

Office of the Spokesman

Washington, DC
December 22, 2010


The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). The CRBA is an official record confirming that a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. The redesigned document has state-of-the-art security features that make it extremely resistant to alterations or forgery.

CRBAs have been printed at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world since their introduction in 1919. Effective January 3, 2011, CRBAs will be printed at our passport facilities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and New Orleans, Louisiana. Centralizing production and eliminating the distribution of controlled blank form stock throughout the world ensures improved uniform quality and lessens the threat of fraud.

Applications for U.S. passports and the redesigned CRBA will also use the title of “parent” as opposed to “mother” and “father.” These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.

For media inquiries regarding the CRBA, please contact CAPRESSREQUESTS@state.gov or 202-647-1488.

PRN: 2010.1854

Naturalization Fact Sheet

VIA USCIS.gov

The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world. During the last decade, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) welcomed more than 6.8 million naturalized citizens into the fabric of our nation. Thus far in fiscal year 2010, approximately 495,232 individuals have been naturalized.
Deciding to become a U.S. citizen can be a very important milestone in an immigrant’s life. Individuals must demonstrate a commitment to the unifying principles that bind us as Americans and in return, will enjoy many of the rights and privileges that are fundamental to U.S. citizenship.
About the Naturalization Process
In general, an individual over the age of 18 seeking to become a citizen of the United States must apply for naturalization by filing an Application for Naturalization, Form N-400. To be eligible for naturalization, an applicant must fulfill certain eligibility requirements set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
These general eligibility requirements specify that the applicant must:
Be at least 18 years of age
Be a lawful permanent resident (green card holder)
Have resided in the United States for at least five years
Have been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months
Be a person of good moral character
Be able to speak, read, write and understand the English language
Have knowledge of U.S. government and history
Be willing and able to take the Oath of Allegiance
Special naturalization provisions exempt certain applicants from one or more of the general requirements for naturalization. Spouses of U.S. citizens and members of the military constitute the main categories of individuals who are exempt from some of the general requirements for naturalization.
The majority of individuals naturalizing as spouses of U.S. citizens may do so three years after being admitted as lawful permanent residents, rather than the five years prescribed under the general provisions.
Spouses of U.S. citizens stationed abroad may not be required to meet any particular residence or physical presence requirement.
Members of the military who served honorably during certain periods of conflict may be eligible for naturalization even though they have not been admitted as lawful permanent residents and even if they are under the age of 18.
Members of the military who served honorably for at least one year, at any time, and apply for naturalization within a certain time after their military service, are also exempt from the general residence and physical presence requirements. 
In addition to these naturalization provisions, the INA also provides for the naturalization of children who are under the age of 18. 
A child under the age of 18, who is a lawful permanent resident residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of a U.S. citizen parent, may automatically acquire U.S. citizenship. To obtain evidence of U.S. citizenship, an Application for Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-600, must be filed on behalf of the child. 
A child who is residing abroad, who is temporarily present in the U.S. based an any lawful admission, may be eligible to apply for naturalization while under the age of 18 if he or she has at least one parent who is a citizen of the United States, and the parent (or qualifying grandparent) meets certain physical presence requirements in the United States. 
There are exemptions benefiting children of active-duty members of the military stationed abroad. 
All persons filing an Application for Naturalization who have submitted a complete application along with all required documents will be scheduled for an interviewed by a USCIS officer.  Those applicants found qualified are scheduled for an oath ceremony before a judge or an officer delegated the authority by the Director of USCIS to administer the Oath of Allegiance. Applicants do not become U.S. citizens until they have taken the Oath.
Naturalization Statistics
 Each year, USCIS welcomes approximately 680,000 citizens during naturalization ceremonies across the United States and around the world.
In FY 2009, 74 percent of all persons naturalizing resided in 10 states (in descending order): California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, Washington and Maryland.
In FY 2009, the leading metropolitan areas of residence were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (15 percent), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (11 percent) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL (7.3 percent).
In FY 2009, the top countries of origin for naturalization were in the following order: Mexico, India, Philippines, China and Vietnam.
Since September 2001, USCIS has naturalized more than 62,763 members of the military, in ceremonies across the United States and in the following 20 countries: Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Since 2008, USCIS has naturalized 809 military spouses during ceremonies in Bulgaria, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Panama, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
 Total Naturalized Citizens: Fiscal Years 2000-2009
2009 743,715   2004 537,151
2008 1,046,539   2003 463,204
2007 660,477 2002 573,708
2006 702,589   2001 608,205
2005 604,280 2000 888,788
For additional information on USCIS and its programs, visit <a href="http://www.uscis.gov.

“>www.uscis.gov.

Last updated:09/17/2010

Naturalization Process for the Military Fact Sheet

VIA USCIS

USCIS recognizes the important sacrifices made by non-citizen members of the United States armed forces and their families, and is committed to processing their naturalization applications in a timely and efficient manner while providing exemplary customer service, maintaining the integrity of the immigration system, and the security of the process. Qualifying military service is generally in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and certain components of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

Qualifications

  • While a member of the U.S. armed forces must meet the general requirements and qualifications to become a citizen of the United States, such as good moral character, some of the other requirements are either reduced or completely waived. Specifically, qualifying service members and certain veterans are not required to demonstrate residence or physical presence in the United States, and are not required to pay an application fee or a biometrics fee to apply for naturalization.  In addition, service members who serve during specifically designated periods of hostilities may not need to be lawful permanent residents.
  • The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004extended all aspects of the naturalization process, including naturalization applications, interviews, oaths and ceremonies to members of the U.S. armed forces serving abroad. Before Oct. 1, 2004, service members could only naturalize while physically within the United States. 
  • The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008added Sections 319(e) and 322(d) to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which allows certain eligible spouses and children of members of the U.S. armed forces to naturalize abroad without traveling to the United States for any part of the naturalization process.

Service in Wartime (INA Section 329)

  • Members of the military, who serve during specifically designated periods of hostilities, may qualify for naturalization under this provision if they have served honorably in an active duty status for any period of time, and if that service was during a specifically designated period of hostility. 
  • Unlike all other provisions for naturalization, a qualifying service member is not required to be a lawful permanent resident to naturalize under this provision if the service member enlisted, or was inducted within the United States or other qualifying geographical area. 
  • The Expedited Naturalization Executive Order of 2002provides for expedited naturalization under this provision to qualified aliens and non-citizen nationals serving honorably in an active-duty status in the U.S. armed forces beginning on Sept. 11, 2001 to the present. This section also covers veterans of designated past wars and conflicts.

Service in Peacetime (INA Section 328)

An individual may qualify for naturalization under this provision if he or she:

  • Served honorably in the military for at least one year
  • Obtained lawful permanent resident status
  • Filed an application while still in the service or within six months of separation.

Assistance to the Military Community

  • Specially trained USCIS customer service specialists provide assistance with naturalization and immigration issues over the military help line, 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645) and e-mail service, militaryinfo.nsc@dhs.gov, established exclusively for the military and their families. 
  • USCIS also posts information for the military online athttp://www.uscis.gov/military
  • Specialists across USCIS have been selected to handle military naturalization packets.  They consider this a privilege and an honor, and do all that they can to ensure that applications are processed and completed as expeditiously as possible. 
  • In addition, each military installation has a designated point-of-contact to assist service members in preparing and filing their naturalization application packet. This person is usually in the military legal office or in the personnel division.

Application Packet (from a member of the military)

  • Application for Naturalization, (USCIS Form N-400)
  • Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service, (USCIS Form N-426)
  • If applicable, a copy of the USCIS Form I 551, Permanent Resident Card; and
  • Two passport-style photographs. 
  • NOTE – There is no fee for members of the military applying for naturalization under INA Sections 328 or 329. 

Five Fingerprinting Methods Available to Service Members

  1. Have the fingerprints taken at any USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) in the United States without an appointment even if their application is not yet pending with USCIS.
  2. Have the fingerprints taken at select military installations in the United States by USCIS personnel using mobile fingerprinting equipment.
  3. If USCIS has useable fingerprints on file (taken for immigration purposes), USCIS will re-submit these fingerprints to the FBI. 
  4. The service member may authorize USCIS to acquire and use the fingerprints taken at the time of enlistment by completing and submitting the Fingerprint Authorization.
  5. Have their fingerprints taken at U.S. military installations overseas or at U.S. Embassies and Consulates using the FD-258 fingerprint card.

Statistics  

  • Since September 2001, USCIS has naturalized more than 58,300 members of the military, in ceremonies across the United States and in the following 19 countries: Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Cuba, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
  • Since August 2002, USCIS has granted posthumous citizenship to 130 members of the military.
  • Since 2008, USCIS has naturalized 592 military spouses during ceremonies in Bulgaria, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Panama, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
  • Since 2009, USCIS has presented 19 military children with citizenship certificates during ceremonies in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Last updated:05/24/2010

USCIS List of Naturalization Publications and Study Materials

VIA USCIS.gov

On March 10, 2009, USCIS released a list of naturalization publications for applicants, as well as study materials for the naturalization exam.


  • M-476, A Guide to Naturalization (1227KB PDF)

  • M-599, Naturalization Information for Military Personnel (249KB PDF)











  • New Naturalization Test




    In the interest of creating a more standardized, fair, and meaningful naturalization process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently completed a multi-year redesign of the naturalization test. The revised test, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, will help encourage citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we all share as Americans.


    Redesign Process
    The major aim of the redesign process was to ensure that naturalization applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the new test now serves as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and patriotism among prospective citizens.


    To accomplish these goals, USCIS initially piloted a new test–with an overhauled English reading and writing section, as well as new history and government questions–in ten sites across the country. The feedback from this pilot was then used to finalize testing procedures, English reading and writing prompts, and a list of 100 new history and government questions. To ensure the pilot accounted for a representative sample of candidates with a variety of education levels, the test was also piloted at adult education sites nationwide. 


    Which Test Do I Take?


    An applicant who:



    • Files* the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, BEFORE October 1, 2008, and is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview ON or AFTER October 1, 2008 up until October 1, 2009, can choose to take the old test or the new test.

    • Files* the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, ON or AFTER October 1, 2008, will take the new test.


    • Is scheduled for his or her naturalization interview ON or AFTER October 1, 2009, regardless of when he or she filed* the Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, will take the new test.

    *The Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, is properly filed with USCIS on the date it is received by the appropriate USCIS location with signature, correct fee, and the form is completed according to instructions.









    Last updated: 02/11/2009




    •  

    USCIS Announces New Edition for Form N-400 Posted to Website

    USCIS announced that a January 22, 2009, edition for Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, has been posted to the USCIS website. Certain previous editions are being accepted and are listed on the N-400 webpage.

    The New Naturalization Test: Questions and Answers from the CIS Ombudsman’s E-mails

    VIA DHS.gov

    1. The new test indicates that people who live in the US for
    20 or more years and who are 70 or older are eligible to take the
    naturalization test with 20 questions in lieu of 100. Our question is:
    In what language? English or native language.

    Response from USCIS: The new naturalization test did not change the
    regulations that allow exemptions for testing based on age and time as
    a permanent resident.

    An applicant qualifies to take a modified civics test if on the date
    of filing the application, the applicant was 65 years old and has been
    a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years.  If this exception
    applies, the applicant will be administered a simpler version of the
    civics examination in the applicant’s language of choice. This modified
    civics test is a sample of 20 civics questions from the list of 100.

    The sample civics questions have been identified for applicants qualifying under this exception and will soon be announced. 

    2. After October 1, 2008 when the new test becomes
    effective, will the current rule “English Exemption for people 55 or
    older and resident in the US for 15 or more years” be still applicable?

    Response from USCIS: Currently the people who meet these
    requirements are eligible to take the naturalization test in their
    native language.  The new naturalization test did not change the
    regulations that allow exemptions for testing based on age and time as
    a permanent resident.

    The English language requirement may be waived for an applicant who
    on the date of filing the application, was over 50 years old and has
    been lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years, or was over 55
    years old and has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 15
    years. If either exception applies, the applicant may take the civics
    examination in the applicant’s language of choice.

    Further, an applicant qualifies to take a modified civics test if on
    the date of filing the application, the applicant was 65 years old and
    has been a lawful permanent resident for at least 20 years. If this
    exception applies, the applicant will be administered a simpler version
    of the civics examination in the applicant’s language of choice. This
    modified civics test is a sample of 20 civics questions from the list
    of 100. The sample civics questions have been identified for applicants
    qualifying under this exception and will soon be announced. 

    If applicants qualify for a waiver of the English proficiency
    requirement, they must bring an interpreter to their naturalization
    interview.

    3. The new test has a list of reading vocabulary and
    a list of writing vocabulary. Please explain how the reading and
    writing test will be administered? Will the applicants be required to
    make sentences using the vocabulary on the list?

    Response from USCIS: The format for the reading portion of the
    redesigned English test is similar to the current test.  Applicants
    will be provided with up to three chances to correctly read a sentence
    in English. USCIS has released a vocabulary list containing all of the
    words found in the redesigned test items. The content items for the
    reading portion focus on civics and history topics.

    The format for the writing portion of the redesigned writing test is
    also similar to the current test.  Applicants will be provided with up
    to three chances to correctly write a sentence dictated by the
    adjudications officer in English.  USCIS has released a vocabulary list
    containing all the words found in the redesigned writing test.  The
    content items for the writing portion also focus on civics and history
    topics.

    USCIS has posted the reading and writing vocabulary for the new test on http://www.uscis.gov/newtest.

    Redesigned (New) Naturalization Test

    VIA USCIS.GOV

    In the interest of creating a more
    standardized, fair, and meaningful naturalization process, U.S.
    Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently completed a
    multi-year redesign of the naturalization test. The revised test, with
    an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the
    rights and responsibilities of citizenship, will help encourage
    citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we
    all share as Americans.

    Redesign Process
    The
    major aim of the redesign process is to ensure that naturalization
    applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and
    that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a
    meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a
    basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the redesigned test will
    serve as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and
    patriotism among prospective citizens.

    To accomplish these
    goals, USCIS initially piloted a new test–with an overhauled English
    reading and writing section, as well as new history and government
    questions–in ten sites across the country. The feedback from this pilot
    was then used to finalize testing procedures, English reading and
    writing prompts, and a list of 100 new history and government
    questions. To ensure the pilot accounted for a representative sample of
    candidates with a variety of education levels, the test was also
    piloted at adult education sites nationwide. 

    The resulting
    redesigned test was publicly introduced on September 27, 2007.
    Naturalization applicants will begin taking the revised test on October 1, 2008
    .

    Which Test Do I Take?

    USCIS
    will begin administering the redesigned (new) naturalization test on
    October 1, 2008. Use the chart below to determine if you will take
    the old or redesigned (new) test.

    Date Form N-400 Filed*

    Date of Initial Exam

    Test to be Taken

    If Applicant Fails Initial Exam, Re-test to be Taken

    Before October 1, 2008

    Before October 1, 2008

    Old Test

    Old Test

    Before October 1, 2008

    On or After October 1, 2008 up until October 1, 2009

    Applicant’s Choice of
    -Old Test
    or
    -Redesigned (New) Test

    The same version of the test as the one taken during the initial examination

    On or After October 1, 2008

    On or After October 1, 2008

    Redesigned (New) Test

    Redesigned (New) Test

    At Any Time (i.e. Before, On or After October 1, 2008)

    On or After October 1, 2009

    Redesigned (New) Test

    Redesigned (New) Test

    *The Application for Naturalization, Form N-400,
    is properly filed with USCIS on the date it is received by the
    appropriate USCIS Office with signature, correct fee, and the form is
    completed according to instructions.

    This page can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/newtest