Why Apply for Citizenhip? A look at the benefits & responsibilities 

This guide is for eligible green card holders that are considering applying for citizenship.
Eligibility of U.S. Citizenship

Permanent residents may apply for citizenship upon being a permanent resident for 5 years, or upon being a permanent resident for 3 years if they have been married to a U.S. citizen spouse for at least 3 years.

Requirements of U.S. Citizenship

The following requirements must be met for individuals holding a green card for at least 5 years:

Be 18 or older

Be a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400

Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application

Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the the application

Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application

Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization

Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).

Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law

Benefits of U.S. Citizenship

Voting: Only U.S. citizens can vote in Federal elections. Most States also restrict the right to vote to U.S. citizens.

Petitioning for Family: Citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members permanently to this country.

Traveling with a U.S. passport: A U.S. passport allows you to get assistance from the U.S. government when outside the United States.

Working as a Federal employee: Most jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.

Becoming an elected official: Many elected offices in this country require U.S. citizenship.

Responsibilities of U.S. Citizenship

To become a U.S. citizen you must take the Oath of Allegiance, which includes the following promises:

Give up all prior allegiance to any other nation or sovereignty;

Swear allegiance to the United States;

Support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States; and

Serve the country when required.

Offering New Services 

ALO now offers all-inclusive services for Indian Nationals looking to renew their passports. Additionally, we are offering services for emergency or long-term visas to visit India as well as the renunciation of citizenship from India.

 The work would include full submission of the application as well as any correspondence with CKGS or the Indian government.

For more information and our fees, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.

Medical Exam FAQs

For applicants of immigrant visas filing their petitions overseas and will require a medical examination.

What do I bring to the medical exam?

You must show your passport (or other photo identification) and appointment letter to the doctor during the medical examination

What exams are performed?

The medical examination will include a medical history review, physical examination, chest X-ray and blood tests for syphilis. 

The physical examination will include examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia.

Who can perform the exam?

A panel physician approved by the US government is the only type of physician that can conduct the medical examination. You cannot use your regular physician unless s/he an approved one.

What if I don’t have vaccine records?
The panel physician will work with you to determine which vaccines are needed based on your medical history so that you have complied with immigration requirements.

When to Hire an Immigration Attorney

You are in immigration court
Most practitioners would agree that aliens in immigration court require the services of an attorney to assist in their potential removal relief. There are various players in court, including the immigration judge and DHS attorney and without proper representation, an alien would likely suffer a disadvantage.

You are inadmissible to the US

There are various grounds of inadmissibility that make an alien ineligible for immigrant petitions without curing that ground of inadmissibility or filing a waiver. Such processes are incredibly complex and demand the knowledge and expertise of an attorney.

You are experiencing significant delays

Immigration cases can take many months and even years in some cases to complete. In some instances the case processing times fall outside of normal processing. In such instances it is advisable to retain counsel to assist with getting your case back on track.

You are overwhelmed with the paperwork

Immigration cases require significant preparation and paperwork. There are countless applications and supporting documents for each petition. Immigration attorneys are experts in the field and specialize in the collection of evidence and preparation of the applications and can certainly assist best.

You are unfamiliar with the process

Immigration cases are generally complex and require a variety or government forms and supporting documents. Without the requisite training, aliens are often ill-equipped to file alone and can make significant mistakes that cause delays and further problems. An immigration attorney can ensure that simple mistakes and delays will not happen.

USCIS Correspondence

The following are guidelines associated with corresponding with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services in relation to an applicant’s immigration petition. Call USCIS customer service (1-800-375-5283) for further assistance.

Nanny Visa Options

There are a few options for host families to bring a foreign nanny/domestic worker to assist them in their home.
J Visa – Au Pair

The au pair program utilizes the J1 visa and persons wishes to hire an au pair must do so through an au pair program authorized by the US Department of State. Au pairs must meet the following requirements: 

(1) Are between the ages of 18 and 26; 

(2) Are a secondary school graduate, or equivalent; 

(3) Are proficient in spoken English; 

(4) Are capable of fully participating in the program as evidenced by the satisfactory completion of a physical; 

(5) Have been personally interviewed, in English, by an organizational representative who shall prepare a report of the interview which shall be provided to the host family; and 

(6) Have successfully passed a background investigation that includes verification of school, three, non-family related personal and employment references, a criminal background check or its recognized equivalent and a personality profile.

H2B Seasonal Worker

The H2B visa is generally employed by companies with seasonal or intermittent business such as coastal restaurants, theme parks or other tourist spots. However, the H2B visa can also be used to bring nannies to the US. Unlike the au pair program which requires the host family to go through an au pair program, the host family can directly petition for the nanny.

U Visa Extensions

This guide is intended for U visa applicants hoping to extend their U visa status.

U Visa Cap General Info 

The U visa is for immigrants who have been victims of a crime and assist or are willing to assist U.S. authorities in investigating and/or prosecuting that crime. 
To be eligible to apply for a U visa, a person must:

Have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of certain types of crimes; 

Possess information about that criminal activity; 

Provide a certification from a law enforcement official, prosecutor, or judge that the person has been, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity; and 

Show that the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States

U Visa Cap

The limit on the number of U visas that may be granted to principal petitioners each year is 10,000. However, there is no cap for family members deriving status from the principal applicant.

Deferred Status

If the cap is reached before all U nonimmigrant petitions have been adjudicated, USCIS will create a waiting list for any eligible principal or derivative petitioners that are awaiting a final decision. Petitioners placed on the waiting list will be granted deferred action and must wait until a visa becomes available.

Work Authorizarion through Deferred Status

If the statutory cap is reached in a fiscal year and USCIS uses the waiting list process described at 8 CFR 214.14(d)(2), petitioners for U nonimmigrant status and derivatives in the United States can apply for employment authorization based on deferred action.

U Visa Work Authorization Process & Procedure 

The following guide will provide information for U Visa applicants and the process for applying for a work permit.
Generally

Currently, the Vermont Servicd Center, which processes U visa cases, has begun issuing 2 year work authorization for any applicant who submits Form I765 with the U visa application.

Deferred Status

There are currently 10,000 U visas that are issued per fiscal year. While an applicant is approved for a U visa and is in line for a visa, s/he is eligible to apply for a work permit. Under the new guidance, USCIS advises that applicants submit two Applications for Employment Authorization (I-765) with any U visa petition. The first application would give the U visa petitioner work authorization for two years under the deferred action status. The second application would give work authorization to the U visa petitioner for the duration of the U visa, once a U visa becomes available.

Filing Fee

While there is a filing fee for a work permit, eligible applicants can submit Form I912, Application for fee waived to waive these fees.

Filing Procedure

Principal Applicant: a principal applicant should submit one application for employment authorization with the underlying petition, indicating C14 as the basis for the filing. 

Derivative Beneficary: a derivative beneficiary should submit two applications for employment authorization, indicating C14 as one basis and A20 (for an approved U visa) as another.

Visa Bulletin August 2017

The Visa Bulletin provides updated priority date information for family-based and employment-based green cards. 
Immigrants to the US are classified into two categories – those requiring placement on a waiting list and those not through their relationship to a US immediate relative. Further, there are numerical quotas on the green cards that require a priority date. If the number of applicants in a year is over the available visa numbers, those applicants are placed on a waiting list and are given a priority date, which estimates when an applicant would get a visa based on the number of previous applicants on the waiting list.

Below are preference category information and visa allocations.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First: Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second: Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.      

Third: Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”

Fourth: Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth: Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

Below is the link for the Visa Bulletin for August 2017. 
https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-August-2017.html
For more information, contact ALO at 978-905-9992.