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POSTING DATE: September 2, 2019
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
Trump Terminates Automatic Citizenship For Certain
Children Of U.S. Military Born Abroad
Question: I have a question about my citizenship. My husband is an American and we got married in 2016 and I got my green card in early 2018. Now I want to apply for my citizenship since me and my husband have been married for 3 years, is that possible?
Answer: Unfortunately, no. The basic guide for Early Naturalization is called the 3/3/3 rule: meaning that in order to apply for your Naturalization early based upon your marriage to a U.S. Citizen, you need to meet the following three requirements: 1) Have been a U.S. Resident for at least three years AND 2) Have been married to a U.S. Citizen for at least three years full years (continue to be in a valid marriage living together) AND 3) Your U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least three full years. However, you are allowed to apply for Naturalization 90 days before you have actually been a U.S. Resident for three years (2 years & 9 mo.). According to your date of Residency in 2018, once you have had your green card for two years and nine months, as long as you and your husband are continuing to live together as a married couple, you can apply for early Naturalization in 2020.
Reminder, Affidavits of Support Are Not Required
For Minor Children of U.S. Citizens
Important Tips on USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFE)
Immigration How To:
How Do I Make Sure My Kids Get Citizenship Along With Me?
Understanding The Child Citizenship Act of 2000
Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, U.S. Resident children who are under age 18 automatically obtain U.S. Citizenship when a biological parent Naturalizes. Similarly, children of U.S. Citizens who immigrate to the U.S. from abroad and enter the U.S. before turning age 18, become automatic U.S. Citizens as well. Qualifying children must be under age 18 at the time their parent actually naturalizes (takes the Oath), not the date the parent files for Naturalization.
As a result, parents should carefully plan the date of filing for Naturalization to ensure that they will complete the process before their child(ren) reach age 18.
Once an immigration application is filed, the USCIS issues a receipt and an officer begins processing the case, he or she may issue something called a Request for Evidence (RFE). This request comes in the form of a letter from the USCIS officer to request additional information or documentation on your application. RFE requests are frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility.
Responding to an RFE from the USCIS:
Always read the RFE letter very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine exactly what the officer is requesting.
In continuing efforts to punish immigrants, the Trump administration is even targeting its own military and government workers. A Policy Alert just issued by the USCIS terminates automatic citizenship for the children of U.S. service members and government employees serving abroad who are not U.S. citizens.
Until now, children born to U.S. service members and government employee parents abroad were considered to be "residing in the United States", just like being born on U.S. soil and therefore would automatically be granted U.S. citizenship under Immigration regulations. Under the new policy, Acting Director of USCIS Ken Cuccinelli is ending that practice and refusing to grant citizenship to children born to U.S. service members and government employees who are not yet themselves U.S. citizens.
When a U.S. Resident or Citizen sponsors a family member to immigrate to the U.S., an Affidavit of Support (form I-864) along with supporting financial documentation is usually required to prove that the sponsor meets the minimum income requirements. There is an exception, however for children of a U.S. Citizen parent who are under age 18 at the time of immigrating. In such cases, the U.S. Citizen parent is not required to provide an Affidavit of Support filed on their child’s behalf. Eligible children under age 18 who become U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) through their U.S. Citizen parents also automatically become U.S. Citizens, and are therefore not required to have an Affidavit of Support filed on their behalf.
This is true for children immigrating from abroad through a U.S. Consulate, as well as children adjusting status to U.S. Residency inside the U.S. through a U.S. Citizen biological parent.
Getting Your U.S. Travel History Records Quickly & Easily
Foreign travelers to the U.S. often need to determine how many days they have spent inside the U.S. for Tax and other purposes. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine exact dates by using one’s own passport stamps alone, since some entry stamps may be stamped over existing stamps, with exact dates almost impossible to read.
There is a quick and easy way to get your past five-year travel history.
Children born abroad to these non U.S. citizen service members and government employees will no longer be considered to be born in the U.S., changing the way that they potentially receive citizenship. Further, children born abroad who are adopted by U.S. service members while living abroad will also no longer receive automatic citizenship from parents. The policy does not affect the children of U.S. citizens who are born abroad and who will continue to receive automatic U.S. citizenship.
In these cases, the U.S. Citizen parent must file form I-864W, Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption, instead of form I-864 Affidavit of Support.
Find out more about Affidavits of Support and exemptions by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378
For more complicated RFE letters, you may want to retain an immigration attorney to assist you. Once you have determined what the letter is requesting, be sure to provide the exact document(s) requested. For instance, an officer may request a “long form” of a Birth Certificate. If you respond that you do not have one, your case will likely be denied. The appropriate action to take is to request one from the departmental authority in your country of birth.
How much time do I have to respond to an RFE?
Depending on the type of case, you may have from 33 days to 87 days to respond so that the USCIS receives your response before the expiration date. The RFE request will state exactly how many days you have to respond. If you fail to respond or filed after the deadline, your case will likely be denied. To be on the safe side, you should always send your response by Express or Priority Mail and get a delivery confirmation. Never send any communications to the USCIS via Certified Mail, which takes much longer and can risk your response being received late. Finally, remember that your response to the USCIS officers request must be RECEIVED by the USCIS ON or BEFORE the deadline. Responses received even one day late result in complete case denials.
After I respond what happens next?
Depending upon the case, it could take up to 60 days or more. You can check the online status to see if it is stating that your RFE response has been received, or call the USCIS 800# to ask if the computer show the USCIS received it. For adjustment case (I-485) requests, the officer may wait to receive your response before continuing processing of your Work Authorization application which will cause delays in its issuance. To avoid this, send your response as soon as possible and do not wait until you get near the deadline in the letter.
Question: I have a question about my son. He was born in the us when I was there studying on my student visa many years ago and he is now 19. We left the U.S. and have been living in Colombia since he was 2 yrs old. I heard that once he is 21 he can sponsor me and my husband but we are worried because of mr. trump saying he was going to cancel automatic citizenship. Also, since he has not been back to the us since he was 2 years old, is he at risk of losing his American citizenship and cant sponsor us anymore? Is he at risk and if so, is there anything we should do now to avoid this. I thank you very much for your response.
Answer: That’s a great question. If U.S. Birthright Citizenship were abolished (which it likely will NOT be), it would not be retroactive, meaning that it would only apply to children born in the U.S. AFTER the law is changes, in the future. It would not apply to children born in the U.S. up to that point. Birthright Citizenship is governed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To change it, would mean amending the Constitution, which may or may not be possible. However, Trump and many Republicans believe that either Trump can issue an Executive Order terminating automatic citizenship or Congress can pass a Bill clarifying the 14th Amendment to interpret it as not giving automatic U.S. Citizenship to all children born in the U.S.. Legal scholars disagree and say that if that occurred, the Supreme Court would need to weigh in. The fear among Immigration experts, however, is that since Trump has appointed two conservative Supreme Court Judges and the Supreme Court is now majority conservative, five to four, it may in fact rule in Trump’s favor on the issue. But in your son’s case, don’t worry, he is a U.S. Citizen now and forever and will be able to sponsor you once he turns age 21.
Question: I have a question about my immigration chances. I am 32 years old and my U.S. Citizen husband is 67. We have been married for 6 yrs and living in Bahamas where we both had good jobs. Now he is retiring and wants to move back to the us and have me immigrate here. We are here in florida looking for a house now and want to get started to legalize my immigration status. Our only concern is whether there will be a problem with the U.S. Immigration service approving my case due to our age difference?
Answer: You should be fine. As long as you are a real couple, married for love, not for immigration, and your Residency case is well prepared and includes extensive joint marital documentation to prove your marriage is real, your case should be approved. The main problem couples have in marriage immigration cases is failing to understand what the USCIS expects from them to prove a real marriage. Couples often use their own logic, not the reality of what the USCIS is expecting. This is especially true when they have other factors which do not fit the standard marriage case, for instance when couples are different ethnicities or when there is a significant age variance. The best advice is always to prepare your entire case to meet even the most extreme USCIS expectations, so that even if you are assigned the toughest USCIS officer, you will be successful, because you will be prepared. Let us know if you want us to represent you in obtaining your residency.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency keeps automated records of entry and exit data for non-immigrants who visit the U.S.. You can now access and printout your own travel history and current I-94 Arrival/Departure card by visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. You’ll need have the following information handy: your first and last name, your full date of birth, your passport number, and the country of issuance of your passport.
Visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website to access your records:
Figuring 8 months to take into account any USCIS processing delays is reasonable, although most naturalization cases are completed within 4 months or so. Importantly, even when children become U.S. Citizens through this process, the USCIS does not automatically issue a Naturalization Certificate. However, in reality, none is required, since applying for a U.S. Passport is all that is necessary to prove the child’s new U.S. Citizenship status. In such cases, in addition to other information, the U.S. Passport office requires a copy of the parents’ Naturalization Certificate in order to demonstrate the child’s eligibility as a U.S. Citizen to obtain a U.S. Passport.
USCIS Office Closings
This page was last updated on Sept. 2 , 2019
Below, we list offices that are closed or have temporarily changed hours. This information can change quickly, so please check the USCIS Closings page on the day of your appointment.
For more information or assistance, please contact your local office or call the USCIS at 800-375-5283.