In this episode of Immigration Law for Tech Startups, I’m joined by my law partner, Anita Koumriqian, an expert in family immigration law. In this first of two episodes on U.S. citizenship, we’ll discuss citizenship through the naturalization process for adults 18 years or older. Next time, we’ll discuss certificates of citizenship and the automatic acquisition of citizenship for children under the age of 18.
Before we get into the highlights of this episode, we’re pleased to share some great news: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Aug. 25, 2020, that it canceled plans to furlough more than 13,000 employees on Aug. 31, 2020, averting a massive slowdown of visa, green card, and citizenship processing.
What’s more, USCIS has resumed naturalization interviews (our team just handled several remotely for clients across the country) and naturalization ceremonies. In fact, the USCIS San Jose field office has held a naturalization ceremony in its parking lot, with individuals taking the Oath of Allegiance from their cars. Green card interviews are also expected to restart soon.
The resumption of green card interviews is particularly good news for individuals who want to earn all the benefits and responsibilities that come with U.S. citizenship. That’s because you must have a green card for at least five years—or three years if married to a U.S. citizen—before you’re eligible to submit a naturalization application. Additional residency and physical presence requirements also apply, which we discuss in detail in this episode.
During election years, USCIS typically steps up processing for naturalization applications. However, the backlog of naturalization applications has skyrocketed in the past four years, which has meant processing times are about double what they were previously. Unfortunately, COVID-19-related measures have also contributed to slowing down the process.
Please reach out to the Alcorn Immigration Law team if we can assist you with the naturalization process or any other immigration matter.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- What to consider before taking the steps to become a U.S. citizen, including dual citizenship, responsibilities of citizenship, and timing
- All the requirements for becoming a U.S. citizen through the naturalization process
- What to expect from the naturalization application process, including typical USCIS processing times
- What to expect at your citizenship interview
- Sample questions that are on the English and civics tests given at citizenship interviews
- What to expect when taking the Oath of Allegience at a naturalization ceremony
- When you can apply for a U.S. passport
Don’t miss the next episode on certificates of citizenship by subscribing to Immigration Law for Tech Startups on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred platform. Let us know what you think of the podcast; your ratings and reviews are greatly appreciated. And please share this episode with anyone you know who may be contemplating U.S. citizenship.
Tune in this fall, when a star-studded list of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, startup founders, professors, futurists, and thought leaders will join me on Immigration Law for Tech Startups to share their stories and offer their expertise.
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