ALLAN WERNICK: USCIS back to scheduling naturalization interviews
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
JUL 06, 2020 AT 7:00 AM
People take the oath of citizenship during a naturalization ceremony at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Field Office, Thursday, July 2, in New York. (Frank Franklin II/AP)
U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services is back in business. The agency is scheduling naturalization interviews and ceremonies and other services.
While there’s no word yet on when the consulates abroad will reopen, what’s especially great news is that USCIS is scheduling naturalization ceremonies in time for people to vote in November.
Bronx resident Lenore, an immigrant from Antiqua, got help with her naturalization application from CUNY Citizenship Now!, the university’s free immigration law service program. She completed and mailed-in her naturalization application in April 2019.
USCIS scheduled her naturalization interview for March 4 but the agency canceled it due to the coronavirus shutdowns.
She got a call from USCIS saying her interview had been rescheduled for June 30. She passed — and she was sworn in the next day.
I’m pleased that USCIS is prioritizing helping permanent residents become U.S. citizens. Many people appreciate that becoming a citizen means that you can vote — a particularly important right as we face a particularly contentious presidential election in November.
However, U.S. citizenship has other benefits. Only U.S. citizens can become police officers and fire fighters. Many federal jobs require U.S. citizenship as well. To be an officer in the U.S. military you must be a U.S. citizen. And as the question below shows, being a U.S. citizen can benefit your relatives seeking legal residence.
- I have been dating a woman who works at the United Nations in G4 status for employees of international organizations. If we marry, can she get a green card through my sponsorship? If so, can she remain in the United States while waiting for her green card if her visa expires?
Vinny, New York City
- If you marry your girlfriend, you can petition for her to get a green card. And if she falls out-of-status, she should be able to stay in the United States until U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services decides her case.
Most spouses of U.S. citizens who entered with visas can interview here for their green cards. Excluded are C and D (crew member) nonimmigrants, individuals who entered in-transit without a visa (TROVs) and K fiances who marry someone other than the U.S. citizen who brought them here.
Allan Wernick is an attorney and director of the City University of New York’s Citizenship Now! project. Send questions and comments to Allan Wernick, New York Daily News, 7th Fl., 4 New York Plaza, New York, N.Y., 10004 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @awernick.
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