Immigration and Firm News

Naturalization applicants are seeing longer waiting times for interview and testing. This is because employment based immigration cases now must be interviewed, and those are being scheduled along with family immigration and naturalization cases.  In addition, there are huge numbers of people applying to become citizens.  Applicants need to be prepared to be asked about their entire immigration history from their very first visa application, extensions, changes of stay requests, the green card … [Read more...]

The Washington Post has an interesting look at famous people who have given up US citizenship. Rock 'n roll icon Tina Turner recently gave up her citizenship at the US Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. A recent Wall Street Journal article stated that in 2013, 2369 US citizens expatriated according to figures released from the US Department of Treasury. Intentional renunciation of citizenship is a solemn process that must be voluntarily and knowingly made before a US consular officer. The US … [Read more...]

A colleague of mine who adopted a foreign born child who is a US citizen reports problems signing up for health care under the Washington Health Care Exchange. The problem is that the system does not seem to recognize the Social Security Numbers of individuals with Certificates of Citizenship or Certificates of Naturalization. She has reported this to the powers that be at the Exchange. But it is representative of a larger issue we immigration lawyers frequently see. We don't just represent … [Read more...]

Following up to my July 4th post, On Becoming a U.S. Citizen, lo and behold, to my surprise, my husband bought me "Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip" by Alexandra Pelosi, the book accompanying the HBO documentary produced by Ms. Pelosi and mentioned in my earlier post. The book is an excerpt of interviews in which Ms. Pelosi asked new Americans around the country: What are you bringing to this country? What do Americans take for granted? What did you discover when you came to … [Read more...]

I am sipping an early morning Starbucks bold Italian brew on this gorgeous Seattle Fourth of July and reflecting on what it means to be a U.S. citizen. Today, across the country, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be holding large-group naturalization ceremonies in stadiums, concert halls and other big venues to coincide with our country's independence day. The ceremonies will be solemn on the one hand, and full of pomp and circumstance on the other, as those taking the oath of … [Read more...]

Earthquakes, tsunamis, radiation, mass protests and civil unrest, and now the U.S. bombing yet another country, this time Libya. How can Americans traveling abroad protect themselves? The U.S. State Department has three programs every American should be aware of before going abroad, if you don't mind having your personal information in a government database: STEP, ACS and Task Force Alert. I mentioned STEP and Task Force Alert briefly in my prior post, State Department Information on Japan … [Read more...]

USCIS has posted a Q&A on its website covering several immigration scenarios that Japanese nationals in the U.S. and abroad may be facing as a result of the earthquake and tsunami devastation and nuclear radiation evacuations. There are materials on their website in both English and Japanese. Tourists in the U.S. There are two kinds of tourists in the U.S. The first group involves those who entered without a visa through the visa waiver program. By using this program, tourists typically … [Read more...]

I just returned from Vancouver, Washington where together with fellow immigration attorneys, we helped legal immigrants with green cards apply for U.S. citizenship. The Washington Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) provides pro bono services three days a year at nine sites throughout Washington State at locations traditionally under-served by the availability of affordable lawyers. Citizenship Day programs were also held this weekend in Des Moines and Mt. Vernon, … [Read more...]

In a very important 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Dent v. Holder, No. 09-71987, November 9, 2010, the Court held that Mr. Dent was entitled to his immigration files in order to have a full and fair hearing under the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Mr. Dent represented himself in an Immigration Court Proceedings. He was charged with being deportable because of an aggravated felony. However, he alleged that he had been adopted by a U.S. Citizen when he … [Read more...]

Immigration enforcement legislation creates problems for U.S. citizens as well as for immigrants. Over the last few years, we have seen growth in our American citizen clientele because of new federal and state documentation burdens enacted under the guise of national security or to combat illegal immigration. The most common refrain we hear is: "I grew up in the U.S. I always thought I was an American but never had anything to show for it and I never needed the proof until now." Ironically, we … [Read more...]