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Immigration Advice: How to Avoid Losing Your Green Card Or Becoming Ineligible for Naturalization

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Each year, about one million people receive US permanent resident status, also known as green cards. Lawful US permanent resident status gives an individual the right to live and work permanently in the United States.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) however says this right is only provided on condition that the green card holder does not commit any actions that would make them removable from the country under immigration law.

Failure to follow some guidelines could make green card holders be at risk of deportation, or make them ineligible for US citizenship.

USCIS and Immigration law experts provide some guidelines on how to maintain permanent resident status:

  • Maintain permanent residence in the US. The US government will find you to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you remain outside the US for a period of more than one year. If you intend to be out of the country for more than one year as a green card holder, USCIS and immigration experts advice you to first obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the US.
  • Do not commit crime. In addition to penalties you will face for committing crime, USCIS says those offenses are also considered immigration violations. Permanent residents who commit serious crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault on minors, fraud, terrorist activities, drugs and people trafficking, could lose their lawful permanent resident status and also become ineligible for naturalization in the future.
  • Always file taxes, and make sure to file the US resident tax return (Federal Form 1040). This applies even if all your income was earned outside the US.
  • Never claim to be a US citizen when you are not, whether verbally or in writing. Immigrants are especially warned that claiming to be a citizen to a law enforcement officer is considered a serious crime and could make you deported if found guilty, or make you ineligible for naturalization.
  • Permanent residents are warned to never vote in national, state or local elections that require voters to be US citizens. There are criminal penalties for illegal voting. Such voting could also lead to the loss of your green card.
  • Do not be a habitual drunkard. A permanent resident who is deemed to be drunk or uses illegal drugs most of the time is ineligible to become a US citizen.
  • Failing to support your family or pay child or spousal support could make permanent residents lose their green cards or ineligible for naturalization.
  • Males between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by US law to register for the Selective Service.
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SOURCE: –mwakilishi.com

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USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it is accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program that will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.

These competitive grant opportunities are open to organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic assimilation through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics.

USCIS seeks to expand availability of high-quality citizenship and assimilation services throughout the country with these two grant opportunities:

  • Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services. (PDF) This grant opportunity will fund up to 36 organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to lawful permanent residents. Applications are due by Aug. 13, 2019.
  • The Refugee and Asylee Assimilation Program. (PDF) This grant opportunity will fund up to four organizations to provide individualized services to lawful permanent residents who entered the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program or were granted asylum. These services will help them to obtain the skills and knowledge required for successful citizenship and to foster a sense of belonging and attachment to the United States. This grant strives to promote long-term civic assimilation of those lawful permanent residents who have identified naturalization as a goal, yet may need additional information, instruction and services to attain it. Applications are due by Aug. 13, 2019.
READ ALSO:   USCIS Announces Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Opportunities

USCIS will take into account various program and organizational factors, including past grantee performance, when making final award decisions. In addition, all funded grant recipients must enroll in E-Verify as a regular employer within 30 days of receiving the award and remain as a participant in good standing with E-Verify throughout the entire period of grant performance. Funded grant recipients will be required to verify all new hires at hiring locations performing work on a program or activity that is funded in whole or in part under the grant.

USCIS expects to announce award recipients in September.

Since it began in 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has awarded approximately $82 million through 393 grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

To apply for one of these funding opportunities, visit grants.gov. For additional information on the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program for fiscal year 2019, visit uscis.gov/grants or email the USCIS Office of Citizenship at citizenshipgrantprogram@uscis.dhs.gov.

For more information on USCIS and our programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), and Facebook (/uscis).

 

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US welcomed 756,000 new Citizens last year, set to welcome 34,000 this month

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WASHINGTON—Did you know that more than 756,000 people became new U.S. citizens in 2018? That’s one new citizen every 42 seconds! Share in the celebration during Constitution Week.

USCIS announced Friday that it will celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day by welcoming nearly 34,300 new U.S. citizens during 316 naturalization ceremonies across the nation between Sept. 13 and 23.

The USCIS Constitution Week activities will feature a naturalization ceremony at the DAR Constitution Hall on Sept. 17, where USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli will administer the Oath of Allegiance and provide congratulatory remarks to 1,000 new U.S. citizens. View a list of other notable 2019 Constitution Week-themed naturalization ceremonies.

“Two hundred and thirty-two years ago, our great country adopted the United States Constitution, and as we celebrate Constitution Week, it is important to underscore the significance of citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution,” said Acting Director Cuccinelli. “These nearly 34,300 new U.S. citizens followed the law on their path to naturalization and now call the U.S. home. I can think of no better way to celebrate Constitution Week than to welcome thousands of new U.S. citizens who have assimilated, made a commitment to our great country, and have vowed to support the Constitution.”

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On Sept. 17, the nation observes Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, as part of Constitution Week (Sept. 17 to 23 this year). The commemoration honors both the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, and an observance that began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day.” Citizenship Day began in 1952, based on a law signed by President Harry Truman, and in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the first Constitution Week.

This time of year serves as an opportunity to celebrate the connection between the Constitution and citizenship and reflect on the meaning of becoming a citizen of the United States. USCIS welcomes approximately 650,000 to 750,000 citizens each year during naturalization ceremonies across the United States and around the world. In fiscal year 2018, USCIS naturalized more than 756,000 people, a five-year high in new oaths of citizenship.

To help applicants prepare to become U.S. citizens, USCIS provides study materials and resources available through the Citizenship Resource Center. In addition, the only official USCIS Civics Test application, USCIS: Civics Test Study Tools, is a mobile app that challenges users’ civic knowledge and is currently available for download in the Google Play and iTunes stores.

Following each naturalization ceremony, USCIS encourages new U.S. citizens and their families and friends to share their naturalization photos on social media using the hashtags #newUScitizen, #ConstitutionWeek, and #WethePeople.

READ ALSO:   Check here: Green card results are out

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow them on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and LinkedIn (/uscis).

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US Gvt proposes More Effective and Efficient ways of Processing of Work Authorization Requests

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a proposed regulation to improve the process for granting or denying an initial application for employment authorization documents (EADs) by reforming the current 30-day timeline pertaining to pending asylum applicants.

These proposed changes will allow USCIS the time needed to receive, screen, and process applications, which in turn would strengthen national security, maintain technological advances in identity verification, and further deter those who may be attempting to defraud the legal immigration system under an improved process.

The original 30-day timeline was enacted more than 20 years ago. Since then, there have been additional requirements in background screening and vetting procedures to reduce fraud and identify threats to national security and public safety.

“Established before 9/11, this processing timeline does not reflect the operational realities USCIS currently faces when adjudicating employment authorization applications,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “Our first priority as an agency is to safeguard the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system from those who seek to exploit or abuse it. This proposal allows us to conduct the kind of systematic vetting and identity verification procedures expected of an agency charged with protecting national security.”

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Initial applications for employment authorization from pending asylum applicants are the only category of employment authorization applications adjudicated by USCIS that have a required processing timeline attached to them. Because of this, the agency must frequently divert resources away from other legal immigration application processing categories in order to meet the 30-day deadline for asylum seekers. These categories include family members of certain high skilled employees and those seeking adjustment of status in the United States, among others.

USCIS is also proposing to change the provision requiring that applicants submit their renewal requests to USCIS 90 days before the expiration of their employment authorization. This would reduce confusion regarding employment authorization renewal requirements for pending asylum applicants, minimize potential gaps in employment, and ensure consistency with the 2017 American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act of 2000 (AC21) Rule and implementing policies.

For more information, read the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). It will be published in the Federal Register on Sept. 9, 2019. USCIS encourages public feedback on the proposed rule before the comment period ends on Nov. 8, 2019.

For more information on USCIS and our programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and LinkedIn (/uscis).

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