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How Kenyans can become US Citizens through service in the military

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If you are serving or have served in the U.S. armed forces and are interested in becoming a U.S. citizen, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization under special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

If you meet all of the requirements of either section 328 or 329 of the INA, you may apply for naturalization by filing Form N-400 under the section that applies to you.

You will not have to pay any fees for applying for naturalization under INA 328 or 329. As a member or veteran of the U.S. military, certain other naturalization requirements may not apply to you; for example, if you are currently active duty you may not have to reside in or be physically present in the U.S. for any length of time before you apply for naturalization.

The requirements for naturalization are explained in greater detail below:

If you served honorably in the U.S. armed forces for at least one year during a period of peacetime, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization. While some general naturalization requirements apply under INA 328, other requirements may not apply or are reduced. To establish eligibility under INA 328, you must:

  • Have served honorably, during a period of peacetime, in the U.S. armed forces for a period or periods totaling one year;
  • Have submitted a completed Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service (PDF, 313 KB), at the time of filing the N-400 to demonstrate honorable service;
  • Be a lawful permanent resident at the time of your naturalization interview;
  • Meet certain residence and physical presence requirements;
  • Demonstrate the ability to read, write, and speak English;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and government;
  • Demonstrate good moral character for at least five years before filing your N-400 through the day you naturalize; and
  • Demonstrate an attachment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution.
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For additional information on eligibility USCIS Policy Manual Volume 12, Part I – Military Members and Their Families.

INA 329 applies to all current military service members or veterans who served honorably in an active-duty status or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve during any of the designated periods of armed conflict listed below:

  • Sept. 1, 1939 – Dec. 31, 1946
  • June 25, 1950 – July 1, 1955
  • Feb. 28, 1961 – Oct. 15, 1978
  • Aug. 2, 1990 – April 11, 1991
  • Sept. 11, 2001 – present

Many military installations have a designated USCIS liaison to help you with the naturalization application process. These liaisons are typically assigned to the installation’s community service center. Place your request through your chain of command to obtain a certification of your honorable military service on Form N-426, Request for Certification of Military or Naval Service. If you have already separated from the U.S. armed forces, you may submit an uncertified Form N-426 with a photocopy of your DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, or NGB Form 22, National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service, for the applicable periods of service listed in Form N-426. Mail your completed application and all required materials to:

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USCIS
P.O. Box 4446
Chicago, IL 60680-4446

We will review your application and conduct required security checks, which include obtaining your fingerprints. This can be done in one of the following ways:

  • If you were fingerprinted for a previous immigration application, we will use these fingerprints, if available.
  • If stationed abroad, you may submit two properly completed FD-258 fingerprint cards and two passport-style photos taken by the military police or officials with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. embassy, or U.S. consulate.
  • If you have questions regarding your biometrics, you can contact the Military Help Line at 877-CIS-4MIL (877-247-4645, TTY 800-877-8339) or militaryinfo@uscis.dhs.gov.

NOTE: To help you in the process, USCIS allows you to submit your fingerprints at an application support center before you file your Form N-400. Be sure to include your A-Number and show your unexpired military ID card or Delayed Entry Program ID card.

We will review your application and send it to a USCIS field office to schedule you for an interview. You can request an interview at a specific office in a cover letter attached to your application or leave the choice of location to us.

The field office will schedule your interview to review your eligibility for naturalization and test your knowledge of English and civics. If we find that you are eligible for naturalization, we will inform you of the date you can take the Oath of Allegiance and become a U.S. citizen.

US Passport. PHOTO|FILE

You must complete and submit:

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Generally, individuals who served honorably in the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of injury or disease incurred while serving in an active-duty status during specified periods of military hostilities may be eligible for posthumous citizenship under section 329A of the INA.

You must file Form N-644, Application for Posthumous Citizenship, on behalf of the deceased service member within 2 years of their death. Upon approving the application, we will issue a Certificate of Citizenship in the name of the deceased veteran establishing posthumously that they were a U.S. citizen on the date they died.

Other provisions of the law extend immigration benefits to the service member’s surviving spouse, children, and parents. For information, see the Family Based Survivor Benefits page.

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Diaspora

US embassies start denying visas to people they believe will be a “burden” to taxpayers if allowed into the country

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today implemented the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule. Under the final rule, DHS will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status, education and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge. The rule now applies nationwide, including in Illinois.

Self-sufficiency is a long-standing principle of immigration law. Since the 1800s, inadmissibility based on public charge has been a part of immigration law. Since 1996, federal laws have stated that aliens seeking to come to or remain in the United States, temporarily or permanently, must be self-sufficient and rely on their own capabilities and the resources of family, friends, and private organizations instead of public benefits.

“President Trump continues to deliver on his promise to the American people to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. After several judicial victories, DHS will finally begin implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “This rule enforces longstanding law requiring aliens to be self-sufficient, reaffirming the American ideals of hard work, perseverance and determination. It also offers clarity and expectations to aliens considering a life in the United States and will help protect our public benefit programs.”

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The final rule defines “public charge” as an alien who has received one or more public benefits (as defined in the rule) for more than 12 months, in total, within any 36-month period.

The final rule defines “public benefits” to include any cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, most forms of Medicaid and certain housing programs.

Applicants for adjustment of status who are subject to the final rule must show that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge by submitting a Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, when they file their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

To determine whether an alien is inadmissible on the public charge grounds, USCIS will not consider, and applicants and petitioners do not need to report, the application for, certification or approval to receive, or receipt of certain previously excluded non-cash public benefits (such as SNAP, most forms of Medicaid, and public housing) before Feb. 24, 2020. Similarly, USCIS will not consider as a heavily weighted negative factor receipt of previously included public benefits (such as SSI and TANF) before Feb. 24, 2020, in a public charge inadmissibility determination.

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The final rule requires most aliens seeking to extend their nonimmigrant stay or change their nonimmigrant status to show that, since obtaining the nonimmigrant status they seek to extend or change, they have not received public benefits (as defined in the final rule) for more than 12 months, in total, within any 36-month period beginning Oct. 15, 2019. Due to litigation-related delays in the final rule’s implementation, DHS is applying this requirement as though it refers to Feb. 24, 2020 rather than Oct. 15, 2019. Therefore, with respect to applying the public benefits condition to applications and petitions for extension of nonimmigrant stay and change of nonimmigrant status, DHS will not consider, and applicants and petitioners need not report an alien’s receipt of any public benefits before Feb. 24, 2020.

Certain classes of aliens are exempt from the public charge ground of inadmissibility (such as refugees, asylees, certain VAWA self-petitioners, U petitioners, and T applicants) and therefore, are not subject to the Final Rule.

After today, USCIS will reject prior editions of affected forms, including in Illinois where the rule remained enjoined until Feb. 21, 2020, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of the statewide injunction. If USCIS receives an application or petition for immigration benefits using prior editions of the forms postmarked on or after Feb. 24, 2020, then USCIS will inform the applicant or petitioner of the need to submit a new application or petition using the correct forms. For applications and petitions that are sent by commercial courier (such as UPS, FedEx and DHL), the postmark date is the date reflected on the courier receipt.

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

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Joy in the Diaspora as Matiang’i extends e-passport deadline

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Kenyans in the Diaspora have taken to social media to thank the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government for extending the deadline for the migration to the new generation chip-enabled passports.

In a statement released on Monday, February 24, the ministry headed by Dr Fred Matiang’i announced that it had extended the deadline by 12 months and set March 1, 2021 as the new compliance date.

“The government is progressively phasing out the old, ordinary passports as part of Kenya’s commitment to migrate to the new passports with ICAO specifications,” said Matiang’i.

“However, we note with concern that 1.8 million Kenyans, mostly in the diaspora, are yet to replace their old passports with the East African Community biometrics e-passports,” he added

“Due to this, the government hereby extends the deadline for voiding the current dark blue machine-readable passport by 12 months. As such, its holders may continue using it until March 1, 2021, when it will no longer be valid for traveling,” the Ministry statement read in part.

The statement further noted that the Ministry  had set up six other centers in the diaspora, with three in Europe (Berlin, Paris, and London) and one in the US (Washington DC).

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The government has also set up a center in Johannesburg, South Africa and Dubai to facilitate the new passport measures.

“Thank you Matiang’i, Wrote John Njoroge.

“Ungekuwa karibu ningekubuiya kiruru,” tweeted Joe Karis.

Wambuijoan wrote: “That is why I love Jubilee Government. Inatupeaga deadline halafu inaongeza, Hata uchaguzi wa 2017 tulifanya twice.”

Before Monday’s announcement, long queues were being witnessed at various embassies, High Commissions and consulates as Kenyans in the Diaspora sought to beat the earlier deadline

The ministry also  announced that in an effort to rationalize the issuance of the e-passports, it has set up and operationalized four passport control centers across the country.

The four centers, they announced, were located in Nakuru, Kisii, Eldoret, and Embu.

Image
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.
People queue for passports outside the Nyayo House headquarters in Nairobi.

Mr Matiang’i called upon all those who were yet to convert their old passports as earlier urged to take advantage of the new extensions to fulfill the requirements.

“Considering this is the second extension, the 1.8 million Kenyans still holding the dark blue passport are urged to take full advantage of the period to acquire the EAC-format electronic passports as early as possible.

“They should do this to avoid a last-minute rush, unnecessary jam-ups at the centers and traveling inconveniences,” the statement reads.

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Matiang’i also  announced thathe government will ensure that  same-day issuance of passports became a reality by July 1, 2020.

Here is the full statement:

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

Press Statement Final Extension for Traveling on Machine Readable Passport

 

So what is an e-passport?

An e-Passport contains an electronic chip. The chip holds the same information that is printed on the passport’s data page: the holder’s name, date of birth, and other biographic information. An e-Passport also contains a biometric identifier.

For instance, the United States requires that the chip contain a digital photograph of the holder.

U.S. e-Passport Requirements

The United States requires that travelers entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have an e-Passport if their passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006. Additional information on VWP e-Passport requirements.

All e-Passports issued by Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries and the United States have security features to prevent the unauthorized reading or “skimming” of data stored on the e-Passport chip.

The inspection process for an e-Passport holder is the same as that for a non-e-Passport holder. When arriving at U.S. ports of entry, e-Passport holders will be directed by signage or personnel on the appropriate U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth to use.

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Benefits of an e-Passport

E-Passports help to

  • securely identify the traveler,
  • provide protection against identity theft,
  • protect privacy and
  • make it difficult to alter a document for use in gaining admission to the United States.

The biographic and biometric data contained in the electronic chip can be compared to both the traveler and the travel document being presented. There are multiple layers of security in the e-Passport process that prevent duplication.

International Cooperation

The United States and its VWP partners have worked together through extensive testing to identify a technology solution to support the production of e-Passports and e-Passport readers. Successful testing in the United States and overseas has been an important step forward in a larger, comprehensive effort to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel and trade through international cooperation.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Did you miss Peter Ng’ethe’s Funeral Service in Atlanta? Here it is

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A funeral Service for the late Peter Ng’ethe was held at Christ Harvesters Global Outreach Church on Saturday. The late Ng’ethe  was set to be buried on Saturday Feb 22, 2020 at Kennesaw Memorial Park in Marietta, Georgia Address1306 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta, GA 30064 at 1.30PM.

On Friday Feb 21 2020, a wake in his honor at West Cobb Funeral Home between 5pm and 7pm. Address: 2480 Mcland Rd, Marietta, GA, 30064

Mr Ng’ethe passed away on Feb 1st, 2020.

He was a dear Husband to Serah Ng’ethe (Mama Njoki)
Father to Njoki Mwangi, John Njoroge and Makena Njoki.

May He Rest in Peace. Watch:

 

 

READ ALSO:   Kenyan man, Bob Maina Kirigwi, passes away in Atlanta
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