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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Citizenship Wait Times

    My wife and I moved to the US in '97 from Canada. We both received greencards in 03/1999. Now we're considering US citizenship and there are no issues with prior convictions,etc - very clean records for each of us. Questions:

    1. How can I determine the current wait time to get naturalized? Is there a website that posts this?

    2. Any time benefit by using a lawyer vs. filing directly? (I realize a lawyer may help navigate a challenging case, but like I mentioned above our cases seem very straight forward)

    3. Our 2 oldest children are 15 and 13 and Canadian also. Youngest is 7, but born in the US. Assuming my wife and I both get naturalized, it's my understanding my 2 oldest will automatically be granted US citizenship at the same time. Is this correct? Must this be done before our oldest turns 18?

    Thanks in advance for the info/advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Re: Citizenship wait times

    Quote Quoting nj_canuck
    1. How can I determine the current wait time to get naturalized? Is there a website that posts this?
    You may wish to see if somebody at the USCIS can estimate the time involved, based upon your case history and their caseload.

    Quote Quoting nj_canuck
    2. Any time benefit by using a lawyer vs. filing directly? (I realize a lawyer may help navigate a challenging case, but like I mentioned above our cases seem very straight forward)
    If you believe that there might be a benefit, consult a lawyer. Unfortunately I can't really give you a different answer without creating a tautology (i.e., "Assuming that there is nothing that a lawyer can help you with, it won't help to see a lawyer.")

    Quote Quoting nj_canuck
    3. Our 2 oldest children are 15 and 13 and Canadian also. Youngest is 7, but born in the US. Assuming my wife and I both get naturalized, it's my understanding my 2 oldest will automatically be granted US citizenship at the same time. Is this correct? Must this be done before our oldest turns 18?
    According to the USCIS,
    Quote Quoting USCIS
    A child who is ... born to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent or two alien parents who naturalize after the child’s birth ... can become a U.S. citizen by action of law on the date on which all of the following requirements have been met:

    o The child was lawfully admitted for permanent residence*; and
    o Either parent was a United States citizen by birth or naturalization**; and
    o The child was still under 18 years of age; and
    o The child was not married; and
    o The child was the parent’s legitimate child or was legitimated by the parent before the child’s 16th birthday (Stepchildren or children born out of wedlock who were not legitimated before their 16th birthday do not derive United States citizenship through their parents.); and
    o If adopted, the child met the requirements of section 101(b)(1)(E) or (F) and has had a full and final adoption; and
    o The child was residing in the United States in the legal custody of the U.S. citizen parent (this includes joint custody); and
    o The child was residing in the United States in the physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent.

    If you and your child meet all of these requirements, you may obtain a U.S. passport for the child as evidence of citizenship. If the child needs further evidence of citizenship, you may submit an "Application for Certificate of Citizenship" (Form N-600) to USCIS to obtain a Certificate of Citizenship. If the child meets the requirements of Section 101(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as an adopted child, you may submit an “Application for Certificate of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child” (Form N-643). (Note: a child who meets these requirements before his or her 18th birthday may obtain a passport or Certificate of Citizenship at any time, even after he or she turns 18.)

    *NOTE – Children who immigrate in the “IR-3” or “IR-4” categories must have had an immigrant petition filed on their behalf before their 16th birthday; see answers to Question 25 below. All adoptions for any other type of immigration benefit, including naturalization, must be completed by the child's 16th birthday, with one exception: A child adopted while under the age of 18 years by the same parents who adopted a natural sibling who met the usual requirements.

    **NOTE – The “one U.S. citizen parent” rule only applies to children who were under age 18 on or after February 27, 2001. For children claiming automatic citizenship prior to this date, the individual in certain cases would have to establish that the parent or parents who were not U.S. citizens by birth had naturalized (or that the naturalizing parent was separated or legally divorced and had legal custody of the child).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the quick response. How do I make contact with the USCIS to follow-up? Will they answer questions posted a web site? My nearest office is Newark, NJ which is an absolute nightmare from past experiences. I spent 10 hours there one day to get my passport stamped after my greencard was approved. They have no ability to allow you to come in and quickly ask a question. They make you line up on the street before they open the doors, and then you take a number and wait.

    I'm not even sure this office is where I pursue Citizenship, and don't want to spend a day to find out. Is there a good web site for tracking all this down you could recommend?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Contacting the USCIS

    The USCIS, of course, maintains its own website. You may set up an appointment with the field office through InfoPass, to avoid having to wait in line.

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