World Journal Weekly Q & A - August 17, 2008
Q & A 1. 2.
3. 4. 5. 6.
16 Year-old Child's Mother Becomes U.S. Citizen and Child Asks
What Does She Need to Do Now
Kwan reader asks:
I’m sixteen; both my mom and I hold green card. My mom applied
for citizenship and was approved this year. But only mom has the
certificate of citizenship and I did not receive any thing. What
do I need to do become a U.S. citizen? I want to change my name
when I become citizen. Can I do that? What do I need to do?
Under present law, you are probably automatically a U.S. citizen
already by virtue of your mother's receiving her citizenship. Under
the Child Citizenship Act, any child under the age of 18 automatically
becomes a U.S. citizen if he/she holds permanent resident status
and one of the parents with whom he/she is living becomes a U.S.
citizen as long as the parents are not divorced or separated. In
the latter case, the U.S. citizen parent must have legal custody.
If you are already a citizen as outlined above, you can obtain proof
of citizenship by either applying for a U.S. passport or filing
Form N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship with U.S.C.I.S..
Unfortunately neither procedure will allow you to change your name.
You must make an application with your local state court for a name
On the other hand, if your father has legal custody and you are
not yet a U.S. citizen, you can apply on Form N-400 Application
for Citizenship when you reach the age of 18 and request a free
name change with the naturalization court.
I Am Illegal (Overstay) and Want to Change My Status in the Future
- Can I Do It?
Wang reader asks:
I came to US under B1/B2 visa in 1/08. I filed divorce after I
came to the U.S. and I am already illegal now. I don’t know
if I can change my status in the future. What should I do?
Under present law, you will find it difficult if not impossible
to change your visa status to some other non-immigrant visa status.
U.S.C.I.S. will only consider a late change of status to another
non-immigrant visa status where there are exceptional circumstances.
To change status to permanent residence in the U.S. is another matter.
The conditions for doing that are that you must be legal except
where you overstayed and are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen
(spouse, child, or parent of a child over the age of 21), the beneficiary
of section 245(i) (giving the ability to adjust status for most
persons who are illegal upon payment of a fine amount of $1,000,
which benefit is currently available in its last version only to
those who can show that they filed a labor certification application
or immigrant visa petition by April 30, 2001, and were physically
present in the country on December 21, 2000), or the beneficiary
of other forms of extraordinary relief such as cancellation of removal
or a private bill.
Can My Mother File Three Months Ahead of Time for Her 15 Year
Jin reader asks:
My mother got her green card in 11/1993 and it has been 15 years
now. Can she apply for citizen in 8/2008 (14 years and 9 months)
using her native language?
Your mother must wait for the entire 15 years before she can make
an application for citizenship on the basis of being at least 55
years of age and having the green card for 15 years. Applying for
citizenship three months prior to the eligibility date is only available
in situations involving three and five year eligible green cards.
(For other readers, U.S.C.I.S. allows 15 year applicants to take
the naturalization test in their own native language. This privilege
is also available to individuals who are at least 50 years old and
have held the green card for 20 years. A much easier test in the
native language is available to those who are at least 65 years
of age and have held the green card for 20 years.
How Long Will it Take for me to Apply the Green Card for My Adult
Chiu reader asks:
I had received my green card this year. My son is 28 and currently
working in the U.S.. I file paper for my son for his green card,
how only will it take?
I assume that your son is single since a green card holder can
only apply for an unmarried son or daughter. For the month of August
2008, the waiting time is approximately 9 years. Only those individuals
in most countries of the world (except Mexico and the Philippines)
who filed I-130 petitions prior to November 1, 1999 are eligible
for final immigration. Assuming that your son is single, you can
apply for him at this time and possibly shorten the process if you
later become a U.S. citizen. At that time, you would change the
preference category from F-2B petition for unmarried son of a permanent
resident to F1-1 petition for unmarried son of a U.S. citizen. The
waiting line for F1-1s now is a little bit over six years as persons
who applied prior to March 15, 2002, in most parts of the world
are now eligible for final immigration. Switching from the F-2B
to F1-1 category under the above circumstances will allow you to
retain the F-2B priority date. (I must note that the waiting time
to which we refer above is only based upon subtraction of the priority
date from today's date. Accurately predicting how long the waiting
time will be for an application filed today is very difficult if
American Consulate in Guangzhou has not Responded for Over One
and a Half Years to Reader's Follow to Join Immigration Case for
Husband - What Can She Do?
Yang reader asks:
I received my green card as an extraordinary professional. I filed
I-824 for my husband who is in China and received receipt in 12/06
and his documents were transferred to Guangzhou in 12/06. Two months
later, Guangzhou called my husband and requested his birth certificate.
He obliged. However, as of now, we have not received anything further.
We called Guangzhou consulate many times, but in vain. What should
I am 64 years old and would like to apply for social security benefits.
Will it adversely affect the immigration through a family member?
In your situation, you should press Guangzhou not only through
telephone, but by letter, fax, and e-mail concerning the fate of
your husband's case. You may also contact an attorney to help you
with the inquiry or your local Congressman or Senator's office to
do the same. Not receiving a response for one-and-a-half years on
this type of case is too long.
If and when you get Guangzhou to process your husband's case, you
will have to provide an affidavit of support for his final immigration.
The taking of Social Security benefits for work that you have done
in the U.S. would not be an impediment to the immigration of your
family member. However, if by Social Security benefits you mean
Supplemental Social Security benefits (SSI) which is a means tested
benefit, such could have a negative effect on the ability to support
issue if the consulate finds out that you are on SSI.
Reader Wants to Remarry Ex-wife and Then Sponsor Ex-wife and Child
to Immigrate After Having Divorced U.S. Citizen Wife From Whom He
Got Green Card
Ming reader asks:
I divorced my exwife in China in 2001. (Then I have had a 3 years
old son.) In 2002, I married a US citizen and successfully came
to US in 8/2004 and then received permanent residency. Due to certain
reasons, the other party filed for divorce and in 3/2006 finalized
the divorce in Court. It has been over 2 years now. Can I go back
to China remarrying my ex-wife and applied them to come over to
Unless you have solid proof of the bona fides of your marital relationship,
e.g. child, born of the relationship between yourself and your American
citizen ex-wife, U.S.C.I.S. would likely take steps to revoke your
green card if you went through with your plan. The circumstances
would look too suspicious for the agency not to challenge your continuing
right to the green card. I note that you can petition for your child
without remarrying his mother since you are already his father.
I Sponsored My Daughter for the Green Card - What is the Best
Way That She Can Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa?
Lin reader asks:
I received my green card over 4 years ago and in the process of
applying my daughter to come to US.. When I filed the papers for
her in 2004, she had already over the age of 21. She is attending
college in Japan and will be graduating next year. She wants to
come to US traveling this year. Should she request for a visiting
visa or traveling visa?
The issuance of B-2 nonimmigrant visas is in the discretion of
a consular officer. Applicants must fill out DS-156, the application
form for a nonimmigrant visa. Your daughter should tell the truth
on the visa application form - that you are here in the States (question
asked on item 37 ) and that you have already applied for an immigrant
visa petition on her behalf (item 36). Any other answer may jeopardize
her future immigration to the States. Since she should be giving
such answers on the form, she can state as her purpose to visit
you in the States.