Q & A May 18, 2003
Q & A 1
Dear Mr. Lee:
We immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan, and as of 1/20/03, we had
been in the U.S. for 5 years. Currently we reside in Phoenix, Arizona.
. My wife and I have applied for the naturalization, and we got
our fingers printed on 12/13/02. Our son, who was born in Taipei
on 1/31/86, is 17 years of age.
- How long does it take for us to get the citizenship interview?
- How long after the interview will be the oath ceremony?
- If we pass the interview, will we be able to apply the Green
Card for my son before he is 18?
- In order for my son to get a Green Card, what are the documents
my wife, my son and I need to prepare?
- Where can we get the legal translation of the Taiwanese household
registration, the marriage certificate, and the birth certificate?
- Is there a service unit where we can receive the passports
in the oath ceremony?
- When my son applies for scholarships that require applicants
to be citizens, will his application get approved if he only has
a Green Card?
- From the latest information provided by the American Immigration
Lawyers Association, the time for processing a naturalization
application from filing until swearing-in in Phoenix is approximately
- The AILA informational chart is not broken down into dates
before or after interview, only the dates for the entire process.
- If either of you passes the interview and becomes a U.S. citizen
before your son is 18, your son may take a quick road to citizenship
under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Under that circumstance,
you do not specifically need for your child to become a permanent
resident in order for him to become a U.S. citizen. The Child
Citizenship Act allows automatic citizenship to the child where
one parent is a U.S. citizen, the child is under 18, the child
outside the United States is in the legal and physical custody
of the U.S. citizen parent, the child is in the U.S. temporarily
on a lawful admission, and is maintaining status. Either you or
a citizen grandparent must show physical presence in the U.S.
for five years, of which two must come after the age of 14. If
you wish to take advantage of this provision, you must request
the American consulate to issue a temporary visa for your son
to come to the United States under a lawful temporary visa and
that citizenship papers will be filed for him when he is in the
U.S.. In the U.S., he would have to file Form N-600 with the BCIS
and show documentation that would prove each point outlined above.
- To obtain a temporary visa for your son, you must present proof
that you naturalized before your child turned 18 (naturalization
certificate), and show that you have been physically present in
the United States for five years of which two years must have
come after the age of 14. This can be proven by your passports,
tax returns, and other proof of residence in the U.S. You must
also prove the relationship between you and the child consisting
of the child's proof of birth and your proof of marriage.
- Translations can be made by anyone who is familiar with the
Chinese and English languages. All translations must have an attestation
of translation certifying the ability of the translator to translate
and that such is a true and correct translation of the Chinese
materials. Interested parties should not translate their own materials.
- The BCIS is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland
Security. The Passport Agency is under the jurisdiction of the
Department of State. There is no service unit of the BCIS which
would expedite or even handle your passport application.
- As there is a good likelihood that your son will become a U.S.
citizen fairly rapidly, your question of whether he can qualify
for scholarships requiring applicants to be citizens when he has
only the green card will probably be moot. However, for other
readers, the son could discuss the requirements with the organizations
which are offering scholarships to see whether they would be flexible
and accept a green card holder or student with less than U.S.
citizenship status. Perhaps they would be willing to accept a
green card holder who has filed a declaration of intent to be
a citizen with the BCIS.