Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Certificate of Citizenship’

6th July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has been noted by various media outlets for launching a new ad campaign to encourage those present in the United States as lawful permanent residents to naturalize to American Citizenship. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is best to quote directly from the website of China Daily, ChinaDaily.com.cn:

NEW YORK – The US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched its first ever paid ad campaign urging roughly 7.9 million green card holders to become naturalized citizens. The $3.5 million multilingual campaign will be used for three years and is part of an $11 million allotment from Congress meant to promote integration of immigrants. This year’s campaign in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese will run in print, radio and digital formats between May 30 and Sept 5, primarily in states with large immigrant populations, such as California, New York, Florida and Texas. ”You’ve got to create that sense of urgency, and until they’ve reached that sense of urgency, they’ll just coast,” Nathan Stiefel, division chief of policy and programs for the Office of Citizenship at USCIS, told the Associated Press…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

For those who are unfamiliar with matters pertaining to American immigration it should be noted that those who enter the United States of America on a CR-1 visa or an IR-1 visa are accorded lawful permanent residence (also colloquially referred to as Green Card status). After spending a specified period of time physically present in the United States it may be possible for an immigrant to naturalize to American citizenship. There are many benefits to be had by undergoing the naturalization process including, but not limited to: the right to vote, the right to a US Passport, as well as the various privileges and/or immunities of citizenship. Those interested in learning if they are eligible for such benefits are encouraged to contact a licensed American attorney.

In somewhat unrelated news, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the government of Japan is apparently preparing to conduct tests on various nuclear facilities in that country. For further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the Channel News Asia website at ChannelNewsAsia.com:

TOKYO : Japan said Wednesday it will run “stress tests” on all its nuclear reactors in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident sparked by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster. The ongoing crisis, the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago, has ignited debate in Japan about the safety of nuclear power, which before the disaster accounted for a third of its electricity needs. The centre-left government ordered a round of initial tests on the country’s other atomic power plants after the disaster, and said the new stress tests aimed to reassure the public that the facilities are safe…

The administration of this blog asks readers to click on the appropriate hyperlinks above to read this article in detail.

For those unfamiliar with the ongoing situation in Japan it should be noted that an Earthquake which occurred in March of this year resulted in a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima facility noted above. This situation had tremendous ramifications for both the Asia-Pacific region and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As this tragic state of affairs continues to play out it is hoped that positive endeavors can mitigate some of the damage caused by this disaster. No doubt the Japanese citizenry remain in the hearts and minds of conscientious people the world over.

For related information please see: Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization.

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20th May 2011

It recently came to the attention of this blogger that the United States Supreme Court may be hearing a case pertaining to issues surrounding the issuance of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Such documents are generally issued by Consular Officers of the Department of State at a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad.  To quote directly from a May 2nd posting by Lyle Denniston on ScotusBlog at scotusblog.com:

Stepping into a significant test of the President’s foreign policy powers, the Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide whether Congress had the authority to dictate how the Executive Branch makes out birth certificates for U.S. citizens born abroad — in this case, in Jerusalem, a city that the U.S. government does not recognize as an official part of Israel.  At issue is the validity of a nine-year-old law in which Congress aimed to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  That dispute came in one of two cases the Court agreed on Monday to hear, at its next Term.

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click the hyperlinks above to read this posting on ScotusBlog in its entirety as it cogently provides information about what could prove to be a very pertinent issue in the days and weeks ahead.

Although the issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad may seem innocuous, especially to American Citizens who do not have a great deal of international experience; but it should be noted that this document is very important as issuance of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad documents the fact that an American Citizen was born overseas. This document is thereby used to obtain a US passport as well as other documentation. To continue quoting from the aforementioned article:

After State Department officials refused to fill out a report on the foreign birth of a boy born in 2002 in a Jerusalem hospital to show that his birthplace was “Israel,” his parents sued, seeking to enforce the 2002 law that ordered the State Department to do just that, when asked to do so.   A federal judge and the D.C. Circuit Court refused to decide the case, saying the controversy was a “political question” that the courts had no authority to resolve.

The law noted above attempts to deal with a somewhat difficult issue as Jerusalem is not technically considered to be part of the Greater State of Israel. In order to provide more insight on this complex issue it may be best to quote directly from the preamble to the opposition’s brief in this case:

QUESTION PRESENTED

Whether the court of appeals erred in affirming the dismissal of petitioner’s suit seeking to compel the Secretary of State to record “Israel” as his place of birth in his United States passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad, instead of “Jerusalem,” when the panel unanimously agreed that the decision how to record the place of birth for a citizen born in Jerusalem in official United States government documents is committed exclusively to the Executive Branch by the Constitution.

The administration urges readers to click on the hyperlink noted above to read the opposition’s brief in detail.

It would appear to this blogger as though the issues in this case are likely to result in any finding having tremendous ramifications. This is due to the fact that there really are two important notions in competition. Namely, the right of the individual or family to choose the manner in which a report of birth abroad is promulgated and the right of the Executive Branch to conduct foreign policy.

It remains to be seen how the Court will rule on these issues, but one this is certain: cases involving a “political question” often make for the most interesting decisions.

For related information please see: Certificate of Citizenship or Legal.

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5th May 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has recently updated some of the information with regard to that agency’s official fact sheet pertaining to I-864 affidavits of support. To quote directly from the official website of USCIS:

In determining inadmissibility, USCIS defines “public charge”as an individual who is likely to become “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance, or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.” See “Field Guidance on Deportability and Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” 64 FR 28689 (May 26, 1999). In determining whether an alien meets this definition for public charge inadmissibility, a number of factors are considered, including age, health, family status, assets, resources, financial status, education, and skills. No single factor, other than the lack of an affidavit of support, if required, will determine whether an individual is a public charge.

Those reading this blog are encouraged to click on the hyperlinks above to read more and gain insight into the issues associated with the I-864 affidavit of support.

It should be noted that the issues associated with the I-864 affidavit of support are significant and should not be overlooked by those seeking immigration benefits. Furthermore, the issues associated with the I-864 affidavit of support pertain not only to USCIS in the United States, but also impact the Consular processing phase of U.S. Immigration process for those who are seeking United States immigrant visas, such as the IR-1 visa and the CR-1 visa, abroad. Meanwhile, seekers of visas such as the K-1 visa (for fiancees of US Citizens) must submit a similar document to a US Embassy or US Consulate abroad in the form of an I-134 affidavit of support. Bearing this in mind, the reader should take note of the fact that the issues surrounding the I-864 affidavit of support are likely to come to the forefront for K-1 visa holders when they eventually apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.

There was an interesting notation on the aforementioned website:

Note: In general, lawful permanent residents who currently possess a “green card” cannot be denied U.S. citizenship for lawfully receiving any public benefits for which they are eligible.

The reader is encouraged to bear in mind the fact that the above quotation is speaking in generalities, but the issue of naturalization in the context of the affidavit of support may be of interest to Americans thinking about bringing a loved one to the USA. The reason that Americans may find the issue of naturalization interesting when discussing family immigration stems from the fact that upon a foreign spouse’s naturalization to US Citizenship, the encumbrances placed upon the American Citizen within the provisions of the affidavit of support are extinguished as upon becoming a United States Citizen a previous foreign national becomes eligible in their own right for government benefits (where applicable). Therefore, the previous sponsor(s) are no long liable to the United States government should the newly-naturalized citizen take government benefits.

For related information please see: Certificate of Citizenship or Child Citizenship Act.

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15th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that new In Vitro Fertilization methods could see future children born with 3 parents. Although this may sound like something from science fiction, clearly this is a real issue which could have real world implications. In order to provide a degree of insight to the reader on this topic it may be best to quote directly from Wikipedia:

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman’s ovaries and letting sperm fertilise them in a fluid medium. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient’s uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. The first successful birth of a “test tube baby”, Louise Brown, occurred in 1978. Robert G. Edwards, the doctor who developed the treatment, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2010. Before that, there was a transient biochemical pregnancy reported by Australian Foxton School researchers in 1953 and an ectopic pregnancy reported by Steptoe and Edwards in 1976.

The administration of this blog strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks above in order to gain perspective and insight into the way that IVF actually works.  According to recent reports, it would appear that new IVF methodologies may allow for a child to be born with three biological parents.  To quote directly from the official website of the BBC at BBC.co.uk:

Embryos containing DNA from a man and two women have been created by scientists at Newcastle University.

They say their research, published in the journal Nature, has the potential to help mothers with rare genetic disorders have healthy children…The work raised several ethical problems… including safety risks, children with DNA from two mothers, and making genetic changes to unborn children.

IVF and medical procedures of the same ilk may have been considered of little concern in the legal and immigration contexts during years past, but new developments, such as those noted above, could have tremendous implications for future seekers of a US Passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or similar identity documentation acquired both domestically or at US Embassies and US Consulates abroad. For further insight this blogger felt it prudent to quote directly from a blog post by PrideAngelAdmin on PrideAngel.com:

The first baby with three biological parents could be conceived next year after the Government announced a major review of Britain’s fertility laws.

The move would allow doctors to use a revolutionary IVF technique that prevents incurable, deadly genetic illnesses being passed down from mothers to their children.

Babies created with the therapy – called three-parent IVF – would inherit 98 per cent of their DNA from their ‘real’ parents. The rest would come from a female donor.

The scientists say the donor genes would not alter the children’s appearance or personality, but would stop them dying from painful diseases of the heart, liver and brain.

As can be seen from the above cited quotations, most of the dialogue that is occurring with respect to the issue of 3 parent IVF is emanating more from Great Britain than from the United States, but it should be noted that these issues could have an impact upon the way in which possible future American immigration benefits are bequeathed. Meanwhile, new IVF methodologies may require changes in the rules and protocols regarding issuance of Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) since there never really seem to have been provisions in place for a child born with three biological parents. It remains to be seen how these new technologies and procedures will impact American jurisprudence regarding United States Immigration, Family Law, and the rules and regulations regarding US Citizenship.

In this blogger’s personal opinion, the implications of possible 3 parent IVF could be as important in an American Citizenship context as the promulgation and enactment of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. Who can say if it might not be possible in the future to see a child receive a Certificate of Citizenship based upon a parent-child biological relationship stemming from shared mitochondrial DNA? As humanity’s technological prowess becomes more defined legal issues may be increasingly raised in contexts that few in the past would have dreamed could even exist at all.

For the LGBT community, the citations noted above should be borne in mind especially by those who may wish to start a family in the future as it may one day be possible to see children born as a result of increasingly creative medical breakthroughs.

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5th January 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention, thanks to the efforts of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), that the Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate is being altered and updated in an effort to take further steps to ensure less forgery of such vitally important documents. To quote directly from the American State Department’s official website:

The Department of State is pleased to announce the introduction of a redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). The CRBA is an official record confirming that a child born overseas to a U.S. citizen parent acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. The redesigned document has state-of-the-art security features that make it extremely resistant to alterations or forgery.

CRBAs have been printed at U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world since their introduction in 1919. Effective January 3, 2011, CRBAs will be printed at our passport facilities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and New Orleans, Louisiana. Centralizing production and eliminating the distribution of controlled blank form stock throughout the world ensures improved uniform quality and lessens the threat of fraud.

Applications for U.S. passports and the redesigned CRBA will also use the title of “parent” as opposed to “mother” and “father.” These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.

It remains to be seen whether these changes will have a significant impact upon incidences of fraud in connection with Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). That said, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad is an extremely important document as it is evidence of nationality for Americans born outside of the United States of America. Frequently, parents obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad immediately prior to obtaining a US Passport on behalf of a child born overseas.

This blogger found it interesting that the Department of State has taken steps to make such documents more gender neutral. In a similar move, in 2010, the State Department announced that measures had been implemented to allow transgender individuals to change their sex on their US Passport. It would appear that the efforts toward gender neutrality implemented in the updating of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad take into account the fact that the traditional gender roles within families and the family structure itself are in something of a state of flux as American families are becoming increasingly unorthodox compared to times past.

Under certain circumstances, children born to some Americans outside of the USA are not automatically vested with United States Citizenship. Should that be the case, then the American parent may be able to see that their children become US Citizens by filing a petition for immigration benefits pursuant to the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) of 2000. Those children of American Citizens who become US Citizens by operation of law pursuant to the CCA may obtain a Certificate of Citizenship which is very similar to a naturalization certificate although the bearer is not technically a naturalized US Citizen.

For related information please see: Consular Report of Birth Abroad.

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10th March 2010

Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) are similar to birth certificates in that they note that a child was born, but they differ in their reason for issuance. A Consular Report of Birth Abroad also notes that a child was born an American Citizen. There are two ways that a child can be born an American Citizen. One way is by birth in the United States. Although, the American Immigration and Nationality Act defines “United States” (for purposes of US Immigration) as all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico birth in the non-US states or the District of Columbia may or may not cause the transmission of automatic Citizenship depending upon the situation. That being said, birth in the 50 US states definitely confers automatic Citizenship. However, there is another method of transmission of United States Citizenship and that is by blood. A United States Citizen may transmit their citizenship to their child outside of the US if  at least one of the child’s parent’s meets the legal requirements for Citizenship transmission. This can become complicated as automatic citizenship transmission can be dependent upon many factors.

In order to obtain a Consular Report of Birth Abroad an applicant usually makes an appointment with the American Citizen Services Section of the appropriate US Embassy or US Consulate. In Thailand, the CRBA interview would likely take place at either the US Embassy in Bangkok or the US Consulate General in Chiang Mai.

What concerns us in this post is the prospect of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad Denial. If, by law, an American Citizen cannot transmit their Citizenship to their child automatically because the US Citizen parent did not spend enough time physically present in the US at the time of the child’s birth, then a Consular Report of Birth Abroad may not be issued and the child may not be entitled to a US passport. It should be noted that in some cases a parent cannot prove up their actual presence in the United States, but later procures proof. In this case, it may be possible to re-apply for the CRBA and, assuming the new evidence is acceptable to the Consular Officer, thereby legally prove transmission of Citizenship. However, there are some cases where the transmission of Citizenship either cannot be proven or did not, in fact, occur. In situations such as these, Americans are basically left with one option: they may petition for an Immigrant visa for their child. An American Citizen may petition for Immigrant visa benefits for their child and upon approval of a visa application and petition, the child may enter the United States with their US Citizen parent. Under the provisions of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 if the child enters with their US Citizen parent in order to take up residence, then the “foreign” child becomes a US Citizen by operation of law upon lawful admission.

In this situation, the child may then obtain a Certificate of Citizenship (similar to a Naturalization Certificate) in order to prove their status.

For related information please see: US Visa Denial or CR1 Visa.

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1st March 2010

Those going through the US visa process may be aware of the I-864 affidavit of support. This document is used in order for the United States government to receive assurance that the prospective immigrant will not become a public charge in the United States. In family based immigrant visa cases involving visas such as the CR1 Visa or the IR1 visa the I-864 is used. The I-864 should not be confused with the I-134 affidavit of support which is often utilized by those seeking either a K1 visa or a K3 Visa. However, at the time of this writing, it is highly likely that use of the I-134 in K-3 cases will fall by the wayside as fewer K-3 visa applications will be forwarded on to US Embassies and Consulates abroad due to the administrative closure of new K-3 applications at the National Visa Center. That being said, non-immigrant dual intent travel documents such as the K1 fiance visa and the K3 marriage visa do not use the I-864, but use the I-134.

There are certain Immigrant visas which do not utilize the I-864 as the affidavit of support requirement is waived. These type of cases require the submission of the I-864w. To quote the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in their own instructions for the form itself:

“The Form I-864 is legally required for many family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants to show that they have adequate means of financial support and that they are not likely to become a public charge. Certain classes of immigrants are exempt from the I-864 requirement and therefore must file Form I-864W instead of Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ.”

Under the Child Citizenship Act of the year 2000, there are certain children who enter the United States and become United States Citizens by operation of law upon admission at a port of entry by the Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP). These children may then apply for a certificate of citizenship which is somewhat similar to a naturalization certificate except for the fact that the child is not naturalized, but a citizen statutorily. In cases where the child would become a citizen upon entry, the obligations incurred by an I-864 would automatically extinguish upon entry since the child would be a US Citizen. Therefore, the need to adjudicate means of support are made somewhat redundant. This may be the policy reason underlying the promulgation of the I-864w.

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