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Kentucky Immigration Law Blog

How difficult is the naturalization test?

If you are an immigrant who lives in Kentucky and wishes to apply for United States citizenship, you will need to go through the naturalization process, one requirement of which is to pass the naturalization test. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explain that before taking the test, however, you must have an initial interview with a USCIS officer.

Your interviewer will question you about your interview application and your background in general. Do not take this to mean that (s)he thinks there is something the matter with you or your application that might preclude you from becoming an American citizen. All (s)he wants to do is talk with you in English to see if you understand our language sufficiently to answer the questions appropriately.

The background check for your naturalization process

No matter how long you have been a permanent resident of the United States, you may still be nervous about the naturalization process ahead of you. After all, you may be a poor judge of your own grasp of the English language, and studying for the civics test can be intimidating. No matter what situation you are in, facing an interview of any kind can be overwhelming, and your citizenship interview is no exception.

However, before you even get to the interview, you have to pass the background investigation. This step in the process confirms for the U.S. government that you are not a threat to its citizens. Before receiving approval for an interview, you must submit three critical pieces of information to the FBI so they can research your history.

What can I do if my 10-year green card expires?

With the nation’s immigration laws constantly changing, you might be wondering how they may impact your situation. Though your 10-year green card’s expiration date is coming close, you might not have time to get around to renewing it on time. Though you might feel panic at the thought of being deported, there may be actions you can take to renew your green card and remain in the country. 

Once your green card expires, you do not immediately gain the status of an unlawful resident. However, you do not get to retain all the benefits you enjoyed, such as having proof that you are legally authorized to work in Louisville or anywhere else in the United States and having the authority to travel internationally to and from the United States either. 

Green card membership: the process

Immigration policies have long been a point of debate in America. Many disagree over what rights immigrants should have in the nation, and when they should be eligible for permanent residency -- if at all. Meanwhile, countless Kentucky  families have been torn apart and forced back to native countries. The dangers of some of these countries were the sole reason why many families fled in the first place. What are America's current immigration laws, and what are common obstacles of the process?  

The Foundation for Economic Education is quick to criticize the nation's immigration policies, warning its audience that the line for green cards is outrageously long. Ironically enough, FEE argues that there is no line to begin with; America's policies are so complex that many are left in the dark. A big factor that plays a role in tight laws is that of visas. FEE explains that, on rare occasions, an employer may petition for an employee's green card, but only if the limit on visas has not been exhausted.

Why Is Citizenship Commonly Denied?

If you’re a temporary resident of Kentucky and are interested in applying for citizenship, you’re probably concerned about your application being denied. In this case, knowing the common reasons for denial can help you prepare your case for a better chance of success. CitizenPath.com offers a few common reasons citizenship applications are not approved by the government.

Past Criminal History

Qualifying for modifications to your citizenship process

One of the proudest moments of your life may have been when you were able to sponsor your parent who applied for a permanent resident card. Receiving a green card provided many opportunities for your loved one, and you played an important role in making that happen.

Years have passed, and your parent has become a comfortable member of your Kentucky community. You may have suggested numerous times that he or she apply for citizenship, but the answer was always the same. Your loved one felt incapable of meeting the requirements for success in the naturalization process. You may be pleased to know that the government is willing to make accommodations and exceptions for certain requirements that are part of the naturalization process.

Green cards and re-entry pointers

In today's political climate, immigrants face many obstacles -- obstacles that other Kentucky residents rarely stumble upon. Among these challenges lie the urgent questions surrounding green cards: how long are they effective? Does one need to reside in the country a certain amount of time to receive one? Do they expire? The following examines today's green card regulations, as well as some approaches to help make the process a smoother one.

The website of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection outlines general laws surrounding green cards, noting specifically that lawful permanent residents may leave the country multiple times and re-enter without issues. However, the timeframe for this regulation is one year. Anyone who leaves the U.S. for a year or more must apply for a re-entry permit. Applicants may apply for re-entry through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service; they must also complete this form prior to leaving the country. Those who remain outside of the U.S. longer than the permit's issue may be denied entry upon return. 

Lawsuit filed after refugee excluded from national poetry contest

Those seeking asylum in Louisville and throughout the rest of the U.S. may be doing so for a number of different reasons. Listed among these is likely to escape discrimination they may have been experiencing in their countries of origin due to their ethnicity, religious beliefs or other reasons. They may certainly not expect to encounter it here. If they do, the hope is that they are able to rise above it and continue on their path to seeking permanent residency (if that is their ambition). 

The opportunities to grow and progress are among those things refugees covet. Such growth is on full display in the case of a refugee from Zambia. The teen, who currently lives in Maine, has an asylum application pending and has been issued a Social Security number. He certainly appears to also have taken full advantage of the chances afforded to him after it was announced that he had won a statewide poetry competition. State-level winners of this competition are supposed to then be able to compete at the national competition in Washington, D.C. However, the teen has reportedly been barred entry because he is not an American citizen. A lawsuit has since been filed by the local school board against the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation in an attempt to allow him to participate. 

Understanding a B-2 visa

At the Vickerstaff Law Office in Kentucky, we know how exciting it is when your friends and relatives come for a visit, especially when they are coming from another country. You and they may already know that they need a B-2 visa in order to visit America for pleasure purposes, but you may be unclear as to exactly what a B-2 visa is and how they go about getting one.

Per the U.S. Department of State, visitors to America need a B-2 visa not only when they wish to visit with family or friends, but also when they wish to do any of the following:

  • Tour anywhere in the U.S.
  • Receive medical treatment
  • Participate in amateur sports, musical or other contests or events
  • Participate in events hosted by social, service or fraternal groups
  • Enroll in a short nonacademic study course

Divorce and green card status

Going through a divorce is hard enough, but if you live in Kentucky and have a green card you may be worried you would lose it once the marriage is over. The good news is that if your marriage was entered in good faith, and not as a reason to gain residence, you are able to keep your green card. It just takes some extra steps and paperwork.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you may have conditional status on your green card if you requested it less than two years into your marriage. You can apply for these conditions to be removed in the event you are going, or have gone, through a divorce. You need to apply to have them removed before your two-year anniversary of becoming a conditional resident or else you may be removed from the United States. The form you file is I-751.  Generally, spouses must apply for the removal together, but in the case of divorce you can apply to waive this requirement.