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Kentucky Immigration Law Blog

What should I know about naturalization questions?

Foreign residents in the state of Kentucky who are exploring how to become United States citizens have likely heard about naturalization tests. If you wish to become a citizen, you can expect to be asked a certain number of civics questions during your naturalization process. To make sure you have the best chance of passing, you need to know what you will likely be asked and how best to prepare.

The U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Office (USCIS) explains that there are one hundred possible questions that you may be asked by an USCIS officer. These questions are posted on the USCIS website and are available in multiple languages. They can be viewed in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic and Tagalog. However, you will not be required to answer all one hundred questions. Your USCIS officer will ask you up to ten questions and you will have to get six right to pass.

What you wear to your immigration interview may affect outcome

Adapting to a new lifestyle in Kentucky after emigrating from another country of origin is often a challenging experience. While you may be excited at the prospect of building new memories here in the United States, you may also worry about language barrier, new foods and customs, and other issues that immigrants commonly face. If U.S. government officials request your appearance at an immigration interview, you'll want to do whatever you can to make a positive impression.

There are several key factors to keep in mind when preparing for your important meeting, such as carefully choosing what to wear. It's no secret that the results of your interview may determine whether or not you can stay in the United States either temporarily or permanently, depending on your particular circumstances and ultimate immigration goals. U.S. immigration law is complex, so it's always a good idea to know where to seek support, as well.

How can I help my child adjust to life in the U.S.?

Immigrant families new to Kentucky have a lot of exciting experiences to look forward to. However, many kids have problems adjusting to life in a new country, and it’s up to parents to make the process as painless as possible. Working Mother offers the following advice on how you can ensure that your children adjust well to their new homeland.

Take English lessons

Selecting the right visa for your marriage status

If you are among the many Kentucky individuals, who became engaged during the recent holiday season, congratulations. Planning for your future is an exciting time. However, if you or your fiancé is not a U.S. citizen, nor are they living here yet, you need a visa. The team at Vickerstaff Law Office, PSC and John Vickerstaff has the necessary expertise and experience to navigate U.S. Immigration processes and procedures.

According to CitizenPath, there are two options for a foreign citizen to enter the country and marry a U.S citizen:  a marriage visa and a fiancé visa. Each has benefits, depending on your situation.

What abuses do undocumented workers commonly face?

Some people may argue that those who didn’t come into the country legally shouldn’t have certain rights and protections. However, regardless of your legal status, immigrants are human beings and should be treated with dignity and kindness. Many employers in Kentucky and other states disregard basic human decency when it comes to undocumented immigrants.

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, both documented and undocumented immigrants have legal protections from abuse by employers and government representatives. While you may face deportation if you are detained by immigration officials, you should not live in fear of being reported by your boss or be required to put up with mistreatment and discrimination. Unfortunately, the following employer abuses are commonly reported by immigrants:

  • Working without a paycheck or being paid less than minimum wage
  • Being forced to work long hours without compensation or to work in dangerous or inhumane conditions
  • Being threatened that standing up for one’s rights or reporting abuse will result in immigration authorities being called

Is your asylum process affirmative or defensive?

If you are working toward asylum in the United States, you will need to follow a process, based on your eligibility, before you are allowed to remain in the country legally. As you begin working with authorities in Kentucky to facilitate this process, you may have heard about both affirmative asylum and defensive asylum.

Both defensive and affirmative asylum processes are unique and the one that applies to you will be based on your situation and what ultimately led you to seek asylum in the first place. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if you are seeking defensive asylum, it is because you have been apprehended by authorities and are in the process of being removed from the country. Your efforts are defensive in that you are pleading your case to remain in the U.S. 

Benefits and responsibilities of asylees in the United States

When the United States grants a person asylee status, that person has rights and responsibilities that may differ from the standard immigrant in Kentucky. It is important that that person understands those rights and responsibilities if he or she hopes to retain his or her asylee status, and if he or she hopes to make the most of his or her life in America.

Per the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services department, the U.S. grants asylees the right to work in the states regardless of whether or not they possess an Employment Authorization Document. However, a person should contact the asylum office if he or she does not receive an EAD immediately after he or she obtains asylum.  

Keep this in mind when attending a green card marriage interview

When the U.S. government sends you a notice to appear at a marriage-based green card interview, it is likely to make you feel a bit anxious or worried. If you only recently settled in Kentucky, you may have already encountered challenges as you adapt to your new lifestyle. Perhaps you still struggle with a language barrier or have had a bit of a problem getting used to American food.

Answering interview questions that you know immigration officials intend to use to determine if your marital relationship is legitimate may be a frightening thought. However, if your marriage is legitimate, you shouldn't have much to worry about, provided all your paperwork is in order and you can show ample evidence to prove it.

How can I deal with discrimination?

Unfortunately, many immigrant families must deal with discrimination while living in Kentucky. While it's important to be open-minded and accepting of immigrants, it's also helpful for immigrants to develop tools for dealing with prejudice when it arises. The American Psychological Association offers the following tips in this case, which will help you and your loved ones address discrimination to the best of your ability.

Rely on your support system

What is birthright citizenship?

For many people in Kentucky, being a U.S. citizen is an important part of who they are. There are also many people who want to become a citizen. For some, the process of reaching that goal may be fairly easy if they can claim birthright citizenship, which the American Immigration Council explains is automatic citizenship for anyone born within the United States regardless of where the parents live or their citizenship status.

Essentially, it means that if your parents were citizens of another country visiting the United States when you were born, you are automatically a U.S. citizen because you have a U.S. birth certificate. This seems obvious because that is how most people become citizens of this country.