Client of the Month: Mark Jones

Berardi Immigration Law is happy to have recently helped Mark Jones acquire U.S. citizenship! Mark is a long-standing client of Berardi Immigration Law (BIL); in fact, he was one of Rosanna’s first clients upon the founding of the firm in 2005! The firm has assisted Mark through the process of applying for his marriage-based green card all the way through citizenship. Mark originally chose to work with our firm thanks to BIL’s attention to detail and personal interest in his case. Mark and his spouse decided to continue working with BIL as a result of our firm’s unwavering support, as well as consistent results.  Mark and his spouse enjoyed their time working with BIL. Once they were married, they contacted our firm to begin the process of first obtaining a green card. When it was eventually time to apply for citizenship, they knew they wanted to work with our team again. They had complete confidence in the entire team’s knowledge and expertise, as well as our long-term commitment to Mark’s case. The team’s personal touch helped make what can be a stressful process manageable and streamlined. Mark felt fully prepared for his final interview and aced the exam. Attending Mark’s […]
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In an Effort to Promote Efficiency, USCIS Makes More Forms Available for Online Filing

In its continuing efforts to promote more efficiency in its processes, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that applicants now have the ability to file Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship and Form N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 online.  L. Francis Cissna, director of USCIS, noted that traditional paper filing of petitions often creates a burden on those seeking an immigration benefit and those who are adjudicating petitions. He also noted that “this addition to our online capabilities is yet another positive advancement toward a more efficient and convenient filing experience for everyone involved.” In addition to Forms N-600 and N-600K, USCIS allows for electronic filing of Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card; Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a decision in Naturalization Proceedings; Form N-400, Application for Naturalization; and Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document.  Applicants can file Form N-600 for themselves or their minor children if they were born abroad and are claiming U.S. citizenship at birth through their parents or automatically became a U.S. citizen after birth, but before they turned 18 years old. Applicants are eligible to file Form N-600K if they regularly […]
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Featured Client of the Month: Peter Hapak

Peter Hapak is a long-standing client of Berardi Immigration Law. Peter’s relationship with Berardi Immigration Law began when he decided it was time to settle permanently in the United States due to many of the opportunities available here. He decided to apply to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States after spending years working in the U.S. on a work visa as a photographer. With the assistance of our firm, Peter’s petition for a green card was approved. This allowed Peter to further pursue his career in the United States with greater flexibility and ease.  After many years as a green card holder, Peter decided it was time for the next step: citizenship. After our team’s professional and successful handling of his green card application, Peter decided once again to work with the team at Berardi Immigration Law. We were able to successfully handle Peter’s nuanced case and navigate the various questions he had relating to the process, his application, and any concerns along the way.  Applying for any type of immigration benefit can feel stressful and leave applicants on edge. Peter’s favorite part about working with Berardi Immigration Law was the constant updates he received from our […]
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Civics Test Update: Don’t Let the Civics Test Stop You From Becoming a U.S. Citizen

If you are a foreign national seeking to become an American citizen, the naturalization process can be a mixture of stress and excitement. One of the last steps to complete before naturalizing to a citizen is the civics test. Passing the civics test is required to become a citizen. A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer will ask a set of up to 10 civics questions. You must answer at least six of these questions correctly. While this may sound difficult, the good news is that USCIS has published all 100 possible civics questions online for review.  One difficulty that you may face when preparing for this exam is the fact that answers to some of the questions will periodically change based on elections. Questions that vary include identifying U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, the President, the Vice President, the number of justices on the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, state Governors, the political party of the President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. USCIS publishes up-to-date material regarding these civics test updates that foreign nationals should use to prepare for the civics exam.  As a result of the 2018 election, the answers to some questions have or […]
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USCIS Updates Policy Regarding ‘Living in Marital Union’ for Naturalization Applications

On Friday, October 12, 2018, USCIS issued an alert that it will be updating policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify the married and living in marital union requirements under section 319(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  In general, all naturalization applicants filing on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen must continue to be married from the time of filing the application until the applicant takes the Oath of Allegiance. In addition, statutory provisions require the applicant spouse to have been married and “living in marital union” (living together) with his or her U.S. citizen spouse for at least three years immediately before he or she filed the naturalization application.  While the law requires the applicant spouse and the U.S. citizen spouse remain married until the time the applicant naturalizes, the new policy memo states that the living in marital union requirement is only required until the time of filing the application. The new guidance supersedes any prior guidance.  The highlights of the policy are as follows: The policy clarifies that the applicant spouse and his or her U.S. citizen spouse must have been living in marital union for at least three years immediately […]
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USCIS Modernizes Administration of Naturalization Test Through Use of Digital Tablets

USCIS announced that as a part of its ongoing modernization efforts, English reading and writing tests during naturalization interviews will now be administered on digital tablets. This change was unveiled on October 1st. While tablet usage is not completely new to USCIS processes, this step greatly expanded the use of this technology. Previously, digital tablets were used mainly to sign or verify certain parts of applications. In certain circumstances, paper tests are still available for use, determined on a case-by-case basis.  Applicants should note that eligibility requirements and subject matter of the naturalization test has not changed. The only change is regarding how the test is administered. Immigration Services Officers (ISO) will instruct applicants on how to use the digital tablets and styluses before administering the tests. ISOs will give the following instructions prior to the commencement of a test: For the reading test, a sentence will appear on the tablet and the ISO will ask the applicant to read it. For the writing test, several lines will appear on a tablet, replicating the appearance of a piece of blank paper. The ISO will read the sentence aloud and ask the applicant to write it on the tablet. Despite this […]
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Delving Into Derivative Citizenship

Derivative citizenship is the term used to describe citizenship that is obtained by someone who is under the age of 18 whose parents naturalize. Obtaining citizenship in this manner is automatic. The requirements can vary depending on which year naturalization occurred.  Derivative citizenship is distinguishable from acquisition of citizenship. Acquisition of citizenship occurs when the child of a U.S. citizen born abroad gains citizenship, whereas derivative citizenship occurs when a parent of a foreign national minor naturalizes.  The regulations regarding derivative citizenship have altered significantly over the years. For example, the requirements in 1934 were significantly different from those in 1978. Determination of whether someone is eligible for derivative citizenship is based on the date of the last act. Currently, the Child Citizenship Act (CCA), which is included in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), governs law on the derivation of citizenship.  The CCA went into effect on February 27, 2001. This law is in effect for children born or adopted today or at any time since February 28, 1983. The current law allows foreign-born, biological and adopted children of U.S. citizens to obtain U.S. citizenship when they enter the U.S. as lawful permanent residents. In order for a child […]
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