U.S. Law Center

June 2015 Archives

How does a refugee become a U.S. citizen?

If you are a refugee who is living in California on asylum, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services provides you with the option to become a permanent resident of the United States, as well as your spouse and any children under the age of 21. Citizenship is not a requirement and does not affect your ability to live and work in this country. However, asylum status is not permanent, and you are less likely to have any problems staying in the country if there is a change in circumstances. For example, if conditions in your home country change and you no longer have a well-founded fear of persecution due to your religion, sexual orientation or some other factor, your status as an asylee will no longer be valid.

Immigration deadline extensions can be granted by the courts

Finding out that they are going to be deported is a terrifying experience for immigrants living in California. They face separation from loved ones and the potential of losing all that they have worked so hard to obtain. It may be possible for people to appeal a deportation order, but it is important that they file the right legal actions and documents on time. When an error is made through no fault of the immigrant, it falls upon the courts to decide whether a deadline extension is permissible.

Determining the validity of a marriage for immigration purposes

When a foreign born resident of California wants to become a United States citizen through a marriage-based visa, the success of the petition is contingent on the validity of the marriage. Marriages differ around the world, and even across the country, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services accepts some, but not all of these unions on applications for naturalization. USCIS guidelines list the types of marriages that may be considered valid or unacceptable, and the circumstances that define them to help couples determine if the immigrant spouse may become a citizen.

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