Published on and the Epoch Times on January 22, 2016

Q & A 1. 2. 3. 4.

Q&A 1.

Citizenship Interview

Today was my citizenship interview date, I passed the test, but the immigration officer said " we should check your physical present in the U.S meets our requirement! because the days you been out of US is very close to the limit And the decision cannot yet be made about your application, how long I should wait to be notified and is it more likely to be denied ? My trips in the last 5 years were 9 times and the total days out of US were 850 days, which is less than 31 month.

Mr. Lee answers:

This is a prime illustration of the attitude of many immigration officers that just meeting the basic eligibility requirement of being physically present in the U. S. half of the time during the required period of residence for naturalization purposes is not enough. You have been out of the U. S. cumulatively 850 days, and half of the five-year time is 912.5 days. Many officers will look at other factors in such circumstance, such as whatever ties and bonds that you have maintained in the U. S. during the time of residence. They may also consult with their supervisors for advice. It is likely that a decision will take up to and even exceed 60 days after the date of interview. Applicants for naturalization would be advised to spend more time in the U. S. so that they can have a more relaxing interview. 

Q&A 2.

J-1: Country Exclusion - Exchange Visitors List 2009

Came to US as J-1 in 1988 with wife as J-2. Country, Pakistan, has been taken OFF the Exchange Visitor List 2009. Does this mean that we are NO MORE subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement? US Government site " Says: Effective Date? Which Skills List Applies? The 2009 Skills List applies to exchange visitors who receive their J-1 visa on or after June 28, 2009, and whose country is on the 2009 Skills List. Exchange visitors who entered the United States prior to June 28, 2009 continue to be governed by the skills list that was in effect when they received their J-1 visa. Exchange visitors whose countries were removed from the 2009 Skills List, are, retroactively, not subject to the two-year home residence requirement based on the Exchange Visitor Skills List, even if they entered the United States prior to the effective date.

Mr. Lee answers:

It is our understanding that when a country’s skills list is removed, those who were subject to it previously are no longer subject. 

Q&A 3.

Lived in Kentucky for 15 years. I moved to Florida.

Now I am here 8 months. Can I apply for citizenship here in FL even if all my documents are from KY? Documents, I mean Id resident card drivers license...

Mr. Lee answers:

An individual is supposed to file for naturalization in the state of residence. As you have already moved to Florida for eight months, you should be applying for citizenship in Florida even if all your documents are from Kentucky. At the time of interview, you can present whatever proof you have that you are residing in Florida.


Q&A 4.

Questions Regarding Completing the N-400 Form in My Particular Situation

I'm completing N-400 form and confused with my particular situation that what should I answer in Q23 of N400, "Have you ever been arrested, cited, or detained by any law enforcement officer for any reason?" I don’t have any criminal records, any arrests or anything like that but I do have "some" speeding tickets, I have been cited a total of 8 speeding tickets in the last 4 years but None of them were over $500, None of them led to an arrest or reckless driving, None of them were DUI related, just general speeding tickets that I got in 2 different states. So should I say "Yes" to the Q23 in N400? I am concerned, if I list all my traffic citations that might lead to a negative impression to my USCIS officer and ultimately a reason for denial to my N-400 application on the basis of not having a good moral character or not being a law abiding citizen OR can I say No to Q23 in N-400 and not list any of my traffic citation because I was never arrested and all my tickets were below $500 fine

Mr. Lee answers:

You should say "yes" to question 23 in the N-400 form. Traffic law violations are generally not looked at to determine good moral character. On the other hand, if you say "no", and U.S.C.I.S. discovers that you have not told the truth, and if it is not timely retracted, you would certainly be looked upon as a person lacking good moral character and not be eligible to file for naturalization again until five years has passed. 



Copyright © 2003-2017 Alan Lee, Esq.
The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of the Law Office of Alan Lee or establish an attorney-client relationship.


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