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USCIS Updates Policy Guidance Pertaining to Naturalization Process

November 19, 2020 Leave a comment

On November 18, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its policy guidance to effectuate changes regarding prerequisite of Lawful Admission for Permanent Residence under all applicable provisions for purposes of Naturalization.

Applicants for naturalization must meet the fundamental requirements as lawful permanent residents (LPR) such physical presence, continuous residence among other criteria. In addition to meeting other requirements under the pertinent naturalization rules, an applicant has the burden of establishing that he or she was lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Key updates to the Policy:

  • An applicant is ineligible for naturalization in cases where the applicant did not obtain LPR status lawfully (including cases where the U.S. government was unaware of disqualifying material facts and had therefore previously granted adjustment of status to that of an LPR or admitted the applicant as an LPR).
  • Provides further guidance on circumstances under which USCIS may find an applicant to not have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and therefore ineligible for naturalization.
  • USCIS will review to determine whether an applicant has abandoned his or her LPR status during the adjudication of the naturalization application.
  • USCIS may deny naturalization applications, filed on or after November 18, 2020 (effective date of policy), if the applicant is in removal proceedings because USCIS lacks the authority to consider the merits of a naturalization application if the applicant has a pending removal proceeding initiated by a warrant of arrest.
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