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Citizenship & Naturalization
US Citizenship through Naturalization
US Naturalization is the process by which US citizenship could be conferred upon you after you fulfill the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Benefits of Naturalization:
- You are given the right to vote.
- You can apply for a US passport.
- You can receive US Government protection and assistance when abroad.
You may be eligible to obtain US citizenship if:
- You are a foreign national with five years of permanent residence in the US, and at least half of that time you were physically present inside the US with no periods of absence over six months.
- You are a permanent resident for three years who is currently married to a US citizen and has been married to the same US citizen for the past three years.
- You have served in the US Armed Forces for at least three years.
- You performed active duty military service in the US Armed Forces during World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, or the Persian Gulf War.
- You were married to a US citizen who died during a period of honorable active duty service in the US Armed Forces.
- You served on a vessel operated by the US and have been a US permanent resident for the past five years.
- You are an employee or an individual under contract to the US government and have been a US permanent resident for the past five years.
- You are a person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the US, and have been a US permanent resident for the past five years.
- You are a spouse of a US citizen who is one of the following:
- A member of the US Armed Forces.
- An employee or an individual under contract to the US government.
- An employee of an American institution of research recognized by the US Attorney General.
- An employee of a public international organization of which the United States is a member by law or treaty.
- An employee of an American-owned firm or corporation engaged in the development of foreign trade and commerce for the United States.
- A person who performs ministerial or priestly functions for a religious denomination or an interdenominational organization with a valid presence in the United States.
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Removal and deportation is a complex and important area of immigration law. Some of your most important rights can be at stake in a removal proceeding, including your ability to live and work in the United States. Our comprehensive approach in deportation proceedings optimizes your chances for success in these cases. At Empower Law, we understand the stress that these proceedings can have on you and your family.
If you have been notified of a deportation hearing or have violated your visa status, hiring an experienced attorney is your first and best step. Empower Law can work with you to achieve a successful outcome for you and your family in deportation/removal proceedings.
If a person who is otherwise subject to expedited removal indicates a desire to apply for asylum, he or she will be interviewed by an asylum officer. The asylum officer must determine whether the alien has a "credible fear of persecution." If the asylum officer fails to find a fear of persecution, the person will be removed. There is limited administrative review of this type of decision. Any person who is able to demonstrate a credible fear of persecution will be detained or allowed parole into the US (depending on whether the person will be a danger to the US or its citizens) while his or her asylum application is being processed with the USCIS.
People with approved asylum applications have the following rights:
- The person may apply for adjustment of status one year later (the date of "residency" will be back-dated to the date of the asylum approval for naturalization purposes).
- The person may obtain employment authorization during the one-year period before eligibility for seeking permanent residence.
- The person may be granted advance parole to travel outside the United States.
- The asylee's spouse and children, if included in the asylum application and otherwise admissible, may be granted asylum; or if the spouse and children are outside the United States, the asylee may file Form I-730 to obtain a visa for them.
If you are seeking asylum, Empower Law can advise you on the complexities of this process and on how you can best work toward securing asylum approval for the naturalization process.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
At Empower Law we use our access to the highest corridors of power to listen to leaders, learn and understand about important matters, and share our knowledge and experience with these leaders for the purpose of affecting policy and to express support or opposition to a governmental position that effects you.
The founder of Empower Law, Eric A. Jones, served as a commissioner on the American Bar Association's (ABA) Commission on Immigration from 2003 through 2006 and on the Commission's Advisory Committee from 2006 to 2007. During his term, Mr. Jones was instrumental in persuading ABA president Mike Greco and Speaker of the House of Delegates Stephen Zack to encourage ABA stakeholders to identify specifics regarding the Association's support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Mr. Jones then worked with twelve other commissioners to draft policy and steer discussions that resulted in the ABA adopting seven new CIR policies.
Mr. Jones is proud of this accomplishment, which involved working with colleagues seeking the passage of US immigration reform, even during times when such actions have been considered unfavorable. Mr. Jones continues to advocate for the rights of the individual and businesses wherever he feels injustices or inappropriate policies exist.
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