News & Resources

Can I apply for naturalization with an expired “green card”?

You should keep your “green card” valid at all times and plan to apply for naturalization while it is valid. As a U.S. permanent resident, you are expected to carry a valid green card with you.  The naturalization process is taking several months and sometimes up to a year.  Not having a valid “green card” can lead to difficulties in obtaining employment, a driver’s license, traveling abroad and much more. USCIS used to issue an […]

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Can I Change my Name When I Naturalize?

USCIS does not have the authority to change a person’s name when they naturalize.   However, you can request that USCIS issues a Certificate of Naturalization under a new name if: You present proof that you have already legally changed your name.   Such proof could be a Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree or Court Order with your new name. You take the Oath of Allegiance at a Naturalization Ceremony that is held in a Court.   Then, you […]

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Traveling abroad while a Change of Status is Pending is Fatal

Often foreign nationals are admitted in one category and apply for a change of status (COS) to another category while in the U.S.  Recently, USCIS issued a memorandum reminding applicants applying for COS that if they traveled abroad while the application was pending, their application would be considered abandoned and USCIS would issue a denial. Traveling abroad will also result in a denial of any Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, filed before the COS is approved.   Therefore, if […]

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How Can a Visa Applicant Prove Ties to Home Country?

One of the requirements of many nonimmigrant visas is that the applicant provides evidence of his/her ties to the home country. This evidence is used to evaluate whether the applicant has sufficient ties to bind him/her to their country so that they want to return after their U.S. Stay.  What evidence you can provide will vary based on your age, relationships, assets and others. Below are some suggestions of category of evidence that we have […]

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Learn about Immigration Processing Times

Processing times can fluctuate significantly and it is good for foreign nationals to check on these from time to time to better plan for their futures.   Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers, the Department of Labor and/or the Department of State’s latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers: – USCIS Service Center processing times online – Department of Labor processing times and information […]

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How to Avoid EAD Denials for OPT

USCIS is taking a more restrictive approach to filing deadlines for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) applications, which is resulting in unexpected denials.  Until recently, when USCIS received an OPT application more than 30 days after the DSO entered the OPT recommendation in SEVIS, it would send the applicant a Request for Evidence requiring a new Form I-20 signed by the DSO.  The DSO could simply reprint the Form I-20 and sign it, and the […]

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