Naturalization

Q: I arrived in the United States with a green card in November 2002. I have lived in the United States for the last four years except for two visits to India totaling 10 months. When can I apply for naturalization? After applying can I leave the United States for six months without adversely affecting my application?

A: Assuming that you are able to rebut the presumption that you did not abandon your residence in the United States during the 10 months that you were away, you should be eligible to apply 90 days before your fifth anniversary of receiving your permanent-residence status. You will also have to meet all the other requirements. Please note that I am not clear how long each of your visits lasted.

After applying, if you are gone for more than six months, you will be raising a presumption that you intend to abandon your residence. You will have to provide proof that during this period that you maintained your residence in the United States.

Q: I have passed my B.S. in Nursing, IELTS, and NCLEX-RN. I heard that no more green cards will be issued to nurses. Instead from 2007 nurses can apply for H-1B visas. Is that true?

A: Nurses generally do not require a four-year degree (or its equivalent). Nurses in the United States have to undergo a two-year associates degree. Therefore, if you plan to remain in the United States while waiting for your priority date to become current, you will have to maintain (or change) your current non-immigrant status. I am also optimistic that we will have some sort of legislation before the end of this year that will hopefully resolve this problem.

Q: I live in Bangalore and work for an IT company. I got my U.S. green card in January 2007. Soon after I got married, but we haven’t registered our marriage yet. We want to move to the United States. Where and how should we apply for my wife’s visa so that we can move at the earliest?

A: You will need to file a petition (Form I-130) for your spouse in the United States. Please keep in mind that as a spouse of a green-card holder, she will have to wait for about five years before her priority date becomes current. You can try and see if she qualifies for any other status in the United States so that she can be with you in the United States. I suggest that you try and contact an experienced immigration attorney.

Q: I’m an RN. I applied for a green card for my husband. I have received the file number for interview at the embassy. But that was four months ago. How should we proceed?

A: I am assuming that you have received a green card through your employment as an RN and you applied for your husband’s green card as follow-to-join. If that is the case, currently according to the April 2007 Department of State Visa Bulletin, immigrant visas for Indian nurses (including their family members) are available for applications filed on or before May 8, 2001. If your I-140 was filed after May 8, 2001, you will need to wait until your date become current.

Q: My wife has an F-1 and I am here on F-2. Can we file for any EB category for green card?

A: Yes, you certainly can if you qualify. Please speak with a qualified immigration attorney.

Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose. (408) 453-5335.




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