CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)
LOCATION: Cleveland, OH
Our client contacted us in November 2015 to seek legal representation for her naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. She came to the United States from the Philippines and obtained her green card in May 2008 through her father. Her father became a naturalized citizen before she turned 18. When she went to the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines for her immigrant visa interview, she was told that she automatically became a U.S. citizen because her father became a citizen before she turned 18 (this was wrong because she had no physical presence in the US). Thus, two months after she entered the U.S., she applied for a U.S. passport. She obtained her approved U.S. passport, and thought from then that what she was told at the US Embassy was correct. The passport was actually incorrectly issued.
Later, her applied for an N-600 because she wanted to petition her husband and she needed a naturalization certificate, but it was denied. Her sister was told she had to wait 5 years. So in 2013, she applied for an N-600 again, and she was denied one more time. During her N-600 interview, she explained her situation to the officer and so USCIS learned about the US passport situation. It was then that her sister was advised to do her N-400 application.
Her sister’s N-600 application was denied because she was not a U.S. citizen. The automatic citizenship provision not only requires that her father be naturalized before she turns 18, but also that she be physically present in the US by that time. She did not know about this and she thought what she did was correct because her US passport application was approved. She was told at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines that she is a U.S. citizen and she applied for her U.S. passport which was approved later.
The issue in her case is the possibility of “false claim to US Citizenship”, which not only would get her citizenship case denied, but may also place her in deportation. Thus, it was important to thoroughly explain her situation so that fault won’t be attributed to her.
She retained our office on November 5, 2015. The N-400 application was filed on November 20, 2015 with all supporting documents. We included an extensive explanatory memo as well. Prior to her citizenship interview, our office prepared her at our office. On May 3, 2016, our client appeared at the Cleveland, OH USCIS office for her naturalization interview. Attorney JP Sarmiento from our office accompanied our client and explained our client’s complicated situation to the CIS officer. Our client answered all questions correctly and passed her naturalization and citizenship interview. Eventually, her application was approved on May 24, 2016. Her oath taking is scheduled in which she will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.