USCIS Updates Policy Guidance on Naturalization Eligibility and Voter Registration through DMV

naturalization good moral character

On May 27, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) releases a policy update regarding applicants’ registration to vote through a state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV) or other state benefit application process and the effects on an applicant’s good moral character (GMC).

Applicants for naturalization must demonstrate GMC during the required period of time immediately before filing and up to the time they take the Oath of Allegiance. The applicable period of time depends on the section of the statute under which the applicant is eligible to naturalize. In general, the statutory period for GMC for an applicant filing under the general naturalization provision starts 5 years prior to the date of filing. The statutory period starts 3 years prior to the date of filing for certain spouses of U.S. citizens. USCIS may find that certain applicants have not met GMC requirements if they have unlawfully registered to vote or voted unlawfully in the United States.

The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), often referred to as the “Motor Voter” law, directs states to provide eligible voters with the opportunity to register to vote at the same time they apply for a driver’s license or identification (ID) card at the state’s motor vehicle authority. Consequently, many states have incorporated voter registration into the application for a new or renewed driver’s license or state ID card, and unlawfully registering to vote or falsely claiming U.S. citizenship during this process can adversely impact an applicant’s GMC. The NVRA applies to 44 states. Certain states (Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) and territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa) are exempt from the NVRA. Many naturalization applicants have unknowingly registered to vote when they renew their ID or driver’s license.

USCIS seeks to clarify the following:

  • USCIS will not penalize an applicant who unknowingly or unwilfully registers to vote.
  • USCIS does not consider an applicant to have unlawfully registered to vote if the applicant did not complete or sign the voter registration (including electronic signature, if applicable) in the motor vehicle or other state benefit application.
  • USCIS does not consider an applicant to have unlawfully claimed to be a U.S. citizen if the applicant did not affirmatively indicate that he or she is a U.S. citizen. However, if the applicant registered to vote, the applicant has the burden to prove that the registration form did not contain a question about whether the applicant is a U.S. citizen or that the applicant did not indicate, in response to the question, that he or she is a U.S. citizen.
  • An applicant may be considered to have falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen for the purpose of registering to vote, and therefore may lack GMC because he or she committed an unlawful act in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1015(f), if the applicant knowingly answered “yes” to a question asking whether he or she was a U.S. citizen in order to register to vote. This may apply even if the applicant’s registration to vote was done simultaneously with the process of a driver’s license or ID card application, or an application for other state benefits.

When you renew your driver’s license, it’s always wise to read the forms before signing affirmatively.

Can’t Travel, Visa Expires, What Do I Do Now?

A lot of people stuck abroad have experienced panicking moments in the past two weeks when flights are cancelled and borders are closed due to the #COVID-19 shutdown. In March, 2020, the U.S. Department of State announced that immigrant (IV) and nonimmigrant visa (NIV) appointments at ALL Consulates are suspended due to coronavirus. Many countries are also restricting exiting and entering in order to control spread of the pandemic.
So what does this mean when my visa expires? 
These travel restrictions have made family unity and returning to work difficult, if not impossible. Employers are now in the dark with no specific return date for their valued employees and facing uncertainties as to their future needs. Since many visas have a maximum period allowed pursuant to regulation, consular officers do not have the authority to extend visa validity. However, the consular may be able to re-print a visa once travel becomes possible.
Consulates are able to re-issue a new visa provided that all supporting documents, such as police certificates, medical examinations, etc., have not expired. If the supporting documents have expired,  the applicant will be required to obtain new copies prior to the re-issuance of the new visa. Applicants will have to contact the consulate for the re-issuance and different consulate has different procedures. 
For people who are stuck in the U.S. either on valid visas or during grace period, but are not able to leave the U.S. to return to their home countries, options are also limited. Many have applied to extend or change their status using the Form I-539, but this also comes with a hefty fee. Others are banking on the fact that a brief overstay won’t be too problematic if it is limited to 180 days.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a complaint against USCIS calling for the immediate suspension of immigration benefit deadlines and the maintenance of status for nonimmigrants in the U.S. in light of the pandemic, urging USCIS to extend its filing deadlines so that lawfully present foreign nationals in the United States can maintain status during the pandemic.
While we wait for the outcome of this lawsuit, we urge everyone to stay tuned and take care of yourselves. 





对于很多人来说,公民入籍归化曾经是一个值得庆祝的欢乐时刻,表示着某个人顺利的融入美国生活,在法律的眼中,成为公民应该标志着与美国人完全平等。 移民根据其法律地位享有不同的权利,但公民身份应该赋予您对美国宪法的充分保护:投票权,在武装部队服役的权利,以及在您喜欢的地方生活的权利。但是现在规划入籍却成为了恐惧和怀疑的源流。



  • 有递解令在身的美国公民;
  • 有之前逃庭的美国公民;
  • 申请移民过程中有差异的美国公民;
  • 入籍时没有诚实说明犯罪记录的美国公民。





为了剥夺入籍美国人的公民身份,美国政府必须启动称为一个正式的除籍的过程,这样的司法程序只能在联邦法院进行。司法部必须在法院开始诉讼从而撤销某个人的美国国籍。 一个美国入籍公民的美国国籍可以通过民事诉讼程序或者刑事定罪而被撤销。


  1. 非法入籍,某个美国公民在没有入籍资格的情况下被错误的入籍;
  2. 在入籍程序中隐瞒或故意歪曲事实以获得公民身份;
  3. 成为颠覆团体的成员或附属团体;
  4. 通过兵役获得公民身份,但是过后在不光荣的条件下被军队解雇;
  5. 通过非法入籍的父母或配偶从而获得公民身份的受益人。



我们很难估计未来的两年之内有多少人会成为除籍目标。美国公民和移民服务局的主任 Francis Cissna 在接受采访时说他的机构正在招聘几十名律师和移民官员审查被驱逐出境并被怀疑使用假身份以便以后通过入籍获得绿卡和公民身份的移民案件。

MAVNI Soldiers’ Naturalization Picking Up Speed

In the past few weeks, we have seen naturalization interviews being scheduled on short notices at local USCIS offices and if the applicant passes the interview, he or she will be sworn in as an U.S. citizen right away.

If you are a MAVNI soldier waiting for BCT or background checks, and has not yet applied for naturalization. Please do not hesitate to contact an experienced immigration attorney to file your naturalization application,  or alternatively contact The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Military Assistant Program.




加利福尼亚州,内布拉斯加州,德克萨斯州和佛蒙特州服务中心的最新处理时间报告(表示2017年10月31日的处理时间)显示大于五个月的工卡申请的处理时间。 除了基于待决庇护的工卡申请,所有其他类型的工卡现在都非常的慢。





白宫2月25号发表的新框架呼吁国会对合法移民实施严厉的限制。这项新计划将使合法移民的数量减少44% – 即每年50万移民。如果这项政策实施,这将是20世纪20年代以来最大的移民改革。与现行法律相比,白宫的计划将在今后五十年减少近二千二百万人的合法移民。

总统的新计划集中于两个主要内容。 首先,它将立即结束移民绿卡多样性签证抽签,在完全取消5.5万个签证,将其重新分配给目前由家庭和雇主申请绿卡的积压案件。 其次,它将结束大多数由家庭支持的签证类别。这意味着合法移民的数量将会下降。

中国人不是移民绿卡多样性签证抽签的国家之一,所以这个的影响不大,但是香港,澳门人就会吃亏了。DAVID BIER 计算了一下,白宫的政策会减少44%的合法移民。目前来说的移民总数大约为110万,川普的移民政策会减少移民数量到61.6万。参考原文


在这其中将消减17万美国公民的父母,2.2万公民的未婚子女,2.6万绿卡持有人的已婚子女,2.7万公民的已婚子女,6.7万公民的兄弟姐妹, 9.4万绿卡的未成年小孩以及配偶。另外庇护者的数量将减半(从原来的3.7万减少到1.8万)。另外来说,公民小孩的年龄将从21绥降低到18岁,所以将会减少一批公民子女。由于主要受益人的数量大减过后,附带亲属将同时减退。比说在你是公民,你在申请国内的亲姐姐的时候, 姐姐的丈夫以及姐姐的未成年小孩都可以附带,但是如果姐姐的名额被取消, 姐姐来不了了,姐姐的所有附带亲属的移民梦都泡汤。

如果按照川普所想的,将55000张多样性签证彩票中的一半添加到已消除的家庭赞助类别的配额中,每年将有165,566张绿卡发放给正在等排期的人。 也就是说,从现在起24年后,绿卡积压问题会被处理。


移民执法机构(ICE)正式获得全美国范围的车牌识别数据库 – 如何保护自己的权利



ICE与 Vigilant Solutions公司签署了合作合同。该公司拥有超过20亿张车牌照的车牌记录。使用该数据库,ICE代理将能够查看过去五年车牌的位置,以及与车牌相关人员的个人信息。


  • 你有权利保持沉默。你需要告诉警察你选择保持沉默 (I choose to remain silent)。在有些州,你需要告诉警察你的名字。不要用假名字。
  • 千万保持镇定。不要跑,不要慌张。不要争辩,抗拒,或者妨碍警察执行公务。这些可能都是可以累加的罪名,例如 obstruction of justice, resisting arrest, etc.
  • 把手放在警察可以看见的地方。不要放在口袋里或者包里。警察如果看不到你的手,可能会怀疑你有武器。
  • 询问警察你是否有被逮捕或者扣留 (Am I under arrest?) 如果警察没有可以逮捕你的理由,你可以询问是否可以离开 (May I leave?)
  • 如果警察允许你离开的话,保持镇静,慢速走开。不要跑,让警察可以看到你的手。走开始不要讲话。
  • 如果警察征询你的意见想要搜查你的物品或者你本人,你可以拒绝 (No)。
  • 尽量把车停到车流少的地方,这是为了你的安全,也是为了减少堵车隐患。你可以拐到小路上或者停在高速的隔离带上。
  • 把车熄火,如果是晚上的话, 打开车内的灯。把车窗摇开一半,把上手放在方向盘上。
  • 警察会要求你出示驾驶执照 (license),车辆登记证明 (registration),以及保险 (insurance)。如果你没有这些证明的话,是违反法律的 (Driving without a license/ Driving without insurance). 有些警察会同意你给保险证明,比如过邮件或者上个月的保险。
  • 如果警察想要搜查你的车辆,你可以拒绝。除非警察觉得你的车内有犯罪证据,他们是不需要你的许可就可以搜查你的车。比如说,如果警察看到你车内有大麻或者大量现金,警察可以在不经你允许的情况下搜查的车。这个的原因在于警察有 probable cause 认为你用你的车辆进行非法活动。
  • 车内的乘客均有权保持沉默。如果你不是司机,只是乘客,你可以询问是否可以离开。
如果你被询问你的移民身份 (immigration status):
  • 你有权保持沉默。任何关于你的出生国家,以及你是否是美国公民,你都有权拒绝回答。当然,这个只限用于你在美国本土,若果你在机场或者入境港口被边境海关询问这些问题,你需要如实回答。你需要向移民官员出示你的真实的文件。
  • 不要谎报你的名字或者身份,说谎或者出示假证件会有非常严重的后果。


WhiteHouse Immigration Framework




  • 家庭移民福利将仅限于配偶和未成年子女。从而结束非核心家庭的移民。也就是说已婚子女、已婚子女的小孩、兄弟姐妹、兄弟姐妹的配偶、兄弟姐妹的小孩、以及父母,将不再享有移民福利。这项计划对华人冲击很大。目前中国大陆移民中独生子女越来越多,如果父母不能移民至美国,中国大陆移民将何去何从是个难题。另外,这一计划也将会遏制华裔社区月子中心等行业,寄希望于孩子18岁成年后帮父母办绿卡移民的梦想行将破灭。
  • 快速处理积压的案件。已经申请家属移民的人可能知道目前的长期等待状况。很多中国大陆的申请受益人都需要等上7、8年,甚至13、14年的。白宫的想法就是限制将来人口移民美国,但是可以缩短目前等候的时间。
  • 白宫声称核心家庭的移民变更只会被应用到将来的案件上,而不会被应用到已经申请了的家属移民。也就是说如果你已经提交你的申请,这份申请还是有效。新的政策出台以后申请就无效了。


  • 多元化绿卡抽签 (Diversity Lottery)采用随机抽取的方式选择个人移民美国。绿卡抽签每年选择5万人以鼓励移民美国人数较低的国家或地区前往美国。绿卡抽签选择的个人完全根据国籍,不需要任何资质,不考虑其技能、优势和公共安全。很多地区 (中国大陆除外) 都享受这一福利。彩票中奖者还可以同时带上配偶以及未成年子女,全家移民。现在,白宫认为这样的签证彩票充满了欺诈和滥用,跟国家利益是不相符合的。
  • 如果取消了多元化签证彩票,这5万个名额将会被重新分配。美国政府声称这些名额可以被重新分配到家庭以及就业移民,从而缩短等候年份,减少积压的案件。

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) 童年入境人口的合法化:

  • 白宫说愿意为DACA授予人和其他符合DACA资格的未合法移民提供法律保障,以便他们就业以及接受教育。DACA的授予人一般是指在16岁以前被带入美国境内的没有合法身份的儿童。
  • 现在白宫声称愿意在10到12年之内实现所有DACA授予人的公民入籍。预计人口可能超过180万人。DACA授予人的问题一直是政客交锋的焦点。川普在上台后不久就取消了之前奥巴马的DACA政策,使得很多DACA授予人身份过期,从而可能被驱除出境。
  • 白宫认为必须要明确资格要求,以减少移民欺诈;如果DACA授予人涉嫌犯罪行为,将被撤销所有福利。这些要求和目前的移民的政策是相符的。


  • 特别强调美国南北边界安全问题。白宫表示需要加强基础设施,加大人员技术的投入 。对走私者、贩运者、罪犯、和恐怖分子将一网打尽。
  • 白宫希望国会可以通过250亿美元的边界墙系统信托基金,用于对出入境口岸以及北部边境的改善和加强。这是一笔非常大的财政支出。
  • 增加新的国土安全部人员、ICE律师、移民法官、检察官和其他执法专业人员岗位,拨出额外的资金来弥补人员缺陷。
  • 改革现有招聘和工资标准,以确保招聘和保留所需的移民局边境局人员。
  • 不再实行捕获和释放 (catch-and-release) 政策。长期以来,移民局会拘捕违反了移民身份的人,然后释放他们,并且给他们一个移民听证会的日期。很多移民经历过被拘捕后释放的情况。政府一般会要求保释金或者电子脚铐之类的监控设备,有些情况下会被无条件释放。川普政府表示将结束”拘捕后释放“的政策从而提升移民法院效率。
  • 确保对犯罪外国人、帮派成员、暴力犯罪分子和重罪犯的拘留和驱逐。这个是从奥巴马政府时代就一直在实施的政策。
  • 确保及时清除非法越境者,不论其来源国。很多有递解令在身的人或者是没有任何合法文件的恶人现在要考虑如何应对,中国大使馆一般情况下是不签发有效护照的,这个可能在短期内会改变。
  • 签证过期者将被加急清除 (expedited removal)。白宫认为这样会激励大家不要超过有效签证的停留时间。目前来说,持有效签证入境但没有及时离境的人群并不是移民局的目标 ;移民局长期以来都是注重有犯罪记录的人群,而不是签证过期的人群。这些签证过期者可能在不久的将来会变为移民局关注的重点人群。
  • 确保禁止合成药物毒物 (芬太尼 Fentanyl) 进入美国。芬太尼是很多毒品的添加成分。
  • 美国政府希望可以实施移民法庭改革,以提高效率,防止欺诈和滥用。目前的移民法院积案严重。很多移民案件都需要等待二到三年,甚至三到四年,才会有机会拿到判决书。川普的司法部认为很多的政治庇护案件都是编造的,从而给了川普一个借口需要扩建移民法院。川普想要招聘更多的移民法官以及国家安全局律师,从而提高效率。移民法庭将来的重点是速战速决。
Maya King律师点评:如果您或者您的家人有任何移民需要或者困惑,可以致电:913-717-7112进行咨询。以上条文只是美国政府移民改革新计划的宏观方向,并不是已经出台的政策,大家不必太过慌张。但是我们建议大家如果符合移民的基本要求,要抓住机会,在新的政策出台之前尽快争取移民福利,以免未来政策真正改变时措手不及!






1.移民局会给你寄N-445通知书以及调查问卷 – 内含入籍仪式的日期,时间,和地点。如果你不能参加预定的入籍仪式,你需要把N-445通知书寄回当地的移民局办公室,并附上一封要求更新日期的信函说明您为什么不能参加预定入籍仪式。如果不参与你的入籍仪式,你的申请可能会被拒。




5.领取入籍证书 (Naturalization Certificate)。仔细检查你的入籍证书。如果有任何错误的话,你需要在并在离开仪式前通知移民局。如果你遗失了你的入籍证书,可以通过填写N-565表格,替换入籍证书申请表。

6. 更新您的社会安全记录:入籍仪式结束后,你应该在社会保险管理局 (Social Security Administration) 的当地办公室更新你的社会安全记录 (Social Security Card)


  • 美国护照。 你可以在入籍仪式时申请美国护照。也可以在美国大多数邮局或通过网站http://travel.state.gov来申请。
  • 选举投票权。在行政仪式上宣誓效忠之后,你将有机会进行投票登记。你也可以在你所在社区的其他地点注册投票,其中可能包括邮局,车管局,县选举委员会以及您的州务卿办公室。
  • 陪审团。你也可能会被挑中去参与当地法院的陪审团。
  • 医疗保险:根据你所在地的不同,不同地方提供不同的医疗保险福利。

Can You Lose Your U.S. Citizenship Through Denaturalization?

On January 5, 2018,  United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the U.S. government request to denaturalize Defendant Baljinder Singh a/k/a Davinder Singh. [Civil Action No. 17-7214 (SRC)]. Defendant had an in absentia deportation order from the United States under a different name than the one he used to secure his green card. He also failed to disclose his immigration records and alias on his N-400 naturalization application.

Recently, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) identified a large amount of missing fingerprints in its centralized database, and some had undisclosed criminal records. DHS will continue to seek denaturalization of U.S. citizens who obtain citizenship unlawfully. The agency has stated its intention to refer approximately an additional 1,600 cases for prosecution. Natural-born U.S. citizens may not have their citizenship revoked against their will. However, it is different for naturalized citizens. It is rare for a naturalized U.S. citizen to have his or her citizenship revoked, but it does happen.

U.S. citizenship carries its value and importance and taking it away is never treated lightly. So how can the government take away your U.S. citizenship? In a denaturalization proceeding, the U.S. Government has a heavy burden of proof . The law provides for the denaturalization of U.S. citizens whose citizenship orders and certificates of naturalization were “illegally procured or were procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation.” The U.S. government must present “clear, unequivocal, and convincing” evidence justifying revocation of citizenship. The Supreme Court has enumerated four independent requirements for denaturalized:

  • The naturalized citizen must have misrepresented or concealed some fact;
  • The misrepresentation or concealment must have been willful;
  • The fact must have been material, and
  • The naturalized citizen must have procured citizenship as a result of the misrepresentation or concealment.

In short, citizenship could be taken away if the government can prove by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant procured citizenship through illegal means and willful misrepresentation.