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.

USCIS Service Fee Change Show 21 Percent Increase

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to adjust USCIS fees by an increase of 21 percent. Read the federal regulation here DHS claims that current USCIS fees leaves the agency a shortfall of $1.3 billion per year and the fee increase is necessary to recover the full operating costs.

USCIS says it has conducted small entity analysis based on a representative sample of the impacted population, The new rules introduce form changes as well as several new forms.

The most important forms with a fee increase are as follows:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $535 $555 $20
I-131 Application for Travel Document $575 $585 $10
I-131 Travel Document for an individual age 16 or older $135 $145 $10
I-131 I-131 Refugee Travel Document for a child under the age of 16 $105 $115 $10
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Nonimmigrant $930/585 $1,415 $830/ $485
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $930 $1,040 $110
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $675 $705 $30
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant $435 $455 $20
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years) $750 $1,120 $370
I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $3,675 $4,015 $340
I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $370 $400 $30
I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal $0 $50 $50
I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative $775 $810 $35
I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility $930 $985 $55
I-601A Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver $630 $960 $330
I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence $595 $760 $165
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $410 $490 $80
I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Renewal) $0 $275 $275
I-824 Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition $465 $500 $35
I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status $3,750 $3,900 $150
I-924A Annual Certification of Regional Center $3,035 $4,470 $1,435
I-929 Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant $230 $1,515 $1,285
N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $270 $1,320 $1,050
N-336 Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings $700 $1,755 $1,055
N-400 Application for Naturalization $640 $1,170 $530
N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $355 $1,600 $1,245

This may prove to have significant financial consequences for several groups, including people who have previously been removed from the U.S. and is eligible to re-enter the U.S. (an $830 increase in fees), U visa family members (an $1,285 increase to qualify as U-1), people who seek to naturalize as U.S. citizens (a $530 increase) people whose naturalization have been denied and are seeking review (a $1,055 increase). We recommend that if you are eligible for the above filings, we need to get them in as soon as possible.

Forms that will becomes cheaper are as following:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $455 $415 -$40
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) $535 $520 -$15
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700 $545 -$155
I-191 Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) $930 $800 -$130
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status $1,140 $1,120 -$20
N-600 Application for Certification of Citizenship $1,170 $1,015 -$155
N-600K Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 $1,170 $960 -$210
N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document $555 $545 -$10
  USCIS Immigrant Fee (consular processing green card fee) $220 $200 -$20
  Biometric Services Fee $85 $30 -$55
  Dishonored Payments (Returned Check Fee) $30 $0 -$30
I-910 Application for Civil Surgeon Designation $785 $650 -$135
I-817 Application for Family Unity Benefits $600 $590 -$10

The deceased fees, comparing to the increases, are minimal. In addition, DHS is proposing to separate Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, into several forms, including the following:

Form No. Form Title Current Fee Proposed Fee Difference
I-129CW (Proposed) Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker $460 $705 $245
I-129E&TN (Proposed) Application for Nonimmigrant Worker: E or TN Classification $460 $705 $245
I-129H1 (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-1 Classification $460 $560 $100
I-129H2A (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2A Classification $460 $860 (named); $425 (unnamed) $400 (named)
I-129H2B (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-2B Classification $460 $725 (named); $395 (unnamed) $265 (named)
I-129L (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: L Classification $460 $815 $355
I-129MISC (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: H-3, P, Q, or R Classification $460 $705 $245
I-129O (Proposed) Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: O Classification $460 $715 $255

If you have any reliefs pending and need assistance, we recommend everyone take the opportunities now.

How to Apply for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

DOS issued a public notice [Public Notice 10121] regarding the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program for 2019. ‘‘Diversity immigrants” are from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2018, 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV Program.

Completing Your Electronic Entry for the DV–2019 Program. Submit your Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E–DV Entry Form or DS–5501), online at DOS will not accept incomplete entries.

Applicants must submit entries for the DV–2019 DV program electronically at between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT–4), Tuesday, October 3, 2017, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT–5), Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Starting May 1, 2018, you will be able to check the status of your entry by returning to, clicking on Entrant Status Check, and entering your unique confirmation number and personal information.

DOS selectees through a randomized computer drawing. Diversity visa numbers are distributed among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

For DV–2019, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.



国土安全部秘书约翰·凯利本周发布了两份备忘录,执行川普总统关于边境安全 border security (memo-1) 和 境内执法 interior enforcement (memo-2) 的行政命令。除了川普总统承诺建造的边界墙以外,我们在未来几个月可能会看到大规模的执法行为,并扩大拘留和加速递解出境的过程。


  1. 国土安全部(DHS)将试图驱逐任何“对公共安全或国家安全构成威胁”的人,但DHS没有明确定义这两个术语,理论上讲,DHS可以说某人是“公共安全隐患”,即使他或者他没有因犯罪被起诉或被定罪。
  2. DHS将重点关注那些(1)已被定罪或甚至被指控犯有刑事犯罪,这其中可能包括只受到过轻微交通违规的无证移民,(2)滥用任何与接受公共福利相关的计划,包括获得任何政府援助,如果你在美国没有身份但享受过政府福利,你可能面临一定风险,(3)如果你在和政府机构打交道有任何的欺诈或故意的失实陈述,包括使用虚假的社安号码在工作的I-9表格上对你的移民身份撒谎。
  3. 国土安全部备忘录还说,将延长加速遣返期限。从2周扩大到2年,并取消了移民在边境100英里内被捕的要求。现在来说, 如果你是新到美国两年以内,都有可能加速遣返。加速遣返的人不会通过遣返程序,涉及在移民法官面前举行听证会。所以说,我建议大家保持两(2)年的在美国生活的记录,以便您不被加速遣返。
  4. 对没有美国签证或没有资格获得签证的人来说, 之前当局允许使用的假释过程将受到极大的限制。
  5. 国土安全部将寻求遣返所有无证外国到达者,包括无人陪伴的儿童。如果他们从毗邻美国的外国土地进入,当局会把他们送回他们来到的地方。这意味着,不论他们的国籍,如果他们从墨西哥进入,DHS将返回他们到墨西哥。
  6. DHS将雇用另外10,000名移民执法官员。我们很可能在全国看到更多的驱逐出境和拘留。
  7. DHS希望扩大继续并增加州和地方执法机构在边境地区的参与,从而帮助移民执法

Maya King 律师事务所将随时通知您美国移民制度的最新变化。如果您或您的家人需要任何建议或帮助,请致电(913)717-7112 与我们联系,免费咨询。

USCIS to Allow Additional Applicants for Provisional Waiver Process 美国移民局允许更多的申请人申请临时豁免

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a final rule expanding the existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas, to more easily navigate the immigration process.  The provisional waiver process promotes family unity by reducing the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad, while also improving administrative efficiency。

美国移民局(USCIS)最近宣布了一项最终法规扩大现有临时豁免程序的法令。 新的政策允许一些美国公民和合法永久居民的家庭成员,具有法定资格可以移民的人,可以更方便的经历美国移民过程。这项新的豁免程序允许符合条件的个人减少在境外等候完成移民的处理时间,同时也提高了行政效率,促进家庭团结。

Until now, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were eligible to seek such provisional waivers before departing the United States for the processing of their immigrant visas.   The new regulation expands eligibility for the process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver. To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.

之前来说,只有美国公民的直系亲属有资格寻求豁免。某些由于在美国有过非法居留不能在境内调整身份(adjustment of status)而必须到境外美国使领馆办理移民签证的目前居住在美国的美国公民的直系亲属可以在新规定生效后先在美国境内向移民局提出临时豁免申请并在申请获准后再出境办理移民签证手续。新的规定扩大了此类申请人的资格。现在来说,要获得豁免,申请人必须证明如果申请人不能返回美国的话,他们是美国公民或合法永久居民的配偶或父母会经历“极端困难” 。

If you would like to find out more about the new rule or if you think you have a case, please call us today.


美國公民入籍 – 如何成为美国公民


  • 居民身份要求: 申请公民的时候必须要有合法的居民身份。 您需要在過去五年裏一直是合法的永久居民 (持綠卡人仕)。 如果你已和美國公民結婚, 則需三年。
  • 連續居住要求:你需要在你目前居住的州住满三个月。
  • 境外旅行要求:您每次離開美國的時間不超過半年。 以及您在美国持有绿卡期间至少有一半時間(2 年 6 個月)身在美國。 如果你已與美國公民結婚,則你至少有一半時間(1 年 6 個 月)身在美國。
  • 良好的道德品質的人:在你递交公民申请表之前3到5年的时间内,你有良好的道德品质。如果你在此之间有触犯过法律,你需要尽快跟你的律师联系以免滋生问题。
  • 选择性参军編號: 在美國居住的, 出生在 1960 年後的男性, 年齡介於 18歲到 26 歲, 均應登記參加 Selective Service。 如果你曾经被要求登記, 但是你在滿 26 歲之前仍未登記, 你應當在申請入籍之前諮詢移民律師。
  • 宣誓效忠美國:所有入籍申請者都願意支持和捍衛美國和美國憲法。 您會宣誓效忠美國,会为美国政府尽力,以及在法律要求下保卫美国。


  • 通常来说,你需要用英語回答美國公民知識 (歷史和政府)方面的問題。你需要能夠讀、寫、說一些會話英語。你的回答不需要完美,语法错误没问题。达到一定年纪的老年人可以有优惠待遇。
  • 如果您没有通过公民身份考试的话,你將有第二次機會參加考试(通常在 60-90 天內). 你不必遞交新的申請表。你將收到一封郵寄來的信, 通知你考试的日期、時間和地點。如果你再次考试不及格,你的申請將被拒絕。
  • 同时你也可以请求豁免。 医疗豁免是指如果你有一種妨礙你學習的殘障 需要“特殊照顧”(援助)。 一般性的例子有:帕金森;母语不会讲;听力不好影响你的学习;創傷後壓力症侯;其他很多种类的疾病残障影响你的学习能力。


  • 把申請材料送到移民局;
  • 在一到兩個月內收到移民局開出的收據表明它已收到你的申請表 ;
  • 移民局告訴你已為你安排好打指模的時間和地點;
  • 打完指模幾個月後, 你將會收到一封信函,告訴你面詴安排的時間和地點。 (3-4 个月);
  • 面詴後, 你將收到你的考试成績,然后在面试过后1-2 月入籍儀式上宣誓效忠美國

如果你想申请公民,感觉无从入手的话,现在就给你的律师打电话吧。本事务所提供免费咨询。我的工作电话是 913-717-7112.