A California man has been charge in connection with an alleged scam that promised citizenship to immigrants for fees of up to $10,000. The operation used adult adoptions as its method for gaining citizenship for immigrants who were willing to pay the fee. The 63-year-old man who ran the operation was charged with conspiracy and twelve fraud charges on Feb. 11.
Permanent U.S. residents in California who need to leave the country for a lengthy period may wonder whether this will affect their ability to become naturalized citizens. Immigration law states that in order to apply for naturalization, immigrants must have a period of continuous residence, and a period of time abroad of more than six months ends that continuous residence. However, there are exceptions.
Californians may be interested to learn about a recently announced push by Mexico to encourage legal immigrants from the country in the U.S. to go ahead and seek dual citizenship in both countries. The Mexican government has indicated it is encouraging legal immigrants to become naturalized U.S. citizens in order to empower themselves.
Some U.S. citizens in California who marry foreign nationals may later find out their spouses are cheating before they have received their permanent resident cards. When that occurs, the U.S. citizen may want to prevent the other spouse from gaining permanent residency status based upon the marriage.
Immigrants in California who have green cards may want to become naturalized citizens but might face a number of obstacles. One of those is financial. With the naturalization fee set at $680 with no refund if the application is denied and no cap for families, many immigrants may opt for the less expensive and complicated green card renewal instead.
California readers may have heard about Donald Trump's call to end "birthright citizenship" in the United States. However, the important legal case that made birthright citizenship the law of the land nearly 120 years ago may make the Republican presidential candidate's plan difficult to achieve.
Children in California who have at least one U.S. citizen or naturalized parent are automatically considered U.S. citizens. A person who was under the age of 18 when one of their parents naturalized does not need to apply for naturalization. To prove U.S. citizenship, a person in this situation could simply apply for a U.S. passport or a Certificate of Citizenship.
California residents may not know that immigration laws sometimes treat men and women differently. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 is one such law, and one of its key provisions was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court on July 8. The contentious provision imposed a five-year residency requirement before fathers who are U.S. citizens could confer citizenship to their children born out of wedlock in another country to a non-U.S. citizen. The law only required unwed mothers in a similar circumstance to live in the United States for one year before their children would be considered citizens.
The hopes of pursuing a law enforcement career in California were dashed for an American Samoan man when he was informed that he did not meet the U.S. citizenship requirement. The man subsequently filed a lawsuit that sought to see those who are born in an unincorporated American territory like American Samoa granted the same citizenship rights as those born in Puerto Rico, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit preserved the current law in a June 5 ruling.
Individuals in California who are considering becoming naturalized with dual citizenship or who may have children with dual citizenship should keep in mind that this may have implications for taxes and other issues. The United States taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, but it has tax treaties with a number of countries that prevent double taxation. People should check to see what their tax status would be with the other country where they are also a citizen.