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We are excited to present a new series on Immigration Law in 2012! Each radio interview with include a question and answer section on immigration issues from the listeners. Also, each radio interview will have an information section on a specific area of immigration law.


In 2012, Immigration Attorney, Theresa M. Napolitano, will be presenting a radio interview and series on Immigration Law. The following is a schedule of the immigration law topics and issues to be presented in this series:


I           Becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident: the Green Card Process

            (Saturdays: January 28, 2012 and February 4, 2012)


II         Petitioning for Relatives: the Green Card Process for your Family Members

            (Saturdays: February 11, 2012 and February 18, 2012)


III        Becoming a United States Citizen: the Naturalization Process

            (Saturdays: February 25, 2012)


IV        Filing for Refugee Status: Asylum and Withholding of Removal

            (Saturdays: March 3, 2012 and March 10, 2012)


V         Cancellation of Removal: the “10 year case”

            (Saturdays: March 17, 2012)


VI        Special Visas and Applications

            (Saturdays: March 24, 2012)




Question: I have been in the US for 12 years and I have 2 US born children. I have never been arrested and I always pay my taxes. One of my children is disabled. However, I did file an asylum case when I first arrived from Senegal but I never went to any interview or court appointment. Can I get my papers now?


Answer: Thank you for your question. Many people are in a very similar situation. You might be eligible for the relief of Cancellation Of Removal (COR). In order to be eligible for COR, you must show that you have been present in the US for at least 10 years; have Good Moral Character: and your US Citizen children will suffer an extreme hardship if you are removed from the US.


My concern with your situation is that you filed an asylum application and might have been placed into removal/deportation proceedings. If you received an appointment to appear before an Immigration Judge you might not have the required 10 years presence. Certain appointment notices from the Immigration Court can stop the counting of your time in the US. However, if your asylum application as administratively closed or withdrawn prior to an NTA being issued, you would be eligible to consider this type of relief. You should contact an attorney so he or she can determine if you have what is needed for this case.


Question: I am a 58 year old green card holder from Mali. I have always paid my taxes and I have never had any problem with the police. I work very hard and take care of my children and my family in Mali. I got my green card through marriage to my US citizen wife 18 years ago. We are still married and have a nice family. I was told I can apply for US citizenship now but I cannot write or read well in English. Can I ever become a US citizen?


Answer:Yes, there is a good possibility that you can become a US citizen soon! You are over 55 years old and, in 2 years you will have had your LPR (green card) status for 20 years. It sounds like you have made a good life for you and your family by working hard in the US these past years. If you satisfy all the other requirements for  

Naturalization, you need only to wait another 2 years to apply for Citizenship and have the English language requirement waived!


Normally, after 5 years of being a green card holder, a person can apply for Naturalization. Part of the process is establishing an understanding of the English language and knowledge of the US law and history. However, if an applicant for Naturalization is over 50 years old and has been living in the US as an LPR for at least 20 years, the English requirement is waived. If an applicant is over 55 years old and has been living in the US as an LPR for 15 years, the English requirement is waived. If an applicant is over 65 years old and has been living in the US as an LPR for 20 years, the English requirement is waived and the History portion of the exam is simplified.


These answers are providing general information only, not to be considered legal advice. Please consult attorney for a detailed consultation regarding your specific facts.


For a free consultation, please contact the Law Office of Theresa M. Napolitano at 212-619-8119. Or, go to the office located at 299 Broadway, Suite 204, New York, NY  10007.

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