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  • Steps Towards Citizenship In The USA
  • Becoming a US citizen can give birth to many opportunities to a person who becomes a resident of the country. One, the citizen can vote and has access to a passport. What’s more, there is protection from the citizen getting deported to some other country.

    But the process of citizenship requires some steps to be followed:

    STEP 1: ELIGIBILITY:  Are you eligible to apply for citizenship? Do you have lawful permanent residence, that is, a green card? Unless you have been sanctioned special waivers (which is very rare) you must have a green card first, before you can apply to be a citizen.

    STEP 2: OVERCOMING INELIGIBILITY: Perhaps you are not eligible to become a citizen right now. Maybe a minor crime was committed by you, or for some other reason you are prevented from becoming a citizen. So you need to find the steps to overcome this obstacle to citizenship. An immigration lawyer who specializes in immigration and citizenship could be consulted.

    STEP 3: FORM N-400 TO BE FILED: Some paperwork will have to be done once eligibility is established. The N-400 is the form which gets the process initiated. Along with the application a copy of your green card too should be attached.

    STEP 4: FINGERPRINTING: Once your application is filed a background check will be done. A date will be given to you; you will then have to visit the local office where your fingerprinting will be done. FBI will carry out a background check on the fingerprint.

    There are 2 more steps to complete the entire process, which we will look at in our next blog.

  • The Immigration Medical And You
  • The Immigration Medical is an important part of the entire immigration journey for an aspirant who wishes to settle down in the US.

    WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE IMMIGRATION EXAMINATION:

    All records, such as the applicant’s employment, military, school or police documents and records will be scrutinized and these will be used to define whether the applicant has a history of harmful behavior, either physical or mental. Records are usually examined to rule out any disorders that could endanger the individual and the proximate society and could impact daily functioning and general health and well-being.

    The applicant will be asked specifically about symptoms that are in relation to his or her muscular, pulmonary, cardiac and neuropsychiatric systems; symptoms will be looked out for by the doctor to see whether the applicant has any diseases that could make admissibility impossible.

    A physical examination will be conducted by the doctor – the eyes, nose and throat, heart, lungs, stomach, nodes, skin, external organs etc. will be checked for infections. A mental examination will also be done; general intelligence, mood, judgment, behavior etc will be examined and assessed for any irregularities.

    Some tests will also be done by the Civil Surgeon – blood test and X-rays are an inevitable part of the whole exercise.

  • The Green Card Medical And You
  • Once you turn up for your appointment for the Green Card Medical you will be asked for your medical history which will then be reviewed by the USCIS-approved Civil Surgeon. You will be asked to notify the Surgeon as to the number of times that you have had to stay in hospital, or whether you have ever suffered or are suffering from a severe physical or mental condition, and also will be asked to state the number of times that you have fallen sick or stayed disabled.

    The Surgeon will also ask you certain questions about your history – pertaining to drug, alcohol or psychoactive substances use, behavior that was harmful to society in the past, or any mental or psychiatric conditions not documented before.

    The Surgeon will also go through chest X-Rays and other treatment documentation to see if there has been an instance of tuberculosis.

    WHAT IF YOU ARE SICK AT THE TIME OF THE IMMIGRATION MEDICAL?

    If it so happens that you have already fixed up an appointment for the medical exam and you suddenly fall sick then the Civil Surgeon could ask you to go back and only visit the doctor after you get better.

    WHAT IF YOUR CASE IS UNUSUAL?

    If the Civil Surgeon feels that you have a distinct case you could be referred to another medical doctor for a second opinion.

  • Some Questions About The Immigration Medical Answered
  • Q. Is there a “medical waiver” available for the Green Card Medical exam and if so how can one be eligible for it?

    Ans A “medical waiver” can be granted by the USCIS , the immigration body in the USA if the applicant falls in the eligibility criteria. If the applicant is granted medical waiver then he or she is permitted to remain or reside in the U S in spite of having a medical condition that could have otherwise made the person inadmissible.

    Eligibility for the medical waiver can come into effect if :

    • The applicant is the spouse or unmarried son or daughter or the minor, unmarried adopted child of a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident; or
    • The applicant has a son or daughter or lawfully adopted child who is a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident; or
    • The applicant becomes eligible for classification as a self-petitioning spouse or child (including derivative children) because of abuse.

    Q What does ‘medical grounds of inadmissibility’ mean?

    Ans ‘Medical grounds of inadmissibility’ is effective when a health condition which is a public health concern to the United States occurs. Under the U.S. immigration laws, the medical grounds of inadmissibility are divided into four categories:

    • Communicable disease of public health significance
    • Lack of required vaccinations (for immigrant visa applicants only);
    • Physical or mental disorders with harmful behavior
    • Physical or mental disorders with harmful behavior.