If you are applying for Naturalization and have a physical or mental impairment that makes it difficult for you to complete the citizenship process, the USCIS will make accommodations or certain modifications under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 1973. The USCIS will make accommodations for such applicants with disabilities for whom the process needs certain modifications in order to demonstrate their eligibility.
Waivers for Citizenship Applicants
If you are using a wheelchair, the USCIS will make sure that you are fingerprinted, interviewed, and sworn in at a location that is accessible to a wheelchair. If you are hearing impaired, the USCIS officer interviewing you will speak loudly and slowly, or will co-ordinate with you in arranging for a sign language interpreter. If you require a sign language interpreter during the oath ceremony, you should mention it in the N-400 citizenship application in the section where you are asked if you need an accommodation for a disability. If you are using a service animal (guide dog), you can bring your dog along with you to the interview and oath ceremony.
The USCIS takes utmost care to make sure the naturalization process is easier for citizenship applicants with disabilities. If you need some kind of accommodation, you have to write a letter explaining your requirements and send it to the USCIS district office that will interview you after you receive your interview notice. If you have a physical or mental impairment because of which you cannot learn or demonstrate the required knowledge of English and civics, you can apply for an exemption to the tests. To request an exemption, you are required to file a “Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions” (Form N-648). If you are eligible, get in touch with a licensed medical or osteopathic doctor or licensed clinical psychologist and he/she has to complete and sign your N-648 form.
If you are eligible for a waiver of the English proficiency requirement, you have to bring an interpreter along with you. To qualify for a disability exception, your disability has to be at least one year old (or be expected to last one year) and not caused by illegal drug use.
The USCIS needs enough advance notice to respond to accommodation requests. You have to state you need in the place provided in the naturalization application. Even if you are eligible for an exception to the English and civics requirement, you still have to take the Oath of Allegiance to the US. If you are not able or cannot establish an understanding of the meaning of the Oath because of your physical or mental disability, the USCIS may excuse you from this requirement.
While taking the Oath, you must promise to renounce all foreign allegiances while becoming a US Citizen and promise to support and defend the principles of the Constitution and the laws of the US. As and when required, you must be willing to fight in the US Armed Forces, perform noncombatant service in the US Armed Forces, and perform civilian service for the US.
International companies can transfer managerial and specialized knowledge employees from their foreign office to their US office through the L-1 visa classification. Foreign companies are also permitted to establish a new office in the United States.
International companies can transfer managerial and specialized knowledge employees from their foreign office to their US office through the L-1 visa classification. Foreign companies are also permitted to establish a new office in the United States. The L-1 visa, also referred as “intra-company transferee” visa allows international companies to transfer their employees to the US for work within the same or related company. It is mandatory that the employees being transferred should have been employed by the foreign company for at least one year within the three years before filing under the L-1 classification.
The L-1 visa category is further divided into two sub categories:
- L-1A visas are for employees who come to the US in a managerial position. The employee’s responsibilities are managing either people or processes. It is not necessary for these employees to be managers at present to qualify, but the proposed US job must be of a managerial level.
- L-1B visas are for employees who have “specialized knowledge”, meaning ones who have knowledge about a particular product/process that cannot be mastered in a reasonable period of time. Main developers of a new technology OR employees who have a long history with the company’s product line that is necessary for developing next generation products fall under this category.
L-1 visas are valid for an initial three-year period. It can be renewed for two years at a time, rising up to a maximum of seven years for L-1A visa holders and five years for L-1B visa holders. Maximum time limit simply refers to the employee’s physical presence in the United States. If you come under the L-1B visa category and during your US employment you leave the US a few times for vacation or business, the total amount of time spent outside of the US can be added back to the total amount of time permitted in the US. In simple terms, the maximum time in L-1 status is restricted to the time that someone is physically present in the US.
Unless you, the L-1 visa holder are granted lawful permanent residency (green card) in the US before the maximum time limit (seven years for L-1A visa holders and five years for L-1B visa holders) is reached, it is mandatory that you leave the US for a full year (365 days) before you become eligible to get another L-1 visa.
Features of the L-1 Visa Category
It facilitates transfer of employees of international companies from a foreign office to a US office of the same or related company. It is divided into two sub categories, for managers and specialized knowledge employees. L-1A visa holders are limited to a maximum stay of seven years and L-1B visa holders are limited to a maximum stay of five years. Time previously spent in H-1B status will be counted toward the L-1 maximum limit. Dependent spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age qualify for L-2 status. Such dependents can study in the US and L-2 spouses are permitted to apply for separate work authorization. It is a dual-intent visa that allows for permanent residency by filing the green card application simultaneously while working in L-1 status.