Per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), I-94 non immigrant admissions can be sub divided into three categories
- Short-term resident, and
- Expected long-term resident
The word “resident” should not be meant as “lawful permanent resident” of the US. It is mentioned only as an easy short-hand. The “non-resident” non-immigrant classification generally includes visitors for business or pleasure (tourists). They are generally authorized to remain no longer than six months. However, they can apply for extensions to stay an additional period of time. Due to this short stay, childbirths in this classification might be relatively low.
The “short-term resident” non-immigrant classification consists of trainees, students, exchange visitors, treaty traders and investors, intra-company transferees, and other types of non-immigrants who probably will be in the US for a longer period. Thus chances of them give birth to a child while physically present in the US are more.
Non-Resident Non-Immigrants: Per OIS report, 47.3 percent of the total “non-resident” non-immigrant admissions are women. The estimate figure is 4,555,942 female admissions for that non-immigrant category in 2009. An estimated 3,890,774 female tourists are in the child-bearing age.
The US currently does not have a formal exit recording system that would provide data on how many of these visitors are likely to remain in the US long enough to have a child, but in the past DHS researched the travel patterns of temporary visitors through the I-94 arrival/departure forms. Per their report, most foreign tourists stay for a short period of about two weeks or less, but a significant number stay longer. The OIS departure data suggests that about 20 percent of tourists are here for three months or longer, a period that would provide the opportunity for a pregnant visitor to give birth and recover. It roughly estimates that about 780,000 women are legally present visiting here long enough to have a child.
Per the US Census data, in 2009, 5 percent of all foreign national women aged 18 to 35 who arrived within the last year reported giving birth during the year. It could well mean as many as 39,000 births annually to women who have arrived as tourists.
Short-Term Resident Non-Immigrants: Using the same principle as was used above with “non-resident” non-immigrants, we can arrive at a figure of 770,452 admissions of women in the specified age range in 2009. Artists, entertainers, athletes, and their entourages tend to make shorter visits. They comprise 5 percent of short-term resident admissions, so the figure can be reduced to 732,000.
The number of admissions is not the same as the number of individuals as some tend to come and go many times during the year. Since the average length of time before departure and return is six months at a time, it simply means that the average visitor in this classification will have two admissions per year. So the number of individual visitors can be somewhere close to half the number of admissions. So the estimated population of short-term resident women of child-bearing age can be estimated at 366,000. Using the 5 percent birth rate, we can roughly say that 18,300 children might have accrued U.S. citizenship at birth for this non-immigrant category.
Per the Congressional Budget Office, “The total number of [non-immigrant] admissions in 2009 includes approximately 126 million admissions of Canadians and Mexicans who can enter the US without a visa and who need not have to fill out an Arrival/Departure Record (an I-94 form) when they enter. This number includes Canadian nationals traveling for business or tourism purposes and certain Mexican nationals with Border Crossing Cards.
Being a person of good moral character is one of the key requirements when it comes to applying for naturalization. You will not be considered to be of “good moral character” if you happen to commit certain crimes during the five years before you file the citizenship application or even if you lie during their citizenship interview.
General behaviors that show a lack of good moral character are:
• Drunk driving or being drunk most of the time.
• Illegal gambling.
• Lying to gain immigration benefits.
• Failing to pay court-ordered child support.
• Committing terrorist acts.
• Persecuting someone because of race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or social group.
You will never qualify for citizenship if you commit certain specific crimes. In such case, you will also be most likely removed from the US. These crimes are referred as “bars” to citizenship. Crimes those are “aggravated felonies” (if they were committed on or after November 29, 1990) are murder, rape, sexual abuse of a child, violent assault, treason, and illegal trafficking in drugs, firearms, or people. These will result in permanent bars to naturalization.
Also note that immigrants who were exempted or discharged from serving in the US Armed Forces as they were immigrants and immigrants who deserted from the US Armed Forces are also subject to permanently bar. Your case will be rejected if you act in other ways that show you lack good moral character. There are other crimes that are temporary bars and it generally prevent you from becoming a citizen for up to five years after you commit that crime.
It is very important that you report any crime you committed when you apply for naturalization. You are also required to disclose all the crimes removed from your record or committed before your 18th birthday. If you try to hide it from the USCIS, your application will be rejected you can also be prosecuted. So remember to be transparent in all your disclosures.
There are many licensed and competent immigration lawyers who can help you with an immigration issue. Contact the local bar association to find one. There are some states that also certify specialists in US immigration law. If you need legal help on an immigration issue, but do not afford the fee to hire a lawyer, you do have a few low cost or free assistance options. Help is available from:
A Recognized Organization: is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). To qualify under this classification, the organization should have enough knowledge and experience to provide services to immigrants. They are entitled to accept a nominal fee for those services.
An Accredited Representative: are connected to BIA “recognized organizations.” These representatives too are entitled to charge a very nominal fee for the services they provide.
- A Qualified Representative: provide free services. They have to know about US immigration law and the rules of practice in court. Examples of qualified representatives are law school students and graduates. People with good moral character who have a personal or professional affiliation with you also are eligible.
- Free Legal Service Providers: There are many attorneys and organizations willing to help foreign nationals in proceedings before the Immigration Courts. The attorneys and organizations help immigrants free of charge only in immigration proceedings. Some of them may not be able to help you with non-court-related matters (visa petitions, naturalization, etc.).