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How to file US Citizenship Application for Haiti victims?

25th May 2011
By Jessica Potter in Immigration Law
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A massive disaster struck Haiti in the form of a high intensity earthquake which resulted in a total devastation of Haiti. Help Haiti Act of 2010 was signed into law by the US President to help the Haiti victims. This will enable certain Haitian orphans to be paroled into the US. After this, they will be entitled to the status of lawful permanent residents and get green cards( Can later file their Citizenship Application)

A very important thing to be noted here is that this law does not directly grant US Citizenship to the Haiti Victims. It is the first step leading towards US Citizenship. Applications to get a green card under this law may be filed at any time on or before December 9, 2013.

What are the eligibility criteria?

A Haiti victim has to satisfy the following criteria before he/she can apply for Green Card and subsequently file their Citizenship Application.

• Must File Form I- 485(on or before December 9, 2013) to register their Permanent Residence with the specified fee ($985.00)

• Must have undergone inspection by the US government Authorities
• Must have been granted parole into the US

• Visa and passport requirements are waived for the victims and they must be in a position so that the victim can be admitted into the US as an immigrant

• When a victim files Form I-485, he/she must physically be present in the US

• The victim’s physical presence is also a must on the date that when USCIS decides the case

What all should the victim file?

The prime thing to be noted here is the last date for receiving the applications which has been set as December 9, 2013. Applications received after this date will be rejected (Application fee will be returned though!)

• Form I-485

• $985.00 - Filing fee for each applicant per Form

• $85.00 - Biometrics fee for victims who are 14 years or older

• Form I -693

• Form I-94(copy only)

• Identity and nationality proof (Haitian passport, Birth Certificate or other documents that have been issued by the Haitian Government)

• Every other supporting documents that are mentioned under Form I-485

• An affidavit should be submitted in case any of the above documents are not available

• No need to submit Form I-864 Affidavit of Support as the victims are not adjusting their status as Immediate relatives

Filing Location

After ensuring that the application is error free and complete, the applicants have to mail it to the USCIS office at Phoenix

What happens after submitting the application?

After filing the application the applicant will be notified to appear for the biometric test at an Application Support Center (ASC). We will also send you an appointment notice if your case requires us to interview you.

If the Form I-485 is approved, then the applicant will receive the Green Card approximately after two weeks of the approval date. After getting their green card, they can then proceed to file their Citizenship Application ( only after meeting the listed conditions )

Citizenship Application

In order for a Haitian parolee to gain automatic US citizenship, they need to be adopted by US Citizens mandatorily. A Haiti victim should satisfy the requirements of INA (Sections 320&322) if they have been conferred with the legal permanent resident status through the Haiti act and have been adopted by a US Citizen. This should have been completed before their 18th birthday.

In order to get US Citizenship through their adopted parents, a child must have been adopted before its 16th birthday .This is the general rule for filing Citizenship Application through parents. But in the case of Haiti victims, children who have been adopted up to the age of 18 can file in their Citizenship application to get citizenship through their adopted parents.

If a Haitian victim fails to meet the criteria for obtaining Citizenship through their parents then they should go through the standard route of filing their Citizenship Application

Citizenship Application
US Citizenship Form

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