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Naturalization after Voluntary Departure.

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Filed: Timeline


I overstayed my tourist visa 12 years ago and was detained by INS and in custody for about a month. During the court hearing the judge granted me Voluntary Departure (no bans to re-enter). INS put me on the plane back to Europe and I came back to the US for 3 months (Visa Waiver Program) shortly after. My girlfriend and I then moved to Mexico. After 2 years we got married and I applied for the Green Card and permanently moved to the US in 2006.

I've been eligible to apply for citizenship for a few year and finally getting around to doing it. However, there's a few questions that I do not know how to answer. I tried to set up a meeting to consult with a lawyer but the 3 I contacted were not interested because I've completed the N-400 form.

Can someone please let me know about these questions:

24. Have you ever been charged with committing, attempting to commit a crime or offense? (Is overstaying a visa an crime or offense?)

25. Have you ever been convicted of a crime or offense? (Same question regarding detention and Voluntary Departure)

28. Have you ever been in jail or prison? (I was in a detention center, so I guess it's "yes")

33. Have you ever been removed, excluded or deported from the US? (not deported or excluded but "removed"?)

34. Have you ever been ordered removed, excluded or deported from the US? (I guess no to either of these options?)

35. Have you ever been placed in removal , exclusion, recession or deportation proceedings? (was I in removal or deportation proceedings?).

Any feedback and help would be very helpful.


-Married 01/05/05,Mexico City

-Filed I-130 01/20/05,DF Embassy

-NOA 03/01/05

-Packet 3 from Ciudad Juarez arrives. 03/22/05

-Packet 3 completed and sent back to CDJ.

-Interview set up for 02/23/06
-Entered US 02/14/06
-Permanent Residency 2008

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I would consult with an immigration lawyer. I don't see a problem for you to get the citizenship. But it's better to take a lawyer advice.


day 1 -- 04/11/2012-- package sent to Chicago

day 2 -- 04/12/2012-- package was received.

day 43-- 05/23/2012-- Notice for an interview is received for 06/26 @ 2pm

day 63-- 06/12/2012-- Received a Text & email for an update- Card production EAD/AP

day 77-- 06/26/2012-- interview / approved on the spot.

day 86-- 07/05/2012-- Received my GC in the mail.


day 1 -- 04/07/2014 -- ROC Package delivered to VSC

day 16 -- 04/23/2014 -- Walk-in Bio.

day 197 -- 10/20/2014-- Approval Letter received dated 10/16/2014

day 202 -- 10/25/2014-- GC received

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador

If the lawyers whom you've contacted couldn't be bothered, try here:


They have very reasonable rates for e-mail or phone consultations. I have no connection with the firm other than as a satisfied customer of one of its prior iterations.

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

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