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About jkstark

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  • Birthday November 8
  • Member # 256529

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  • City
  • State
    New York

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    Naturalization (approved)
  • Place benefits filed at
    Lewisville TX Lockbox
  • Local Office
    Buffalo NY
  • Country

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  1. jkstark

    Selective Service question

    You have to register if you are between the ages of 18 and 25. If you did not, and are now 31 or older, there is no issue with the lack of registration, since it is beyond the statue of limitations, and the USCIS (I believe that it was their guide) indicates that they are not to consider the failure to register for selective service for naturalization applicants who are 31 years old or older (ie. 5 years after the end of the required registration age). I never registered either when I overstayed my original F1 visa, but was well beyond the age of registration, and no questions were asked except if I had registered or not. Simply stating no, that I was not aware of the requirement, everything was fine...
  2. jkstark

    Renew Passport from USA

    I don't know about the entire EU, but I do know that there are several member states that require an in-person initiation for a passport renewal. I know Finland has no passport application, per se - you go to the embassy and request a new passport. All your personal information is pulled from the national registry, and they print out a facsimile of the personal information page of the passport for the applicant to be able to sign. The photograph is then attached to this sheet, which is scanned in, and sent to the passport agency electronically. The fastest I have seen that service work was the last time I renewed mine in New York; went in to apply on Thursday afternoon, and my new passport was in New York by Monday, from where they sent it to me by FedEx, so I had it on Tuesday - ie. 5 days later it was in hand under regular service. Don't have any idea what would have happened if it had not been over a weekend... As a side note, it is very possible and easy to get a passport the same day in Helsinki without requiring any special circumstances for it..
  3. I had a similar experience though it was at the Syracuse support office - which is staffed out of Buffalo for the most part from what I understand. The unfortunate part for me was that I didn't realize that the copy that I got was incorrect until the Dept of State returned it without the apostille that I needed since it was not a valid "Certified True Copy"... I'm yet to go back and get it redone - time to get somewhere is the issue...
  4. While I understand that there are times where a certified copy is needed, and this account of how to get one is appreciated, I am both surprised and concerned that an employer may be asking for any copy of the certificate. Obviously, I have no idea what other documents you already may have, but assuming that you already have a passport, there should be no requirement for any copy of the certificate. Employers are not permitted to pick and chose what documents you use to provide proof of eligibility of employment - so for instance if you have a passport, that is legally all you need. There may obviously be certain specific employers who have requirements for citizenship that is not tied to employment eligibility, so in those cases having some kind of documentation might be potentially acceptable. However, the US passport is considered prima facie proof of citizenship, making the requirement for a copy of the naturalization certificate seem *very* odd to me. Each case may be different, but in general, an employer should not ever have to see your naturalization certificate from all that I can tell...
  5. Take a look at the topic for passport timelines here - you'll quickly find that the times that are provided (4-6 weeks) are not very accurate, and typically you'll see your passport sooner than that. Also - it is *technically* possible to send a "Certified True Copy" of your naturalization certificate - there is some evidence of it working, and some of it not going as expected. You can certainly try that but make sure that the "certified true copy" you receive from the USCIS (which has to be done via an Infopass appointment at a later date than your naturalization ceremony) is done correctly - including a raised seal on the copy. I received a "certified true copy" that was not done right by the USCIS office, and had to go back again a second time for a completely different purpose that I needed a copy of the certificate...
  6. jkstark

    3 questions....

    For the citations, make sure you have a full court disposition paperwork for them... If the amounts are less than (I believe) $600, they won't ask for anything else, but it is a good idea to have the disposition notice for those on hand in case they are asked for... As to the 5 year rule - it is the simpler approach to go with, and you don't need nearly as much paperwork on hand to complete. Essentially, while you will be asked about your marriage, it is for the most part meaningless, since you are not applying on the basis of being married, but rather on the basis of having been a LPR for 5 years. As mentioned, your 11 year old becomes a citizen at the same time as you do, and you simply need to apply for a passport for them.
  7. I went and listed a whole bunch, including a category of "various store clubs" on the basis that they wanted to know about them, and saying more than was needed was better than not enough. IO briefly looked at them and then ignored the entire category, and said something along the lines of simply looking to see if there was anything that was "odd" there... In other words, it doesn't hurt to list all that you can think of; I'm sure I might have missed some in any case...
  8. jkstark

    Visiting SA once married - need SA visa to enter SA ?

    A quick Google search indicates that you can retain your SA citizenship if you apply to retain that citizenship BEFORE you acquire foreign citizenship. Keeping in mind that simply coming to the US on a K1 visa does not grant you US citizenship, you will not have the opportunity to lose your SA citizenship right away in any case. At the very earliest that it can become is an issue is when you to go apply for citizenship, so at a minimum 3+ years from gaining permanent resident status. So - check the requirements via the SA Embassy/Consulate, and you'll be fine...
  9. jkstark


    Did you send a certified copy of the birth certificate, or just a normal photocopy? Further, you may need to get a copy of the birth certificate from the city where he was born, which would be notarized (authenticated) by the county, which would then need to be notarized (authenticated) by the state before it would be acceptable... I recall having to go through a similar process, albeit for a very different reason... Birth certificate from the city (Auburn, NY in this case) had to be authenticated by the county, and then apostilled by the state to be acceptable for use outside of the country - which might also be needed for this, though just an authenticated copy from the county may be sufficient...
  10. jkstark

    Estimated time 12 months

    To me, 12 months does not sound unrealistic these days... My N400 was just shy of that - if you have a common name, or have been around for a while, or if something else causes the background check to go long, it will take even longer. My understanding is that there are more applicants than before, and everything is being scrutinized a bit more. The processing time in your filed office is one guideline, but that does not mean that they will have it within a short timeframe. Also, bear in mind that the estimate is just that - an estimate. It may be longer or shorter than that. I would suggest looking at the topics here for N400 filers, searching for ones that match your field office, and comparing times and estimates to try to get a better idea of how long it will take. However, keep in mind once again that until your field office receives the paperwork, they can't do anything to it. If it sits in a background check/other processing elsewhere, their timelines may mean nothing. On the other hand, my field office was extremely quick in getting through my paperwork once they got it, probably because it was "beyond normal processing times" already by the time they got it. From them receiving it and my oath was under 2 months, with Christmas and New Year's in between... K
  11. jkstark

    Need some clarification

    No harm in mentioning it - if the fines are below the $500 (or $600) threshold, they won't impact anything in any case, but being forthright is the better option...
  12. jkstark

    Need some clarification

    Most likely you will never be asked for them, but I would recommend getting disposition letters for those unless you already have them. I was never asked to produce, nor did I have all the records (one ticket was too old for me to remember where it was adjudicated)... I simply listed it, and stated that it was dismissed. The other ticket was one I was able to get a letter from the court, but again for one that was clearly a low enough amount, I was never asked for it during the interview, and was simply told that since the total was under (I believe) $600, there was no need to produce anything...
  13. I'll echo the sentiment that you might as well err on the side of caution, and disclose this. If this is the only violation you have, and since it was under $500, there will be absolutely no impact from it for your N400 application. If, however, you did not disclose it, and it came to light during the background investigation, and you could not explain it away to the satisfaction of the interviewer, it could be, in a worst case scenario, considered a misrepresentation of yourself. For reference, I had two moving violations that I had gotten - one for a red light in Brooklyn, and one for a failure to move over in a road construction area. Neither of the tickets truly held water, and the red light one was dismissed outright, though the work zone area was later converted to a equipment violation - my muffler had given out during the trip... In any case, both were disclosed, and were promptly ignored by the interviewer when it was clear that the fine was under (I believe I was told) $600. They did not even care to see the disposition notice on either one - which is good since the first one was so long ago that I no longer had any paperwork on it...
  14. As others have said, you may apply under either rule - I did mine on the 5 year rule simply because it took less work and less paperwork - even though I'd been married to the same spouse throughout. I think I'd been a GC holder for 16 years by that point - can't remember exactly right now... As a 5 year applicant, I had taxes printed out as well as a bunch of other paperwork, but at the interview they only were interested in travel during the time (which I didn't have exact records of in any case, but rough estimates). I did have my wife's passport with me because she had more stamps for departure/entry to the US on her's than I did in mine, and I may have shown that as partial evidence - don't recall. The interview was done about 15 minutes ahead of schedule since the previous interviewee was a no-show, and I was back out of the USCIS office before my scheduled appointment time, with an oath ceremony notice in hand - for 12 days later, which included the new year's holidays. Yes - my process to get to the interview took a long time (my oath was a few weeks shy of one year from application) but once it started to move, it went quickly. No fuss, no hassles, no mountain of evidence or other paperwork.
  15. FWIW - there should also be an expiration date on the form... The PDF at the following link can be considered to be a probable exemplar of the form: https://tr.usembassy.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/DS-5535-Supplemental-Questions-For-Visa-Applicants.pdf I've not actually seen one in person, but... There are a few subtle differences between the online version that is at the link and the one you posted... Your form has no expiration (marked as xx/xx/xxxx), the PDF has a space for Consular officer signature, yours includes a reference to email, but is missing one entire paragraph of the instructions at the top...