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New hurdles for citizenship seekers in New York

Another round of paperwork has been added to what some individuals say is an already lengthy process. For individuals seeking U.S. citizenship and desiring to locate to New York, this means the the extra steps may possibly cause delays. No longer will people be able to allow a family member or lawyer to easily work directly with a member of Congress. 

Potential immigrants sometimes seek aid through congressional offices, and allow the office to work directly with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through a family member or lawyer with the use of a privacy waiver. Now, the process to ensure that the waiver is honored has become somewhat more difficult. USCIS will now require multiple new forms to accompany the privacy waiver. 

The new forms include a hand-signed, notarized form, which is required even if the immigrant is still overseas. The form must be renewed, with new paperwork and signatures, for each follow-up sent after 30 days have passed without a response from the USCIS. Also required are English translations of any language and a certification from a qualified translator, and the specific congressional office must be named as the only authorized recipient. 

Proponents of the rule change claim the new process promotes efficiency and safety, but some critics feel that the policies could be a barrier. Current laws regarding U.S. citizenship have been recently changing. A person in New York seeking immigration to the United States may wish to consult with an experienced immigration attorney for guidance on the most up-to-date policies. 

Source:, "Trump Administration Adds New Hurdles for Green Card Seekers", Gabrielle Levy, Dec. 28, 2017

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