Volume 12: Citizenship and Naturalization Summary of New and Updated Policies
USCIS is issuing updated and comprehensive citizenship and naturalization policy guidance in the new USCIS Policy Manual. This guidance, contained in Volume 12 of the Policy Manual, replaces the naturalization and citizenship policy guidance found in Chapters 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76 of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM), the AFM’s related appendices, and policy memoranda.
The tables below identify new policies and clarifications on existing policies incorporated into specific parts of Volume 12 of the USCIS Policy Manual.
In hearings involving naturalization applications denied on the basis of failing to meet the educational requirements (English and civics),1 officers must administer any portion of the English or civics tests that the applicant previously failed. Officers provide only one opportunity to pass the failed portion of the tests at the hearing.
Under the current law, USCIS no longer considers lawful permanent residents to have abandoned their LPR status solely by residing in the CNMI. This provision is retroactive and provides for the restoration of permanent resident status. However, the provision did not provide that the residence would count towards the naturalization continuous and physical presence requirements. Therefore, USCIS will only count residence in the CNMI on or after November 28, 2009, as continuous residence within the United States for naturalization purposes.3
In general, all naturalization applicants filing on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen must be the spouse of a U.S. citizen from the time of filing the Application for Naturalization until the applicant takes the Oath of Allegiance. In addition, some spousal naturalization provisions require that the applicant “live in marital union” with his or her citizen spouse prior to filing the Application for Naturalization.4 USCIS considers an applicant to “live in marital union” with his or her citizen spouse if the applicant and the citizen actually reside together.
An applicant under the special provisions for spouses is ineligible for naturalization if:
There are limited circumstances where an applicant may be able to establish that he or she is living in marital union with his or her citizen spouse even though the applicant does not actually reside with the citizen spouse.5
In all cases where it is applicable, the burden is on the applicant to establish that he or she has lived in marital union with his or her U.S. citizen spouse for the required period of time.6
A. General Eligibility for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad
D. Calculating Period “Regularly Stationed Abroad”
NOTE: Language from chapter 3 excerpt below is same language found in corresponding sections in chapters 4 and 5. The only difference is that “Application for Certificate of Citizenship” in first paragraph is replaced with “Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322 (Form N-600K)” in chapter 5.
Accordingly, USCIS waives the oath requirement for a child younger than 14 years of age. If USCIS waives the oath requirement, USCIS issues a Certificate of Citizenship after the officer approves the application.
Chapter 4: Replacement of Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization
2 See INA 101(a)(36) and INA 101(a)(38). See INA 101(a)(36) and INA 101(a)(38). See 48 U.S.C. 1806(a) and 48 U.S.C. 1806(f). See section 705(b) of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), Pub. L.110-229 (48 U.S.C. 1806 note).
5 See guidance below on "Involuntary Separation" under the paragraph "Failure to be Living in Loss of Marital Union due to Separation."
16 See INA 343(c).
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/23/2013