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Expedited Naturalization under Section 319(b) of the INA

The Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 319(b) permits spouses of United State citizens employed abroad for certain employers to expedite their applications for citizenship and forego the residence requirements for physical and continuous presence normally necessary to become a United States citizen. The United States citizen must be “regularly stationed abroad” and employed by one of the following: the United States government; United States institutions of research that are recognized by the Attorney General; a United States corporation or its subsidiary engaged in the development of foreign trade or commerce; or a bona fide United States organization engaged in ministerial or missionary activities.

In order to qualify for expedited naturalization under Section 319(b) the following requirements must be met:

1. The non-United States citizen spouse must be a permanent resident of the United States;

2. The United States citizen spouse employed by the qualifying employer must be assigned abroad for a period of not less than one year;

3. The non-United States citizen spouse may be in the United States when the application is filed, but must be proceeding abroad based on an employment contract or orders;

4. The non-United States citizen spouse may be outside the United States when the application is filed so long as the United States citizen spouse’s employment abroad is not short-term or sporadic;

5. The fingerprinting requirements must be fulfilled at either an Application Support Center, if the applicant (non- United States citizen spouse) is in the United States or, if the applicant (non-United States citizen spouse) is abroad, at a United States embassy or consulate overseas;

6. A United States U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office must be designated for the interview and naturalization oath administration, which take place on the same day if coordinated properly;

7. The non-United States citizen spouse must travel to the United States for the interview and oath ceremony; and

8. The non-United States citizen spouse must state that he or she will join his or her spouse abroad within four to six weeks after the naturalization and intends to reside in the United States immediately upon termination of the United States citizen’s employment abroad.

May Law Group, LLC, files many expedited naturalizations for spouses of United States citizens working abroad for qualifying employers. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USCIS office has been extremely flexible and accommodating in scheduling these 319(b) interviews for same oath ceremonies and in accommodating the travel plans of the applicants. Processing times for the naturalizations at the Pittsburgh USCIS office are short. Therefore, many of our clients from foreign educational institutions ask that we request the Pittsburgh USCIS office for 319(b) naturalizations. May Law Group, LLC, can request 319(b) naturalizations at any United States USCIS office and has vast experience in this area as we file 319(b) naturalizations frequently.

Please contact an experienced 319(b) naturalization attorney at 412-291-4400, 215-880-4977, 347-839-1700 or email Attorney Valerie May today.

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