Immigration And Naturalization

Immigration rules and regulations can be complex and the immigration process is often slow.  Congressman Matheson's office can help you navigate the system so please call the Salt Lake office if you require any assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can I find information about legal immigration to the United States and enforcement of U.S. immigration laws?
After September 11, 2001, immigration services were moved from the U.S. Department of Justice to the newly created U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Immigration and related enforcement functions were divided into separate agencies.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the entity that handles immigration benefits.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) is responsible for all enforcement functions, including deportation.

Q: How does a prospective foreign visitor to the United States obtain a visitor visa?
Non-immigrant or tourist visa applicants must prove strong ties to his or her homeland in order to receive a visa.  Examples of strong ties include family, employment, ownership of a business or home, and financial assets.  The application fee does not guarantee that the applicant will receive a visa to visit the U.S. as that determination is made by the State Department.

Q:  What can I do if a friend or family member has been denied a travel visa?
Applicants may be denied a temporary visa for a number of reasons, usually because they failed to show their intent to return home once their visa expires.  Denial of a visa by the U.S. Department of State cannot be overturned by a member of Congress, but Congressman Matheson’s office can try to ascertain why the application was rejected.

Q:  Is there an online guide for new immigrants?
Yes, just click Welcome to the United States: Guide for New Immigrants.

Q:  Is there a website that will show me how to get a Green Card?
Yes, just click on Getting Green Cards to begin the process.

Q:  Where can I find statistics on immigration?
USCIS provides statistical information on U.S. immigration trends. 

Q:  Where can I find information on forms, fees, and fingerprints so that I can apply for immigration-related services, benefits, or permits?
Click here.

Q:  What is the number for the National Customer Service Center?
Toll Free #: 1-800-375-5283; Hearing Impaired #: 1-800-767-1833

Q:  How do I become a citizen of the United States?
To become a citizen of the United States, you must become naturalized.   People who are 18 years and older use the "Application for Naturalization" (Form N-400) to become naturalized.  Persons who acquired citizenship from parent(s) while under 18 years of age use the "Application for a Certificate of Citizenship" (Form N-600) to document their naturalization. Adopted children who acquired citizenship from parent(s) use the "Application for a Certificate of Citizenship on Behalf of an Adopted Child" (Form N-643) to document their naturalization. You may download forms or you may call the Forms Line at 1(800) 870-3676 to request Form N-400, N-600, or N-643.

Q:  Is there a separate naturalization process for permanent residents who serve in the U.S. military?
Yes, and detailed information about that process can be found here.

Q:  How can I find out if I am eligible for naturalization?
Please click on Am I Eligible? to see if you have met the requirements and what is needed.

Q:  How long does it take to become naturalized?
The time it takes to be naturalized varies from one local office to another. In 1997, in many places, it took over 2 years to process an application. USCIS continues to improve the naturalization process. As of October 2001, USCIS reported that it takes, on average, between 6 and 9 months to become naturalized.

Q:  If the USCIS grants me naturalization, when will I actually become a citizen?
You become a citizen as soon as you take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. In some places, you can choose to take the Oath the same day as your interview. If that option is not available or if you prefer a ceremony at a later date, USCIS will notify you of the ceremony date with a "Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony" (Form N-445).

Q:  What can I do if my application is denied?
There is an administrative review process for those who are denied naturalization.  If you feel that you have been wrongly denied naturalization, you may request a hearing with an immigration officer. Your denial letter will explain how to request a hearing and will include the form you need. The form for filing an appeal is the "Request for Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings under Section 336 of the Act" (Form N-336).

Q:  If my application is denied, can I reapply?
In many cases, you may reapply.  If you reapply, you will need to complete and resubmit a new N-400 and pay the fee again.  You will also need to have your fingerprints and photographs taken again.  If your application is denied, the denial letter should indicate the date you may reapply for citizenship.  If you are denied because you failed the English or civics test, you may reapply for naturalization as soon as you want.  You should reapply whenever you believe you have learned enough English or civics to pass the test.