Questions Regarding Citizenship

Q I currently have H-4 visa status. Recently, I received my Employment Authorization Document. If I apply for a Social Security Number, will the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invalidate my H-4 status?
A Simply applying for a Social Security Number does not invalidate an individual’s H-4 status. As long as you continue to observe the conditions of your H-4 status (i.e. are not employed and remain married to your H-1B spouse), you will maintain your H-4 status.
Q I married a U.S. citizen almost two and a half years ago. About nine months ago, I applied to remove the condition on my green card (Form I-751), and my application remains pending. In the meantime, I became eligible for naturalization. Should I apply for naturalization?
A If you are still married and living with your U.S. citizen spouse, and have been married for at least three years, then yes, you can proceed to file your application for naturalization. I am assuming that you will meet all of the other requirements for naturalization. It is okay to file your naturalization application even though your I-751 remains pending.
Q I am in the process of applying for citizenship and note that one of the questions I am required to answer is related to registration for Selective Service. Can you please explain what this involves?
A Male permanent residents ages 18 to 25 must register for Selective Service. Intentional failure to comply with this requirement can prevent an individual from becoming a U.S. citizen. Please note that the Selective Service is not an automatic military draft. Rather, it is a registry of those who may be drafted should there again be a change in the law requiring a “draft” for mandatory military service. For details, please visit

Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose. (408) 453-5335.


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