Taoiseach ends successful visit

This week our Taoiseach Enda Kenny ended another successful visit to the Boston area. On Saturday night, IPC Chaplain Fr. John McCarthy and board Chair Sheila Gleeson attended a dinner along with the Taoiseach and other Irish and Irish American leaders at the John F. Kennedy Library here in Dorchester. The dinner commemorated the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland. Taoiseach Kenny and the Department of Foreign Affairs have remained engaged in Washington DC supporting efforts to advance immigration reform proposal, and we appreciate all of their work in that regard.

Irish Apostolate lobby in DC

Fr. John McCarthy and his colleagues from Irish Apostolate USA members across the US spent several days in Washington DC on immigration reform efforts in recent weeks. “We visited the offices of dozens of US Senators and House members talking about the need for reform for the thousands of undocumented Irish in the US,” said Fr. McCarthy on his return. Geri Garvey, administrator on the ground in Washington, DC was very instrumental in setting up the appointments with key legislators, and we value her counsel and assistance. Geri briefs us each week on how the reform bill is progressing.

Immigration Reform: Bill advances

We are happy to report that this week the immigration bill has proceeded for a vote to the full Senate after making it out of committee. Calls and letters in support of reform are still needed to get the bill passed and signed into law. Email us to find out how you can help.

Waiver on the history/civics tests

Applicants for US citizenship can apply for a waiver of the history test using Form N-648. The Form N-648 is free at www.uscis.gov The USCIS regulations requiring applicants seeking an exception from the English and US history and government (civics) requirements for naturalization based on physical or developmental disability or mental impairment submit this certification form, completed by a licensed medical doctor or a licensed clinical psychologist, along with a completed application for naturalization (Form N-400). This certification form will be used by the USCIS to determine whether applicants for naturalization are entitled to an exception to the requirements. Because they are subject to change, always check the USCIS site for fee and updated forms information.

Citizenship Waivers

There is a waiver of the fingerprint requirement available but rarely requested. A person is not eligible for this waiver if the reason for being unable to provide fingerprints is temporary. Also, the waiver will be granted only if the applicant cannot provide even a single fingerprint. The waiver can only be granted by the BCIS officer responsible for overseeing fingerprinting, a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) Manager, an USCIS officer supervising a mobile fingerprinting route, or an BCIS officer acting as an ASC manager.

If an applicant is scheduled for fingerprinting at a particular ASC, and the ASC believes the person is unable to provide fingerprints, a waiver may be granted. To grant the waiver, a USCIS officer must personally see the applicant, observe or attempt fingerprinting the applicant, and determine that the applicant cannot be fingerprinted or even provide a single legible fingerprint.

A denial of a fingerprinting waiver is final and may not be appealed. If an applicant is granted a waiver, the applicant must bring a local police clearance to the citizenship examination to satisfy the good moral character requirement for naturalization.

Legal Clinic

Our next legal clinic is in The Banshee, Tuesday June 4th, 2013 at 6:30 pm. Meantime email me any questions on visas, legal permanent residency and US citizenship.