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What is a Citation?

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What is a citation? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States, out of our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California.

In this video, we're going to talk about citations. We have seen a lot of people get into trouble when completing their N-400 application for naturalization or their I-485 application for adjustment of status. Now in the old days, nobody cared about traffic tickets. But a citation is a piece of paper that's given to you by a police officer and that directs you to appear in court. That's what a citation is. A citation is, you need to appear in court on such and such a day. And in the old days, there's a question that goes along the lines of, "Have you ever been arrested, cited or detained by any law enforcement entity, anywhere in the world?" That's how broad it has gotten now. And it used to be a little bit narrower.

In the old days, really only the St. Louis office cared about citations. In other words, they were the only ones that made you go out and get copies of your old traffic tickets. But under President Trump, we've seen a real blossoming, a real ballooning of all the requests related to citations. So we take citations very seriously at our office. We want to make sure that when we go to the interview, whether it's for naturalization or for a green card, that we have copies of all the citations and that we have proof that each of those citations have been satisfied.

So typically, an immigrant would get pulled over, say for speeding, they would hire a lawyer or just pay the fine. And then years later they're asked when they apply for naturalization or for green card for proof of that. So if you're an immigrant, one thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure that you keep proof of all of your tickets. And if you're going to apply for an immigration benefit, you want to obtain copies of all those from the courts, certainly before your interview, if not before you even file.

So you don't want to get caught in that trap of having your case delayed, because you did not gather all of your citations. So it's a total pain in the ass. Hopefully things will die down now that the Trump administration is out of office and that things will get back to normal a little bit. But for now you have to bring copies of the citation. Sometimes even the police report, if there is one, and then of course disposition, proof that you dispose of the case at the court. So you want to make sure you bring this to your interview because if the officer wants it and you don't have it, they're going to issue you a request for evidence. And then you're under a time crunch to get it say in 30 days. So you want to do that ahead of time. You want to be working on that while your case is pending.

So if you have any questions about citations, make sure that you give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. You can join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We answer lots of questions in there and have good discussions about the immigration news of the day. We also have our YouTube channel that you should subscribe to. That way whenever we make a video like this one, you get updated and you get to see it right away. And finally, don't forget on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon central time, I'll be live in the Facebook group and on our YouTube channel answering as many of your questions as possible in that one hour time slot. So thanks a lot, have a great day.

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