Friday, October 9, 2009

New naturalization test in effect for everyone now

USCIS implemented a new naturalization test for all aspiring US citizens last year. Starting on October 1, 2009, the test is now required for every applicant for US citizenship, regardless of when s/he filed the application.

For more information, see the CIS news release
here and my prior blog posting here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Did Chicago lose the Olympics because of immigration issues?

A New York Times article suggests that Chicago failed in its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics because of tough immigration procedures at airports. The paper reports that
Among the toughest questions posed to the Chicago bid team this week in Copenhagen was one that raised the issue of what kind of welcome foreigners would get from airport officials when they arrived in this country to attend the Games. Syed Shahid Ali, an I.O.C. member from Pakistan, in the question-and-answer session following Chicago’s official presentation, pointed out that entering the United States can be “a rather harrowing experience.”
The article remarks on how US immigration officials at airports can be extremely difficult and unpleasant, even deterring people from visiting the US. The readers' comments that follow the article are especially interesting. I just scanned the first 50 comments, and almost every one was from a traveler, including US citizens, who hated US customs and border checkpoint.

Photo by