Panorama City, CA asked in Immigration Law and Native American Law for California

Q: I'm an American Indian born in Canada trying to obtain a Permanent Resident Card to live and work in the United States.

I'm an American Indian born in Canada trying to obtain a Permanent Resident Card to live and work in the United States. I have a confirmation of registration letter from Indian Affairs to prove I am status indian. I want to know what other steps I need to take to become a citizen?

1 Lawyer Answer

Scott E Beemer

Answered
  • Native American Law Lawyer
  • Chandler, AZ

A: Hello,

American Indians born in Canada (with at least 50% American Indian blood) cannot be denied admission to the United States. However, a record of admission for permanent residence will be created if an American Indian born in Canada wishes to reside permanently in the United States.

If you live outside the United States and are seeking to enter the United States, you must tell the Customs and Border Protection officer that you are an American Indian born in Canada and provide documentation to support your claim. You must also state that you are seeking to enter to reside permanently in the United States.

If you live in the United States and are an American Indian who is born in Canada and who possesses at least 50% American Indian blood, you may obtain a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) by requesting a creation of record.

eligible to receive a Green Card (permanent residence) as an American Indian born in Canada if you:

Have 50% or more of blood of the American Indian race

Were born in Canada

You must have proof of this ancestry based on your familial blood relationship to parents, grandparents, and/or great-grand parents who are or were registered members of a recognized Canadian Indian Band or U.S. Indian tribe.

You cannot apply for permanent residence if your tribal membership comes through marriage or adoption.

You must schedule an Infopass appointment and appear in person at your local USCIS office. You do not have to fill out an application form or pay a fee to request a creation of record.

Bring the following to your appointment:

Two passport-style photos

Copy of government issued photo identification

Copy of your long form Canadian birth certificate (the long form Canadian birth certificate of parents is necessary to establish lineage to claimed tribal ancestors, as well as birth in Canada)

Documentation to establish membership, past or present, in each Band or tribe for yourself and every lineal ancestor (parents and grandparents) through whom you have derived the required percentage of American Indian blood. This documentation must come from the official tribal government or from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)

If you do not have documentation establishing your past or present membership in each Band or tribe for yourself and every lineal ancestor from the official tribal government, you may bring:

Documentation from the Canadian or United States Government

Original Letter of Ancestry issued by INAC

Please note:

All documentation submitted for consideration and submission into the record must be in the form of clear legible photocopies of the originals. Documentation or information in any language other than English must be accompanied by a full English translation.

Letters or identification cards issued by Metis associations or other third parties, by themselves, cannot definitively establish your American Indian blood percentage in reference to a specific Canadian Indian Band or U.S. Indian tribe.

The Band is the fundamental legal unit of tribal organization for Canadian Indian tribes. Your documentation should clearly indicate which Canadian Indian Band(s) or U.S. Indian tribe(s) with which you or your lineal ancestor(s) are or were affiliated.

http://fnp-ppn.aandc-aadnc.gc.ca/fnp/Main/Search/SearchFN.aspx?lang=eng

http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/biaind.pdf

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