ILW.COM - the immigration portal Seminars

Citizenship for Beginners

Speakers: Laurence F. Johnson, Franco Capriotti, Matthew I. Hirsch, David A. Isaacson, Joren Lyons, Saher Joseph Macarius and Rolando Velasquez

Available on CD

Seminar Outline Speaker bios Testimonials REGISTER NOW!

Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by 30 minutes of questions and answers from participants. MCLE Credits available in many states.


FIRST Phone Session on June 17:

  • Why is citizenship important? No issues on admissibility, "sponsorship" of family, eligibility for jobs, protection from removal, rights of LPRs vs. USCs
  • How does one become a citizen? Birth, children of diplomats, naturalization - a general overview
  • The English language requirement, N-648, the new “civics” exam
  • The Child Citizenship Act of 2000

SECOND Phone Session on July 8:

  • Naturalization requirements: LPR status, state residency, continuous residence, physical presence, and preserving residence for naturalization purposes, document, intent, 4-year rule
  • Definitions and standards: Criminal convictions, post conviction relief, good moral character, statutory period, expungements, motions to unseal, coram nobis
  • Risks of making application: Grounds for removal
  • N-336 the necessary evil
  • Going to court for background check delays not hard

THIRD Phone Session on August 5:

  • Citizenship through birth outside of the US
  • How to discover if one derived US citizenship? - How to read and use the charts on derivation
  • Proving the claim - Residence and Physical presence
  • Does USCIS recognize dual citizenship? Why? so what?

Citations for Session 1        Citations for Session 2        Citations for Session 3       


Laurence F. Johnson (Discussion Leader) has been an immigration attorney and counselor since 1977. At Johnson Immigration Law, PC, Mr. Johnson's work has been limited almost entirely to immigration and citizenship for over 32 years with special emphasis on naturalization, family and employment based immigration matters. He has successfully sued USCIS in U.S. District Court about a dozen times in the last three years. He first handled immigration and visa matters in January 1977, while in private practice in Bethesda, Maryland. Later, he worked briefly for the State of Maryland and for a United States Congressman handling mostly immigration matters. On July 1, 1980, Mr. Johnson left Congress to return to private law work. He has served as faculty for immigration law seminars at the Bar Association, Montgomery County, Maryland, the Annual Conference on Immigration Law, Washington DC, the Maryland Institute on Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers and ILW. He has received awards and commendations including the Mentor Award and Pro Bono award from the Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD and is a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association.

Franco Capriotti practices Immigration and Nationality Law at Capriotti and Associates in Minnesota and Oregon. He is an adjunct professor of immigration law at the Northwestern School of Law at the Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He has also been a guest speaker on immigration law at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has spoken at AILA national conferences on computerizing the law office, the internet and the world-wide web.

Matthew I. Hirsch is a solo practitioner based in Wayne, Pennsylvania. In 1985, he joined the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as a Trial Attorney assigned to the New York District. As a Trial Attorney for INS, Hirsch represented the United States government in hundreds of proceedings involving deportation, exclusion, asylum and adjustment of status. Since leaving the INS, Hirsch has concentrated his practice in the field of immigration law, primarily in the areas of employment and family-based immigration. In the area of business immigration, Mr. Hirsch works extensively with transnational hiring, helping business clients and their employees to navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration law. His clients include multinational consulting firms, financial institutions, hospitals and universities, health care institutions, hospitality and food service organizations, manufacturing and industrial firms and a wide range of technology companies.

David A. Isaacson is an Associate at Cyrus D. Mehta & Associates, PLLC where he works on immigration and nationality law matters. Mr. Isaacson's practice includes asylum cases, other removal proceedings such as those based on criminal convictions or denied applications for adjustment of status, and federal appellate litigation, as well as a variety of family-based and employment-based applications for both nonimmigrant visas and permanent residence. He also assists clients in citizenship matters and late legalization matters. He received his J.D. in 2004 from Yale Law School, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, Mr. Isaacson clerked for the Honorable Leonard B. Sand of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to joining the firm, he worked in the Litigation Department at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he devoted a significant amount of time to pro bono immigration matters involving asylum, the Child Status Protection Act, INA section 245(i), and the immigration treatment of adopted children.

Joren Lyons is a staff attorney for the Asian Law Caucus' Immigrant Rights Project, and on Saturdays he is the supervising attorney for the volunteer-run Asian Community Immigration Clinic. He is a 1999 graduate of UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, where he focused on immigration and refugee law. While in law school, he interned with the Immigrants' Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and with the Asian Law Caucus, and published a law review article on the right of permanent residents with severe mental disabilities to become naturalized U.S. citizens. Upon graduation, Joren served as a staff research attorney at the San Francisco Immigration Court for two years before joining Angela Bean & Associates, a San Francisco law firm focusing on family-based immigration, deportation defense, asylum, and naturalization. He has conducted several trainings on immigration law and deportation defense for the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the National Lawyers' Guild, and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Saher Joseph Macarius practices immigration in Framingham, MA. He graduated from Suffolk University Law School in February 1994 and became a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in 1996. Mr. Macarius has been practicing immigration law in several states and has been admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit, Second Circuit, Third Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Mr. Macarius litigated El Moraghy v. Ashcroft (1st Cir. 2003), Succar v. Ashcroft (1st Cir. 2005), and Chedad v. Mukasey (1st Cir. 2008). In Succar, Mr. Macarius successfully argued the right of arriving aliens to adjust status to lawful permanent residence while in removal proceedings.

Rolando Velasquez is an attorney at Pereira and Velasquez in Las Vegas, NV. Mr. Velasquez is a former Trial Attorney (Prosecutor) for the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (now the Department of Homeland Security). After graduating from law school in 1994 with a Juris Doctor degree, he was hired as an Assistant District Counsel for the INS through the Attorney General's Honor Grad Program. He worked for the INS in New York for over nine years before entering the private practice of immigration law in 2001. While working for the government, Attorney Velasquez represented the government's interests in deportation proceedings and provided legal advice to INS adjudicators and officers. He served as one of the INS' designated Special Interest (anti-terrorist) attorneys, holding a Top Secret security clearance.


50% discount to attorneys working for a non-profit organization
50% discount to any attorney employed by any government agency
50% discount to an attorney that is unemployed

To avail of this discount, please contact

Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package 
Includes all three dates:

Audio CD of Wed, June 17, 2009 (90 Minutes)
Audio CD of Wed, July 8, 2009 (90 Minutes)
Audio CD of Wed, August 5, 2009 (90 Minutes)

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers