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New naturalization test will be tested starting 2007
US Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS announced in late November that the naturalization test for people applying for US citizenship has been redesigned. As a general rule, any green card holder who is living in the US can apply for US citizenship after 5 years. The new test will be tested in an initial pilot phase starting January 2007. In addition, a uniform test with uniform test protocols has been introduced nationwide to ensure a fair evaluation of all tests. Changes have been made in the questions concerning history and civics and also knowledge of the English language. All applicants will receive study materials to prepare for the test. Until the pilot phase is completed, the old test will remain valid.

For more information, please refer to www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

Germany: child benefit also during au pair time
Parents may still claim child benefit if their children go to the US or another country to work as an au pair after coming of age, according to a ruling of the Bundesfinanzhof (Federal Finance Court) (reference number VIII R 8/04), on the condition that the child will receive at least 10 hours of language lessons a week. Less than ten hours of language lessons may also qualify as sufficient education so that the parents may keep receiving child benefit, for example if the child receives private tutoring and preparation and homework requires more time or if the child engages in additional language-learning activities, such as attending lectures. The child may not earn more than €7,680 or the parents will no longer receive child benefit. An au pairs income includes especially allowance, free food (in 2005: €200.30 a month), and free accommodation (for 2005: €194.20 a month, or, if the au pair lives in the same house as the employer, €165.07).

For more information, please refer to international.jugendnetz.de/index.php?id=75

American Dream expands service to include O and EB-1 visa
The American Dream's (TAD) visa and immigration service will from now on include two further visa categories. In addition to the B, E and L-visa, TAD will from now on also offer consulting on O and EB-1 visas. Find detailed information about necessary requirements for these categories here.

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