I-485 – Immigration Petition for Permanent Residency

Posted on September 26, 2013. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Adjustment of Status is the process of becoming a green card holder (permanent resident) while already inside the U.S. The USCIS form for adjustment of status is Form I-485.

This process, however, is not available to everyone. If you are not eligible for Adjustment of Status, you may apply for a green card outside the U.S. through consular processing.

Who is Eligible for Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of Status may be available to applicants who are currently authorized to be in the U.S. with a valid nonimmigrant visa and reapplying for a green card based on one of the following:

  • Having an approved immigrant petition (Form I-130 or Form I-140);
  • Being the derivate of a principal green card applicant (spouse or child);
  • Having a fiancé visa and having already married a U.S. citizen in the U.S. (Form I-129 and K-1 visa);
  • Having asylee or refugee status;
  • Being born in Cuba or being the spouse or child of someone from Cuba;
  • Having continuous residence in the U.S. since before January 1, 1972;
  • Having a valid priority date under the Child Status Protection Act; Or
  • Having a Western Hemisphere priority date.

What Evidence is Required for Adjustment of Status?

The I-485 application process requires you provide the following evidence:

  • A copy of your birth certificate,
  • A copy of the passport page with your nonimmigrant visa
  • Two identical passport-style photographs of yourself
  • Your criminal records
  • Your biographical information
  • Your fingerprints
  • Affidavit of Support (if application is based on approved immigrant petition or based on a fiancé visa)
  • Marriage certificate  (if application is based on being a derivative or a principal green card applicant or based on a fiancé visa)
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Fundamental Information on Immigration and Naturalization

Posted on September 11, 2013. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |

Naturalization is the process by which an immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen.

An immigrant, according to U.S. immigration law, is someone who has the intention to be a permanent resident while a nonimmigrant is someone who is seeking to remain in the U.S. temporarily. Immigration and naturalization is a process that begins with obtaining a green card.

Lawful immigrants are immigrants who have a green card. A green card is the official document that proves lawful permanent residency. Most people become lawful permanent residents with the help of a U.S. family member or U.S. employer.

To be eligible for citizenship, most applicants are required tohave lived in the U.S. with permanent residency for at least five years.There are two cases when the five-year requirement does not apply:

  • For applicants married to U.S. citizens, the requirement is permanent residency for at least three years.
  • For applicants who are in the military, the requirement is permanent residency for at least one year.

Naturalization Requirements

There are more requirements for naturalization than just having had a green card for a certain period of time. The other citizenship requirements are:

  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of filing the citizenship application
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have the ability to read, write and speak basic English
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. history and civics (government)
  • Prove an attachment to the principles and ideals of the U.S. constitution.
  • Prove continuous residence during the five years immediately before filing the citizenship application. The requirement is three years for spouses of U.S. citizens. This Requirement does not apply to military servicemen applicants.
  • Prove physical presence in the U.S. at least 30 months out of the five years immediately before filing the citizenship application. The requirement is 18 months for spouses of U.S. This requirement does not apply to military servicemen applicants.
  • Demonstrate residency for at least 3 months in the state or USCIS district where submitting citizenship application

 

Naturalization Process

The naturalization process is completed through these steps:

  • File Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • Attend the biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment
  • Attend interview (Includes citizenship test to determine if the applicant fulfills knowledge of Basic English and basic understanding of U.S. history and civics requirements.)
  • Receive USCIS decision on application
  • Attend naturalization ceremony (Includes swearing loyalty to the U.S. by saying the Oath of Allegiance.)
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Documents to be Submitted at the US Airport to Demonstrate Your Intention to Return to the United States After a Long Absence

Posted on October 9, 2012. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |

Being a citizen of a foreign country, you may become a permanent resident of the United States and there are a quite a few ways through which you may immigrate to the United States. You will have to be sponsored by a relative or an employer in America and undergo a lot of paperwork. That is indeed, a tiresome process. However, you may also obtain an immigrant visa, if you win the DV lottery program and if you are eligible for an immigrant visa. But the US immigration officials will allow you to enter into the country only if you are admissible into the United States. Once you enter the country with an immigrant visa, you may get a Green Card, that is issued to foreign nationals who are granted lawful status in the United States. Green Card holders are granted a variety of rights and you may also travel abroad freely with a few restrictions. But a prolonged travel may cause a lot of troubles and you may also be denied entry into the United States, if you travel abroad for a long period of time without proper documentation.

If you are found to travel abroad often with an intention of abandoning your immigration status in America, you may not be allowed to return to the United States and your Green Card may be revoked. But there are certain circumstances where you might have traveled and resided in a foreign country for genuine reasons. In such cases, upon your return, you will have to prove that you had not planned to make that foreign country your home and you will have to prove that you intend to live in the United States, through proper documentation. You may use your Green Card to re-enter the country, if you had not resided abroad for more than a year. But, if you intend to travel abroad for more than a year, you will have to obtain a re-entry permit and that permit will allow you to travel abroad for two years and less. However, a re-entry permit may alone may not be sufficient, if the US immigration officers doubt that you do not intend to make the United States your permanent home. Similarly, you will have to obtain a returning resident visa from an overseas US Embassy Consulate, if you had stayed outside the United States, beyond the validity of your re-entry permit.

In such cases, you will have to present few other documents and you need to demonstrate that you intend to reside permanently in the United States. You will have to submit proofs of your social and family ties in the country. Still, the US immigration officers will ask you about the purpose of your prolonged travel and whether you have abandoned your lawful permanent resident status in the United States, even if you submit a re-entry permit and other documents. Your employment in the United States, taxes that you had filed and your family ties will help you to prove that you intend to return to the United States and make the country your permanent home. Similarly, your US mailing address, property in the United States, your business in the United States, US driver’s license and your US bank accounts, may be considered by the US immigration officers. Such evidence may be presented in order to prove that your travel outside the country is only temporary.

 

 

 

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Newsletter August 2011 – Green Card Renewal

Posted on December 15, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Green Card Renewal

Renewing your Green Card is an important process for Lawful Permanent Residents in order to maintain their legal status in the United States. Current Green Cards are valid for a period of 10 years. Remember that a Green Card is simply official documentation of your status as a legal Permanent Resident, much like an identification card. Therefore, it is important to keep your card up to date. An expired Green Card may make it difficult for you to prove that you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, and it can also affect your ability to travel out of the country and/or to prove your eligibility to work in the United States.

In order to keep your card up to date, Green Card holders need to file Form I90 in order to renew their Green Card.

When should a Green Card Renewal application (Form I90) be filed?
• You must file a Green Card Renewal application if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident your card will expire within the next six months. You cannot file for renewal more than six months in advance.

NOTE: It is extremely important that you immediately file a Green Card Renewal application if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and your card has expired.

• You should file a Green Card Renewal application if you have an older version of the Green Card. These cards have no expiration dates and though you are not required by the USCIS to renew the older card versions, the USCIS strongly recommends you apply to renew your Green Card.

When should a Green Card Replacement application (Form I-90) be filed?
There are times when a Lawful Permanent Resident needs to request a Green Card Replacement before the current card expires.

Therefore, when should you file for a Green Card replacement using Form I-90? If:
• Your card was has been lost or stolen
• Your card was mutilated or destroyed.
• Your card has a mistake on it. For example, you received a Green Card and the name was misspelled, than you should immediately file for a green card replacement (Form I90) to have the mistake corrected.
• You never received you Green Card. card was never received.
• Your name has changed, such as through marriage, divorce or for any other reason.
• You just turned 14 years old. If you became a permanent resident before you were 14 years old, you are required to replace your old.

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Michigan Governor Says Immigration Key to Economic Development

Posted on December 12, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |

In a speech delivered at Delta College on December 1, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stressed the important role immigrants play in the state’s economy and vowed to encourage education- and business-related immigration.

Calling federal caps on H1-B temporary work visas “arbitrary,” Snyder urged Michigan’s congressional delegation to undertake legislation to permanently raise the work visa cap and eliminate it altogether for those who earned an advanced degree from a U.S. college or university. He said Congress should pass a “green cards for grads” bill that is being considered, which would create a pathway for graduates of science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs to obtain permanent residency status.

“It is time to enact this legislation and allow these valuable members of our higher education communities to become permanent, contributing members of our Michigan companies and communities,” Snyder said.

He also drew attention to the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which provides green cards to foreign entrepreneurs who invest capital in job-creating U.S. enterprises. Snyder said he will petition the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to renew the program, which is set to expire in September 2012. He said he would also like to see eligibility requirements change, so that those who invest $500,000 in a Michigan business and create five jobs in the state can obtain an EB-5 visa.

Snyder reaffirmed his support of the Michigan Global Initiative, which is a program to attract international students and business people to the state. However, he said immigration reform is needed at the federal level.

“While the Michigan Global Initiative can help our state recapture the entrepreneurial power of immigrants, aspects of the nation’s immigration ins laws pose needless barriers to their success,” Snyder said. “Immigration laws are established at the federal level, so it’s important that Michigan partner with the federal government to better attract highly educated foreign talent.”

Snyder delivered his speech two days after the U.S. House of Representatives voted by a wide margin to eliminate business visa per-country caps. If signed into law, this measure would not raise the total number of business visas granted, but would change the U.S. visa application system by granting these documents to immigrants on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Source:Michigan Governor Says Immigration Key to Economic Development

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Brad Bernstein: Who Qualifies for a Green Card?

Posted on November 15, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , |

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/btrplayer.swf

Listen to internet radio with sparbernstein on Blog Talk Radio



In this episode, Brad discusses several ways to qualify for a green card. He also answers immigration questions from two live callers during the show. Since 1958, Spar & Bernstein has helped over 50,000 with their immigration ins issues.

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Green Card Renewal and Conditional Green Card

Posted on July 29, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , |

Amplify’d from www.immigrationdirect.com

In order to renew and replace a Green Card same application form needs to be filed. It is the prime responsibility of every Lawful Permanent Resident to make sure that he or she possesses a valid Green Card. Green Cards that have been issued between 1979 and 1989 do not have expiration dates. All Green Cards issued after 1989 are valid only for ten years.

Like Green Card renewal, there is nothing like renewal of conditional Green Cards. Unless a person has applied to remove the residency conditions on the card, the status of that conditional resident also expires. An application to remove the conditions on residency should be filed within the 90 days before the expiration of conditional Green Card. If the card is already past the expiration date, then an application should be filed immediately to remove the conditions. An explanation indicating the reasons for the delayed filing should also be included. Detailed instructions regarding the procedure to remove conditions on conditional residency can be found at http://www.immigrationdirect.com/greencard/Form-I-751-Remove-Conditions-Residence-Greencard.jsp

Read more at www.immigrationdirect.com

 

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Do you need to renew your Green Card?

Posted on July 29, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Amplify’d from www.immigrationdirect.com
Do you need to renew your Green Card?

The New Year is fast approaching. Is it time to renew your expired Green Card? Keep in mind that green card renewals are necessary every ten (10) years. If your Green Card is set to expire within the next six (6) months, then it is time to file a Green Card renewal application (Form I-90). Remember though that you cannot file Form I-90 more than six (6) months in advance of your expiration date; if you do, then the USCIS will return your application without review.

Read more at www.immigrationdirect.com

 

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How To Get a Family Based Green Card

Posted on July 25, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , |

As a US citizen, you may petition for permanent residency for your immediate relatives. Your immediate relatives include your spouse, your parents (if you are over 21 years old), and your children (if your children are under age 21 and unmarried). Green cards through immediate relatives of US citizens are unlimited, so your immediate relative will not have to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.

Amplify’d from www.immigrationdirect.com

How do I get my family a Green Card? (Mother, Father, Children, Spouse, Brother and/or Sister)

As a US citizen, you may petition for permanent residency for your immediate relatives. Your immediate relatives include your spouse, your parents (if you are over 21 years old), and your children (if your children are under age 21 and unmarried). Green cards through immediate relatives of US citizens are unlimited, so your immediate relative will not have to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.

Read more at www.immigrationdirect.com

 

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Green Card Renewal and Conditional Green Card

Posted on June 24, 2011. Filed under: Immigration | Tags: , , , , |

Green Card Renewal

In order to renew and replace a Green Card same application form needs to be filed. It is the prime responsibility of every Lawful Permanent Resident to make sure that he or she possesses a valid Green Card. Green Cards that have been issued between 1979 and 1989 do not have expiration dates. All Green Cards issued after 1989 are valid only for ten years.

Note: Previous versions of the Green Card had no expiration date. People who are in possession of these cards should go in for Green Card renewal so that it is valid for ten years.

Applications for Green Card renewal needs to be filed as much as 6 months prior to the expiration of the card. Applications filed earlier than the 6 months will be rejected. Applications that are received after the expiration of the Green Card will not come under any penalization Green Card renewal allows a lawful permanent resident to maintain current documentation of his/her valid status.

Conditional Green Card

There are instances wherein some Green Card applicants are granted permanent residency only on a conditional basis. Such types of cards are known as Conditional Green Cards. They are issued to applicants who have applied for the status of a permanent residence purely based on marriage to a person who is already a US citizen or through entrepreneurial investment. They are valid for 2 years only. Conditional residents enjoy the right to be a US resident for a temporary period of time only.

There have been numerous fraudulent cases wherein some people marry a US citizen or make a fake business investment in the US solely for the purpose of getting a Green Card. After the 2 year conditional period of residency, conditional residents must be able to demonstrate with sufficient proof that their marriage or business investment remains valid even after the 2 years. This process is termed as removing the conditions on residence.

Once the conditions on residence are removed, the applicant is issued a permanent resident card that is valid for 10 years. The permanent resident status does not expire, but the card does and it has to be renewed every 10 years to keep it current and valid.

Can Conditional Green Cards be Renewed?

Like Green Card renewal, there is nothing like renewal of conditional Green Cards. Unless a person has applied to remove the residency conditions on the card, the status of that conditional resident also expires. An application to remove the conditions on residency should be filed within the 90 days before the expiration of conditional Green Card. If the card is already past the expiration date, then an application should be filed immediately to remove the conditions. An explanation indicating the reasons for the delayed filing should also be included. Detailed instructions regarding the procedure to remove conditions on conditional residency can be found at http://www.immigrationdirect.com/greencard/Form-I-751-Remove-Conditions-Residence-Greencard.jsp

Note: Conditional residents do not have any means to renew their Green Card like the Green card renewal process for permanent residents. They can only file an application to remove the conditions on their card. Failing to apply for removing the conditions on residency will lead to the termination of the legal status of a conditional resident.

 

Source: Green Card Renewal and Conditional Green Card

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