Category Archives: Green Card

Blog articles in this category include information about obtaining and maintaining a green card and issues related to lawful permanent resident and conditional permanent resident status in the United States.

Filling Out the Green Card Renewal Form

filling out green card renewal formWith 8 pages of questions (and another 13 pages of instructions), filing out the green card renewal form can be an intimidating process for many applicants. Officially known as Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, the green card renewal form can be prepared by most permanent residents without extensive help from an attorney. If you have a straight forward case, you can do it yourself.

If you’re ready to tackle the green card renewal form by yourself, go the website for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at www.uscis.gov/i-90/ to download the Form I-90 and filing instructions. Although there is a $540 government filing fee, there is no fee to obtain the application.

Applicants that want some extra support and reassurance that they’re doing everything correctly can use CitizenPath.com, a low-cost, online service that helps permanent residents fill out the green card renewal form. It’s free to try, and costs hundreds less than a lawyer. When you complete the Form I-90, you’ll receive the neatly prepared official Form I-90 that’s ready to sign. You’ll also get some simplified filing instructions so you know what to include with your Form I-90 application and where to mail it. Try it now. Continue reading

Proving Country of Domicile on I-864 Affidavit of Support

Country of Domicile for I-864 Affidavit of SupportU.S. immigration law requires intending immigrants in family-based visa categories to show that they have financial support in the United States. The U.S. citizen or permanent resident that petitions a family member for a green card also must file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. The affidavit of support is a legal contract between the petitioner and the U.S. government. On Form I-864, petitioners must prove that they have the ability to financially support the visa applicant(s) if necessary. But the petitioner must also prove that his or her country of domicile is the United States.

In fact, there are three fundamental requirements for acting as the sponsor on the affidavit of support. The sponsor must: Continue reading

Tips for Avoiding the I-751 Interview

couple that did not avoid the I-751 interviewIt is possible to avoid the dreaded I-751 interview. No couple wants to visit USCIS to be prodded with personal questions about their marriage. What’s more, the stakes are high. If U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) isn’t convinced that you have a bona fide marriage, the conditional resident’s status may be in jeopardy.

As a matter of law (INA §216) a couple must appear for a personal interview in order for the conditions of residence to be removed. But if USCIS is satisfied that the marriage was not for the purpose of evading the immigration laws, they may waive the interview and approve the I-751 petition. Let’s help you avoid the I-751 interview all together. Continue reading

Green Card Renewal from Outside the U.S.

Green Card Renewal From Outside the U.S.You are outside the United States. Perhaps you’re visiting family or traveling on business, and you realize that your green card is expiring, already expired or even missing. You already know that having valid, unexpired proof of permanent resident status is critical for reentry at a U.S. port of entry. What to do? First, it’s important to understand that green card renewal from outside the U.S. is not an option. You’ll need to be physically inside the United States to renew a green card.

However, there are solutions to get you home. Although green card renewal from outside the U.S. is not possible, there are various ways to return to the United States after temporary travel abroad. Each depends on your specific situation. Continue reading

Top 7 Green Card Renewal Questions

green card renewal questions form i-90Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, is used by permanent residents to apply for the replacement or renewal of an existing Permanent Resident Card (green card).

Failing to keep an up-to-date green card can make it difficult to travel internationally or to prove your eligibility for employment in the United States. In fact, an expired green card creates four urgent problems.

Here are some of the most common questions and answers related to Form I-90 for green card renewal and replacement: Continue reading

I-751 Hardship Waiver after Divorce

hardship waiver after divorceConditional residents that obtained a two-year green card through marriage will typically file a joint petition using Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within the 90-day period before it expires. The conditional resident normally files jointly with the spouse. Once approved, USCIS grants the conditional resident status as a lawful permanent resident and provides a 10-year green card. But what if the conditional resident gets a divorce or annulment before the two-year period ends? Or what happens if the spouse is abusive and refuses to file the joint petition? The hardship waiver after divorce provides a solution to this difficult situation. Continue reading

Green Card Renewal Denied

green card renewal denied reasonsYour chances of having a green card renewal denied are on the rise. In fact, based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data reviewed, the number of denied applications increased for a third year in a row. All of this comes at a time when USCIS is also increasing the fee to renew a green card.

After receiving USCIS applications and petitions, USCIS reports that they reject approximately 8% of forms. Then, thousands more green card renewal applications (Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card) are denied.

According to USCIS, 27,902 applicants had a green card renewal denied in fiscal year 2015 (through the three quarters reported). That’s a 9% increase compared to the previous year. Too many applications are getting denied. When USCIS denies an application, the immigration agency keeps the filing fees and the applicant is denied benefits. If certain immigration violations are exposed in the review process, this can lead to significant legal problems for the applicant. Continue reading

LGBT Immigration Rights Have Come a Long Way

LGBT Immigration RightsOver the last several years, LGBT immigration rights in the United States have changed significantly. A progressive cultural environment and several court cases have helped to equalize treatment of same-sex marriage in the U.S. immigration system.

While the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities continue to be persecuted throughout much of the world, LGBT immigration rights have blossomed in the United States. Continue reading

33 Great Documents for Proving a Bona Fide Marriage on an I-751 Petition

Proving a Bona Fide MarriageWhen filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, a conditional permanent resident (and spouse when filing jointly) must prove that they also have a bona fide marriage. There are numerous documents that can used to establish that you entered a genuine marriage and deserve a 10-year green card.

Even if you are filing with a hardship waiver (rather than jointly with your spouse), you will need to prove that your marriage was genuine and not created to circumvent immigration laws.
Continue reading

How the Green Card Renewal Process is Sucking You Dry

Green Card Renewal Process is Sucking You DryLast month U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would be increasing the fee on the green card renewal process by an additional $90. Each and every time you need to renew or replace a green card, you’ll soon pay $540 in USCIS filing fees. However, you have until December 23, 2016, to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, and beat the fee increase.

The permanent resident card, best known as a green card, is your tangible proof that you are a lawful permanent resident in the United States with unique rights and privileges. If you’re stuck without a valid, unexpired green card, you could run into serious problems. But maintaining it incurs a cost. There is a better way. Continue reading