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.

Help a Relative Get a Green Card

How to Help a Relative Get a Green CardAs a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you can help a relative get a green card. The green card, formally known as a permanent resident card, is the tangible proof that a person may permanently live and work in the U.S. as a permanent resident.

To help a relative get a green card, you need to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative(s) when they come to the United States.

The process begins by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Specifically, the form establishes the eligible family relationship that exists between you and your relative and initiates the request for a visa number. Continue reading

Expired Green Card Creates 4 Big Problems

CBP officer holds an expired green cardMany people are carrying an expired green card right now. Because you don’t use your card everyday, it’s easy for an expired green card to go unnoticed. By law, permanent residents must carry a valid green card at all times. But in practice, this rarely happens and is rarely enforced by the U.S. government.

When a green card expires, it’s natural to procrastinate before renewing it. After all, the USCIS fee to renew or replace a green card is currently $450 (and will increase soon). That’s a lot of money for anyone. But an expired green card does have consequences that can be even more costly. Continue reading

Dual Intent Visas

dual intent visas for nonimmigrantsA dual intent visa allows foreigners to be temporarily present in the United States with the known intention of possibly immigrating to the U.S. permanently. That’s significant because most temporary visas require that the visitor intend to return home. Thus, attempting to adjust status to permanent resident with other non-immigrant visas can potentially trigger severe, long-term immigration problems.

Most people will find it difficult to qualify for a U.S. non-immigrant visa, such as a visitor visa, if there is any evidence of immigrant intent—a past intent, an intent to seek to immigrate during this trip to the U.S., an intent to immigrate to the U.S. in the future, or even a hope to immigrate in the future. The applicant must establish non-immigrant intent. Continue reading

Green Card Identity Theft

Green Card Identity TheftIf your green card is lost or stolen, you may also be wondering about identity theft. Identity theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains personal information, such as a green card or Social Security card, in order to impersonate someone else. By using someone else’s information, the impostor may obtain new credit cards or make unauthorized purchases. What’s worse, the thief may provide false identification to police, creating a criminal record or leaving outstanding arrest warrants for you, the victim of the green card identity theft. Continue reading

Fiance Visa or Marriage Visa

Which is the Best Way to Get a Marriage-Based Green Card?

k-1 fiancé visa or marriage visa for green cardWhen a U.S. citizen marries a foreign citizen, there are fundamentally two different ways for the foreign citizen to immigrate to the United States and obtain a green card. The choice — a fiancé visa or marriage visa — can cause confusion for many couples. Each has its own benefits. So what’s best for one couple may not be ideal for another couple’s situation. In making your decision, you’ll need to consider speed of the process, cost, as well as other factors.

  • Fiancé Visa (aka K-1 visa) is a non-immigrant visa obtained by the foreign fiancé to travel to the U.S. for the purpose of getting married in the U.S. and then adjusting status to a permanent resident (green card holder).
  • Marriage Visa (aka CR-1 or IR-1 visa) is an immigrant visa obtained by the foreign spouse while in the foreign country after marriage for the purpose of immigrating to the U.S. to live permanently with the spouse.

Deciding on the fiancé visa or marriage visa is a personal decision. So, the best path for you depends on your specific situation. However, for many couples, the speed of the immigration process is an important factor. Continue reading

Reentry Permit for Permanent Residents

CBP inspects reentry permit of permanent residentA permanent resident can generally travel outside the United States and return by simply showing a permanent resident card (green card) upon reentry at a U.S. port of entry.

But there are situations that a reentry permit is needed in addition to the permanent resident card.

A reentry permit can help avoid two types of problems:

  • Your permanent resident card becomes technically invalid for reentry into the United States if you are absent from the U.S. for 1 year or more.
  • Your permanent resident status may be considered as abandoned for absences shorter than 1 year if you take up residence in another country.

After traveling abroad, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at your U.S. port of entry will need to determine if your travel was “temporary” in nature. To be temporary, you must have the intention to return to the Untied States at the time of departure and throughout the entire trip. Employment, family, filing of taxes, involvement in the community all demonstrate ties to the U.S. To determine your intentions, some of the questions that a CBP officer may ask cover topics such as: Continue reading

Family Based Green Card Application

Family Based Green CardThe steps to obtain a family based green card — officially known as a permanent resident card — vary based on the qualifying family relationship and where you live (inside the United States or outside).

If you would like to petition (sponsor) a family member for a green card or you are a foreign national that wants to permanently move to the United States, this article provides a basic overview of the eligibility categories and family based green card process. Continue reading

Renewing Green Card After 2 Years

Renewing Green Card After 2 YearsIf you’ve obtained a 2-year green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or through a financial investment, you are a conditional resident of the United States. While the rights and privileges of a conditional resident are very similar to a lawful permanent resident (10-year green card holder), the statuses are very different. Renewing green card after 2 years requires careful consideration. In fact, you won’t be a renewing your green card — the process for conditional residents is completely different. Continue reading

Reasons for a Green Card Application Denial

Common reasons why a family-based application for permanent residence may be denied by USCIS

Green Card Application DenialEach year thousands of people are approved for permanent resident status in the United States. Permanent residence is symbolized with a card, most commonly referred to as a green card. But thousands also get their green card application denied. There are several possible factors for a green card application denial. The reasons vary from no basis for eligibility to grounds of inadmissibility to failure to properly deal with the application requirements.

Each year an estimated 8-11% of green card applications are denied. In fiscal year 2015, data shows that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received a total of 768,641 petitions for alien relatives (Form I-130), but also denied 77,903. Continue reading

USCIS Lost My Application

uscis lost my applicationUnfortunately, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no different than any other massive government organization – they are heavily burdened with a large workload and aren’t the most efficient organization. In fact, several agencies make up the overall immigration system. Consular offices, Department of State and the National Visa Center all play a role. Over 6 million forms are filed with USCIS each year alone. Even if you’ve used our tips for preparing USCIS forms, it’s not uncommon for these agencies to lose parts of your application package or even the whole thing. But there are some preventive measures so that you don’t have to call us to say, “USCIS lost my application!” Continue reading