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.

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

Upgrade an I-130 Petition After Naturalization

upgrade an i-130 petition for spouse or childrenIf you previously filed an I-130 petition for your spouse and/or minor children when you were a permanent resident, you can upgrade the petition if you’ve now become a U.S. citizen. The spouse and/or children of a lawful permanent resident that has filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, will generally get wait listed. In some situations the wait can be very long. If you upgrade an I-130 petition after naturalization, your petition gets expedited because there is no numerical limit.

In many cases, one family member is able to obtain permanent resident status in the United States, but must leave behind a spouse and/or children in the home country. Upon arriving in the U.S. and becoming a permanent resident (green card holder), he or she may petition those family members to immigrate with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. However, the wait time can take several years. If that permanent resident becomes a U.S. citizen, he or she may upgrade the I-130 petition and speed up the immigration process. Continue reading

Lost Green Card Abroad and Returning to the U.S.

lost green card abroad with travelingIf you’ve lost your green card or reentry permit while outside the United States, there’s a new process to help you obtain a carrier document. USCIS recently released Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation), a new form that allows permanent residents to apply for a travel document (carrier documentation) if they:

  • Are returning from temporary overseas travel of less than one year, and their green card has been lost, stolen or destroyed, or
  • Are returning from temporary overseas travel of less than two years, and their reentry permit has been lost, stolen or destroyed.

U.S. laws require transportation carriers such as airlines to check passengers for passports and visa before bringing them to the United States. In fact, these laws impose penalties if passengers are not in possession of the required documents. Your lost green card abroad can be a travel headache. Continue reading

USCIS Fee Increases Effective December 23rd

uscis fee increasesEffective December 23, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase the fees that must be submitted with the majority of its immigration forms. The USCIS fee increases, which were finalized in an announcement yesterday, can be found in a final rule published in the Federal Register. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject your submission.

During the early summer of 2016, USCIS announced fee increases would be coming. The USCIS fee increases became official yesterday. Fees increased by a weighted average of 21 percent for many forms. While fees for some forms increased only modestly, fees for other forms such as Form N-600 ballooned by 95 percent. Continue reading