Category Archives: USCIS

Immigration Insider articles in this category include news and information about U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).

I-751 Waiver After Divorce: Filing without the Ex

i-751 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, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (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 I-751 waiver after divorce provides a solution to this difficult situation. Continue reading

What Happens at an Immigration Medical Exam

Immigration Medical Exam and form I-693An immigration medical exam is a necessary part of immigrating to the United States and becoming a permanent resident (green card holder). Sometimes called a green card medical exam, the appointment is a routine part of the process to ensure public safety and remove the grounds for inadmissibility for intending immigrants.

Certain diseases of public health significance make an individual inadmissible to the United States. The exam is the process to remove these grounds of inadmissibility. 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

The New 90-Day Rule and Adjusting Status

How the new 90-day rule (and elimination of the 30/60 day rule) may affect your adjustment of status to permanent resident

90-Day Rule When Adjusting StatusIn September 2017, the U.S. Department of State made a significant change to its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). This had a dramatic effect on the way immigration officers evaluate inadmissibility in certain cases. And it may affect future applications for adjustment of status. The change essentially eliminated the 30/60 day rule and established a stricter standard now known as the 90-day rule.

Any nonimmigrant visa holder should be aware of this amendment because it may affect how immigration officials perceive attempts to change status. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not declared an intent to use the 90-day rule also, they previously used the 30/60 day rule as a guideline. Therefore, nonimmigrant visa holders attempting to obtain a green card through adjustment of status should be aware of the 90-day rule. Continue reading

Permanent Resident Card Renewal Instructions

The permanent resident card, commonly known as a green card, is proof that its holder is a lawful permanent resident who has been granted immigration benefits, which include permission to live and accept employment in the United States. Permanent resident card renewal is a necessary part of being a permanent resident. If your card expires, you do not surrender these rights. You continue to be a permanent resident. However, traveling abroad or even getting a job can be extremely difficult without a permanent resident card. There are several problems associated with an expired permanent resident card.

Step 1: Preparing for Permanent Resident Card Renewal

permanent resident card renewal

You may apply for permanent resident card renewal up to six months before your card expires. It will take a few months to receive your new green card, so USCIS recommends that you renew your green card as early as possible. Use Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, to renew your permanent resident card. Continue reading

Tips for Preparing USCIS Immigration Forms

tips for preparing USCIS immigration formsAre you getting ready to prepare an immigration form for you or a relative? In most cases you can do it by yourself without the aid of an immigration lawyer. But an inaccurate or carelessly answered question can delay an application or result in a denial. Likewise, a poorly prepared application packet can cause unnecessary delays and trigger additional questions. In fact, simple mistakes when preparing USCIS immigration forms can potentially tarnish the person’s immigration record forever.

In the fiscal year 2014, nearly 8% of the 7.7 million applications filed at USCIS lockbox facilities were rejected. That’s well over 600,000 applications rejected! Here are some helpful tips for preparing USCIS immigration applications and petitions: Continue reading

What is Form I-797 Notice of Action?

Form I-797 Notice of Action LetterIf you recently received a Form I-797 Notice of Action from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it’s simply a “form” of communication. USCIS uses form numbers to identify various documents.

You may be familiar with applications from USCIS that have a form number. But even documents such as a green card have an official form number (Form I-551).

USCIS uses several different types of Form I-797 to communicate with customers or convey an immigration benefit. It has many different purposes. Form I-797 is not a form you can fill out. Nonetheless, Form I-797, Notice of Action, may communicate very important information about your case. Continue reading

How to Get a Copy of Your Immigration File

Getting an Immigration FileThe Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to obtain copies of the records and documents in your alien file (immigration file). As a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may also request the immigration records of other people (provided that person consents to the search).

You may obtain specific specific documents inside your records or even a complete copy of your entire immigration file. Continue reading

5 Common Reasons Form N-400 Denied

form n-400 denied uscisU.S. citizenship is perhaps the greatest benefit any immigrant can receive. It is often the pinnacle of a long journey over many years and many miles. Over 2.3 million permanent residents have naturalized as U.S. citizens in the past three years.

However, during the same period, over 224,000 permanent residents had their Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, denied. There are many reasons for this — so we took a look and found five common reasons for a continuation or denial of a Form N-400 application. Continue reading

USCIS Receipt Number Explained

USCIS Receipt Number ExplanationAfter you’ve filed almost any application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), they will respond by mailing you a Form I-797C, Notice of Action, within approximately 1-3 weeks. (It may take longer to receive the I-797C for some other forms like Form I-751.) The I-797C, Notice of Action, is commonly known as a receipt letter.

For applicants that have incorrectly filed or included the wrong payment, this receipt letter will indicate that the case has been rejected. The applicant will need to refile. If you’ve prepared the form correctly and followed the USCIS directions carefully, this receipt letter will indicated that your case has been accepted. Once the form has been accepted, USCIS will begin reviewing your case.

The receipt letter contains a unique 13-digit receipt number. Also known as a case number, it’s a very important number to help you track the progress of your case or identify a particular immigration filing.
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