The U.S. citizenship application, officially known as Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, is the longest and most complex USCIS form that most people will ever use. However, with preparation, you can complete the application on your own. We want to make sure you’re ready. There are several pieces of information that you’ll need available to prepare the application. When them at your side, filling out the U.S. citizenship application can actually be a quick process. That’s why we’ve put together a downloadable U.S. citizenship application checklist. Continue reading
When 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.
Last 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
“Dear America, I am an Arab American, but a proud American just like you (…) On that dreadful day, September 11th, my duffel bag was already packed and I was waiting to answer the call of duty. Why was I ready? I also want a better and safer America just like you. When it comes to patriotism and loyalty, I am red, white and blue, just like you.”
Sergeant Mahmoud El-Yousef in an open letter to American news outlets, February 2007
If 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
If 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
Effective 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
As 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
Preparing your initial DACA application, even with a lawyer’s help, was probably challenging. The concept of deferred action was very new, and the application packet was voluminous. But renewing DACA on your own has never been easier. Once the initial application has been approved, DACA renewals are generally much easier. Far fewer documents are required. And with the right guidance, many do-it-yourself filers can prepare the DACA renewal application by themselves.
For DACA recipients with straightforward cases, renewing your deferred action status is possible. If you’ve ever run into problems with law enforcement or immigration authorities, it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with an immigration attorney. In many situations and with the right advice, you might still be able to renew DACA on your own. Continue reading
Many 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