If You Love America, Thank an Immigrant on Thanksgiving

thank an immigrant on thanksgivingThis Thanksgiving as you debate President Trump’s most outrageous quotes at the dinner table, take a moment to thank an immigrant.

Immigration reform may have many Americans divided, but we should all agree on this – immigrants have given back to America in spades. Immigrant contributions to this country are endless. For over two hundred years, immigrants’ contributions have helped shape the United States into what it is today. Let’s give thanks. Continue reading

Form I-751 FAQs: Remove Conditions on Green Card

form i-751 faqs: Green Card MarriageIf you received a conditional green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you may have questions related to getting your 10-year green card and how to remove conditions on green card. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to preparing and filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

CitizenPath’s online software helps conditional residents prepare Form I-751. Based on our experience, we wanted to share some of the most common questions related to removal of conditions and filing the I-751 petition. Continue reading

I-864 Affidavit of Support Sample

affidavit of support reviewCitizenPath has launched a new service to help our customers with Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. The online service includes a calculator that helps make Form I-864 easy for anyone to prepare. This article explains how the service works and includes an Affidavit of Support sample created from the CitizenPath software.

Many immigration attorneys consider the Affidavit of Support to be one of the most difficult U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms to prepare. USCIS routinely rejects Form I-864 or issues a Request for Evidence (RFEs) as a result of incorrectly prepared Affidavits of Support. Continue reading

Green Card Renewal Process is Sucking Us Dry

Green Card Renewal Process is Sucking You DryU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to increase the fee on the green card renewal process. Every few years, the fee goes up. Each and every time you need to renew or replace a green card (Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card), you’ll pay $540 in USCIS filing fees.

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

Most Common Reasons Form I-751 Gets Denied

Form I-751 DeniedForeign spouses who recently married U.S. citizens generally enter the United States as conditional residents. The conditional status automatically terminates after two years. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses the conditional status like a probation period. Before the end of the conditional period, the couple must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and prove a bona fide marriage. Getting an I-751 approved is essential for the conditional resident to remain in the United States. Getting an I-751 denied can result in the foreign spouse being removed from the U.S.

If your Form I-751 is denied, USCIS will send you a letter explaining the reason for the decision. That letter will also include a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court for removal proceedings. Continue reading

3 Practical Benefits of U.S. Citizenship

benefits of u.s. citizenshipProponents of U.S. citizenship will often point out the patriotic and emotional benefits of naturalization. These are all valid reasons, but naturalizing as a U.S. citizen is just downright practical for permanent residents. We discuss just three of the practical benefits of U.S. citizenship.

Individuals with lawful permanent resident status (green holders) often weigh the value of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen. Many are satisfied with the ability to live and work in the United States, but many others want more. The Constitution and laws of the United States give many rights to both citizens and non-citizens living in the United States.

There are several rights and privileges afforded only to U.S. citizens, but consider these three practical benefits of U.S. citizenship: 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

Reestablish U.S. Domicile When Filing Form I-864

How U.S. Citizens Abroad Prove Domicile in U.S. for I-864 Affidavit

Reestablish U.S. Domicile for married coupleU.S. citizens who are living abroad and want to repatriate to the United States with a foreign family member will face the challenge of reestablishing domicile in the U.S. Basically, to help a relative immigrant, you must prove that you already live in the United States.

In the most common scenario, a U.S. citizen living abroad marries a foreign citizen spouse. They may (or may not) live in the foreign country for a few years before deciding to immigrate to the United States. The U.S. citizen petitions the American government (Form I-130) so that his/her foreign spouse can apply for a green card. In theory, this is simple. The spouse of a U.S. citizen is eligible for a green card. The challenge comes when filing a related form known as Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. 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 the U.S. government allows thousands of people to enter the United States with permanent resident status. Permanent residence is symbolized with a card, most commonly referred to as a green card. But the government also denies thousands of green card applications. 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 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies an estimated 8-10% of green card applications. In fiscal year 2016, data shows that USCIS received a total of 869,292 petitions for alien relatives (Form I-130), but also denied 59,496.

During the same period, USCIS received 338,013 family-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) and denied 31,662 applications. Family-based applications for a green card are based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Continue reading