Filling Out the Application for U.S. Citizenship

Filling Out the Application for U.S. CitizenshipWith 20 pages of questions (and another 18 pages of instructions), filling out the application for U.S. citizenship can be intimidating for many applicants.

Officially known as Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, the majority of applicants can prepare the application without extensive help from an attorney. If you have a straight forward case, you can probably do it yourself.

If you’re ready to tackle the application for U.S. citizenship by yourself, go to the website for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at www.uscis.gov/n-400/ to download Form N-400 and the filing instructions.

If you want some extra support and the reassurance that you’re doing everything correctly, CitizenPath.com provides a low-cost, online service to help you fill out the application for U.S. citizenship. It’s free to try, and costs hundreds less than a lawyer. You’ll get simple, step-by-step instructions for the application. When you complete the Form N-400, you’ll receive the neatly prepared official Form N-400 that’s ready to sign. You’ll also get some simplified filing instructions so you know what to include with your application and where to mail it. Try it now. Continue reading

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

Obtaining a U.S. Visitor Visa with a Pending I-130 Petition

Get a visitor visa with a pending I-130 petitionThe process to obtain a family-based green card can be a long road. While some eligible relationships may only take a few months, other can take years. Naturally, it would be nice to visit family in the United States while waiting for the immigrant visa. Not so fast. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to obtain a tourist visa after signaling your intent to become a permanent resident.

It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible to obtain a visitor visa with a pending I-130 petition. Many people with pending immigrant visa petitions have successfully traveled to the United States on a B visitor visa or through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). In fact, Canadians can typically cross the border with ease with a visa or visa waiver. For others, it will be necessary to prove the trip will only be temporary. 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

U.S. Citizenship Application Checklist Helps You Get Ready for Naturalization

us citizenship application checklistThe 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

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