Preparing for your marriage-based consular interview
The consular interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate is an important milestone in your application for an immigrant visa (green card). After all, consular officers use their discretion based on this interview to determine if they will approve your green card application. For marriage-based applications the interview is especially crucial. Knowing what to expect and preparing for possible green card interview questions will help you be ready.
Green card interview questions for spouses tend to dig a little deeper than typical interviews. That’s because marriage is one of the primary ways that fraudulent visas are requested. Immigration officers want to verify that you have a bona fide marriage. That’s it. The officer will ask additional questions to help determine if your marriage is the real deal. Continue reading
Unfortunately, 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
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.
The process begins by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Specifically, the form establishes an eligible family relationship that exists between you and your relative and initiates the request for a visa.
Your relative’s wait for a green card will vary significantly based on the type of relationship and other factors. Immediate relatives may have virtually no wait while some family preference categories will have to wait several years. Filing the I-130 petition is a critical first step to get your family member get a green card. Continue reading
Many people want to come to the United States to work, but not everyone can. Foreign nationals must have employment authorization before accepting work in the United States. In fact, both employees and employers may be subject to fines or imprisonment for illegal employment arrangements.
To work in the United States, a foreign national must have one of the following:
- A Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card)
- An Employment Authorization Document (U.S. work permit) or
- An employment-related visa which allows you to work for a particular employer.
The green card (officially known as a permanent resident card) is proof of your right to live and work in the United States. So if your green card is ever lost or stolen, the experience can be extremely nerve racking.
Don’t panic. You are not the first person to lose your green card. Losing your card does not mean you’ve lost your permanent resident status. But not having a green card can be a major problem when traveling, applying for a job or other daily activities.
Here is what to do when your green card is lost or stolen:
A “spouse visa” in this article is a term to refer to an immigrant visa (green card) for spouses. The U.S. government may issue a spouse visa to the foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. For couples that have been married for less than two years, the U.S. Department of State will issue a “CR1” visa. This code indicates that the new permanent resident (green card holder) is a conditional resident. On other hand, spouses that have been married more than two years will likely be issued an “IR1” visa. In fact, most spouse visa beneficiaries are approved as conditional residents.
Immigration officials, from the U.S. Department of State and also U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), scrutinize spouse relationships more than other types of immigrant visa applications. That’s because 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 $540. That’s a lot of money for anyone. But an expired green card does have consequences that can be even more costly. Continue reading
For the second time, a federal judge has issued an injunction that orders the Trump administration to continue accepting applications for the DACA program. The New York ruling affirms an earlier court injunction in California that saved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program from certain death. USCIS is now accepting DACA renewal applications.
On September 5, 2017, attorney general Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would phase out DACA. At the time of the announcement, eligible applicants could file a DACA application only until October 5, 2017.
Under the federal court ruling, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now run the DACA program as it was before the September 5 announcement. However, USCIS says that they will not be accepting applications for initial grants of DACA, only renewal applications. Continue reading
One of the common reasons permanent residents don’t apply for U.S. citizenship – cost. It presently costs $725 to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. That’s a lot of money. And the cost of citizenship will only get more expensive in the future as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) raises fees.
There are approximately 13 million immigrants in the United States who are lawful permanent residents, otherwise known as green card holders. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an estimated 8.7 million of those permanent residents are eligible to naturalize, or become a U.S. citizen. Yet many are trapped in an expensive cycle of green card renewal.
The best way to escape this cycle is Continue reading
5 Green Card Travel Tips to Avoid Re-Entry Problems
and Permanent Residence Abandonment
As a lawful permanent resident of the United States, your obligations for maintaining your immigration status in the United States are fairly simple. You need to notify USCIS within 10 days of moving by using Form AR-11 and renew your green card every 10 years with Form I-90. International green card travel can introduce some new hazards.
Permanent residents are free to travel outside the United States, and temporary travel generally does not affect your permanent resident status. As the term “resident” suggests, your status comes with the expectation that you will live (make your home) in the U.S. If you spend too much time abroad, you could lose your right to a green card.
Here are five tips to understand before traveling abroad: Continue reading