Even many immigration lawyers consider Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to be one of the most confusing immigration forms. It’s a little like combining the financials of a tax return with the complexity of an immigration form. In fact, that’s basically what it is. The stakes are high. If the sponsor does not qualify, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not issue the intending immigrant permanent residence (green card).
When a foreign national applies for permanent residence in the United States, immigration officials are obligated in most cases to make sure that the intending immigrant has adequate means of financial support and is not likely to become a public charge. USCIS requires Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, for most family-based applications and some employment-based applications. It’s a contract between a sponsor and the U.S. government, in which the sponsor promises to support the intending immigrant if he or she is unable to do so on their own. It’s a back-up plan in case the immigrant has financial problems. Continue reading
What to expect at your Adjustment of Status Interview
First of all, don’t get anxious just because USCIS sent you an appointment notice for an I-485 interview. Almost everyone must go through an interview during the adjustment of status process. In fact, there’s reason to get excited. The I-485 interview is likely the last step in your application process. If all goes well, you’ll be a permanent resident (green card holder) at the end of the interview. Continue reading
To obtain a green card for your spouse, you’ll need to submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and evidence of a bona fide marriage to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Filing the I-130 petition is just the first step in the family-based immigration process. It’s critical that you establish a valid spousal relationship at this point, but also again and again.
In fact, immigration officials will ask additional questions about the relationship during the green card interview. As a conditional resident, the scrutiny will continue. A marriage certificate is necessary, but more evidence is required to prove a bona fide marriage. It’s never too early to begin collecting this evidence.
An applicant for a family-based green card will need a financial sponsor in the United States before immigrating. Although some new green card holders may be able to find employment immediately and support themselves, the financial sponsor is necessary in case things don’t go as planned.
Every person who immigrates based on a family-based visa petition must have a financial sponsor. Whoever files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of a family member (or Form I-129F on behalf of a fiancé) must also agree to be the financial sponsor and file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, when the time comes for the person to actually immigrate to the United States. Continue reading
TN visa status allows Canadian or Mexican professionals within a certain set of occupations to work in the United States. It’s a nonimmigrant status that can be continually renewed. Because many TN professionals live and work in the United States for many years, they often end up meeting a future spouse in the United States. Once married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, TN professionals may generally apply for permanent residence (green card). Although TN visa holders may adjust status to permanent resident, there are some special considerations that should be reviewed before applying. Continue reading
To help a parent get a green card, the eligibility requirements are generally very simple. As the son or daughter who wants to petition a parent, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Although it gets a bit more complicated, this privilege also extends to certain step and adopted sons and daughters.
What’s more, immigration law defines parents of U.S. citizens as immediate relatives. Therefore, parents get priority as compared to other preference-based family relationships. There is no numerical limit on immigrant visas for immediate relatives. In other words, there isn’t the long wait associated with other categories when you help your mother or father obtain permanent residence in the United States. The process begins by filing a visa petition for your mother or father. Continue reading
Whether you are a temporary nonresident alien in the United States or you’re planning to move to the U.S. permanently, there are actions you can take to get your tax affairs in order. It’s important to know your tax resident status and what specific tax obligations some with your situation.
Planning your finances before you become liable for U.S. taxes or find the U.S. trying to tax your worldwide income can save you a significant amount of money. Continue reading
Getting a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the fastest ways to obtain permanent residence (and citizenship) in the United States. But it can also create significant immigration problems for couples that don’t understand the U.S. immigration system.
Permanent residence is not automatic after marriage. There is an application process that must be followed. Although a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the quickest ways to immigrate, there are several steps that include application forms, a medical examination, fingerprinting, and various approvals. For certain people, applying for a green card through marriage can create significant, long-term immigration problems. Continue reading
The questions vary from, “Can I stay in the U.S. after a visa overstay and marriage to a U.S. citizen?” to “What happens if my visa expires and I’m married?” These questions are concerned with obtaining a legal status in the United States despite a period of unlawful presence.
Spouses of U.S. citizens do have special immigration privileges. They benefit from certain provisions in the law that are favorable in cases where the intending immigrant has overstayed a visa. But it’s important Continue reading
United States immigration laws provide a variety of ways to apply for a green card (permanent resident status). The different paths come through family relationships, employment, refugee/asylum status, diversity lottery, and several special immigrant classes .
However, the vast majority of immigrants apply for a green card through a family relationship. For example, 66% of the 1.1 million people who obtained a green card in 2017 were in a family-based category according to USCIS statistics. Continue reading