Since September 2017 the Trump Administration has had a policy to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Although the decision to wind down DACA has been stopped in the courts for now, the future of the program is uncertain. The policy is being challenged in the highest court. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case (McAleenan v. Vidal ) that will likely determine the future for more than 700,000 DACA recipients. This has put a renewed emphasis for many DACA recipients to find other paths to legal status. Obtaining a DACA green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the most common ways to gain legal status.Continue reading
Today, the Department of Homeland Security’s new public charge rule was supposed to go into effect. It will not. Multiple federal judges have issued temporary injunctions against the Trump administration’s public charge rule change. If implemented, this controversial policy would make it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards if it seems like they might need public assistance. Critics see it an attempt to keep out immigrants who are poor or in need of help. But the rule imposes a new burden on even financially self-sufficient applicants. The policy requires most applicants to prepare an additional 18-page form in order to adjust status. This additional step would add to the difficultly and complexity of getting a green card. The court injunctions are a welcome reprieve for intending immigrants and their families. However, the measure may only be temporary. Continue reading
You may be wondering if you can get a green card if you’ve worked in the United States without permission. Perhaps you learned that you may be eligible to adjust status to permanent resident but also know that unauthorized employment in the United States is generally a bar from adjustment. This means that unauthorized employment can make many people ineligible to apply for a green card. Employment without permission from the U.S. government before filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust of Status, and after applying can have a negative impact.
Generally, unlawful employment is a violation of your nonimmigrant status and can result in a denial of your application. Fortunately, there’s an exception for certain individuals like immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Continue reading
Although step-by-step guides through Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can be helpful, they rarely cover the important topics. And you can find the official set of I-130 instructions on the USCIS.gov website. This overview introduces some of the broader — and critically important —
issues you won’t find in the I-130 instructions. Everybody’s case is unique – there is no simple set of filing instructions for Form I-130.
The relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary (intending immigrant) affects the instructions. As do many other factors such as adoption, step relationships and previous marriages, and immigration history.
Before you blindly fill out an I-130 petition, get to know these issues and how they can affect your relative’s immigration case. Continue reading
By itself, the H-1B visa does not provide a direct path to permanent resident status (green card) in the United States. In other words, something else has to happen in order for an H-1B foreign national to become eligible for a green card. While generally we think of the employment-based path for H-1B visa holders, there are various ways through the H-1B green card process.
The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa. Essentially, that means it’s temporary. A foreign national working in the United States on an H-1B visa may Continue reading
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will likely require you to attend an interview if you applied to adjust status. Adjustment of status is the process of applying for permanent residence (green card) from inside the United States. USCIS uses the interview to confirm information provided by applicants (and often petitioners) is accurate and up-to-date. Use this article as an adjustment of status interview checklist to help you get ready.
The adjustment of status interview is a standard part of the process for most applicants after filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Try not to worry. Get excited. Generally, the interview is the final step. Most applicants walk away knowing that Continue reading
Common reasons why a family-based application for permanent residence may be denied by USCIS
Each 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. What’s more, a new policy broadens the powers of immigration officials to deny applications without first issuing a warning. Continue reading
When you’re preparing an adjustment of status application package, it goes without saying that you need to be eligible. However, it’s important to remember that you must remain eligible throughout the process and until the green card is issued. Avoid an adjustment of status denial due to changes in circumstances.
The J-1 home residency requirement can be a major obstacle for J visa holders trying to adjust status to permanent resident or change status to another nonimmigrant visa. J visa holders should initially determine if the regulation applies to them. In some cases, a waiver is available.
After satisfying the J-1 home residency requirement or obtaining a waiver, foreign nationals subject to the requirement can generally file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, if they are otherwise eligible. Continue reading
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