An application for a family based Green Card is one of the most common applications that are filed at SD Immigration Lawyers. This process is extremely complicated and has a lot of working parts. To do this properly, there is not just one form but instead a combination of forms. Here, we are going to explain the process of a spouse or a marriage, however this is the same process to get any family member residency.
Helping someone immigrate to the US
An I-130 form is one of the most common forms used for this process. This is often used when the individual is outside the U.S. but that does not always have to be the case. An I-130 is named a “petition for an alien relative”. This form, along with some other paperwork can be filled out to start the process. The USCIS charges their own processing fees for this form, which now is currently at $420.
Helping someone immigrate who is already in the USA I-485
I-485 form is the application to register as a permanent resident. It is often used while people are in the US but can be used for other purposes as well.
Application for temporary employment
A common problem for people who are filing visas is what do they do in the meantime. This process is a long process and often takes up to 6 months or longer. How is someone supposed to survive without being able to work? Well depending on your type of scenario it is possible to get granted temporary work authorization while you are waiting for your status to clear. An I-765 form – Application for Employment Authorization – is the application used for this process. It currently has a processing fee by USCIS of over $400 and in some situations can be filed online with an individual’s application.
What is a permanent resident and why do I want this?
A permanent resident is someone who is a Green Card Holder. Often people do not understand the importance of permanent residency and that is why it is so important to explain.
Obtaining employment is one of the most important reasons why people apply for their Green Card. A Green Card authorizes an individual to work in the US for the period of time that it is valid, without any restrictions.
When one does not have this benefit they have to work “under the table” or “without any papers”. This is not only illegal but it makes this person an easy target for an employer to take advantage of them. Employers often know that they can rip off employees who do not have their proper status. They do this because they know if the employee complained then they would attempt to make the authorities aware of their illegal status in the U.S.
At SD Immigration Lawyers we are here to help. If you are our client we are going to fight for you and make sure no one ever takes advantage of you.
Although the DMV and car insurance companies will provide insurance to someone who is not a US resident, it is not always the easiest process. One may get higher rates from insurance companies or have to justify their living situation with tons of additional paperwork. You could also face issues with licensing and other problems with the DMV as well if you are not a US resident. If you are not a US resident you may also have problems registering your car in the US.
Education – Education is such an important aspect in society today. It is something that is needed for anyone who plans to have a successful life and future. When one gets to the university level, schools justify what they charge on an “in state” or “out of state” tuition model. If you are a resident of the US and a resident of the state then you can pay much less for tuition and take advantage of the perks and benefits that the school offers to US residents.
Travelling – Travelling around the world is something that is done often by individuals each and every day. You never know when you are going to get a job offer somewhere else, when there is going to be a medical emergency or when you just may want to go on vacation. When you do not have any type of legal US status, travelling outside of the US is something that cannot and should not ever be done. When you travel outside the US, you will never be able to return. With a resident card, also known as a green card, this process is just as smooth as if you were a US citizen. You can have the freedom to travel and enjoy life once again.
Affidavit of Support
An affidavit of support is something that is often needed throughout this process. Remember, the US wants to know that the sponsor can pay for the person they are essentially bringing into the US. This income cannot be from the person who has been sponsored.
For example, let’s say that John and Mary and married. Mary is a US Citizen and John is a citizen of Mexico. However, John makes over $100,000 a year in his job but Mary only makes $10,000 a year. In this hypothetical scenario the US would not see this as enough money because they only look at the amount Mary makes. Mary would have to fill out the affidavit or support and likely have a “co-sponsor” which is commonly a family member in order to reach the amount necessary.
How does the process actually work?
Often people will say to us, ok that is great but explain to me how this actually works. First after you have hired and attorney and all the paperwork is filled out then you can sit back and relax while the process takes its course. The attorneys will file the paperwork and follow up on the paperwork if any additional documentation is needed.
After the documentation has been received by USCIS they will schedule a time for biometrics, which is a fingerprinting session. After this, if everything is done properly you will get an interview date.
The final interview
The interview is a process that can last from around 15 minutes to several hours depending on the officer and the situation. It can be very stressful for people and that is why it is so important to hire the right attorney to prep you for this process.
At SD Immigration Lawyers we are very involved in the process from start to finish. We will often do a mock interview with you and your spouse in order to familiarize you with the process. We will ask you questions to make sure you know all the information required and you are not caught off guard or nervous during the process. At the interview, the officer will generally tell you what their recommendation is and how they are going to proceed. At that point a couple days later a decision is made and a resident card is mailed out.
The first Green Card is one that is provisional often for only 18 months. At that point after 18 months one needs to apply for a Green Card of a longer duration and sometimes will need to submit further documents proving that they are in a legitimate relationship.