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How Do I Renew or Replace My Greencard?

Renewing a Greencard is a fairly simple process in most cases. If your Greencard is about to expire or it has been lost or stolen you can get a new Greencard by filing form I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The form can be found here- http://www.uscis.gov/i-90 . It is important that you read the instructions carefully before filing and include the necessary supporting evidence and fee of $450. The process takes approximately 3 months. A few weeks after the initial filing, you will receive a receipt notice showing that your application and fee has been accepted and to wait for further notices. The next notice will be an appointment notice for biometrics (fingerprints). This will be scheduled about a month or two after the initial filing. After your biometrics are complete, unless there are any problems, your new card should arrive in the mail about a month later.

If you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime or believe that you may have somehow violated the conditions of your lawful permanent resident status and need to replace or renew your Greencard DO NOT do so without first speaking with a qualified immigration attorney. If prior crimes or actions were in violation of your lawful permanent resident status then filing form I-90 or any form with USCIS could place you in removal proceedings. Seek out the aid of an immigration attorney who can best advise you on what your next steps should be.

If you received a conditional two year lawful resident card (Greencard) based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen and the two years is about to pass, DO NOT file form I-90. In this case you will not need to renew your Greencard; you need to file form I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. This form requires significant evidence of a bona fide marriage and must be filed within the 90 day period prior to the expiration of your conditional residency card. It is advised that you work with an attorney in filing this petition, especially if you have divorced your spouse or are contemplating a divorce.

If you are thinking about renewing your Greencard then it is likely that you have had your card for more than 5 years and may be eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship. Consult with an immigration attorney to find out if you are eligible for U.S. Citizenship, as this may be a better option than continually renewing your Greencard.

Remember, in addition to obeying all U.S. laws, Lawful Permanent Residents must always have their Greencard, must always renew it when necessary and must advice USCIS of new addresses within 10 days of moving. Addresses can be changed by filing form AR-11 or online at http://www.uscis.gov/ar-11 .

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Greencard, Immigration Law

 

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How to Get a Green Card through Marriage

One of the quickest and most common ways for a foreign national to obtain lawful permanent resident status or “greencard” in the U.S. is through marriage to a U.S. Citizen, in a process called Adjustment of Status. As with much of Immigration Law, marriage-based adjustment of status can be quite complicated. The process begins with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The same petition can be used for a parent, child or sibling. The petition is necessary to establish the relationship between the U.S. Citizen and the relative, in this case, the foreign national spouse. In addition to form I-130, the U.S. Citizen and foreign national spouse must each complete form G-325A which provides general biographical information. Immigration Law, requires that the U.S. Citizen petitioner prove that the marriage was valid at the time it was performed, that the marital relationship is bonafide, and that it was not entered into solely for procuring an immigration benefit. The mere existence of a marriage certificate will not be enough to establish a bona fide marital relationship. A strong filing will also include many or all of the following: signed affidavits from friends and relatives attesting to the authenticity of the relationship; love letters, holiday cards and photos. In cases where the marriage is arranged, it is important to include evidence that the arrangement is part of the cultural norm.

In cases where the foreign national is already in the United States, it may be expected that the couple live together. USCIS will expect to see commingling of funds through joint bank accounts, joint tax filings, joint utility bills and joint leases or mortgages. The birth certificate of children born into the marriage will also be strong evidence of a bonafide relationship. If the foreign national spouse of a U.S. Citizen is in the U.S. , under most circumstances , the couple can concurrently file the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and the I-485 Adjustment of Status to the of a Lawful Permanent Resident. In addition to the I-130, G-325A and supplemental evidence, the U.S. Citizen and his or her spouse would generally need to file form I-485 along with forms I-864, Affidavit of Support, I-131 Application for Travel Document, I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record which can be obtained from a USCIS approved Civil Surgeon. Upon receipt of these documents, USCIS will issue a receipt notice, followed by an ACS appointment notice in order to collect biometrics for the foreign national. The biometrics will be used to conduct a background check on the foreign national before any work authorization or adjustment of status can be granted.

The final step of the marriage-based adjustment of status application is the adjustment of status interview. At this interview a USCIS Officer will interview the couple, go over any questions or concerns regarding the application packet and determine whether or not the couple’s marriage is bonafide. If the officer believes that the foreign national is admissible and that the marriage is bonafide the officer may grant the adjustment of status application right there by stamping the foreign national’s valid passport with an I-551 stamp indicating that they are a lawful permanent resident, or more commonly, the officer will decide at a later date usually within 30 days, and the I-551 Lawful Permanent Resident Card or “greencard” will be sent to the foreign national by mail. If the couple has been married for less than two years, the Lawful Permanent Resident Card will be a two year conditional card. The foreign national must again prove that the marriage was bonafide after two years by filing form I-751 with proof that the marriage was bonafide within 90 days of the card’s expiration. If the couple has been married for more than two years prior to the adjustment of status, the foreign national will be issued a Lawful Permanent Resident Card without conditions. The card itself will need to be renewed every 10 years, but the foreign national will be eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship in three years if they remain married.

The above description is the most common procedure for individuals who have no other issues that might complicate matters. Some of these issues include but are not limited to those who entered without lawful admission, those who are currently out of status, those with visas that require that they return to their home country, those with certain medical conditions and those whose U.S. Citizen spouses do not meet the financial requirements. No article can substitute for a legal consultation with a competent attorney. This information is general in nature and not legal advice. Each case is different and should be reviewed by an immigration attorney as an improperly filed adjustment of status application could lead to loss of thousands of dollars, lengthy delays or even deportation.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Immigration Law

 

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Visa Bulletin for March 2009 [Family Sponsored]

VISA BULLETIN FOR MARCH 2009

**Family-Sponsored Categories Only.** To see the full bulletin including Employment-Based Visas and Diversity Lottery go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4427.html

If you have a pending family-based visa, your visa will be available when the date on your I-130 approval notice matches or is before the date listed in your preference category. The visa bulletin is updated monthly.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second:  Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A.  Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B.  Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

 Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

 Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

5.  On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

  All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed  CHINA-mainland born  INDIA   MEXICO PHILIPPINES
Family          
1st  22JUL02 22JUL02 22JUL02 08OCT92 15JUL93
2A  01JUL04   01JUL04   01JUL04 15OCT01  01JUL04
2B 22JUN00 22JUN00 22JUN00   01MAY92 01DEC97
3rd   08AUG00  08AUG00  08AUG00 15OCT92 08JUN91
4th    01MAR98 15NOV97 01MAR98  08APR95 15MAY86

*NOTE:  For March, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 15OCT01.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 15OCT01 and earlier than 01JUL04.  (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2010 in Immigration Law

 

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What If I Miss The I-751 Deadline to Remove Conditions On My Greencard?

I’ve had my marriage-based greencard for almost 2 years…now what?

Recently, I had a client come in whose greencard had expired because he had missed the deadline to file an I-751 Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. If you recently married a U.S. Citizen and have received a greencard, an I-751 form must be filed within the 90 days preceding the expiration date on your greencard. While greencards allow a foreign national to live and work in the U.S. permanently, a greencard based on a marriage, that was originally less than two years old, will expire after two years. The foreign national must once again prove to the USCIS that his or her marriage was bona fide and not fraudulent; this is done by filing an I-751 and supporting evidence of your marriage.

If you do not file an I-751 in time, your greencard status will be terminated and you may be put into deportation proceedings, a process which begins with a Notice to Appear at a hearing. In my client’s case, he had not yet received any Notice to Appear, thus we went ahead and filed the I-751 late with a letter explaining the extenuating circumstances as to why it was late. This situation is less than ideal. We have not yet heard whether or not USCIS will accept his late I-751.

It is very important that those with marriage based greencards mark your calendar and do not miss your obligation within the 90 day period prior to the 2nd anniversary of receiving your card (not your wedding date). If you find that you have already missed the deadline, you should contact a licensed immigration attorney. 

Note: If you have divorced or separated prior to the deadline, you must still file an I-751, and seek a waiver to remove conditions without the support of your spouse. You should contact a licensed immigration attorney to aid you in providing sufficient evidence to receive the waiver.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in Immigration Law

 

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