Family-Based Green Cards
Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.
Unless the context shows otherwise, all answers here were provided by Rajiv and were compiled and reported by our editorial team from comments and blog on immigration.com.
Effect of Divorce on Employment-Based ImmigrationDetailed question:
I have been in US for the last 8 years and got GC employment based 3 years ago. I have 15 and 21 year old sons. My wife and I have differences on who manages my finances. I am thinking about applying for divorce. Just wondering whether divorce would have any impact on obtaining citizenship (either for me or my wife and children).Answer:
Divorce is a civil proceeding that has no consequences on immigration once you have obtained your immigration. But in another situation if a I-485 was pending and before the I-485 could be approved the parties were going to get divorced you would have consequences because then the derivative spouse cannot really receive the immigration of the primary applicant that becomes much more complicated. More...
Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.Add new comment
Child Born To A Lawful Permanent Resident Mother During Her Temporary Absence From The U.SDetailed question:
A child is born to a lawful permanent resident mother during her temporary absence from the U.S. What must the parent do to be able to bring their child back to the United States and obtain LPR status for him/her?Answer:
Children born during the temporary visit abroad of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) mother are classified as NA3.
· A child who meets the requirements of the NA3 classification is exempt both the passport and immigrant visa requirement when arriving in the U.S. for the first time.
· The child must apply for admission to the United States within two years of birth.
· The child must be accompanied by the parent who is applying for readmission as a lawful permanent resident upon the first return of the parent to the United States after the birth of the child.
· The accompanying parent will be admitted as an LPR per normal procedures and must be admissible to the United States.
· The relationship between the parent and child must be established, usually by a government issued birth certificate (full version listing names of parents) with a certified (notarized) English translation, if applicable. The translator must certify that the translation is accurate and complete and that he or she is competent to translate from the foreign language into English.
· The child's admission as an immigrant will be recorded at the port of entry on form I-181, which will then be forwarded to USCIS by CBP. The child will also be issued an A-file number by DHS that may then be used to establish eligibility for other federal, state, and local government programs within the United States. http://www.uscis.gov/tools/glossary/number
· After the birth of the child during a temporary visit abroad, if the LPR mother seeks readmission to the U.S. and is not accompanied by the child, the child would then be required to have an immigrant visa and passport before seeking admission to the United States, even if the child subsequently arrives within two years of birth. If the child does not apply for admission prior to the age of two (2) with an accompanying LPR parent, the child will be required to present an immigrant visa and passport in order to be admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Requirements to determine eligibility and the process for obtaining an immigrant visa are outlined at www.uscis.gov and www.travel.state.govAdd new comment
Effect of Divorce on an Employment-Based Case and Cross-ChargeabilityDetailed question:
I got married in May last year and my wife was born in Malaysia . I was on H-1B with I-140 approved then and learnt about cross chargeability and filed for green card in June, we both got our green card in October. Things are not going well with marriage and my wife moved to NY and she is thinking of getting divorce. If divorce does happen does this affect mine or her green card?Answer:
Video Transcript: As long as the marriage was in good faith and you just did'nt do it to get cross chargeability benefit then there is no problem in a divorce and that will not have an effect on her green card or yours. Both principal and beneficiary can opt out of processing the green card for their spouse if there is a split-up.
Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.Add new comment
Getting married when AOS I-485 is pending (following to join and other options)Detailed question:
My current status is AOS (Advance Parole) based on an employment-based EB3 green card filing with a PD of April 2007. I am an Indian citizen. My H-1B expired in 2007 and since then I have been working in the US on my EAD. My parents have found a prospective bride in India, so I am looking to get married soon and have her accompany me to the US after marriage. She does not have a US Visa. I have not found any information from any venue of getting married to an Indian girl from India in my current immigration status, except for hearing about Form I-824. Could you speak towards or confirm if indeed this is the process/procedure and its success rate or any caveat : filing Form I-824 to have my future wife added as a dependent to my pending AOS application, while she is still in India? And then subsequently filing my next I- 765 application and adding her as a dependent/spouse on the application. Once the EAD cards arrive then traveling to India and she could travel back to the US on her new EAD card?Answer:
Video Transcript: As per the law if you have an employment based case pending and you are married on the date your green card is approved, she is entitled to come through you through the same priority date and through a much shorter process called following to join.
What is following to join?
Lets say you are here and your spouse is in India you will file form I-824 and request the government to send her papers to the consulate and that can take time. But this is processing time. It can take 6-10 months. But eventually she gets processed through an interview in the consulate following to join.
In the above situation H-1/H-4 is the only option because unless she is in USA in legal status she can't file adjustment of status. When you are outside you can do only following to join.
Get your H-1 stamping done and also her H-4 done. Both of you travel to USA on H-1 and H-4. If your priority date is current when you land you can file for her I-485 otherwise she can stay on H-4 and you can stay on H-1.
Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.Add new comment
October 2015 Visa Bulletin Confusion FAQ'sDetailed question:
FAQ's Updated on 21 September 2015Answer:
FAQ's Updated on 21 September 2015
FAQ 1. I am on the H-1B visa and my spouse on F-1. When my Priority date is eligible is it ok to apply for I-485 for me and my wife given she is on F1 or she has to be on H4 before we can apply for i485? If it is ok to apply with her F1 status, are there any possibilities that she can have issues in the future if she wants to get back to H-4 with a ending I-485?
Answer: The law does NOT require that the spouse be on a derivative visa (like H-4 or L-2, if you are on H-1 or L-1) to file AOS through you. BUT, F-1 presents some potential issues that should be discussed with the school.
FAQ 2. My sincere thanks for your service. I had one quick question. I am on consular processing currently outside USA. My priority date is July 2010. My application is with NVC (National Visa Center). Do I need to submit my paper work for EAD, will I be eligible EAD ?
Answer: You need to wait till NVC asks for papers, and no EAD, sorry.
FAQ 3. Do you anticipate any date movement of the new date for I-485 eligibility for EB2 India? Also, are there any chances that this date will also retrogress?
Answer: I think dates are likely to move in both directions: retrogression as well as advancement.
FAQ 4. I filed for my 1-485 concurrently before I got married, now as per the new set of dates. In the October visa bulletin, I am eligible for filing Employment based visa application. Can I add my wife (who is currently on H4) to my application, after 1st Oct,15? Or do I need to wait for a notification before doing so?
Answer: Ideally, wait till receipt. You have all of October to file AOS.
FAQ 5. I have been waiting last 6 yrs and recently I booked h1b stamping interview at Hyderabad thinking that dates won’t move for next few years. My priority date is Jun 2010. If I start initiating process for EAD, AD, AP how long does it take? Not sure should I go for stamping or should i wait for few months.
Asnwer: Your first priority must be to file and maintain the AOS. I would suggest you file AOS and plan your trip only AFTER you get AP.
FAQ's Updated on 14 September 2015
FAQ 1. My PD is December 2010. Will file for I-485 next month. My wife is travelling to India on Sept 26. Is it OK to add her while she is travelling (technically she will be in India next month). If not, she will come back March 2016. Can I file for her later and file only mine next month?
Answer: She has to be in the USA when 485 is received by USCIS.
FAQ 2. From the USCIS point it seems that this bulletin was the last action item on Obama executive order for Empl based immigration,please let us know what do you think?
Answer: I think there should be more. An explanation of promotion not being fatal to an employment-based green card, etc.
FAQ 3. My priority date is April 2013. I left the previous employer and he revocked my approved I-140 . I got copy of approved I-140 and revocation letter from USCIS . When my current company will file I -140 , will I able to retain my old priority date ?
Answer: No. The current thinking of the USCIS is that you will lose your PD. I am sorry.
FAQ 4. My Priority date is Jan2011 (EB2) and it is current now and it is with company A. Now I have moved to company B and they are in the process of filing Perm. And my previous I-140 is not withdrawn by company A. So my question is can we apply for I-485 based on company A's I-140 approval without even involving company A and then after 180 days can we use AC21 and port to company B. At this point i cant leave job at Company B since it is Fulltime. Please advice.
Answer: You must not file I-485 without a genuine job offer from the I-140 sponsoring employer.
FAQ 5. My Priority date under EB2 is June 9, 2011 with my Old Employer and my I-140 was approved on March 7, 2012 and stayed with that company till Nov 2014 and in dec 2014 moved to a new company, Can I file for I-1485, EAD and AP on October 1, 2015 and my Old Employer is ready to give offer letter and here I see you have mentioned to Mr. Pavan that you can only apply AOS, does it mean Adjustment of Status which Includes filing of I-1485 along with EAD and AP or only I485 ?
Answer: If you are entitled to file I-485, you are ALSO entitled to file AP and EAD.
FAQ 6. Perhaps a mute point - but promised myself I will have this clarified by you. My priority date is in May 2011 - but that PERM and I140 are from previous employer. Current employer hasn't filed PERM yet (it's a non-profit org and things move slow I guess). My spouse has her PERM and i140 (priority date in 2014) from her current employer.
1) Can I use my previous employers i140 to file i485?
2) Can my wife use my PD and file for i485?
Answer: 1. Only if you have a genuine job offer letter from previous employer.
FAQ 7. Hi, my priority date is April'2011 in EB2 and based on recent employee based priority date for EAD, my date is become current. I am going to India on October 29th. I am planning to file 485 and then leave for vacation. Will that be a problem, kindly sugget.
Answer: Travel after filing I-485 is a problem only if you do not have a valid H-1 visa stamp.
FAQ 8. Can new employer re capture OLB priority date in case old employer revocked approved I 140 ?
Answer: A revoked I-140 takes away the PD.
FAQ 9. There is I-140 EAD petition blog(regradless of any categories) is going on through out many website. Is it going to get approved this year that all approved I-140 folks are eligible for EAD? Do you have any insight on this? may be this could be scam?
Answer: That was the original plan of Obama Admin: when you file 140 (or 140 is already approved), you can filed 485 without waiting for PD. But that plan has not been implemented so far.
FAQ 10. What I understand from the news on the Visa Bulletin is that we (Indians) can only file for AOS under EB2 category if the PD is before 1st July 2011. But even if the PD is before 1st July 2011, the I-485 will ONLY be processed/approved until the Priority date becomes current (which is May 2005). Am I right?
Answer: A green card will be approved only if a visa number is available. EVERYTHING you see in the visa bulletin is an estimate.
FAQ'S as of September 10, 2015
FAQ 1. My husband has his priority date Dec 2012. As per the new changes in VB , which might have progressive dates every month, Any idea how long it might take to reach to Dec 2012 ?
Answer: I am not sure if this will be repeated every month and how will the movement continue.
FAQ 2. I have been waiting last 6 yrs and recently I booked H-1B stamping interview at Hyderabad thinking that dates wont move for next few years. My priority date is Jun 2010. If I start initiating process for EAD, AP how long does it take? I am sure should I go for stamping or should I wait for few months.
Answer: Your first priority must be to file and maintain the AOS. I would suggest you file AOS and plan your trip only AFTER you get AP.
FAQ 3. I have prior approved valid I-140 with previous employers with Sep-2010 as PD and my current employer has applied LC and waiting for approval. Can I apply for EAD with the previous employer I-140.
Answer: You can only apply for AOS if the old employer, in good faith, can provide you an offer of employment.
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US Citizen applying for Green Card for visiting family member (spouse/parents); Birth and Marriage Certificate IssuesDetailed question:
I am a US citizen and would like to sponsor green card for my parents once they arrive here. I have couple of questions related to that. 1) My mother’s birth certificate contains name before marriage, is this going to be an issue? Her passport contains her name after marriage. Her mother and father expired long time back, and she is the eldest daughter. 2) My parents does not have marriage certificate with them what are the options. They cannot go their original place to get the marriage certificate 3) My father does not have birth certificate but has College degree/certificates mentioning his date of birth. Will this suffice the requirement, if not what are the options he has? Again he is not in a position to go to his birth place nor is he in position to take help from his elders to give affidavit for him. His mother and father passed away long time back.Answer:
See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.
This is one thing very common in many cases. The issue of applying for a green card, when you are visiting on a tourist visa or even converting a tourist visa to H-1, L-1 and student visa is always a problem.
When you try to do that the government can bring the issue that when you entered USA on a tourist visa it was your intention to convert to a long term status which is illegal according to the government. There is actually a 30 - 60 day rule which says if you enter on a tourist visa and you changed to a longer term visa and status within 30 days of entry, will presume it that you had a preconceived intention to do so. That can be considered to be a fraud and if you’re not able to rebut that fraud presumption that can become a permanent bar from entering the USA.
So if you try to change statuses in 30 days of entry and if you do it within 60 days they can still question it but there is no automatic presumption. If you do after 60 days they may not question. But remember even if you try to change status after 60 days you can be questioned by USCIS, CBP or even consulates about your intention. So when your parents are visiting it is important that they don’t have an intention to apply for a green card when they enter on a tourist visa. If after staying here for 3-5 months it so happens that their intention changes I don’t see any problem with that. Remember you the child, you the son or the daughter what your intentions is I do not care but your parents should not have the intention to convert into green card. If they arrived with the preconceived intention to change to green card they can have a problem. So don’t let them have that intention. After a few months if they are living here and you are able to convince them to file their green card then I think that’s ok.
As for the question regarding birth certificate it should not be an issue because having the maiden name is common in USA as well as India. That should be ok even though her passport contains her married name and her birth certificate contains her maiden name. Under Indian laws - under Hindu Marriage Act you are not required to have any marriage certificates when you are going through a religious marriage. It only has to comply with the laws of that religion. Having a marriage certificate under religious laws is not required.
Regarding marriage certification you can get affidavits from two people who attended the marriage.
As for the question about your father not having a birth certificate you do need to get a certificate of non availability from the place he was born. There is no particular format to the certificate of non availability. All it has to say is that they have looked at the records. When you have that you can get affidavits of two people who were alive when you father was born. So certificate of non availability combined with two affidavits will be required.Add new comment
Dual Intent Visas and Filing green Card in Multiple Categories SimultaneouslyDetailed question:
My sister is a naturalized US citizen and she is planning on applying for my GC. I have 2 questions: 1. If my company decides to sponsor my L1-A visa (after my GC application is submitted) will my L1-A be denied because of my GC application?. I have a multiple entry 10 year tourist visa that will expire in 2017. If I apply for a new tourist visa in 2017, will that be denied? 2. Furthermore, my father's GC (consular processing) is being processed currently. Once he becomes a GC holder, can he apply for my GC (I am single over 21 years of age) in such cases Processing time is also much less. If my father can sponsor my GC, what happens to my application in the unfortunate event of my father's demise during this period?Answer:
See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.
1. Normally when you have a green card application pending you have exhibited immigration intent. You’ve clearly told the government look I want to live in the US. So filing of a green card is exhibition of an immigration intention. However there are certain kind of nonimmigrant visas that are immuned from the poison of immigrant intent. Those visas are called dual intent visas. Dual intent visas even though they are nonimmigrant visas allow you to have a green card application either filed or almost approved or pending , is no problem at all. L-1 and L-2 are examples of dual intent visas as are H-1 and H-4. These are the visas were even if you have a green card going there is absolutely no problem.
But tourist visas, student visas, exchange visitor visas like J visas, H-2B visas - these visas do not allow you to have an immigration intention. E-1 and E-2, E-3 are kind of ok. It is pretty complicated but overall they are pretty much to the level of dual intent visas. G visa which is for World Bank employees and international organization employees are also dual intent visas. K visas are dual intent visas. M visas are not dual intent visas. P and Q not dual intent. R probably is ok to have a green card going.
It is important to understand the distinction between dual intent visa which allows you to have a green card going and single intent visa which does not allow you to have a green card going.
So if you have a green card going and you apply for a tourist visa that can be denied. Not necessarily but can be denied.
2. There are certain things that can be done and I think one is called survivor benefits and the other one is called humanitarian reinstatement. Sometimes those two things can be of use. Look that up if something is not clear.Add new comment
Enter USA while Green Card is Pending on B-1, B-2/H-1 VisaDetailed question:
I am US citizen and planning to sponsor green card for my sibling. My sibling has already visited US in B-1/B-2 visa few times and holds that visa for another few years. I know that this kind of application takes 10+ years to approve. From this context in mind, I have few questions -<br> 1) Can my sibling enter United States on the same B-1/B-2 visa after I apply immigration application?<br> 2) Can my sibling apply for renewal or new B-1/B-2/H-1 visa while application is being processed?Answer:
See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.
There really is no statute law that specifically prohibits such an entry. Well maybe there is something that says you must have nonimmigrant intent but the question is can they do it. Theoretically yes they can enter on a b visa while the green card is pending especially when something is pending for 13-14 years they maybe allowed an entry but they can be disallowed an entry at any point of time. So there is no guarantee that the B-1/B-2 option either the renewal of the visa or entry at the airport will be permitted on a indefinite basis. You could be stopped any time. However H visa, L visa, E visa and O visa are some of the visas that are not subject to the problem of green card pendency. These visas can be utilized. Also remember a green card can be filed through several different categories at the same time. So if your sibling qualifies for other categories they can apply under all the categories available for them. So H-1 visa is no problem b but B-1/B-2 no guarantee.Add new comment
Green Card Process for Spouse of US Permanent ResidentDetailed question:
I am a US Permanent Resident from Nepal. My girlfriend (soon to be wife) is a student doing her MBA and is in F-1 visa (student). She is graduating in May 2015 and will start her OPT soon after that. We are planning to get court married real soon (within a month) and file for her green card soon after that. Once she gets her green card, we'll go home and get married with all the religious ceremonies. <p> I had few questions about the green card process for my wife. I looked through various threads of various forums and I am more confused than before on how exactly this process works. I got conflicting answers for these questions. So, I am posting these questions so that I could get the correct answers from the expect himself. <p> I understand that for my wife's GC, first I need to petition I-130 and she needs to wait until her priority date becomes current (which the people say can take several years to be current), then she needs to apply for Adjustment of Status. <p> 1. Could you go briefly on the whole process from start to finish? <br> 2. Some of the threads on the other forums said that the Congress changed the law so that there is no wait time for Spouse of Permanent Resident to apply for her green card. How much truth is in this statement? <br> 3. Some people who applied about a year or two ago said that they got their GC on hand within 6 months. How is that even possible when the wait time to just apply for GC under this category is several years? <br> 4. What happens if she applies before her priority date becomes current? Will her application be denied or will it just sit in a queue (first come first serve) until the priority date becomes current and then it will get processed? <br> 5. If she starts her OPT in May 2015 and the OPT lasts for 1 year (till May 2016), would that be enough time for her to apply for GC through my petition?Answer:
See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.
One of the problem with a student applying for a green card is that traveling could become an issue because if CBP stops you at the border they could say that her student status is questionable because she has immigrant intent. She could have the same problem if she is married and has applied for a green card when she tries to go for her OPT. So keep these two things in mind. You may want to time the filing of marriage and the filing of I-130 after the OPT starts and not travel until the green card is actually in hand.
Looking at the Visa Bulletin which is a monthly estimation from the State Department of the dates that will be available in the following month, the latest one which is January 2015 (http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin/visa-bulletin-january-2015), and if we look at this in F2A category for Nepal which is “All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed” right now they are backed up to 15 April 2013. At least they are backed out for less than two years. It is reasonable to expect that the green card within a couple of years maybe two/two and half years. But these dates can go up and down quite rapidly. Keep that in mind.
Typically Form I-130 is filed. Once that is filed you have to wait till the priority date becomes current. When the priority date becomes current you file I- 485 and with the I-485 typically you file an application for employment authorization for advance parole to travel. Once you get the advance parole you can travel. At that point student status is no longer an issue.
So in a nutshell that is the process. When the time comes, the I-485 gets approved and she gets her green card.
Answer to question 2: That is incorrect there is a wait time.
Answer to question 3: That can happen only if the priority dates are current.
Answer to question 4: I-130 has to be applied before I-485 or will simply be returned and you will lose your fees and will have to file again.
Answer to question 5: It does not look like it, but you can apply for H-1 because H-1 is immune from the problem of having a green card pending. F-1 has a problem and shhe can’t travel. But H-1 will not have that problem. I would suggest in this April apply for her H-1. That way you are good for three years and you can apply for her I-130 right away. She can travel freely once she gets her visa stamping. So it is a really good way to go.Add new comment
Parent of a Green Card Holder - Options for Them to Stay Long in the USDetailed question:
Need your esteemed advice for my mother (75 years old, sick and disabled). We are only two sons and our father passed away last year. We have nobody back in Pakistan who can keep her and look after her. My brother lives in UK. I am living and working in USA (on EB-2 green card). My mother had been refused UK visa twice as she has no sufficient family ties to home country (Pakistan). I received my green card in April 2011 therefore I have some time still remaining to apply for my US Citizenship (January 2016) and then sponsor her. <p> My mother B-1/B-2 visa is expiring in August 2015 and keeping in view her long frequent trips to US (she always departed before I-94 expiry, no overstays) and insufficient family ties to home country (Pakistan) her B-1/B-2 re-stamping seems very hard. <p> Can you please advice what can be done here? What are the options to keep her with us in US?Answer:
See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.
This is another very commonly encountered problem. Where somebody’s here on an H visa, L visa or Green Card and their parents are in India, Pakistan , UK or somewhere else and the child is the only support for the parents and the parents are not eligible for any visa to come to the US . We had actually on immigration.com in our sample cases (http://www.immigration.com/sample-cases) there is some mention on cases like this we have done. It doesn’t mean that they will always be successful but really the law permits for a tourist visa and then continued extension of a tourist visa. Sometimes the USCIS and the State Department might consider it to be an acceptable reason for a parent to live in USA on an extended basis. So if your brother has tried to go to the UK and they have not been able to procure a visa to the UK and you are in USA and you being a Green Card holder of course cannot apply for them until you become a US Citizen. I think it would be a good idea to apply for a tourist visa. Make it clear that they want to come and stay here long term as far as the law allows them to.
Once again it will be a good idea to try that. I am not sure if it will work but it is worth trying. Does the law permit a B-1 and B-2 in these circumstances the answer is “yes”. You can actually disclose to the consulate that your parents are going to USA and intend to stay there as long as the law permits because the son resides in UK.
Green Card Before MarriageDetailed question:
I am currently waiting for my final visa interview since my priority date became current just last July. The target date of the interview may be between December to May (6-9 months from priority became current, right?) As of the moment, my civil status is single but I'm planning to get married soon but the schedule might be only after my final visa interview. Will I still be able to include my husband in the petition? If so, what should be done and what will be the range of months for the processing time?Answer:
It is difficult for me to plan your course, but the law is relatively simple. If you get married BEFORE green card approval, your spouse is entitled to "follow to join." That process tends to be quicker than if you get married after you get the green card approval.Add new comment
Proving Relationship Through DNADetailed question:
I am a US citizen. I have applied green card for my parents. Because of certain defects in the papers, USCIS has asked us to go for DNA testing. My parents are in India, I am in US. Can DNA testing be done like this?Answer:
This issue has been coming up more frequently in family-based immigration petitions than it ever did before. The way it currently works is, thewill tell you which web site you can go to to get a list ofapproved labs. You can call the lab. They will arrange to have the DNS sample collected in India from your parents and from you here in the USA. You send the lab a copy of the They will send the results directly toAdd new comment
Consular ProcessingDetailed question:
What is consular processing?Answer:
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status (a green card). An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available may apply at a U.S. Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as “consular processing.”
Adjustment of status is an alternate process by which an eligible person, who is already in the United States, can apply for permanent resident status without having to return to his/her home country to complete processing. For more information, see our Adjustment of Status page .
Steps for Consular Processing
1. Determine Your Basis to Immigrate
The first step in consular processing is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category. Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or employer. Others become permanent residents through first obtaining refugee or asylum status, or through a number of other special provisions. To see the many different ways to get a green card, see the links to the left.
2. File the Immigrant Petition
When you know what category you believe best fits your situation, in most cases, you will need to have an immigrant petition filed on your behalf.
- Family Based
- Employment Based
Employment based categories most often require the intending U.S. employer to file a Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, for you. Entrepreneurs who intend to invest significant amounts of capital into a business venture in the United States may file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur” on their own behalf. For more information, see Working in the U.S. page.
- Special Classes of Immigrants
In some cases, certain immigrants may file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), and Special Immigrant, or have one filed on their behalf.
- Humanitarian Programs
Most humanitarian programs do not require an underlying petition, although individuals may need to meet additional requirements before they can adjust status. For more information, see Humanitarian page.
Although immigrant petitions are filed with USCIS, In some cases, an I-130 petition may be filed for an immediate relative (spouse, child, or parent of a U.S. citizen) with a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Situations where this may be applicable include:
- If the U.S. citizen has been authorized to be continuously residing within the jurisdiction of the consular office for at least the previous 6 months
- Members of the military
- Emergency situations
- Situations involving the health or safety of the petitioner
- When in the national interests of the United States
Please check with the consulate before submitting a petition. For more information, see the U.S. Department of State website.
3. Wait for a Decision on Your Petition
USCIS notifies the petitioner of a decision. If the petition is denied, the notice will include the reasons for denying the petition and any rights to appeal the decision. If the petition is approved and if you are the beneficiary of the petition and living outside the United States or living in the United States, but choose to apply for your immigrant visa abroad, USCIS will then send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. See Visa Availability & Priority Dates pages for more information.
4. Wait for Notification from the National Visa Center
The National Visa Center, which is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and supporting documentation, will notify the petitioner and beneficiary when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is about to become available. They will also notify the petitioner and beneficiary of when they must submit immigrant visa processing fees (commonly referred to as “fee bills”) and when supporting documentation must be submitted.
5. Go to Your Appointment
Once a visa is available or a beneficiary’s priority date is current (earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin),the consular office will schedule the applicant for an interview. The consular office will complete processing of the applicant’s case and decide if the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa.
6. Notify the National Visa Center of Any Changes
You do not need to contact the National Visa Center about your petition, they will contact you for the information they need. You should, however, contact the NVC if there is a change in your personal situation or if you change your address. For NVC contact information, see the “NVC Contact Information” link to the right. It is important to notify the NVC if you reach the age of 21 for a child or have a change in your marital status, as this may affect your eligibility or visa availability.
7. After Your Visa is Granted
If you are granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give you a packet of information. This packet is known as a “Visa Packet.” You should not open this packet.
Upon your arrival to the United States, you should give your Visa Packet to the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry. You will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection officer and if found admissible, will be admitted as a permanent resident of the United States, which gives you the authority to live and work in the United States permanently.
8. Receive Your Green Card
You will be mailed your green card. If you do not receive your green card within 30 days of your arrival, please call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or visit your local office by making an InfoPass appointment. Make an appointment by visiting the Infopass page.Add new comment
Process After Getting Immigrant VisaDetailed question:
My mother is currently in the US. She entered based on the Immigration Visa on her passport and gave the sealed packet at the port of entry. We went to to the SSN office but were told that we need to wait for the SSN to come (via mail? - they had no clue). She wants to leave in the next few weeks. Questions: 1. Can she reenter without a physical GC in hand? She was told it takes 6-8 months to come at port of entry. 2. How do we get her SSN? Is it mailed automatically? 3. What else should I be aware of before she leaves the US?Answer:
Make an infopass appointment and get her passport stamped for temporary proof of green card. She can travel with that. Normally, the physical GC takes just a few weeks. I am not concerned about SSN. That will arrive eventually. But do review my blog videos about I-131 and maintaining green card, etc.Add new comment
DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic ApplicationDetailed question:
1. What do I need to complete and submit forms online? 2. Where can I find the DS-260? 3. Can I answer in my native language? 4. Are all fields on the DS-260 mandatory? 5. What happens if I need to step away in the middle of data entry? 6. How do I access a previously saved DS-260? 7. Do I bring my DS-260 application with me to the interview?Answer:
1. You must have:
Your NVC Case Number (refer to the message you received from NVC)
Your Invoice I.D. number (refer to the message you received from NVC)
2. You can access the DS-260 from the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website, by going to ImmigrantVisas.state.gov and clicking on “Submit Visa Application and Civil Documents,” or on the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply.
3. No. All answers, except as specially provided, must be in English, using English characters only. Applications submitted in any language other than English may be rejected, and you will be required to log back into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) and provide English answers.
4. Most fields on the DS-260 are mandatory. You may leave fields marked “Optional” blank. Some fields may also give you the option to select “Does Not Apply.” If a field does not apply to you, you may mark the box next to “Does Not Apply.” All other fields must be completed: the application will not allow you to submit a form with any mandatory fields left blank. In this instance, an error message will be displayed and you will be required to complete the field before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply, your form may be rejected.
5. You may save your partially completed DS-260 at any time by clicking on the "Save" button at the bottom of every page. If you need to step away, simply click the "Save" button to save your progress, and click on "Sign Out" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. All data that you entered up to the point of clicking on "Save" will be stored until you are ready to continue completing the form.
To ensure your privacy if you step away in the middle of data entry, the DS-260 has a “time out” feature. If your DS-260 application is idle for approximately 20 minutes, CEAC will log you off. All data that you entered up to the last time you clicked "Save" will be stored until you are ready to continue completing the form. Any data that you entered after clicking "Save" will be lost.
6. You can access your saved application by returning to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website and selecting View/Edit from the IV and Alien Registration section of the Immigrant Visa – Summary Information screen. You will then be provided with a list of all applicants in your case along with the status of each application (NOT STARTED, INCOMPLETE, or SUBMITTED). To continue updating an incomplete application, simply click on the "Edit" button to the right of the application’s status.
Once you submit your application, by clicking the “Sign and Submit Application” button on the "Sign and Submit" page, you will be unable to access your application again without the assistance of NVC, or the U.S. embassy or consulate at which you plan to apply.
7. You should not bring your application with you to your interview. The interviewing officer will have full access to review your application online.Add new comment
H-1 After Marriage to a U.S. ImmigrantDetailed question:
After getting married to a green card holder & applying for a spouse visa is it possible to apply for H-1 visa?Answer:
Yes you can apply for H-1 even if you get married to a U.S. immigrant or U.S. citizen.Add new comment
I-130 petition and removal proceedingsDetailed question:
I am in removal proceedings and I just filled 1-30 petition through my USC wife. Is there an interview and what does it involve?Answer:
Typically there is an interview. Times are widely different depending upon security clearance, etc. The interview involves investigation of a "real," not sham marriage.Add new comment
Green Card Applications through Sister and BrotherDetailed question:
Sister is US citizen and applied for me in 1989. But I have not got any information yet. My brother again applied for me in 2009. Is there any opportunity for me to get visa earlier as applied previously?Answer:
Continue through your sister. That seems to be the best option. Brother's application can stay pending. It need not be withdrawn.Add new comment
O Visa Applicant Applying for Green CardDetailed question:
I have an O-1 visa. Can I apply for a Green Card?Answer:
You may be able to apply for a Green Card if you meet the requirements of EB-1 (Aliens with Extraordinary Ability) based upon a job offer, or if a family-based possibility exists.Add new comment
U.S Citizen, filing for 18 year old sisterDetailed question:
I am a US citizen and I filed I-130 & I-485 for my mother to gain her permanent resident. She's in the United States as well as my little sister who is under 18. Would my little sister get her status upgrade as well because of her age? Or do I have to file separately for her?Answer:
You will have to file separately. Your mother can also file once she gets her green card. But note that your sister will not have any status in USA during the multiple years her green card application would be pending.Add new comment
Petition from mother or fatherDetailed question:
My mom had applied for my green card in March 2001 and the date became current in Nov 2008 which is when I received a letter asking me to confirm the address and to pay the fee of 400$. But unfortunately I got married in Dec 2008 thus didn’t pay that amount as I wont be eligible to do so. I am in USA right now on E3 visa and my dad has become a citizen, not my mom. My question to you is can I adjust the status to a green card or will I have to wait for my mom to become a citizen.Answer:
As far as I know, there is no way to transfer the priority date over from your mom's to your dad's petition. He can, of course, start another case for you.Add new comment
USC sponsoring mother's GCDetailed question:
I am a US citizen and I am filling up forms for my mother's GC. She is currently in US on a visitor's Visa. There are a few issues 1. My last name and my Mom's last name is a bit different - thanks to my school which goofed it up. They are phonetically similar though. Will it cause any issues when applying? 2. I am trying to get a non-availability of Birth certificate from India. But I am running into brick walls. How important will it be in the GC application process? 3. After I file the GC papers will my Mom be able to stay beyond her current I-94 dates.Answer:
1. Names are phonetically spelled. So, I do not think this is any problem.
2. VERY important.
Family Based F4 GCDetailed question:
Currently on my third year of H1B visa. If my sibling were to begin a family based F4 GC petition for me now, and the priority date is 12 years away, is there any way for me to continue to stay in the US until the GC is approved after I have used up my 6 years maximum of H1B? Are there any extensions possible based on the pending GC application? Or do I have to go back to India after the 6 years of H1B and wait there until the GC is approved? Also, I should add that the above scenario is assuming that I don't have an employer-sponsored GC petition.Answer:
Unfortunately, the law does not permit you to wait the 12 years in USA just because you have a GC pending. No H-1B extensions are available on this basis. You will have to wait outside USA. Of course, you can come back on H-1 once you have reset the time by staying outside for one year. By the way, it is permissible for a person to apply for green cards through multiple categories simultaneously.Add new comment
Visit visa and marriageDetailed question:
Will I get 15 days visa for US as tourist visa and in this time marry a friend who is U.S citizen and also born over there in USA, so could I be able to apply for visa extension and then apply for PR in USA?Answer:
Spouses of US citizens are eligible for green card without any waiting. But I have always advised people to not use a tourist visa to enter USA with an intention to get married. I suspect USCIS can, if they choose to, raise an implication of fraudulent entry.Add new comment
LPR petition for sonDetailed question:
My mother just got recently approved to migrate to the US as LPR. I am a USC. Now I was wondering how soon my mom can submit a petition for my brother who is unmarried and over 21. I am assuming it would be faster for my LPR mother to petition my brother than me.Answer:
It will be faster for her to petition and she can do so as soon as she wants. I would suggest she should apply when she moves to USA. If you wish, you can also start a petition for your brother. He can wait in more than one category.Add new comment
Sponsoring green card for brotherDetailed question:
I am a legal permanent resident for 14 years; I would like to know what I need to do to ask for my brother to become a permanent resident or green card. He’s here in U.S visiting me with his visa. He is 27 years old and not sure if I am eligible to request it.Answer:
You cannot petition for brother until you become a US Citizen. And, even after that, it takes over 10 years to get a green card. See family category 4 in the current visa bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletinAdd new comment
Family Unification and Green CardDetailed question:
I want to know how I can come back to US. I came US 2006 like a guest, stayed about 5 years & left US. But my family still there, ex-wife, two daughters older 20 year old & younger 17. When my daughter turns 21 year old can she apply for family reunification, especially for me?Answer:
One of the ways could be for your daughter to apply for your green card when she turns 21. The problem is, if you were unlawfully present in USA for more than a year, you may be barred from entering USA for 10 years.Add new comment
Father filing an I-130Detailed question:
My US citizen father is filing an I-130 for me; will my husband automatically be accepted at the same time as me if I get accepted?Answer:
Your father does not have to file a separate application for your husband. In the various papers you get from the consulate and the National Visa Center, you can indicate that he is getting his green card with you.Add new comment
Green Card and last nameDetailed question:
I am a US citizen turning 21 next month. Can I sponsor my dad to get a green card even if I am not holding his last name?Answer:
Yes you can. Having the same last name is not required.Add new comment
New GC for my wife and childDetailed question:
My wife got her green card in 2006 but since 2008 she has been staying continuously overseas. In 2009 she applied and received SB-1 visa but she was not able to return to US before it expired.In 2009 our daughter was born overseas. Just recently I have become a US citizen through the naturalization process. I am planning to bring all my family members to US in April 2012. What are our options?Answer:
Apply for their green card and shoot for a K-3 visa simultaneously.Add new comment
GC petition for a 21 year oldDetailed question:
My friend filed a petition for an adult child (over 21 years old) six years ago and just received notification this year that there's a visa number available for the child. Meanwhile, the child has traveled to study and obtained a permanent residence in Canada. However, the child still wants to join his mother to the United States. Will the US give the child a GC if all the requirements are met?Answer:
Sure. The fact that he is in Canada is not an impediment.Add new comment
Two year temporary green cardDetailed question:
I just received my two year temporary green card, my malicious mother-in-law claims she went to immigration and put a "BLOCK" on me. Is this possible? Can she do this? I have a clean record good credit and have never been in trouble with the law. Should I be worried?Answer:
She cannot put a "block." There is no such provision in law.Add new comment
AOS interview next week, mother in India on APDetailed question:
I am a US citizen, had applied for my parents GC in October 2009. Mom underwent fingerprinting three times here, but did not get her AOS done in time. End of last year my father (who got his EAD and AOS smoothly) had emergency heary bypass here, and then they had to leave back for India for more tests. Mom left on AP. Subsequently I wrote a letter to NBC, MO to ask them to expedite my mothers case. Yesterday I received a letter stating that she has go to Philadelphia USCIS office next week for "Completion of application to register for Perm residence." Mom is in India now.Answer:
You need to contact USCIS customer service for guidance. Definitely put something down in writing that you are requesting a rescheduling. Maybe asking your Congressman's assistance is the best way to go for rescheduling.Add new comment
Last name in Passport and GC processingDetailed question:
I am filing GC for my mother who is in US on visitor visa & her I-94 got extended for another 6 months. She never used her surname on her Indian passport? What should I mention in the last Name on I-130 & rest of the forms (I-485).Should I mention NA or not used or leave them blank?Answer:
You have several choices, including "No Last Name Used." If she wishes to use some other name, including adding a last name, now would be a good time to do it.Add new comment
I-130 for husband approved - what next?Detailed question:
I am a US citizen and my husband is an Indian citizen. We got married almost a year ago. His I-130 was recently approved. What are the next steps for him to come to the US?Answer:
It should take a few more months. You should be getting some correspondence from NVC in New Hampshire. After you complete their requirements, the file will be forwarded to US Consulate in India for further processing. They will contact your husband.Add new comment
Visitors visa and green cardDetailed question:
My mother wants to travel to US on her existing visit visa. We recently filed for her GC petition as well. We are wondering if she is allowed to travel on that same visit visa. Her visit visa is also expiring soon, would that be a problem coming into USA?Answer:
She will be at the mercy of CBP at the airport. They can decline entry.Add new comment
Green card and overstayDetailed question:
My dad has a green card and went back home over 2 years ago. He is now trying to come back after being away from the US for 2 years. I was told by some people that if he stayed over a year outside the US they will not let him back in to the US even though he has a Green Card. Can you please tell me if this is true, or can I just get him a ticket and fly him back to the US?Answer:
It is highly unlikely that he will be allowed into USA.Add new comment
Mandated poverty lineDetailed question:
What is mandated poverty line? I want to petition for my husband, can my father sponsor him financially if I do not have enough income to support my husband? My father and me are both permanent residents.Answer:
Here are the poverty guidelines http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/index.shtml
Your father can co-sponsor (file an affidavit of support) along with you.
Processing time for spouse - greencardDetailed question:
We recently got married. My wife is currently in US student visa/OPT. I am a US citizen. We are currently filling out her green card application (I-130 from me and I-864 for her status adjustments). 1. How old will the entire process take - until she gets her green card? (I have heard 90 days - is that accurate?) 2. My wife's current visa expires in 3.5 weeks. If we send out all our finished paperwork in the next day or two, is that time for her status to be adjusted? What if the status is not adjusted before expiration? Can we do something so she won't have to leave the country?Answer:
1. Time should be approximately six months to one year if all goes well. EAD is issued usually within 90 days of applying for it.
2. Once you apply, she should not have to leave.
Family based petition - siblingDetailed question:
What would be the schedule of fees for a case of Family based petition for a brother of a US citizen?Answer:
Check out the Form I-130 filing fee.Add new comment
Filing in India after wedding in USDetailed question:
I am planning to get married to a US citizen in a court in the US and afterward would be going to India where I will be filing for my GC.Please let me know whether the same procedures for filing for GC in India after the wedding in India is applicable for filing in India after the wedding in US. are there any complications involved in this?Answer:
Check with US consulate. They respond to emails. They often impose some residence duration requirement for applicants.Add new comment
Interview for green cardDetailed question:
My mom has an interview for green card in January. I really need to know if she`ll get some kind of paper or stamp in her (expired) passport right away. We are moving to another state for good and I want to make sure she will be able to fly.Answer:
If this is an adjustment of status interview and she gets approved, they should stamp her passport. But she does need to renew her passport before the interview.Add new comment
Marriage in India or in USDetailed question:
I am in US on a H1B and I am having my wedding in India (with a US citizen) in the last week of Dec. I have to go for my stamping when I am in India. Since there is a lot of apprehensions about H1B stamping these days, could you please suggest what is the best way to go here. Would doing a court wedding in US before I go to India(and showing my marital status as married with US citizen)help in anyway - for getting H1B or for GC processing (if I have to do it from India in the worst case)? If my H1B gets rejected, can I go for H1B stamping using the approval notice from another company?Answer:
Having a US citizen spouse should neither hurt nor help your H-1 visa app. H-1B rejection does not mean you cannot apply for H-1 through another company.Add new comment
Can I petition my FiancéDetailed question:
How can I bring my fiancé to United States, can I apply for him by green card? I am not still a citizen.Answer:
There is no fiance visa for non-citizens, but look into the waiting times for spouses of green card holders. Those times are pretty good right now.Add new comment
My mom's green card interviewDetailed question:
My mom came in for a visit in Dec 2009, I applied for I-130 in Feb-10 for her and got approved, then she left to Canada to visit a friend and came back in May, I applied for an adjustment of status in June, and she has her interview this week. Does the fact that she reentered in June with the intent to apply for permanent residency because of the I-130 approval we got lead to denying her application.Answer:
If USCIS so wishes, they can certainly make an issue of it. But they tend to be much more tolerant of cases of immediate family like parents and spouse.Add new comment
Can my daughter sponser me?Detailed question:
My daughter she's going to be 21 next year and she's an American citizen, can she sponsor me?Answer:
She can sponsor you for your green card upon turning 21.Add new comment
Family based green card and country of originDetailed question:
For the family based green cards, does my country of origin makes difference in speeding up the process? I am from Nepal and I suppose there aren't many who are applying in this slot.Answer:
Yes. The country of birth makes a difference. Check the latest Visa Bulletin for times.Add new comment
Am I eligible for a green card?Detailed question:
If both of my parents apply for the green card lottery and one is successful and gets the green card, but they do not use it to move to the US, would I (I'm not married) be eligible to get a green card and move to the US?, or would my parents have to move to the US on the green card for me to be eligible to get one?Answer:
I do not see how you can move without them. They would be the primary applicants for the DV.Add new comment
Cancel sponsorship of my brotherDetailed question:
I have been a petitioner for my brother since I offered it in 2002. Now, I don't want to be a sponser for my brother. Can I cancel it or not?Answer:
You can withdraw the Form I-130.Add new comment
Son sponsoring motherDetailed question:
What is the age the child can apply for a parent's green card?Answer:
A child can only apply for a parent's green card upon reaching the age of 21.Add new comment
B2 visa to green cardDetailed question:
I am a US citizen can I apply for green card for her while she is in US and can she stay here while the application is in process?Answer:
The answer to both your questions is - yes. But you MUST speak with a lawyer to understand all the nuances of her case.Add new comment
Petition for brotherDetailed question:
What is the period time, apply for i-130 for brother's with family from India.Answer:
Over ten years. Check out the Visa Bulletin .Add new comment
GC for parentsDetailed question:
Parents were in US July 2008, filed for an I-94 extension end Aug 2008 from Dallas, which was submit to VSC and subsequently routed to CSC their port of entry California. Extension was denied end Jan 2009 (guessing since they had extended 2 months the previous visit in year 2007). They left Mar 2nd 2009 (meeting the 30/31 day exit requirement). Are they ineligible for GC? If so how long? Is there an alternative?Answer:
It does not look like they were unlawfully present for over 180 days. So, I don't see why there should be a problem with the green card.Add new comment
Can we still file for AOSDetailed question:
If my finace has overstayed his visa does that make him ineligible for AOS?Answer:
If he entered legally and is not subject to any other bars, and if you are a US citizen, he can apply for AOS when applying for his green card through marriage to you.Add new comment
6 month ruleDetailed question:
Good day, my concern is regarding the status of my mother. She is a GC holder and been staying here in the philippines for seven months now because of some family matters, she wants to go back to he US in june, 2010, what is the status of my mother , and what are the possible charges ( if there is), and how much?Answer:
Your mother should be prepared to explain the reason for why she was away from USA. If she stays outside for a year, she will lose her green card.Add new comment
GC for WifeDetailed question:
My wife and I have been married for 15yrs. I am a U.S citizen and she is Mexican Citizen. We have been in mexico since 2001 and I want to get her green card. She went last year for a tourist visa and they said she is band for 10 yrs since she entered the U.S in 2001 without a visa. My question is can I go ahead and file for her GC even though we have 1 more year before the 10 period is up? Also since we have been here I have not filed income tax since she has a business here and pays taxes here I dont show income but she has a uncle in the U.S who will be able sign for support.Answer:
I have not reviewed the law specifically, but I think it is permissible for you to start the I-130 process even now and you can get a co-sponsor for the financial support.Add new comment
Married to a US citizenDetailed question:
I got married to a US citizen in Mumbai under the Special Marriage Act about a month back. He is currently in the US and I am also planning to immigrate there with him. I have a tourist visa & am planning on going to the US on that visa and then apply for change of status. Will it be ok to do that? & once I apply for change of status, am I allowed to stay in the US beyond the regular tourist visa timelines (meaning the stamp given at the immigration counter at the airport showing the last permissible date of stay in the current visit)?Answer:
This may sound silly, but I think you should reapply for a tourist visa and tell the consulate what you are planning to do. They may not require a new visa or they may even deny you entry and ask you to wait for your green card. But that, I think is the right thing to do. Once you arrive in USA and file for adjustment of status, you can stay beyond your tourist visa/I-94 duration.Add new comment
Greencard holder filing for a non-US citizenDetailed question:
I am a GC holder currently working in Texas. I lived in Ohio, still have an Ohio drivers license and still maintain a house there where all my letters go. I am trying to file for my wife who lives outside of the US. Should I be filing from texas or Ohio?Answer:
I think you should go with your actual place of residence. Also, remember to file Form AR-11 every time you move.Add new comment
Petition for Father and HusbandDetailed question:
I am a US Citizen, i want to petition my Father and my Husband,. Can I do that at the same time though? I mean pass the petition of both at the same time?Answer:
Yes you can. There is no limit to the number of simultaneous filings other than your financial ability to support the family members for whom you apply.Add new comment
Green card under the Child Status Protection ActDetailed question:
I have a friend who got his green card recently. His sister in law was the one who applied for the green card which was filed on October 1997. His son was 14 at that time. By the time he got his green card, his son was 22, so the son didnt get the green card. Can my friend's son still get a green card under the Child Status Protection Act, or some other ruling?Answer:
Your friend can apply for an unmarried child independently. Application of CSPA requires analysis of specific facts. I suggest your friend should consult an immigration lawyer for that.Add new comment
Green Card and marraige to a non citizenDetailed question:
I have my greencard. Can I marry a non citizen of US and file for her? How long will it take to secure a working permit for her?Answer:
Filing through a green card holder takes several years to get to the work permit stage.Add new comment
Family based green card.Detailed question:
I am currently in the US on a h1b visa. My I-140 has been approved under eb3 category but looks like it will really take a while for the visa numbers to be current. My brother is a naturalized citizen. Can he file for my green card under family based siblings category? I was told by someone that i cannot file 2 immigrant petitions. Is that true?Answer:
You can simultaneously file through as many green card categories as you wish. Check out the backlogs on the visa bulletin.Add new comment
American born mother and daughter born in MexicoDetailed question:
My mother is an american born in US and I, her daughter was born in Mexico. Am I an American citizen or what papers do I need and what do I need to do? Do I need a green card or what should I do? I have 4 sons that were born in US ages 22,20,15,12. Can one of them sponsor me or what status to be a permanent resident.Answer:
Contact USCIS customer service or a lawyer. This is what they say: Whether someone born outside the United States to a U.S. citizen parent or parents is a U.S. citizen depends on the law in effect when the person was born.
These laws have changed over the years, but usually require a combination of at least one parent being a U.S. citizen when the child was born and having lived in the U.S. or its possessions for a period of time. Additionally, children born outside the United States may become citizens after birth based on their parent’s citizenship or naturalization.
GC for ParentsDetailed question:
I am a US Citizen through naturalization. I have applied for GC for both my parents and they are here. I applied I130 and I485 concurrently. I recd the notice letters and my parents got thier finger printing done on 03/22/2010. My Mother's I-94 is expiring on May 25, 2010. Do I need to apply for an I-94 extension since their 485 is still pending or can she stay till GC is approved without a new I-94 extenstion. Both my parents have a 10 year valid B2 visa till 2016. Please advise if I need to apply for a I-94 visa extension.Answer:
A timely filed I-485 gives your parents the right to stay (referred to as "authorized period of stay") in USA pending adjudication (without having to extend their B status).Add new comment
GC for brother and familyDetailed question:
I am a citizen here and would like to apply GC for my brother's family in India. My question is brother and family have 10 yr visiting visa and they keep travelling here every 2 yrs. Once I apply for their green card, can they still continue to visit here with their visitor visa? When would their visitor visa gets invalid.Answer:
Travel on a NIV while GC is pending is very uncertain. CBP can refuse entry.Add new comment
Petition for SiblingsDetailed question:
My sister just got her green card last year. Can she petition her siblings ages 22 and 24? how long does the processing take?Answer:
Only US citizens can petition for their siblings.Add new comment
GC through mother ....Detailed question:
My parents got GC and I could not get it since I was 21. I am now in the US on H-1B. My mom applied for me when she was a permanent resident under the unmarried son/daughter category. In 2009 I got a letter from USCIS that my visa is available since my priority date was Sept 2001 but in 2009 I was already married and my mom became a citizen after we got married. My question is - can I file for new I-130 and request them to allow me to use the old priority date (Sept 2001)? What are the chances of them allowing me to do that?Answer:
As far as I know your PD cannot be reused because you lost it through becoming ineligible for the visa category.Add new comment
U.S citizen sponsoring motherDetailed question:
I am a U.S citizen and I want to apply GC for my mother. She has a multiple visa for U.S. If she comes here and then I apply for her do they need a medical for her in here or not?Answer:
Medical examinations are needed even if you file from here.Add new comment
Unemployed husbandDetailed question:
I came on an F1 visa but dropped out due to financial difficulties, I have been working without a work permit, my husband who is a US citizen,has been unemployed for the last two years due to a car accident,so we had to use my income for the I-864 now they USCIS want me to verify my employment eligibility, how can we deal with this problem?Answer:
You may be best served by getting a co-sponsor for the affidavit of support.Add new comment
I-130 petitionDetailed question:
I filled the petition for my son when I was GC holder.My son got married 10 days before I got citizenship.Now his petition is denied.USCIS want me to file I-130 again. Please tell me I have to file I-130 or there is any other way.Answer:
As far as I know, there is no way out of this except a new filing.Add new comment
I have a green card, I was out of the U.S for more than a yearDetailed question:
I got my green card back in 2003, I traveled to the U.S. in search of a better life. Since my grandmother was sick I had to comeback to my home country in 2008. I've been out of the U.S. for more than a year. My grandmother is fine now and I'd like to comeback to the U.S. My green card expires in 2014, so it's still valid now. Will I be allowed to comeback to the U.S.?Answer:
Generally speaking, a visit outside USA lasting more than one year terminates your green card (no matter what the card says).Add new comment
Which state to file papers for green cardDetailed question:
I'm on F1 visa and just got married to a US citizen, I'm looking forward to file green card papers..is there something like some states(MD or Kentucky) have the fastest processing time, what is the normal time limit from filing to the interview and receiving green card?Answer:
Follow the instructions on the form. Place of filing in immigration matters follows your residence. It is not open to choice. USCIS processing times should be here: http://www.immigration.com/processing-times-and-status-checkAdd new comment
Marriage Immigration - Impact of divorceDetailed question:
I got married in November 2008 and my husband received his green card through our marriage (I am a US citizen) After a few months our marriage didn't work out and we are thinking about a divorce. Can he loose his green card if we get divorced?Answer:
The rule is, if the marriage was entered into in good faith, the condition on the green card should be removed even if the marriage fell apart.Add new comment
How much more do I have to wait for my green cardDetailed question:
On April of 1997 my dad as a citizen put in application for my sisters and I and we were accepted the same year on July 1997 but we have not heard anything else after the last correspondense we recieved in 2001. just wondering why it has taken so long for our green card to arrive or any notice what we are to wait any longer and how much longer. Can you please let me know what we should do?Answer:
There are too many unknowns in your situation for me to be able to answer. First, you need to check and see if your priority date (the date your I-130 was filed) is current. You do that by reviewing the most recent Visa Bulletin - http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin. If your PD is current, then you can start checking with the govt.Add new comment
Marriage Based PetitionDetailed question:
1. I am a GC holder for a year. I got married in dec of 2008 to a foriegn national and need to know when to file the I-130 for my wife. I do not have any tax returns as yet since i did not gain employement till 2009. I need to know the best way to tackle getting my wife over. If i send the I-130 in how soon will i need to provide financial documents like tax returns and other statements of support. Or will it be ideal for me to hold on till i have at least one years tax return as i would prefer not to be the cause of any processing delays. 2.As a follow up to the question 1, as advised by you I have gone ahead and submitted forms I-130/G-325A. The check for the applications has been cashed, but I would like to know what the next step is or how best to follow up on this.Answer:
1. I think you should file ASAP. You can get a co-sponsor and show all other assets you have.
2. For basic information call the USCIS customer service. Your local Congressman can help in the follow up.Add new comment
Getting married to a green card holderDetailed question:
I might be getting married to a green card holder who has it since 5 years and is eligible to apply for a citizenship next june. If I get married to him now when will I be eligible to get a visa to join him in America? What sort of visa will help me be with him and when?Answer:
Once he is a Citizen, he can apply for a K-3 and/or green card for you. Each one of them takes different times, usually less than a year.Add new comment
I130 and application for adjustmentDetailed question:
I filed I 130 for my unamrried son but before it was processed i became citizen so I filed fresh which may take mor than 5 years Is there any possibility for my son to come here and file adjustment visa? Can he stay and work after adjustment visa?Answer:
No one can file for adjustment unless their priority date is current. You should be able to upgrade the earlier filed I-130 to reflect your current citizenship. That way, he keeps his priority date. Contact USCIS customer service.Add new comment
Father wants to sponsor meDetailed question:
I arrived in the U.S. with a non-immigrant visa that expires 2016, my dad is a permanent resident who is now applying for his citizenship. My dad wants to sponsor me while i remain in the us. What forms do we have to fill out and would i be able to live and work in the us while my status adjustment is processing.Answer:
Review Form I-130. You cannot stay in USA while or just because the case is pending, unless you have some visa/status that allows you to stay.Add new comment
Can my parents stay in the US?Detailed question:
I am an American citizen. My parents received their 1 year multiple B-2 visa in Aug-09 and they came to live with me in Sep-09. I applied for I-130 for my mother in Oct-09. I received my mom's I-130 approval notice in Feb-10. And my parents are still in the States with me now. They were granted 6 months stay till Mar-10. My questions are: 1. Can my mom stay in the States beyond March and file I-485 status ajustment? Or should she go back to her home country and wait to be interview at the consulate? 2. I haven't applied I-130 for my dad. Can I file a B-2 visa extension for my dad and can he legally stay in the States after Mar-10 until the B-2 visa extension is granted or denied by Immigration? What form should I use for B-2 visa extension? Approximately how long does it take Homeland Security Immigration to grant or deny a B-2 visa extension case?Answer:
1. From what you have described, I see no reason why you cannot file for their I-485 and have them stay.
2. He can legally stay in USA as long as USCIS receives the extension request (Form I-539)before the expiration of his current status. He can stay till the request is decided or till the time for which the extension has been requested, whichever comes first. It can take several months for the application to be decided.Add new comment
Spouse's status -- Are you a US Citizen?Detailed question:
I recently got married and my wife is in F1 and has completed her MBA in december and is on CPT till Feb 2010. So whats the best way to get her status changed/adjusted.I am from Nepal and so if I go about filing I 130 how long does it take and can I file simultaneously AOS or not. If AOS is approved can she stay till I 130 get approved.Or I cant file AOS till I 130 approvedAnswer:
If you are a US citizen, there is no problem. You apply for her AOS simultaneously. If you are a green card holder, you cannot file AOS until the priority date is current and she cannot stay in USA based upon your application. She should probably think of H-1.Add new comment
Green card for spouse entered illegallyDetailed question:
I am an American with all my documents and I am trying to get my husband his green card, the thing is, he is already an alien of the U.S. that did not enter with a visa is there a specific form that I would have to address in these conditions.Answer:
You need to talk with a lawyer. If someone enters USA illegally (EWI), generally they are barred from adjustment of status (AOS).Add new comment
Sponsoring both my parentsDetailed question:
I am trying to sponsor both of my parents that currently live in Mexico. Do I have to pay 2 filing fees and do two separate applications?Answer:
Yes, you will need to file 2 applications and pay twiceAdd new comment
I-130 for siblingDetailed question:
My husband is a naturalized citizen. He filed an I-130 petition for his brother. We have received an approval notice and understand there is a visa petition still has to be done to make it all final. Will my brother-in-law be able to bring his wife and daughter with him? Or will he have to come first and petition on their behalf? Where can we look to find out how long the visas are taking to be assigned/approved for specific countries/regions?Answer:
In your husband's case, your brother in law will be able to bring his wife and children without making a separate application. Follow the dates in the Visa Bulletin. The date of the I-130 filing (not approval) with be his "Priority Date."Add new comment
Sponsoring brother from Vietnam, and he just has a new baby.Detailed question:
I am Vietnamese-American (US citizen). I have put in the application I-130 to sponsor my brother and his wife to come to the US, now my brother and his wife have another baby. What form/process do I need to fill out?Answer:
You do not have to do anything extra. This can be taken care of when you they get communication from National Visa Center.Add new comment
Traveling to US while green card petition pendingDetailed question:
My husband and I have been married for over 2 years now. On September, he filed I-130 on my behalf and we have also filed G-325A in October. My question is whether I can come to visit him for Christmas on a B-1 visa? I just want to make sure that it will not affect the application and that I will not have to stay in the US until the application is processed.Answer:
You can try, but such permission is rarely given.Add new comment
Green Card through marriageDetailed question:
My boyfriend is a u.s citizen and we want to get married. The problem is that i came to mexico and i cant go back. I was wondering if there was any visa or anything that he can get for me to go back before i get my greencard. And how long and how much it takes to do the whole process.Answer:
You could look into a fiancee visa (K-1). It can take a few months.Add new comment
I-130 for visiting parentsDetailed question:
I'm a US Citizen & would like to sponsor GC for my parents who have 2.5 weeks of tourist visa validity. Is it possible in such a short time since you mentioned that they need to have visa validity until the I-130 is approved. Can they apply leave the country and get back?Answer:
You will need to file 130 and adjustment of status papers together.Add new comment
GC for wife - marriage annulledDetailed question:
I applied for GC in February 2005. I was married in October 2007 in India. I got my GC in July 2008 on EB2 category. I never added my wife to GC application after marriage because we had conflicts. She left to India in November 2007. I have got the marriage annulled in USA in December 2007. However did not proceed in Indian court. Now we have reconciled and want to get back together. Since there was no divorce in Indian court can I get a family based GC for her? According to Indian law she is my wife since October 2007. What options do I have to bring her to USA?Answer:
As far as I can tell, you are out of luck till you get remarried and naturalized. A legal annullment strikes out the marriage. Whether done here or in India should be irrelevant. But you are so close to natz., this should be no problem.Add new comment
F-4 Family CategoryDetailed question:
After completion of the case by NYC, interview date of my sister and family has been scheduled at the US Embassy at Johannesburg . Can you please let me know as to what type of questions are asked during interview. will they get visa same day, if everything goes well.Answer:
The questions in family-based cases tend to be basic and nothing to prepare for. Usually, the immigrant visa package could take a few days, but I am not certain as to the exact time frame. The consulates are good about responding to emails. Write to them.Add new comment
Petition for motherDetailed question:
I am a US citizen and I want to petition my mother for Permanent residency using the I-130 form. She is currently in the USA illegally. Does she have to go back to her home country while I petition for her? Will she be deported if she stays here? I would like information about what to do with my case. Is there a fine that I have to pay because she has been here illegally since 1989?Answer:
As far as I know, if she entered USA legally, you should be able to get her green card. But I always advise people in this situation to get a local lawyer.Add new comment
F1 student (wife of a GC holder) - pregnantDetailed question:
I'm on F1 and got pregnant. Can I take a break for sometime and get back to studies? My husband is a GC holder..well we got married after he got GC. Now can he apply for a family based GC for me, I kind of know that it takes atleast 4 yrs for me to get GC...but just wanted to make sure that he can apply while I am on F1Answer:
For various reasons, I usually see no point in applying for a green card through a permanent resident spouse while you are on an F-1. About taking a break, the F status requires you to attend school full time unless there is a medical necessity. You need to discuss that with your international students advisor.Add new comment
Brother with medical issuesDetailed question:
Can I petition my brother to come here who has a serious medical issue and needs my help?Answer:
Green cards for brothers take approximately 10 years to come through. But for medical treatment, a B-1 visa can be applied.Add new comment
Green Card Through MarriageDetailed question:
I just got married to an American Citizen, unfortunately I am in his country illegally. I want to know what process would we have to go through to get me a Green Card and make me a resident. I am also pregnant, will this affect anything at all?Answer:
For all people on B visa or illegal in USA who are marrying a US citizen, I strongly advise at least one consultation with a lawyer to make sure you will not run into trouble.Add new comment
I-751 genuine marriageDetailed question:
My wife and I have decided that marriage does not fit into each others dreams anymore. We have been married for almost 3 years and Just got a notice that after filing I-751, the evidence submitted with the form was "insufficient". Our marriage and relationship started and continued in the utmost manner of good faith. Our decision for divorce was a mutual one. We plan on continuing friendship in good faith and she will always be part of our family. She has a life here, she works hard, pays taxes and wants to continue her life here. We both don't want her residency here, her life, stripped away.Answer:
I like your attitude. It appears to me that what is missing is proof, not genuineness. I suggest you contact a lawyer locally. They should be able to assist with finding items of proof that you may have overlooked.Add new comment
I-130 for parents and sistersDetailed question:
I'm a US Citizen, and I want to file a I-130 on behalf of my mother, Do I need to file a separate petition for my 12 year old sister or should be included? They both live outside the USA.Answer:
As far as I know, it will have to be a separate petition.Add new comment
F1 student married with GC holderDetailed question:
I came to US on F1 visa in dec 2003. I have completed my bachelors in 2009.I got an OPT for 1 year. Meanwhile, I got married to a Green card holder as well as I got an admission in master programe to maintain my F1 status. Now my master is going to finish in May 2011 and my wife will be US citizen in December 2011. I was thinking to file I-30 only right now. Once she become a citizen then I would file for AOS. What if I file I-30 will I be able to recieve OPT after my graduation?. Or just wait until she becomes a citizen?Answer:
I would recommend filing I-130 when she gets her naturalization.Add new comment
Applied Green card (family) while on H-1BDetailed question:
1. I came to the US on H-1B in November 2007. My sister is a citizen of this country and she applied for a green card for me (and my dependents) in the F4 category in 2009. I also came here in 2006 for 2 months on B1. I have never overstayed on my Visa. Is this fine or will it be a problem? We also mentioned my A#, SSN etc..on the I-130. 2. During the H1b process, I missed mentioning my sisters name on DS 156 (question 37). This is a question on the form to disclose if anyone in the family is a US citizen. Will this create an issue? On the I-130 form, in the proofs, my name was not on the birth certificate (date of birth, parents name etc..all match with my sisters birth certificate).However, after filing the form I-130, we worked with the government agencies in India to get it corrected.Is there a way we can send the updated birth certificate to USCIS or should we just wait?Answer:
1. I see no issue in applying for a family based or employment based green card while on H-1.
2. If the omission of your sister's name was unintentional, I do not see it becoming an issue. Regarding birth certificate, you may want to contact the customer service. Normally, CIS is reluctant to accept later changes. But you should be able to overcome any problems they raise.Add new comment
Waiting for PRDetailed question:
My husband has a greencard, and I came to US after marriage on L1 visa, my I94 expires on 09/2010. My husband is waiting for his citizenship in 2011 to file for 130 and 1-485. Can I still do AOS staying here in 2011 or do I need to go for consular processing.Answer:
A green card holder's spouse has no status while waiting for their priority date to become current. You should maintain your L-1 status.Add new comment
Daughter of U.S. Green Card holderDetailed question:
I am married to a U.S. citizen. My two sons from Malaysia under 21 received their GC are already in the U.S. My husband could not file for my daughter as she was above 18 when we married so I filed on Sep 2009, I-130 before she turned 21 . My question, is there any way to bring her to the U.S. ONLY to visit us until her I-130 gets approved. We only want her to visit us and not overstay in USA.Answer:
There is no easy solution. The only two obvious visas that come to mind and that available for someone like your daughter would be H-1 or L-1 (employment-based) visas. A student visa can be tried, but the grant us unlikely because green card is pending. I have an entry on my blog on this - applying for a nonimmigrant visa while green card is pending. Check it out.Add new comment
If my fiancee came to the US illegallyDetailed question:
If my fiancee came to the US illegaly what is the best course of action to follow? Should we get married here and then go back to his home country and file for immigration or is it better to leave the US and get married in his home country and then file the I-129 and I-130? I am just not sure what happens since he came here illegally. Are there fines that have to be paid? Does anyone know?Answer:
Illegal entry into USA is a serious issue. Please consult a local lawyer.Add new comment
Sponsor Green cardDetailed question:
I obtained my US citizenship status early in 2009. Now my parents came to visit me and staying with me. I have a plan of applying the green card for my parents and keep them with me until the green card is fully processed. Can you please advise me whether I need to file I-130 or I-485 ? They have the I-90 stamped until April 2010. Also in I-130 there is a question ( I think no 22) , asking the preference of visa process. Is it possible for me to ask our my preference?Answer:
We cannot offer assistance in filling up forms. But without commenting on your situation and generally speaking, when applying for parents who are in USA, a US citizen files an I-148 package and form I-130 together.Add new comment
I-130 has 3 years not yet approvedDetailed question:
I submitted a I-130 for my wife (I am a greencard holder), and got my receipt of notice in October 30, 2006. No more information has been sent to me or her. Is that normal? No yet approved, what do I need to do? Just wait? Thank you so much.Answer:
This is not normal. Contact USCIS customer service. If that does not work, contact your congressman. See this page: http://www.immigration.com/issues-relating-delays-various-immigration-ma...Add new comment
Green Card abandonmentDetailed question:
My parents obtained their green card in December 2002 and came to U.S. Due to their age, they applied for I-130 and did not established 6 mo - residency until Jun - Dec 2005. Last US exit was in Dec 2005. They do not intend to abandon US residency and will come here when their health allows. Is their green card still valid - what else can be done here. Any help - most appreciatedAnswer:
There is no law that requires a lawful permanent resident (GC Holder) to return within 6 months. But it is certainly better to do so. In any case, you must return before 12 months. BUT, remember, if you do not maintain your permanent home in the U.S., you can lose your GC even if you step out the U.S. for a day with an intent to go live somewhere else.
Thus, the law says that your permanent home in fact must be in the U.S. Even if you leave, it must never be for one year or more. But even leaving for shorter periods than a year could be problematic if you do not maintain your permanent res.Add new comment
Applying for NIV with a pending GC applicationDetailed question:
I have a family-based pending GC application that is likely to be processed in 2012. Could I apply for a NIV (visitor or student) before GC application is processed? How likely is it that a NIV application may be denied due to my immigrant intent, and if it is denied, what repercussions could that have for my GC application and beyond?Answer:
It is possible, but the grant is unlikely. Read my blog, including this: http://forums.immigration.com/blog.php?u=1&blogcategoryid=36Add new comment
Sponsoring daughter over 21 on F1 statusDetailed question:
I'm a permanent resident and I would like to know if I could sponsor my daughter who is over 21 and is currently on F1 status. If so, would she be allowed to stay in the U.S. if her visa expires during processing? How long will this process take.Answer:
I am assuming you are asking me whether a green card holder can apply for a green card for an over-21 child. The answer is yes, as long she is unmarried, you can. But she cannot stay in USA based only upon the fact that you have applied for her.
Check out the Visa Bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin
Add new comment
Green CardDetailed question:
I married a US citizen on may of 2009 and we were going to have a baby but we lost it a month ago. I entered the US illegally when I was 3 years old I am now 21 yrs old. A few years ago my moms employer filled an I-140 for her and all her children including myself were on the application. I want to know if that would benefit me in anyway?Answer:
May be Section 245(i) can help. Call and check with your mom's lawyer. Also explore the fact that you are married to a US citizen.Add new comment
Eligible husband?Detailed question:
I am a U.S citizen,I got married in U.S.A., my oldest son was born there,and I have 2 more sons that were born abroad and are citizens too, my husband had a green card, but he had drug trafficking problems almost 15 years ago, something like conspiracy, thats why we are living outside the U.S., if we want to go back, can something be done about this so the whole family can live there again? Can he get like a pardon and get a green card again, or there is no way this can be done?Answer:
Because you are a US Citizen, there could be waivers available for offenses committed by spouse. You may want to check first with the US consulate in the country where you are living.Add new comment
Immigration after I-130Detailed question:
I found your site is very helpful to know the US immigration. I would like to ask few queries about Immigration. I have just got notice the petition has been approved as relationship of sister. My Brother is living in US, He is US citizenship card holder. My query is how many years or months should I wait for the Interview of VISA.. Does it take long time or now it is very short? I tried to search in different site but I didn't get my answers. As my understand this is in F4 categories. I am from Nepal. I would be very glad if you provide about my answer of question.Answer:
Wait times are governed by priority date. Read the visa bulletin: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletinAdd new comment
Petitioning for ParentsDetailed question:
I want to know if I am applying for both my parents to immigrate I do know I need to do 2 separate petitions. But do I need to pay to pay 2 separate fees as well, or what is the process please help thanks.Answer:
As far as I remember, separate forms are needed for parents. Read the instructions on Form I-130.Add new comment
Brother and Family ImmigrationDetailed question:
I am a US Citizen and I filled the forms for my brother to come here, but I want his son also to come because he is a very skilled computer programmer and I need him in my business. I included him in my petition form but he is 25, is it possible for him to come here? They are in Cuba.Answer:
Look into a work visa option for him (H-1, H-2B, etc). Family-based would take too long.Add new comment
Renewing a green cardDetailed question:
I am a US Citizen, my husband is a permanent resident whose green card expires in Nov. 09. Does it automatically get renewed or am I required to sign something? And what happens if I am contemplating a divorce. Does he get deported?Answer:
If he has a "permanent green card," divorce has no impact on it and renewal is a minor process in which your signature is not needed. If he has a conditional green card, he is required to file Form I-751 (read the instructions), where if the marriage was entered into in good faith, he can obtain his permanent green card even without your signatures.Add new comment
Green Card for HusbandDetailed question:
I just got my citizenship. My husband has an expired F1. We've been married for 4.5 yrs and live in the States, what do I have to do to get my husband permanent resident?Answer:
You need to file a whole bunch of forms (including but not limited to Forms I-130 and I-485). There is no way I can assess the whole situation since he is out of status. I do suggest you get a lawyer locally where you are.Add new comment
How to apply for work authorization after I130 approval?Detailed question:
I found this site so useful for valuable information. I got approval from I 130 and I am in US with F-1 visa. Can I submit I 485 without immigration number? Also Can I request for the work permit on this basis?Answer:
I am glad our site has helped you. You can receive work authorization only when you apply for your I-485 (Adjustment of Status). You can file that only when your priority date is current. Mere I-130 pendency or approval gives you no help unless you are an immediate relative of a US citizen (like spouse or parent).Add new comment
Parent of US citizen - Child born in USADetailed question:
My son was born in the US, he was 2 months premature and his birth in the US was pure accident since i was on vacation there when i developed a complication and had to be hospitalised at 6 months pregnant. He is only 8 months, and we are living out of US. Is there any right for parent of young US born child to apply for residency so the child can be raised in the US?Answer:
The good news is that the child is a US citizen by birth. The bad news is that does not help the parents. He can apply for you only when he turns 21.Add new comment
Change of status for BeneficiaryDetailed question:
I am green card holder in USA. I filled I130 for un-married son (above 21) in July 2001. He got married in May 2005 and lives with his wife in USA on H1B. My application I130 which i filed in July 2001 for unmarried son has been approved. I am waiting for their communication. My question is Will my son be eligible for the approved application by just changing his status to Married and get his greencard along with his wife?Answer:
As far as I know, marriage automatically disqualifies your son. Sorry.Add new comment
Green card Family category 4Detailed question:
Cut off date of approved petition for my sister and family is 17 May 1999. My sister who is Indian citizen, is at present in Botswana. My nice who is 18 yrs. and approved in petition is aready in US on valid student visa. Can she apply for change of staus indepentally when visa number is available or it has to be together with family . Can she apply before her parents apply or it has to be simultaneous?Answer:
I have not looked into this issue specifically but my instinct is that AOS within USA may be problematic for her before your sister gets her green card. As a practical matter, she will only need to make a brief - perhaps a week long trip once to get her green card with the family.Add new comment
How to renew a green cardDetailed question:
Can I renew a permanent greencard that has been expired? How much do I have to pay?Answer:
If your green card has expired (but not abandoned), you will need to file Form I-90. Read the instructions on the form.Add new comment
How long is the waiting?Detailed question:
I have a sister to sister petition on Jan.14,1998 under 245(i). Me,My husband and,our daughter already here in united states.We've been working now for 13yrs never stop. We bought a house and a car under our name,we file and pay taxes,we have a drivers license under our name.My question is what kind of financial support that my sister is gonna show,if we make more than she makes,is it not gonna be a problem? What is the time frame means? When the last time i checked my EAC at the uscis is sept.01,2001.pls.helpAnswer:
The waiting is determined by your country of birth and the category of immigration. The visa bulletin tells you when your date will be current. You can then apply for your last step of immigration. As to the issue of support, it should not matter if you make more than she does. Also read the instructions on Form I-864.Add new comment
Marriage during F1 statusDetailed question:
1. My son has LPR status and wishes to marry a girl who is on student visa valid for next 3 years. Is she required to maintain her F1 status after her petition is filed after marriage.? Can he apply for AOS after filing the petition? Appreciate your guidance. 2.Can she stay as long as she has valid F1 visa and opt to follow? After this period she may try for H1Answer:
1. She cannot apply for her AOS unless the priority date is current (which takes several years). And she has no legal status just because an I-130 was filed or approved. An additional problem is when an F-1 marries a green card holder, govt. can take that to be a violation of their non-immigrant intent, if that becomes an issue. That problem should not exist as and when she takes on an H-1.
2. I see no law against staying and OPT, but marrying an LPR can be problematic as indicative of immigrant intent. H-1 is the only safe option.Add new comment
Sponsoring my Mom for reinstating Green cardDetailed question:
My Mom had green card several years ago and lost staus. Now I would like to sponsor her for lost Green card. Will there be a preference or does it help her get GC faster? She is planning on coming here on a visitor visa and then file for sponsoring her for GC.Answer:
I am assuming you are a US citizen. You will be applying for a new green card, not reinstatement. As to the issue of applying for a green card after she enters on a visitors visa with a pre-conceived intent to apply for green card; this CAN (not always) be problematic. USCIS can consider this to be an improper use of her B visa.Add new comment
Green Card holder parents bringing to US a child born outside USADetailed question:
If the Child is born in India and we have the GC by that time, is there any way the child can travel to US?Answer:
Your child may accompany you or travel with you to the U.S if the following conditions are met:
a) the child has a separate passport;
b) has a birth certificate from the corporation, municipality or a registrar of births and deaths (please note hospital records are not adequate)
c) the child accompanies the immigrant mother or father upon her or his return to the U.S following the birth of the child
d) the child is under the age of two years
e) the immigrant mother or father has a valid Form I-551 or I-151, alien registration receipt card (in short called green card), or Form I-327 (permit to re-enter the U.S.) valid for two years from the date of issue.
If the above are satisfied then the child may accompany you into U.S without a visa.
Following admission to U.S contact the nearest CIS office to regularize the stay of the child in U.S.
Why does it take so much time to get green cardsDetailed question:
Why does it take years and years for family to be reunited.Answer:
Many of the family-based categories are given only a certain number of green cards per year. The quota is based upon the country of birth. So, if there is more demand than supply, waiting develops. Every month, the govt. publishes the green card waiting times in their Visa Bulletin. Click here for more information http://www.immigration.com/search/node/visa%20bulletinAdd new comment
Applying for green card while on a B-1 or B-2 visaDetailed question:
1) I am a US Citizen. My parents (or spouse/spouse-to-be) are in USA on visitors visa. Can I apply for their green card? How does it all work? 2) My parents' I-130 application is currently pending. They are currently living in their home country, India. Can they visit me during the pendency of the green card application? 3) Is it better to apply for adjustment of status or consular processing for the last step of their green card? 4) Updated FAQ - My parent came to US with B1 visa and they are still here. But the visa were expired several years ago. Now I am a citizen, I wonder if I can still apply for green card for them. Could I apply by myself or need to consult with a lawyer?Answer:
A1. There is nothing that stops you from applying for their green card. Note also that the same answer applies to children and spouse of a US citizens. But it does NOT apply to brothers/sisters.
There is just one issue. It is INAPPROPRIATE (may be even illegal) for a person to enter USA on a tourist or other similar visa if they have the intent to apply for a green card. BUT, if they enter USA without that intent, and after a few days of entry change their mind, that is perfectly appropriate and legal.
The tricky thing is, intent being a state of mind, can only be inferred from circumstances. If intent ever became an issue, INS may look at how soon after entering a green card was applied. Obviously, the more time has elapsed, the better the case is.
Once the I-130/I-485/I-131/I-765 package is properly filed with INS, your relatives can stay in USA without extending their status. Also, once Form I-131 (Advance Parole) is approved, they are free to leave USA and come back during the pendency of their application. Approximate processing times for these petitions are available on our web site at: http://www.immigration.com/node/1412/
A2. Maybe. If they already have a visitors visa stamp on their passport, they should be able to visit. Chances of INS (CBP) sending them back from the airport are probably small. But if they will be applying for a tourist visa (also known as visitors visa) now, they may be refused the visa by the US consulate because they have exhibited immigrant intent. In that case they will have to wait until they receive their green card approval.
A3. In terms of legal effect - they are both the same.
Consular processing is faster (as of May 2002 taking about 3-5 months to completion).
For persons outside USA, consular processing is the only option. Once the I-485/I-131/I-765 package is properly filed with INS, your relatives can stay in USA without extending their status. Also, once Form I-131 (Advance Parole) is approved, they are free to leave USA and come back during the pendency of their application. Approximate processing times for these petitions are available on our web site. See link in the question above.
A4. As I understand the law, they should be able to get their green card. You should talk with a lawyer.Add new comment
Marriage to US Citizen with EB AOS is pendingDetailed question:
I am currently on H1B extension (7th year ; with pending I-485 under NIW, and approved Advanced Parole & EAD) dating an American citizen. We want to get married in India. If I were to leave my current job in October 2009, and go to India (for making marriage arrangements), is it advisable to: 1. First get engaged here in the US and file for fiancé Visa while I am in US (and then travel to India) in order to re-enter US on a legal status. 2. Also do we have to get married in US again in order to provide proper legal marriage documentation and to file family based I-485 as spouse.Answer:
NIW applicants get their green card based upon an expectation of employment - not employment (unless you are a physician). So, if you have a job offer in your area of expertise, your travel on AP is fairly safe.
A legal marriage in India is fully recognized in USA.Add new comment
Can H-1 be extended based upon family-based green card?Detailed question:
I am on H1B. If applied for GC through Family Based 4 category (brother/sister) can I apply for extension of my stay after my 6 yrs H1 period once the I-130 approved? Or this extension request is applicable only on Employment Based processing after Labor clearance?Answer:
You cannot. This extension is available only to employment-based applicants.Add new comment
Waiver of Joint filing requirementDetailed question:
Divorced from my husband and need to file for removal of conditions (status: permanent resident), i.e. to apply for a waiver of the requirement to file a joint petition due to termination of marriage. How do I proceed? What documents do I need to file for removal of conditions based on the situation I am in.Answer:
You will need the waiver as you have said. Read the instructions on Form I-751. What you will be required to prove is that the marriage, when entered into, was in good faith and not to get a green card.Add new comment
Filing I-485 after I-130 approvedDetailed question:
I filed I-130 for my mother at beginning of April. Now I want to file I-485 as part of the concurrent filing. Can I just file I-485 and attach a copy of I-130 notice? Please advise what I should do. Thank youAnswer:
I think you can and there should not be any problem. As to where to file, call USCIS customer service. 1 (800) 375-5283.Add new comment
Adoption from IndiaDetailed question: Answer:
I am sharing with you a response to a frequently asked question about adopting a child from India. Our inquirer also wanted to know if she could adopt her niece. Here is the info:
Adoptions of children from India to the US are covered under the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption. Adoptions of relatives are permitted under the Hague Convention so long as the adoption proceeds in the same manner as other Convention adoptions. Significantly, the relative child must still meet the definition of a "Convention Adoptee". Please see the following US State Dept. Website for more details: http://adoption.state.gov/about/who/relatives.html. In addition to other applicable requirements, all of the following Hague requirements must be true for a child to be eligible for the "Convention Adoptee" classification:
1. The child is under the age of 16 at the time the I-800 petition is filed (with the USCIS) on his or her behalf, is unmarried, and lives in a Convention country (India is a Convention Country); But note, unless there are exceptional circumstances, India only permits relative adoptions for children under the age of six. This may be problematic for you and should be clearly discussed with your State Dept Approved Agency before proceeding.
2. The child will be adopted by a married U.S. citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried U.S. citizen at least 25 years of age, habitually resident in the United States, whom USCIS has found suitable and eligible to adopt (Form I-800A approval) with the intent of creating a legal parent-child relationship. Note that at this stage the child must not have been adopted yet. However, India makes the following additional requirements: Prospective adoptive parents can’t be less than 30 or more than 55 years of age. Married couples must have a combined age of 90 or less. Prospective adoptive parents should be at least 21 years older than the child. Single parents up to the age of 45 can adopt.
3. The child's birth parents (or parent if the child has a sole or surviving parent), or other legal custodian, individuals, or entities whose consent is necessary for adoption, freely gave their written irrevocable consent to the termination of their legal relationship with the child and to the child's immigration and adoption;
4. If the child has two living birth-parents who were the last legal custodian who signed the irrevocable consent to adoption, they are determined to be incapable of providing proper care for the child; and
5. The child has been adopted or will be adopted in the United States or in the Convention country in accordance with the rules and procedures elaborated in the Hague Adoption Convention and the IAA, including that proper accredited adoption service providers were used where required, and there is no indication of improper inducement, fraud, misrepresentation, or prohibited contact associated with the case.
Please note for adopting a relative, item #3 is critical. However, even if the surviving parent provides the written consent of relinquishment, the Indian Government has the right to deny this case based on the sole parent's income, occupation, and reasons for relinquishment. Please see the following Indian Government site which provides guidelines for adoptions of relatives abroad:
http://www.adoptionindia.nic.in/guidelinefamily.htm. If the surviving parent's income, occupation or reason for relinquishment bar classifying the child as a Convention Adoptee, then there is one more possibility. If the child has resided with the United States citizen in legal custody for at least two years, then the U.S. citizen may also file an immigrant visa petition for the child.
If you choose to proceed with the adoption, our firm would work on the immigration petitions (I-800, I-800a) and the State Dept approved agency would be in contact with the Indian Government to arrange for adoption (or legal guardianship) in India of your niece as required by the Hague Convention.Add new comment
Does filing for any green card permit me to stay in USA?Detailed question:
I am here on L1b visa from x company. My sister sponsored me Immigration visa in 2006. (File is still in processing). My assignment is going to over here. Is there any work around or change of status through which i can stay here?Answer:
So, the questions is does filing for any green card permit me to stay in USA?
The answer is no.
Only those green card application in which there is no wait for a visa number (example: spouse or parent of a US citizen or EB1 category currently) permit you to stay in USA but only if AOS (I-485) is filed in a timely manner.
That is the reason spouses of green card holders have to wait OUTSIDE USA for many, many years.
Do advanced degrees help in marriage-based green card?Detailed question:
I have recently gotten engaged to a green card holder. We are making plans for our wedding, very likely to happen this year. However, the following questions arose: 1. Does the fact that I already hold another Master and a Ph.D. degrees accelerate my green card application? I understand that the backlog is of 5-6 years, but I wonder if my advanced education will assist my application. 2. My H-1B application last year was approved, but I did not use the visa, as I decided to go back to school for (yet!) another degree. Will the approval of the H-1B be looked at favorably, unfavorably, or will it not make a difference? 3. I am currently an F-1 holder. If I marry my fiance' this year, may I simply maintain my Visa independent of his? I am eligible to an OPT after I graduate (to happen this year or in mid-2010) and I am certain I will be able to obtain an H-1B afterwards. Therefore, I do not depend on my fiance' to keep a legal status in the country. Is it legal (or advisable) to keep my Immigration records separate from his? 4. How about when we file for taxes, after the wedding happens? May we file separately, or do we need to declare we are married?Answer:
1. Advanced degrees do not help in a family-based green card.
2. H-1 approval also does not help in the GC process.
3. Check with your international students office about the OPT part. This one is difficult for me to comment upon.
4. Whether or not you declare, if you are married then that is so. You must state that you are married if any immigration forms ask you. This is VERY important. Regarding taxes, check with a CPA. You do not want tax advice from a guy who barely passed his Federal Tax exam in law school.
If I were you, I would depend on my H-1, not OPT. The H-1 permits dual intent (Nonimmigrant and Immigrant) and is likely to be a strong visa for a person married to a green card holderAdd new comment
B visa while GC pending or similar situationDetailed question:
After a long-term relationship, earlier this year I married a U.S. citizen. I do not want to change my immigration status and do not wish to immigrate nor reside permanently in the United States since we both have steady jobs outside the U.S. and I do not want to leave my country. All I want is to be able to travel temporarily into the U.S. for pleasure and leisure as most tourists do, once or twice a year for a couple of weeks each time. I want to know if I can just apply for a new B-1/B-2 tourist visa to travel into the U.S. or if my husband needs to file an I-130 petition for alien relative and I-129 and K visa thereafter instead –which I understand would be the right process if I ever wanted to adjust status or become a U.S. permanent resident.Answer:
This is upto the discretion of the consulate and then again upto CBP when you land in USA. Consulates have the discretion to issue you a B visa - despite your presumed immigrant intent - if they are convinced that you will return. This is true for all cases where a B (or F or similar) visa is sought while GC is pending or could be pending.Add new comment
Green Card through Citizen brotherDetailed question:
My brother got US Citizenship this month. I would like to apply Green Card using my brother's citizenship.Is it possible ? How long it will take . Now I am holding H1B.Answer:
This is usually not a feasible option. To see how long it would take, look at the Visa Bulletin:
You will note that it will take more than a decade to get a green card through family-based category 4. You are not permitted to stay in the USA just because this application is pending.Add new comment