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  • What is USCIS?
    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency of the U.S. government principally responsible for matters dealing with aliens in the United States. USCIS has jurisdiction over immigrant petitions and adjustment applications for Family Based Immigration. Prior to March 2003, the USCIS was called the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).. Whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, Immigration Service is your foremost source for information on visas, green cards, citizenship, and more. From our site you can access many information dealing with topics covering visas and immigration processes in general. We have specific sections devoted to the different ways people can immigrate into the United States: family-based immigration (adjustments or petitions), employment-based immigration (adjustments or petitions), special programs for religious workers and others who would like to live and work in the United States temporarily or permanently.
  • What is Family based Immigration?
    There are two ways for a foreigner to become a permanent resident of the United States. One is through an employment-based or business-based visa, and the second is through family-based immigration. Family-based immigration has five categories that allow immediate relatives, family preference categories, as well as unmarried sons and daughters (adult) to obtain green cards.
  • Who can be Sponsor?
    To sponsor a family based immigration petition, one must be an American citizen or have permanent residency status. The sponsor has to meet some requirements and legal obligations under the Affidavit of Support. If you need to file a family based petition – of if you are the beneficiary of a family based petition - provides detailed information about how the U.S immigration law works, which forms to file and when, who can be your sponsor etc. In addition, you will find a collection of free legal forms that can be downloaded in PDF format.
  • Who can be a Beneficiary?
    In general, you may be eligible to immigrate to the United States if you are a relative of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) The four Preferences are as follows: 1st Preference: applies to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens 2nd Preference: applies to spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents 3rd Preference: applies to married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens 4th Preference: siblings of U.S. citizens
  • My 1 year-old son was born in the U.S. and is a U.S. citizen. Can he file an immigration petition for us now since we are aliens working in the U.S.?
    The child can only file petition for you after he turns 21 if the parent-child relationship existed before that date.
  • How does U.S. immigration Law define "Siblings"?"
    The relationship of siblings is the relationship between two people who share at least one biological or adoptive parent. The siblings need not share the same biological parents as long as both became “children” at the appropriate time, like, before the age of 16 in cases of adoption, and before the age of 18 for stepchildren
  • I am a U.S. Citizen, and I am over 18. May i apply for immigration for my alien sister?"
    No, you cannot. As a USC, you are eligible for filing for the immigration of your sister when you are at least 21 years old.
  • I am a U.S. permnent resident. may i apply for immigration for my alien brother?
    No, as an LPR, you are not eligible to apply immigration for your alien brother.
  • My father is a U.S. citizen, and is filing for permanent residence for me and my family. We would like to know if he must file separate petitions for my wife, son, and daughter? If so, how can we send the I-130 applications?"
    With the immigration service, there is no need for you and your spouse to file separate immigration petitions. Instead, when your father files an I-130 petition for you, he can include your wife in the same immigrant visa petition.
  • I got my green card one month ago based on an Employment-Based Immigration, the 2nd Preference (EB-2). Two months before my I-485 was approved, I went back to my home country and married my girlfriend. How can I bring her into the U.S.?"
    Since you were married before you became a lawful permanent resident, and your spouse did not physically accompany you to the U.S., your wife is eligible for “following-to-join” benefits. This means that you do not have to submit a separate Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your wife, and your spouse will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. You may file a Form I-824 with the USCIS and let it notify a U.S. Consulate that you are a lawful permanent resident, so that your wife can apply for an immigrant visa.
  • What is a fiancé visa?
    A fiancé visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring their foreign fiancé into the United States for marriage. The foreign fiancé must prove that he or she is eligible for this type of visa before entering the United States. After the marriage has taken place, then the couple will be able to apply for permanent residence status, also known as a green card. There are different requirements for obtaining a fiancé visa than there are for other types of visas.''
  • I’m a U.S. citizen, and filed an I-130 for my wife who is right now in her home country. However, the I-130 is pending. Can my spouse come to the U.S. to live while the visa petition is pending?"
    For spouses of U.S. citizens who are living outside the United States, a K-3 visa is a great option for coming to live with you here in the United States. With this visa, your spouse will be able to travel into the U.S., live here for two years while the visa petition is pending (although she can work immediately), and return to her home country without having to go through consular processing again.
  • What is a Conditional Green Card?
    A Conditional Green Card is a document that allows an alien to remain in the United States if they have an approved I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The card will be issued with a condition on it that states you must apply for permanent residence (a "Green Card") within 90 days of its approval or the card will expire and you must return to your home country.
  • I am a U.S. citizen and have been out of work for several years, can I sponsor my wife in her green card application?"
    Yes, but you need a co-sponsor for the financial supports.
  • If I have a co-sponsor for my wife’s application, will the USCIS question my ability to support my wife who can actually support herself?"
    No. It is OK as long as your co-sponsor meets the financial support requirements
  • I have no income and cannot find a co-sponsor, what else can I do to sponsor my wife?"
    The immigration service requires you to submit Form I-864 and evidence of assets that are readily available and, combining with your total household income, fulfill the income eligibility requirement. Evidence may include any of the following: bank statements; proof of ownership or value (e.g., mortgage payment statements, property tax lists, etc.); deeds or titles to real property; stocks or bonds held in a brokerage account; car title (if owner); stock or bond certificates; certificates of deposit. You may provide evidence of assets that are readily available and, combining with your total household income, fulfill the income eligibility requirement. Your wife’s income may also be included as your household income if she has been living with you for the last 6 months.
  • What evidence of assets may I submit?
    Evidence of assets includes almost all tangible or intangible properties. Usually they are: (A) bank statements covering the last 12 months; (B) stocks, bonds, and other securities; (C) personal property; or (D) real estate.
  • What is a marriage green card?
    Most U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders are entitled by law to sponsor their spouses for a green card, also known as “permanent residence status.” The total cost, wait time, and other details of the marriage green card process vary based on several factors.
  • I am a U.S. Citizen, can i pition for my brothers and sisters?"
    If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring a sibling to the U.S., you must apply for a family preference immigrant visa. Because there is a yearly limit on the number of such visas granted, they are awarded in order of the date you filed the visa petition. Your sibling will not be allowed to apply for a green card until that priority date comes up.
  • I am a U.S. citizen. What documents must I prepare for the immigration petition for my alien spouse?
    1. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with all required documentation; 2. A copy of your birth certificate showing your name, or your U.S. passport; 3. If you are a citizen and were not born in the United States, a copy of either a. your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or b. your U.S. passport 4. Two completed and signed G-325A’s (one for you and one for your spouse); 5. A copy of your marriage certificate; 6. A copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees that would show that any previous marriage entered into by you or your spouse was ended legally; and 7. Two recently taken color photos of you and two of your spouse.
  • I am a lawful permanent resident and the step-parent of my wife’s child. What documents must I prepare for the immigration petition for this child?
    1. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative; 2. A copy of your alien registration receipt card; 3. A copy of the child’s birth certificate showing the child’s name and the names of your wife; 4. A copy of the marriage certificate showing the names of you and your wife (your marriage to your wife must take place before your stepchild’s 18th birthday); 5. A copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees that establish the termination of any previous marriages entered into by you or your wife.
  • What are requarmnets for bringing Fiancé(e)?
    If your intended wants to join you in the U.S. in order to marry you, and you are a U.S. citizen, there is K-1 (fiancé(e) visa created just for the two of you. Remember though that the person applying for the K-1 visa must: Be a U.S. citizen Be unmarried Marry the fiancé(e) within 90 days of arrival in the U.S. Have met the fiancé(e) in person at least once within the last 2 years Meet the current income requirement If you have immigrated to the U.S. and stay in this country, your marriage may make you eligible to apply for a green card through the adjustment of status (AOS) process.
  • What are the cause for Deportation?
    Some people face deportation proceedings because of a criminal conviction. For most of these people, the convictions or arrests that lead to deportation proceedings are called crimes of moral turpitude. These crimes are those that go against the morals of society. Some of the crimes considered to be of moral turpitude include: Murder/homicide Rape Assault Fraud Robbery Theft/ Larceny Certain drug crimes If your loved one has been arrested for a crime, we will explore all defenses against the crime in question or the basis that it falls under a crime of moral turpitude.
  • How the Extreme hardship waiver works?
    Using a waiver to free your loved one from removal or deportation proceedings is not uncommon. In fact, it’s one of many strategies we employ to help immigrants stay in the United States with their families. In order to convince the USCIS that an I-601a waiver should be approved, evidence of an extreme hardship must be demonstrated. Some examples of extreme hardship include:A parent or spouse has a medical condition and depends on the subject for care.A parent or spouse is financially dependent on the subject and will not receive adequate support from overseas.A parent or spouse has financial debts in the United States and cannot pay them without the assistance of the subject.A parent or spouse has another sick family member and will be unable to care for that person without support.
  • When is Form I-485 Needed?
    Form I-485 is needed by individuals already in the United States who are eligible to become a permanent resident, also known as getting a Green Card. An individual is eligible to obtain a Green Card by completing Form I-485 in the following situations: The applicant has an approved immigrant petition, such as Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The applicant was the fiancé (e) of a US citizen, entered the United States with a K-1 visa and married a US citizen within 90 days of entering the country. The applicant has asylum or refugee status. The applicant is a Cuban citizen or foreign national. The applicant has continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 1972. Form I-485 can also be used to adjust an individual’s immigration status in certain situations, such as: Having a valid, but not current Priority Date and Preference under the Child Status Protection Act. Having a valid, but not current Western Hemisphere Priority Date. Changing the date on which a Green Card holder’s permanent resident status began.
  • Do I qualify for asylum?
    You may qualify for asylum if you can establish that you are a refugee and are not subject to any asylum bars. Bars to asylum include: Persecution of others; Conviction of certain types of crimes in the United States; Commission of serious, non-political crimes outside of the United States; Being a danger to national security; Terrorist activity; Firmly resettling in another country outside of your home country; Having a safe third country where you could live; Prior asylum denial (except in changed circumstances); and Filing for asylum more than one year after arriving in the U.S. (with limited exceptions). It is important to consult an immigration attorney if you think that you might be barred from qualifying for asylum because of one of these reasons.
  • Can I bring my family members to the U.S. if I am seeking asylum?
    Unfortunately, asylum seekers are not able to bring family members to the U.S. until after they receive asylum. If you are granted asylum, you may bring qualifying children and your spouse to the United States by filing an I-730 petition.
  • Do I need to go to my Immigration Court hearing even if I don’t have an attorney?
    Yes. If you fail to attend your Immigration Court hearing, the Judge may order you removed from the United States. At your hearing, you can ask the Judge for more time to find a lawyer.
  • Are asylum-seekers eligible for benefits such as SNAP/Food Stamps & Medicaid?
    In general, asylum seekers are not eligible for federally funded benefits until they receive asylum. Eligibility for state funded programs varies by state
  • I received asylum. Can I apply for a green card or citizenship?
    If you are granted asylum, you may apply for a green card (also known as lawful permanent residence) one year after the date upon which you were granted final asylum status. Generally, a green card holder can apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years of continuous permanent residence. Since asylees’ green cards are backdated one year, they can apply to naturalize four years after obtaining permanent residence.
  • How do I request consideration of DACA?
    To request consideration of DACA (either as an initial request or to request a renewal), you must submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to USCIS. Please visit before you begin the process to make sure you are using the most current version of the form available. This form must be completed, properly signed and accompanied by a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and a Form I-765WS, Worksheet (PDF, 238.54 KB), establishing your economic need for employment. If you fail to submit a completed Form I-765 (along with the accompanying filing fees for that form, please see the Form I-821D page for more information), USCIS will not consider your request for deferred action. Please read the form instructions to ensure that you answer the appropriate questions (determined by whether you are submitting an initial or renewal request) and that you submit all the required documentation to support your initial request
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