You must complete form N-400 and also be a lawful permanent resident, reside continuously in the United States for 5 years (3 if married to a U.S. citizen), read/write/speak English, have an understanding of U.S. history and government, possess good moral character, and support the U.S. and the Constitution.
A green card, issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides proof of lawful permanent resident status, with authorization to live and work anywhere in the United States. Most green cards must be renewed every 10 years, but conditional green cards based on marriage or investment must be replaced after the first 2 years.
A lawful permanent resident, also known as a green card holder, is a foreign national who is authorized to live and work anywhere in the United States, sponsor certain relatives for their own green cards, and ultimately apply for U.S. citizenship.
A conditional green card is valid for only 2 years, and the designation “CR1” on the physical card stands for “conditional resident.” A conditional green card holder must file Form I-751 to “remove the conditions” and obtain a permanent green card. In most cases, a conditional green card is issued to a spouse who has been married for less than 2 years at the time their green card was first approved.
If you are obtaining a green card through an immediate relative petition by your U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child, a visa for permanent residence is immediately available once the Immigration Service grants the petition through form I-130.
A green card application may be denied by the U.S. government for several reasons, including but not limited to mistakes on the required forms, missing documents, insufficient financial resources, or failure to demonstrate eligibility.
Anyone who already has a valid work visa (for example, an H-1B or L-1 visa) can usually continue working in the United States even while applying for a U.S. green card. Otherwise, green card applicants aren’t allowed to start working in the United States until they obtain a work permit by filing Form I-765.
If you have a fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or social group membership in your country, you may be eligible for Asylum in the U.S. The application I-589 must explain in great detail if the fear of persecution is reasonable and include supporting documents.
If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you must be careful and follow the law. Committing crimes and felonies such as theft, drug offenses, immigration fraud, violent crimes, rape, domestic violence, prostitution, arson and other malicious destruction, harboring a fugitive, RICO violations, perjury, and firearm offenses will cause you to face deportation.
If you have lived in the United States for 10 years or longer and were here illegally, but have good moral character and your deportation would cause extreme hardship to another U.S. citizen/permanent resident that was a spouse, child, or parent you may qualify for permanent residence under Cancellation of Removal.
Depending on your current immigration status or situation, there are a number of visas available to foreign nationals wishing to permanently immigrate to the United States. There is a fiance visa, family visa, works visa and many more.
If your visa has expired, the first thing you need to do is contact an immigration attorney from our firm. We will sit down with you, review your current status and situation, and then help you determine the best course of action to pursue. Time is of the essence when it comes to expired visas, so we advise you to contact us immediately.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is the government agency that oversees legal immigration to the United States. USCIS is primarily responsible for approving green cards, naturalization, work permits, travel permits, and other “immigration benefits.”
It is advisable to seek the support of an experienced Immigration Attorney when pursuing citizenship. Although not necessarily designed to be so, the process can be complicated and may easily result in misunderstandings that could delay or prevent citizenship. Immigration Attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of immigration application and will support you throughout the process – from beginning to end.