If you have, you will be required to take that proof to your naturalization interview. Examples of required documents are a copy of your marriage certificate, and your divorce or annulment decree. If you changed your name through the court, you must bring a copy of the court decree that legally changed your name.
Although USCIS does not provide complete access to information about your pending case, it is possible to check for important changes in your review. You can do that using the following link: https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus
If you have submitted an immigration filing and have not yet received a decision, then any time you move, you will need to change your address with immigration using the link below. If you move after your case is completed, you have no obligation to report changes of address. https://egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posts historic processing times (i.e. wait times) online all the way back to 2017 here. This link allows an immigrant to track the processing times for almost all immigration petitions. It is also possible to check processing times based on the specific USCIS field offices or processing centers at Processing Times. Even more specific information is available to people with pending requests if they go online and enter their receipt number at USCIS Case Status.
If you do not have a copy of your I94 from your entry into the U.S., it is possible to obtain information about your entry using this link: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
There are some instances when you may need to request a replacement of this document from immigration to be able to move forward with your case. This must be requested using the application listed on the USCIS website.
Your Alien or “A” number is the number that immigration assigns to you for all immigration-related matters. This number is listed on every correspondence from USCIS as well as any approval and is usually nine digits long.
Yes! The U.S. does not discriminate against citizens of other countries and does not limit an immigrant’s ability to become a citizen while they retain their birth citizenship.
If any of the crimes committed by immigrants results in a felony convictions, things get very problematic for the immigrant as they can trigger a permanent bar to citizenship or, if they fall under the “aggravated felony” rules of immigration law, could lead to the immigrant’s loss of their legal permanent residency and deportation. This is why careful consideration must be taken before making any decision to file for citizenship.
Temporary bars apply to applicants for a 5-year period of time. Examples of problems that trigger the temporary bar would be an arrest committed that violates what the government refers to as a person’s good moral character. Typically, these are crimes of theft or deceit that result in a misdemeanor conviction. Minor drug convictions can also lead to a temporary bar.
Proving that an immigrant is maintaining a legitimate marriage relationship is also critical while doing naturalization. When a U.S. citizen sponsors their spouse for a green card, the law provides a special benefit to this application which is an expedited path to citizenship. If the immigrant takes this path, they can become a citizen within 3 years instead of 5 years. If, however, the immigrant is no longer married to their sponsor, they are no longer eligible for this expedited process.
First is if you have any criminal history, especially within the last 5 years prior to filing for naturalization. The way the immigration laws are designed, the type of crime, the type of punishment, or the date of the conviction can have dramatic effects on your ability to qualify for naturalization and whether you have temporary bars in place or permanent bars that could make you open to deportation.
Next are applicants with child support or income tax issues. If you have arrearages (debt from non-payment) for either of these obligations, you may be considered ineligible for citizenship. With the right assistance, it is possible to take steps that will correct these problems for immigration purposes and allow someone otherwise ineligible, to qualify and successfully obtain citizenship.
The third scenario that will cause problems for applicants that will prevent them from obtaining citizenship is one or multiple prolonged stays outside the country. This can come in the form of one extended stay outside the U.S. or many trips outside the U.S. since these both violate the terms of legal permanent residency and violate the eligibility requirements of living in the U.S. prior to consideration of citizenship.
This is a very tricky position for any user of marijuana within the last 5 years of the application for citizenship. Regardless of state law, the use of marijuana, possession, or its manufacture is illegal under federal law as a “schedule 1 controlled substance.” An immigrant who uses will likely be ineligible for citizenship and could be subject to deportation as well.
Immigration law requires an applicant for naturalization to live in the service area of the specific immigration office for at least three months prior to filing for naturalization.
Marriage Green Card
The answer depends on both the length of the relationships involved as well as the age of the children. First, the child must be under 21 years of age to be eligible for sponsorship immediately with their parent. If the child is not included in the initial process (maybe they decided to stay in their home country rather than relocate with their parent), the U.S. sponsor can file the paperwork later to sponsor the child, but will need to provide information about the relationship between the child and the step-parent.
If the child is over 21 or it is not possible to prove any true relationship with the U.S. sponsor, the child will need to wait for their parent to become a legal permanent resident first and then for that parent to sponsor their child directly. The advantage of this process is that there are no issues qualifying for the green card since the relationship between parent and child is easy to prove, usually with a birth certificate.
Essentially, anything that can show the government you are more than just friends. The best documents are those that prove you are living together and share financial obligations. Proving that you are in a strong relationship can also be done by providing evidence of trips together, and providing snapshots of your relationship history (such as text messages or social media posts). Pictures of trips taken together are also very helpful, but even better are pictures of holiday events with other family members.
There is no waiting period in place for a marriage-based green card request. There is, however, a two-year requirement in place for certain marriage green card processes. This requirement, however, applies not to the eligibility of the applicant to file or even receive a green card, but to certain applicants who are granted “conditional residency” by filing their petition within the first 2 years of their marriage. All that is required to remove this condition and to receive a full 10-year green card is for the couple to prove they are still legitimately married after the first 2 years of residency.
Like with most immigration cases, the answer depends on the facts of the case, specifically, what crime was committed. Typically, a conviction of domestic violence will make a person ineligible to sponsor someone for the residency process. Clearly, this law is intended to prevent bad people from targeting and preying upon an unsuspecting individual overseas for abuse or exploitation.
This is also a tricky situation since immigration has very clear rules on eligibility for green cards and they are very harsh if people break those rules. Although there is no restriction to getting married while on a tourist visa, there are very clear restrictions on coming to the U.S. on a tourist visa with the intention of getting married and filing for a green card. Many probably have heard of the 90-day rule for tourist visa holders. Basically, the law will assume you had fraudulent intentions if you enter the U.S. and file for a green card within the first 90 days of entry. If this is the case, immigration could not only deny your green card request but could also cancel your existing visa.
An RFE (Request for Evidence) is the government’s method for obtaining additional documents or evidence needed to make a decision on a case. It is very common to receive these requests and most cases will eventually receive one prior to an interview or approval. If you receive an RFE for your case, Immigration will tell you exactly what you need to do. If you are confused and need additional assistance with an RFE, we would be happy to help put you in touch with one of Attorney Lee L. Marvin to help. Please click on the following link.
Depending on the type of criminal history a person has, there may be no effect on their green card process or it is possible the history could be a complete deal-breaker for them. Because of this, it is recommended that a person with any sort of criminal history consult with an immigration attorney to discover if you will be able to continue with your process. Please click the following link to be put in touch with Attorney Lee L. Marvin to further discuss your situation and how you can move forward. Just because your situation isn’t right for our online services, does not mean we cannot still help you!
The final step in the marriage-based green card process is the interview. Depending on whether your process is inside the U.S. or abroad, the interview will be either alone or with your spouse. Depending on the interview location, the government agent will focus on slightly different things. In the U.S., the officer’s primary goal is to assess the authenticity of the marriage and most questions will be about the relationship as well as daily activities and future plans as a married couple. While at the embassy, questions relate to the relationship, but also a fair amount about the immigrants' past immigration history and livelihood in their home country.
To be eligible for a marriage-based green card, the applicant must have a U.S. financial sponsor who is always the sponsoring spouse, but may also include a co-sponsor. These sponsors will agree (certify) that their annual income is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (or only 100% for military sponsors). The exact minimum income required depends completely on the size of the family and the number of dependents on income tax returns. For a couple with no children or other dependents, the minimum needed income for 2022 is $22,887.
Since the green card process can be very different for each applicant, the total cost will also vary. Government fees for marriage-based green cards in the U.S. are $1,760 and around $1,200 if the spouse lives abroad. Besides government fees, there are also costs for medical exams and document delivery services depending on the country and the U.S. embassy
Since there are a number of ways to get a green card, the timeline for each method is different. Generally speaking, a marriage-based green card process can last as little as 10 months or as many as 3 years. Much depends on whether the process is in the U.S. or abroad as well as the country of origin.
The required documents for a marriage green card are different depending on the history of the sponsor and immigrant. Generally speaking, the government requires proof that the sponsor and immigrant are in a “bona fide” marital relationship. There are many documents that can help prove this to the government. Some of the universally required documents are as follows: proof that the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident; a copy of the marriage certificate; and evidence that the sponsoring spouse can financially support the immigrant spouse.
Immediately! One of the most common misconceptions out there is that an immigrant must wait at least 2 years after their marriage to apply for a green card. There is no truth to this. While it may be a bit easier to get approval after years of marriage, legally a filing can be submitted immediately after the wedding.
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