How to get a green card after tightening immigration policy: a lawyer answered readers' questions ForumDaily
In the United States over the past two years, a number of innovations have been adopted that have complicated the process of obtaining a green card. It can be difficult for immigrants to keep track of all the changes, and sometimes the news comes frightening. So, recently it became known that potential immigrants may lose the right to receive a green card, if they make even one mistake or typo in the documents. At the request of ForumDaily lawyer Ekaterina Muratovawhich has over 15 years of experience in the immigration industry in the United States, answered questions from our readers. The style of questions and answers saved.
Alexey: Hello, dear editors ForumDaily and Ekaterina Muratova!
My daughter with her family and husband (5 people), citizens of Russia, live in Kazan. My wife and I and three adult children and grandchildren live in Washington state, US citizens. How can we call them to live together, reunification options - invitation, family reunification, other legal forms of moving? What documents and procedure are required? Material side - sponsorship or other forms? How long is the process? Lawyer fees, fees and other expenses, roughly how much would it cost us?
Ekaterina Muratova: You can call them on a family reunion program. But since your daughter is adult and married, the waiting period for this category of relatives (F3) is quite long - currently around 12 years. In this regard, you can consider other types of immigration - business, work, etc., depending on the personal circumstances of your daughter.
If you dwell on family reunification, you need your passports, a certificate of naturalization, proof of kinship (birth certificate) and confirmation that you, the sponsoring party, will be able to provide them with material support in the US if you need them.
The procedure is as follows: an application is filed with USCIS, after approval, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center, where it is before the turn to receive an immigration visa, then the documents are sent to the US Embassy at your daughter's location and are called for an interview.
The entire process can take up to 12 years due to the annual visa limits for this category.
Attorney fees range from $ 2,500 to $ 5,000, state fees are about $ 3,500.
Irina: Hello! How can such toughening affect US citizenship in the future? Can you help in the proper execution of documents for naturalization? Thank you very much!
Ekaterina Muratova: Unfortunately, these tightening directly affect the possibility of obtaining citizenship in the future. It was a regulation that if an application for citizenship, including even a typo, was not filled out correctly and that insufficient evidence was provided, according to the officer, the immigration department may immediately send the applicant a refusal and close the case. Previously, the applicant was sent a “request for additional evidence,” thereby giving a chance to make corrections and additions. Therefore, competent registration of all documentation is the most important. We are happy to assist in the proper design, filing and case management.
Also now, the government is considering a proposal to remove the so-called “excuses”, “exceptions” when, for example, a person had problems with the law, but then he was rehabilitated, or he was for a long time outside the US, but had no intention of leaving his residency in the United States.
Also now they are more strictly concerned with such a question - how likely is a person to become a “burden to the state,” that is, will he be able to support himself in the future and will not resort to state aid and benefits.
Natalia: I am a petitioner in a family reunification case. Filed in March 2014. According to the California Immigration Center, my son’s case should have already been reviewed (I’m following up the sequence). However, 5 months have passed, and we have not received any messages. I wrote an official letter to the California Immigration Center and called several times - the answer is one "Wait." The question is: what are the deadlines for obtaining a visa in the case of family reunification for unmarried children older than 21? Thank!
Ekaterina Muratova: From 39 months to 50.5 months. You can (and should) request that your case go beyond published dates so that your request will be referred to the supervisor. If you tried once and did not achieve the result, you need to repeat. You can make an official request to the USCIS site once a month. Unfortunately, persistence is often required.
Ruslan: In 2016, they filed a policy, waiting for an interview for the third year. Question: My wife has a mother in her homeland who is not able to get a tour in the United States because of her age and health. Can a wife apply to the Migration Department with a request for a one-time trip to her homeland and an unimpeded return to the USA, and will her request influence the decisions on obtaining refugee status on the interview? Thank.
Ekaterina Muratova: Can not. She can apply for the issuance of a document allowing her to travel to another country (besides the one from which she had fled) and return to the United States - Advance Parole. Thus, she will have the opportunity to see her mother in a third country, possibly a neighbor with the one in which her mother now lives.
Love: I have been married to an American for about 3 years. Arrived in America on a K1 visa, a bride's visa. There is a two-year green card and I am waiting for the extension of the green card for 10 years. While waiting. How can I reunite with my son and bring him to the States? What documents should I issue?
Ekaterina Muratova: You can file a reunion with your son if he is younger or older than 21 and is not married. Unfortunately, there is no immigration category for married children of permanent residents. In the latter case, you will be able to reunite with him only after you have received US citizenship. If he is not married, the family reunification process begins with the filing of the I-130 form to USCIS, then, after approval, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center and stays there until his turn to receive an immigration visa.
Ksenia: How can I apply for refugee status? What form should I fill out for refugee status in the US? Is it possible to speed up the procedure if there is a threat to life? Is it possible to find an immigration lawyer who would help without remuneration? (I am ashamed to ask for it, but the situation is really hopeless).
Ekaterina Muratova: It is not clear where the person is at the moment. In Russian, the word refuge and asylum can be used interchangeably, but in English these are different concepts.
If the person is outside the United States, the process is described in more detail. here. You can ask for acceleration if the threat is very serious and unquestionable.
If you are already in the United States, then filed with USCIS I-589 Form, all instructions are on the USCIS website. At this time, cases are considered and interviews are appointed fairly quickly - within a month or two depending on the state of residence.
In the US, there are organizations that provide assistance to asylum seekers. Basically, they work in certain areas (for example, sexual minorities, religion, etc.). In other countries, similar organizations also work; you need to search in the territory of your country if you are currently not in the USA.
Anna: Good day, Katerina. Such a question: we are in the States 3 year for a visa L1 and L2. After 3, the company promised to help make a green card, but delayed the process at the first stage. Now we arrived in Ukraine to extend the visa, but were refused by the embassy. Now we do not know how to be. There remained work, car, property. Can we file an appeal at the embassy now? Or should we wait a year? Thanks in advance.
EM: You can file an appeal or file a completely new petition with all supporting documents. You do not need to wait a year. Also, the presence of an L-visa is not a prerequisite to apply for a green card. These are two different programs. That is, in your case, you can consider several options for further action:
- to file an appeal against the decision;
- submit a completely new petition with all supporting documents;
- apply for a green card in the EB-1C category (it may be necessary to study the available evidence base).
Svetlana: Good afternoon! My question is, after obtaining citizenship, we plan to call parents here for a permanent residence. How would it be better for them to come here - to start the process while in the States, or is it better for them to stay in their country and wait for an answer there? I heard that the process will be much faster if they do everything while already in the States, but in connection with all the changes, I am not sure of anything. Thanks in advance for your reply.
Ekaterina Muratova: The process can be faster if they are located in the USA and are served on the status change here. This will avoid the passage of the embassy, which adds a waiting time. Otherwise, their location will not affect their ability to receive documents.
So, if the parents are in the US and are applying for a status change in the country at USCIS, they are called for an interview at USCIS and, if there are no complications, then the parents get a green card.
If they are outside the United States, the process is as follows. An application is submitted to USCIS, which is considered there as in the first option, but then after approval, the documents are sent to the National Visa Center, which also considers the documents from several months to a year. Then they are sent to the embassy at the place of residence of the beneficiary, in which he is assigned an interview depending on the employment schedule of the embassy. That is, in the second scenario, two additional instances arise. This adds a wait time, but does not affect the final result.
Anonymous question: I am in the process of obtaining a permanent green card. The temporary green card expired on May 2018 and it was necessary to submit the form I-751 in order to receive a permanent green card. Form submission was joint, from my face and from the husband. In the form are both our signatures. The form was filed in early summer. Now there was a question about the divorce because of abuzy behavior of the American husband and he threatens to withdraw his signature on the application for obtaining documents. In this regard, I am looking for an immigration lawyer who works with such cases. What should be my actions to protect myself legally? Grateful to you in advance for any help.
Ekaterina Muratova: You should not tolerate cruel treatment. The law allows women in such situations to independently apply for permanent status. You just need to prove that the marriage was concluded with the true intentions to start a family, and not to receive immigration benefits, for example, and that the breakup of the relationship was not your fault. The truth of the relationship is proved by similar documents that you collected before your first interview to receive a temporary green card. Further, the reason for the breakup of the marriage can be confirmed by your testimony in the first place, as well as by the written evidence of the witnesses of your relationship and by any other circumstances of the case. It is important to show the chronology and details of the relationship.
Timur: Hello. Do all these toughened rules of immigrants who are going to renew already existing green cards (received as a result of DV Lottery), that is, whether they will have any problems during the extension of green cards (provided, of course, they did not have problems with the law)?
Ekaterina Muratova: I suspect that we are talking about getting a new card after the expiration of the 10-year green card. Permanent resident status does not have an expiration date, the plastic card itself, known as a green card, does not give this status, but only confirms it. That is, when an application is submitted for the renewal of a card, it is not an extension of the status of a permanent resident, since it does not expire with a person. A person submits an application to be given a confirmation of his status for a new term, as with a driver's license, for example. Therefore, in the absence of very aggravating circumstances or if the person himself did not leave his place of residence in the United States, he should have no problems obtaining a document for a new term.
Svetlana: Hello, dear Catherine! I want to consult you on this issue. Last year I applied for reunification with my daughter. My documents are currently in process. Can I use the services of fidelis and will it affect the receipt of the green card? Thank. Best regards Svetlana.
Ekaterina Muratova: You must show that you are able to financially provide for a relative you are sponsoring for immigration to the United States. I don’t know what the annual income should be in order to be able to use the “fidelis services”, but if it is less than your daughter’s immigration needs, you will need a second sponsor who can show a stable and sufficient income. The amount required depends on how many more people are in your family or in the family of the additional sponsor. You can read more detailed figures. here.
Yulia: Please tell me, is the procedure for obtaining US citizenship for a marriage with a US citizen three years after the first green card still in force?
Ekaterina Muratova: Yes, everything is in force.
Julia: I am married to the American 3 of the year and in a few weeks I can apply for naturalization. But I'm still waiting for a permanent green card. A year ago, I submitted all the documents in order to change the temporary two-year card to a permanent one. A year ago, I received an I-797 form, extending my conditional permanent resident status for 12 months. Just recently, I received a new form, I-797, which extended my conditional permanent resident status as a whole for 18 months from the end of the green card. Tell me, if I'm still waiting for a permanent green card, can I apply for naturalization and will there be any problems if I do this? Thank.
Ekaterina Muratova: Yes, you can apply for citizenship after 3 years after receiving a temporary green card, if you have been married to one person all this time and lived with him in the USA.
Dmitry: Hello. Does the rule of law not apply for status changes within 3 months after entering the USA apply in practice? Thank.
Ekaterina Muratova: It is possible to apply for a change of status before the expiration of 3 months after entering the United States, there is no ban on this. However, if a person applies for a change of status shortly after entering the United States, there is a presumption that he received a visa fraudulently, that is, with other intentions than those that he announced at the consulate. How this will be applied in practice to a specific person depends on the type of case. For example, whether this was the first entry into the United States on this visa or whether it was a multivisa and a person received it a long time ago, this is not the first visit to the United States, which suggests that circumstances may have changed over a period of time. Also, whether the person is applying for a change of status to another nonimmigrant or immigration for family reunification, for example. Every detail of the case can change the answer to the question posed.
Anonymous question: I am a naturalized US citizen. 16 has been here for years. Before arriving in the USA, she lived in Crimea. My adult daughter now lives there. I would like to bring her here. Will consider her case if the Crimea is under sanctions?
Ekaterina Muratova: Now your daughter has Russian citizenship? As far as I know, in order to obtain Russian citizenship, your daughter had to give up Ukrainian citizenship. She officially refused to Ukrainian citizenship or not?
The USA does not recognize the Russian citizenship of the Crimeans. Because of this, people who renounced Ukrainian and received Russian citizenship in Crimea are in the so-called limbo status - they do not have Ukrainian citizenship, and they cannot use Russian citizenship for immigration purposes.
For any questions you can contact Ekaterina Muratova:
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