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GREEN CARD/LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT

There are two main routes for applying for a U.S. Green Card (Permanent Resident Card):

Adjustment of Status – Used by applicants who reside in the U.S. and who meet the eligibility requirements to adjust status in the U.S.

 

Consular Processing – Typically used by applicants who live abroad or who do not qualify to adjust status in the U.S.

  • Applicant submits I-130 to USCIS for approval

  • USCIS transfers approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing

  • Applicant attends interview at U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country



ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS PROCESS

Adjustment of Status (AOS) is the process by which an applicant who resides in the U.S. and meets the eligibility requirements to adjust status in the U.S. applies to obtain a U.S. Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). The AOS process can take

2-3 years to complete depending on the processing times at an applicant’s local field office.

The AOS process typically proceeds as follows:

  • Qualifying applicant and Petitioner submit all forms and documents to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing 

  • Applicant attends a Biometrics Appointment to capture fingerprints and take a photo. Fingerprints are used to determine if the applicant has arrests, prior deportations, or other violations

  • Applicant is issued an Employment Authorization Document and Social Security Card (if requested)

  • Applicant and Petitioner are scheduled for an AOS interview. Applicant should have medical examination completed once the interview notice is received.

  • Applicant and Petitioner attend interview at local USCIS Field Office

  • Approval Notice is issued

  • Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) is issued

If AOS approval is based on being married to a U.S. citizen for less than 2 years, a Conditional Resident Card will be issued. Click here for more information on removing the conditions from a Conditional Resident Card.
 

PROVING THE BONA FIDE MARRIAGE

Whether applying through Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing, the applicant and spouse will need to provide evidence that their marriage is bona fide.
 

Bona fide: authentic, true, entered without deception or fraud
Evidence may include:

  • Jointly signed lease/mortgage

  • Joint bank accounts

  • Birth certificates of children

  • Copies of communication—phone calls, texts, social media posts

  • Affidavits from friends and family

  • Other documents to show the comingling of the couple’s life, families, and finances

Our office provides detailed checklists of items to provide as evidence of a bona fide marriage. We review documents that are submitted by clients during the preparation of their Adjustment of Status case to ensure they comply with USCIS requirements.
 

THE ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS INTERVIEW

After the Adjustment of Status applications and documents have been accepted and processed, the applicant and spouse will attend an Adjustment of Status interview at the USCIS Field Office processing the case.
 

The officer conducting the interview will ask questions of the applicant and spouse about their relationship jointly and may also ask questions of each person separately. We conduct a thorough interview preparation session for all Adjustment of Status clients before the date of their appointment. This session covers questions to expect and addresses any potential concerns from clients that may arise.
 

THE CONDITIONAL RESIDENT CARD

In cases where the applicant's marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is less than 2 years old at the time the green card is approved, the applicant will be granted conditional residence which is valid for 2 years. The conditional resident must file a petition to remove the conditions within 90 days of the expiration of the 2-year period.  If the conditions are not removed, the conditional resident may lose their permanent resident status.

It is important that all forms and documents are properly prepared and submitted when applying for Adjustment of Status. While it is possible to complete the process alone, it is most beneficial to consult with a qualified Immigration Attorney to assist you in applying for Adjustment of Status. A qualified attorney who has experience with the Adjustment of Status process can help you avoid many of the pitfalls, delays, and denials self-filers can face. If you or someone you know is thinking of applying for Adjustment of Status, give us a call at
321-325-1125 to schedule your Case Evaluation with Attorney Peterkin.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

  • Current Green cards are valid for 10 years.

  • If your Green card has been lost or stolen, or has expired, it does not mean that you have lost your permanent resident status. You may have to file an I-90 application to replace or renew your green card.

  • Green Cards with no expiration date, issued in 1979 or after with the notation “I-551,” are still valid.

  • Green Card holder can apply for U.S. Citizenship  (Naturalization) after 5 years of permanent residency; 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen or if the Green Card was based on a VAWA Self-Petition

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