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One of the most common scenarios for immigration to the United States is sponsorship by an immediate relative. This article is limited to a marriage between a U.S. citizen, and a foreign national who entered the United States legally. There are two ways to apply for Resident Alien Status, a green card, under these circumstances -- either stay in the United States and apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); or leave the United States, before your visa has expired, and apply for a green card from your home country at an overseas U.S. consulate.
The correct way to go about acquiring Resident Alien Status is first and foremost, to be completely honest in your application and interviews with a USCIS officer. For the purposes of this article, we are assuming that a U.S. citizen, living in the U.S., meets a foreign national while in the U.S. legally; and they fall in love and marry. One typical scenario that fits, is a foreign national in the U.S. on a student visa, enrolled in a U.S. school, meets a U.S. citizen in the United States. If the two had previously met online or outside the U.S., and planned to marry, the steps to legal immigration may be different than those outlined in this article.
As soon as the couple marry they may apply to USCIS for a green card for the foreign spouse. The main form that must be filed is “I-130, Petition for Alien Relative”; the U.S. citizen is the Petitioner, requesting that their spouse be granted Resident Alien Status; and adjust visa status while in the United States. The spouse who is not the U.S. citizen is referred to on the forms as the Beneficiary. Along with the I-130, Form G-325A, Biographic Information must be filed -- one for each spouse. Other documents that must be included with the I-130 are: proof of the petitioner’s U.S. citizenship; marriage license; proof of divorce or termination of all previous marriages for both spouses; and passport style photos of both spouses. The filing fee to accompany the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is currently $420.
Filing the I-130 Petition and accompanying documents is only the first step. There are other documents that must be filed to complete the process: I-485, Application to Adjust Status; I-693, Medical Exam; I-864, Affidavit of Support; and I- 765, Application for Employment Authorization. The forms can all be downloaded from the USCIS website. Fees change frequently, so check the website for the current fees for each form. Providing all fees have been properly paid and all documents are in order, a temporary green card will be issued in a few months. There is a two year waiting period for a permanent green card for new marriages. USCIS wants to make sure that the marriage, is, in fact, a bona fide marriage, and not simply an arrangement so that the alien can be allowed to remain in the United States. For more information visit the USCIS website - http://www.uscis.gov/
“On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not provide an individual with lawful status." USCIS site.
The requirements as posted on the USCIS site, to apply to stay through DACA are simple and clear:
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
There are three main forms that must be filed:
I-821D – the application for deferred action for childhood
Form I – 765 – the application for work authorization.
Form I-765WS – the application for work authorization work sheet.
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