|September 20, 2012||Processing The Appropriate Immigration Form||no comments|
|February 17, 2011||Apply for Green Card Renewal Online||no comments|
|April 04, 2012||Fingerprint Program for Criminal Immigrants in all Washington Counties||no comments|
|April 15, 2011||Though the INS has not existed in eight years, people still search for it||no comments|
|January 18, 2012||Catholics Discuss Immigration in Salt Lake City||no comments|
|December 05, 2011||Suicide of 18-year-old Linked to Immigration Policies||no comments|
|August 17, 2011||Immigration Reform: What happens when the Federal Government Stays Silent||no comments|
|August 03, 2011||How To Get a Family Based Green Card||no comments|
|June 27, 2011||How To Change My Address With Immigration||no comments|
|June 13, 2011||US State Department Warns Of Green Card Lottery Scams||no comments|
US is the favorite destination of many immigrants and there is always a constant surge of them into the country. The people immigrating into the country are a varied group and the US felt it hard to regulate their entry into the country. Several laws were passed to organize the immigration issue, which were to the benefit of both the immigrants and the country.
Know about the immigration forms
Immigration forms can be obtained from any USCIS office at free of cost. Additionally, they can also be ordered via mail or through phone. Applicants can also download the forms from the USCIS website. There is also the facility of filing the USCIS forms online (e- filing) but this is possible for only specific forms. Applicants should note that there is no fee for getting a form and any fee should be paid only while submitting it. The fee is also subject to a change, so the USCIS advises all applicants to check with their website before attaching the fee.
Need for immigration form
Anybody who is intending to enter the US must first acquaint him/herself with the immigration process. This is because the procedures are different for each category of applicants. Every immigrant category has a specific immigration form which should be compulsorily completed by the applicant. The need for people to immigrate to the US may be of a temporary or a permanent nature. The forms are also different based on this need. The immigration form is the application for obtaining entry into the US. Every immigration form has a set of instructions in it, as to how the applicant should proceed with the process and USCIS advises the applicants to go through this carefully.
Decide on the category of immigrant
This is the first step in the immigration process. Applicants should determine whether they are going in as an immigrant (permanent basis) or a non- immigrant (temporary). People who want to work and live in the US should opt for the immigrant category. Some of the below mentioned categories of people should file in the immigration form in the second category
Filing the appropriate immigration form
Every form has a set of requirements and conditions, so applicants should not treat all the forms as the same. For example the Form N-400, application for naturalization can be filed only by applicants who have been green card holders for the past 5 or 3 yrs (conditional residents) and are 18 yrs of age. Whereas the Form I-130, Petition for alien relative can be filed by a US citizen or a green card holder.
Similarly there are also certain time restrictions as to when a particular form can be filed. In case a person has submitted a completely filled application, along with all the supporting documents, just a day before the permitted time starts, his/her application will be rejected. So applicants should properly check this issue to avoid the waste of filing fee.
After choosing the right form, applicants are advised to read through all the notices, warnings or explanations listed on the Forms Entry Page (FEP). The location for filing the immigration forms also vary and this should also be considered while submitting the completed application. Photo is a must for a majority of the forms and it is mandatory that the photos are as per the USCIS specifications. Fee Waiver is allowed on some forms and applicants should check whether they are eligible for it before submitting the application.
Green Card Renewal Form I-90
Green Card Renewal is an important process for Lawful Permanent Residents. Once a Green Card has been issued, Lawful Permanent Residents do not need to do anything else to extend or ensure their status in the U.S. However, the current green cards are valid for a period of 10 years only.
Even though a Green Card has an expiration date, the Permanent Resident status of a person never expires. Once a person has been given Permanent Resident status, it is never taken away unless the person voluntarily gives it up or acts in a way that is contrary to the purpose of a greencard. The Green Card itself is simply official documentation of the status, much like an identification card. Therefore, it is important to keep your card up-to-date. Having an expired Green Card may make it difficult for you to prove that you are a permanent resident, and this could also affect your ability to travel or to prove your eligibility to work in the United States.
In order to keep your card updated, greencard holders need to enter the Green Card Renewal process by filing Form I-90.
When should a Green Card Renewal application (Form I-90) be filed?
* You must file a Green Card Renewal application if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident your card will expire within the next six months. A Green Card renewal application (Form I90) cannot be made more than six months in advance.
* You must immediately file a Green Card Renewal application if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and your card has expired.
* You should file a Green Card Renewal application if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident who has an older version Green Card. These cards have no expiration dates. Though you are not required by the USCIS to renew the older card versions, the USCIS strongly recommends you apply to renew your Green Card.
When should a Green Card Replacement application (Form I-90) be filed?
There are times when a Lawful Permanent Resident needs to request a Green Card Replacement before the current card expires. You should go through a Green Card Replacement process if:
* Your card was has lost or stolen. Lost or stolen greencards should be replaced immediately by filing Form I90.
* Your card was mutilated or destroyed. A Green Card replacement can be requested by filing Form I90.
* Your card has a mistake on it. For example, you received a greencard and the name was misspelled, than you should immediately file for a green card replacement (Form I90) to have the mistake corrected.
* Your card was never received. A Green Card replacement can be requested again by filing Form I90.
* Your name has changed. If your name has changed due to marriage, divorce or for any other reason, a Green Card replacement can be requested again by filing Form I90.
* You just turned 14 years old. If you became a permanent resident before you were 14 years old, you are required to replace your card when you become 14 years old.
What if I am a Conditional Permanent Resident?
If your greencard is valid for only 2 years, you are a conditional permanent resident. Do not use Form I-90 if you are a conditional resident and your status is expiring. Conditional permanent residents are required to file a petition to remove those conditions within 90 days of their card expiring.
If your conditional status was based on a marriage, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
If your conditional status was based on being an investor, you must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
Once your petition is approved, you will be sent a new greencard valid for 10 years. At that point, the GreenCard Renewal or Green Card Replacement process involves the use of Green Card Renewal Form I90.SOURCE: Immigration Direct
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now activated a program in all the counties of Washington State, a program, that will enable the fingerprints of everyone booked into local jails to be checked against the national immigration database. According to ICE, this program has been proposed in order to identify, detain and eventually deport those who do not have immigrant visas and to remove them from the country. This will be done with special focus on those who have committed serious crimes.
Secure Communities as this federal program is known, is now available in all 39 counties of Washington State as well as in 45 other states and jurisdictions. Started in 2008, the program is not very popular with immigrant advocates who say that it even targets those who have committed minor offenses. Even States from California to New York have fought against its implementation.
This program uses fingerprints instead of names. After the fingerprints are collected they are fed through a state database to the FBI, where the ICE would access them and check them against their own database. Using the FBI database, this kind of analysis is quicker and eliminates the need to have an ICE official check booking lists, a process that may not occur often.
Officials have said that this program has already helped them remove about 129,000 convicted immigrant criminals from the U.S. since 2008. Even those who want strict immigration ins laws support this program. However, some of them doubt its credibility and have said that with this program, the communities may become less secure.
ICE has been persuading the other States to join this program, but many ridicule the program or delay in responding to the request. The ICE signed an agreement with local jurisdictions. In Washington, about six of the 39 counties have opted for the program last July. ICE has said that it would implement this program with or without state approval soon by 2013. Now Washington has become the 34 th state state with activation throughout the state.
For more immigration news visit immigration direct news
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) has not existed in eight years, having been dismantled and its responsibilities reassigned, yet many people still try to search for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by searching for "INS."
The USCIS has posed the question on its official blog of why it may be that the organization received 30,000 searches for a government entity that has not existed since 2003. One theory is that "INS agents" are still an action movie archetype despite the demise of the agency, and another is that the INS was around for so long that people still haven't gotten used to the change.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the US federal government first began to address immigration in 1891 by appointing a Commissioner of Immigration within the Treasury Department. Responsibility for immigration ins matters changed hands several times before ending up in the control of the Department of Justice in 1940 under the INS, which was established in 1933.
After 63 years, responsibility for immigration matters was again reassigned, this time to the newly-formed Department of Homeland Security, and the INS was effectively broken into three organizations – USCIS, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
U.S. bishops and other Catholic prelates and activists gathered in Salt Lake City on January 12 for a three-day conference focusing on immigration.
The event was hosted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network and Migration and Refugee Services. The event's scheduled sessions pertained to a wide range of topics, including E-Verify, Secure Communities and the controversial immigration ins policies pursued by states like Arizona and Alabama.
On the first day of the conference, panelists included Don Kerwin, executive director at the Center for Migration Studies, who drew attention to the high rate of deportations seen during the Obama administration, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Other topics addressed on the first day included the relationship between immigrants and local police forces, and the impact of parental deportations on children.
Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester praised the Utah Compact in his opening keynote address. The compact is a document enumerating five principles to guide immigration reform in the state, including the principle of keeping families together.
Many speakers addressed the question of how Catholics should take action on the immigration issue given its scope, Efe reported.
Efe quoted Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy at the USCCB, as saying, "Recognizing that the solution must come at the federal level, the conference provides participants the knowledge and skills to respond at the local level."
On December 6, Salt Lake City was the scene of another panel on immigration, featuring Stephen Sandstrom, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and member of the state legislature. That event was described by City Weekly as "tense and sometimes raucous," as Sandstrom faced tough questions regarding his stance on E-verify and a pathway for citizenship. He reaffirmed his belief that border security should be improved before naturalization of illegal immigrants is considered.
Joaquin Luna, an 18-year-old high school student, shot and killed himself on November 25, and letters recovered after the suicide stated Luna wanted his death to serve as a call to action for immigration reform.
Dressed in a suit and tie, Luna kissed family members then went into a bathroom and shot himself in the head at about 9 p.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, according to KGBT.
Born in Reynosa, Mexico, Luna grew up in the United States and was a student at Benito Juarez-Abraham Lincoln High School in Mission, Texas, according to the Washington Times. His brother, Diyer Mendoza, told KGBT, the local CBS affiliate, that his brother got good grades and aspired to be an engineer, but felt his dream was hopeless due to his citizenship status.
Speaking to the Washington Times, Mendoza said his brother had some college prospects, but because he was undocumented, he was ineligible for some scholarships and felt he would not be able to embark on a successful career.
"He was actually doing this for the cause, mainly the Dream Act," Mendoza told the Times, referring to his brother's death. "He was doing this to show politicians, to show that something had to be done because there are a lot of kids out there in the same situation."
The Dream Act was federal legislation designed to give illegal immigrant students like Luna legal residency status and the opportunity to attend college. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 but was defeated by a Senate filibuster.
In the absence of national immigration reform, states have begun moving forward with immigration laws. In October, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill dubbed the California Dream Act, which allowed illegal immigrants to access state financial aid for college. Texas allows illegal immigrant students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges, which is a policy that the state's governor, Rick Perry, has had to defend on the campaign trail for the Republican Party's presidential nomination.
There are no sounds for immigration reform coming from the Federal government. The White House is quiet on the matter. The U.S. Congress does not want to deal with it. It appears that when re-elections are concerned, the talk of Immigration Reform disappears into the darkness. So what happens? States decide to take the matter into their own hands. And the results are at times devastating for proponents of Immigration Reform. Take for example Arizona. They have led the country in putting forth their idea of what Immigration Reform is by enacting the controversial immigration law, SB-1070. This law makes failure to carry immigration documents a crime. It also extends the authority of police to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.
But Arizona is not alone in this anti-immigrant sentiment. The Georgia Legislature is currently debating an immigration reform bill that makes the Arizona one appear benevolent. If enacted into law, anyone caught using fake documents to get a job would face up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 dollar fine for the first offense, 15 years and a $250,000 dollar fine for a second offense. It would also allow hearsay evidence against an accused illegal immigrant. The Florida Legislature is debating bill SB 2040 that would authorize sheriffs to enter agreements with federal officials allowing them to function as immigration agents. And the Legislatures in Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are considering measures that permit the police to check the immigration status of anyone that is stopped for a traffic violation.
Then we have the Utah Legislature. The difference between Utah and Arizona is that Utah has decided to take a more compassionate, albeit still flawed, approach to Immigration Reform. They currently passed laws HB116, a guest-worker bill, HB497, the enforcement-only measure and HB466, a migrant-worker bill designed to bridge HB116 and HB497. They have tried to enact legislation that appeased both sides of the debate but that meant including HB497, an Arizona-like law. Though not perfect, one must at least acknowledge that the approach that the Utah Legislature used to address Immigration Reform is a hopeful one. They looked at the humanitarian disaster that result from the deportation of all undocumented workers. By allowing work permits to be issued to those individuals, Utah has decided to invest in its economic future.
But at the end of the day, one must ask if this country can handle 50 different Immigration Reform bills? The Federal Government must step in. We know that the U.S. Congress will not touch the topic and even if they did, the U.S. House of Representatives would probably push for an Arizona-like bill. The Obama Adminstration recently though the Justice Department has blocked Arizona from enforcing their controversial and constitutionally illegal immigration law. But the White House has to do more. President Obama has to show leadership by pushing for Immigration Reform. Candidate Obama must keep in mind that the Latino population is the fastest growing group and that translates into votes in 2012.
James Madison, who was our President between 1809 and 1817, once said: “America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts.” With some modifications, that is true now as it was then.
How do I get a family based Green Card? (Mother, Father, Children, Spouse, Brother and/or Sister)
As a US citizen, you may petition for permanent residency for your immediate relatives. Your immediate relatives include your spouse, your parents (if you are over 21 years old), and your children (if your children are under age 21 and unmarried). Green cards through immediate relatives of US citizens are unlimited, so your immediate relative will not have to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.
US citizens may also petition for green cards for other relatives that are not considered immediate relatives. These relatives fall under the family-based preference visa categories. The number of visas for these categories is limited by Congress, so these family members may have to wait for a visa to become available in their category.
Family-based preference categories include:
If you are a legal permanent resident, or “Green Card” holder, you can also petition for permanent residency for your family members. Permanent residents may petition for their spouses and unmarried children of any age. There is usually a waiting period before a visa becomes available due to numerical limitations.
In any of the above cases, you must file Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative, on behalf of your family member(s). In this petition you will have to provide personal information about yourself and your family member as well as proof that you are related.
If you are a US citizen filing Form I-130 for an immediate relative, your relative can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, at the same time that you file Form I-130. Your relative is not required to file at the same time; he or she may choose to wait until after you file Form I-130. If your relative is out of the country, he or she will have to apply for the green card through immediate relative at a US consulate abroad after your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, has been approved. At the consulate, your relative will receive a passport stamp if the application for a green card through immediate relative is approved. Your relative can enter the US as a permanent resident with this stamp.
Family members that are not eligible for a green card through immediate relative will have to wait for your Petition for Alien Relative to be approved before filing their applications to adjust status. They must also wait for a visa to be available in their category. You can check the availability of visas by referring to the visa bulletin. The visa bulletin is issued by the Department of State every month and states whether visas are available in each immigrant visa category. Once a visa is available in the appropriate category, your relative can apply for adjustment of status. If your relative is already in the US in another status, he or she can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If your relative is outside of the US, he or she will need to apply for a green card at a US consulate. Your relative will receive a passport stamp allowing him or her to enter the US as a permanent resident. Within a few months after entry, your relative should receive a green card.
United States is one of the few countries in the world where the opportunities for jobs and education have been always present for people the world over. It has been the center of attraction for people of all professions, looking for a brighter future and better opportunities. United States, no doubt, has made immense progress in the fields of medicine, education, technology and business support sector. For this purpose, people from different countries prefer migrating to US.
The US, like other countries has various rules and regulations pertaining to immigration, which are the basic guideline to be followed in order to complete the process of immigration with all legalities being followed.
Being a country with one of the largest immigrant population, US immigration authorities consider it more important to keep a record of all foreigners entering through the immigration process. For this reason, they have devised a law, which requires all immigrants to report their current address to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
For immigrants shifting residence, it is mandatory to report their change of address to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services within ten days of moving to the new place. There is a process to be followed in order to update the change of address with the authorities.
The form needs to be completed with information about the address change with the old address, the current address, contact details and other information regarding the applicant’s status. It is very important to understand and follow the rules made by immigration authorities. These procedures are in practice for the benefit of State and immigrants. First, it will maintain the applicant’s immigration status and secondly, it will help the State to keep track of all immigrants within the country. Maintaining one’s status is important as it will provide the person all the legal and constitutional rights that their status makes them eligible for. The benefits could include access to certain necessities of life including education, health, financial and legal support and other benefits relating to immigration.
When a person does not comply with any part of the immigration process it could lead to legal implications like fines, arrests and/or deportation in some cases. It is therefore important to follow the rules and regulations established by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Immigrants have to file Form AR-11, Change of Address with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to update a change of address. A Change of Address card has to be filed for every individual member of the family. Apart from completing and filing the AR-11, the applicant has to also call the USCIS at their toll free number and get their address updated on any recently approved petition or pending application.
The Change of Address form can be filed on the US citizenship and Immigration Services department’s website or it may be mailed to the concerned service center. If filed online, the applicant will also have the opportunity immediately after that to update the address on any pending or recently approved petition or application. If the application is mailed, the applicant still has to call and update address on any pending or recently approved application.
With a few exceptions, all non-American citizens have to file the AR-11 to notify an address change within 10 days of moving to the new address.
People exempt from notifying an address change are:
1.’A’ visa holders – diplomats
2.’G’ visa holders – an international organization’s official government representatives
3.Certain non-immigrants in the US for less than 30 days without a visa.
Only those US citizens who have any application pending with the USCIS need to update an address change. However, they need nor file form AR-11; it is enough if they have the address updated online or by calling the USCIS toll free number.
The US Department of State is warning potential immigrants about an uptick in the fake letters and fraudulent emails sent to people who have applied for the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program, which is sometimes referred to as a "green card lottery."
The Visa Lottery program is conducted each year by the state department with 50,000 prospective immigrants being awarded immigration applications. The winners are eligible to apply for a US visa and visit America.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, often times the scam involves an unscrupulous individual asking for a fee to either enter the visa lottery or increase the chance of winning it. However, the FTC says that there is no entry to enter the lottery and winners are selected at random.
The State Department says that there are a number of ways to recognize fraudulent emails and websites.
"Some websites and emails try to mislead customers and members of the public into thinking they are official U.S. government websites. These websites are designed to appear official, and often have images of the US flag, US Capitol, White House, or Statue of Liberty. What these websites and emails are missing is the ".gov" suffix on their addresses."
Click here to view actual copy of green card lottery scam email.