Category Archives for Green Card

Can I Travel while I Wait for Adjustment of Status?

While it’s possible to travel with a pending adjustment of status application, it is risky. This article goes over the situations in which you can apply for a travel document, how to apply, and the risks involved in travelling with a pending I-485 application.

First, let’s define adjustment of status. If you are applying for a green card from within the United States with Form I-485, then you are applying through the adjustment of status process. In this process, you are not required to leave the country to attend a visa interview. This article refers to these applicants only.

While your I-485 case is pending, you are not yet a resident of the United States. Unless you have a visa that allows re-entry, if you leave the U.S. with a pending application, you risk not being allowed reentry. If you need to travel abroad, you can apply for an Advance Parole Travel Document using the USCIS application I-131. This document gives you permission to leave the country for a specific period of time, for a specific reason.

In general, I don’t recommend travelling while you have a pending I-485 application. No matter the reason for your travel and regardless of whether you have a travel document, there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll be allowed to reenter the country. Here’s an example that demonstrates this risk.

A colleague of mine filed for an Advance Parole Travel Document on behalf of his client. They were granted the document and the client left to his home country. While he was abroad, the attorney and the client's address in the U.S. received a Request for Evidence (RFE) regarding his I-485 application. He had two months to respond.

The RFE required that the client submit a different version of his birth certificate with his I-485 application. The client went to obtain this document and found out that it would take six months to get. However, the USCIS required he submit the evidence within two months.

There's the problem. The attorney may be able to save the case. Depending on the situation, they may be able to ask for an extension for the RFE. However, it’s more likely that immigration won’t offer an extension, resulting in a denial of the I-485 application. The client won’t be able to reenter the United States and will be forced to apply for his green card from abroad. In all, this could cause him to spend years outside of the United States while waiting for the new application to process.

Because he travelled abroad, he put his case at risk. Was it worth it? I don't know what the situation was that caused him to travel abroad, but it’s important to be aware of the risks when you make this decision.

It’s also relevant to note that in our current political climate, people are getting denied entry to the U.S. at the port of entry more frequently. Even with a valid Travel Document and nothing happening to your pending I-485 application while you’re abroad, you could still be denied entry into the country. Being admitted into the United States is ultimately at the discretion of the border patrol officer who is inspecting you. If they determine there is a reason you shouldn’t be admitted, then they have the authority to deny you entry into the country. Every time you travel, you take this risk.

If it's not something urgent, I would strongly recommend that you wait until you become a permanent resident before you travel abroad. If it is an emergency, then I recommend you seek the advice of an immigration attorney before making a final decision.

Immigration Help: Travel Documents

If you have any questions about traveling while your I-485 application is pending, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

I have never met a person as determined and focused to help her community, as Attorney Abaud

I have never met a person as determined and focused to help her community, as Attorney Abaud. She cares about every single detail of any case. It was a pleasure and honor to work with her for many years. I learned a lot from her.

Angela P. , Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Immigration Attorney - Processing Times and Work Permit

U-Visa: Processing Times and Work Permit

As of October 2018, the current processing time for a U Visa, a special visa given to victims of crime, is four years. This article goes over the reason for the long backlog and guides you on how and when to can apply for a work permit while you wait.

What Is the U Visa?

The U Visa is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa for victims of certain crimes who cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. The U Visa was created in October 2000 with the intention to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens and other crimes, while also protecting the victims of these crimes. Congress allows for the issue of 10,000 U Visas each year.

How Long Is the U Visa Processing Time?

In the first years, the U Visa was not well known and so the processing time was short, only a matter of a few months. However, with time, the visa became better known by law enforcement agencies and within the legal profession, which in turn made it more popular among immigrants. More awareness led to more applicants, causing a backlog.

As the U Visa has become more popular, the number of visas issued every year has remained at 10,000. As of October 2018, they are only reviewing cases from October 2014. That means it's taking almost four years just to review a case.

In general, I don’t recommend travelling while you have a pending I-485 application. No matter the reason for your travel and regardless of whether you have a travel document, there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll be allowed to reenter the country. Here’s an example that demonstrates this risk.

Getting a Work Permit While Your U Visa Application Is Pending

In the time that your case is under review, you do not qualify for a work permit. Only when a decision has been made on your case, when it is approved, do you qualify. At this time, you will get a letter from the USCIS stating that your case was approved. However, because the USCIS only issues 10,000 visas each year, you will likely still have to wait for your visa.

While you wait for your visa to be issued, you will be in an immigration status called “deferred action.” This means that even though you do not technically have a legal immigration status, you are not a priority for deportation. It also means that you qualify for work authorization and can apply for a work permit with USCIS Form I-765.

A work permit allows you to get a social security number and begin a fuller life in the United States. It’s the same social security number you get to keep as a resident and later if you decide to become a citizen. It allows you to start forming your social security credit and is the one you will use on your taxes.

Immigration Help: U Visa Processing & Work Permit

If you have any questions about U Visa processing and work permits, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon was very professional, knowledgeable and very informative...

My husband and I had the best experience working with Sharon. I HIGHLY recommend her. She helped us with our immigration process and made us feel at ease every step of the way. Sharon was very professional, knowledgeable and very informative whenever we needed questions answered she was there from the very beginning until the very end, making sure we were prepared. Words can't explain how grateful my husband and I are. We would definitely not hesitate to contact her for any future services.

Karem S. , Los Angeles, CA
Immigration Attorney - Green Card Application

The Fastest Way to File Your Green Card Application

It’s no secret that the green card process is long. Many applicants spend years waiting to file their adjustment of status (I-485) application. However, there is a faster way to file that many applicants don’t know about. It can give you a work permit and a social security number while you wait for your green card.

This process is only for applicants who are eligible to file from within the United States through the “adjustment of status” process (Form I-485). Applicants who are required to leave the U.S. to attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, unfortunately, do not qualify.

Why Filing Earlier Matters

When you file for residency, by virtue of having a pending I-485 application, you automatically qualify to have a work permit. A work permit gives you a social security number. With both of these documents, you can really start a life in the United States.

How To File Your I-485 Early

The trick to this process is all about when to file your I-485. It is for applicants who have already filed the immigration petition (Form I-130) and are waiting in line for their visa to become current.

Knowing when your visa is current requires you to check the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin. Below is the visa bulletin for October 2018. Note that there are two separate charts. Chart-A is the “Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Cases” and Chart-B is the “Dates for Filing Family-Sponsored Visa Applications.” Most people only look at Chart-A, but if you can file according to Chart-B’s dates, you will get the benefits of a pending I-485 application sooner. 

The USCIS determines every month which chart you are allowed to file under, depending on the number of visas that are available for that filing year. While Chart-A indicates the actual date your visa is current, Chart-B often indicates an earlier date on which you are allowed to file. Find out if you can file under Chart-B by checking the USCIS website

Here’s an example. Let's pretend that I'm a U.S. permanent resident married to someone from Mexico, and I petitioned for him today. First, I would look under the visa category “F2A,” because I'm a resident married and I'm petitioning for my spouse. Second, I would look under “Mexico.” Looking at the first chart, the date is August 1, 2016. Going by this chart, we’d have to wait about two years before we could file the I-485 application. But, if you look at the second chart, the date is December 1, 2017. That’s only a 14 month wait until we can file the I-485. That’s a lot sooner and after we file my husband will be able to legally work in the United States and get a social security number.

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

     A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

     B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

Family-
Sponsored
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

CHINA-mainland
born

INDIA
MEXICO
​PHILIPPINES
F1

01JUN11

01JUN11

01JUN11

01AUG97

22DEC06

F2A

22AUG16

22AUG16

22AUG16

01AUG16

22AUG16

F2B

22NOV11

22NOV11

22NOV11

15MAY97

15MAY07

F3

15JUN06

15JUN06

15JUN06

22DEC95

08JUN95

F4

15FEB05

15FEB05

01MAY04

22JAN98

08JUN95

B.  DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

Family-
Sponsored
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

CHINA-mainland
born

INDIA
MEXICO
​PHILIPPINES
F1

08MAR12

08MAR12

08MAR12

08OCT98

15FEB08

F2A

01DEC17

01DEC17

01DEC17

01DEC17

01DEC17

F2B

22MAR14

22MAR14

22MAR14

22JUN97

22JUN97

F3

08JAN07

08JAN07

08JAN07

22DEC98

01JUN97

F4

01JUN05

01JUN05

01MAY04

22JUN98

08APR96

Immigration Help: When to File Your I-485 Adjustment of Status Application

If you have any questions about when to file your adjustment of status application, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon is the best lawyer I've had the pleasure to work with!

Sharon is the best lawyer I've had the pleasure to work with. She was very professional, but also offered emotional support during sometimes tough episodes and harsh deadlines. Indeed, I would definitely recommend her. Thanks Sharon! Mallory, the kiddos and I appreciate all your hard work!

Eloy F. , Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Immigration Attorney - Lawful Entry

Did I Enter the U.S. Illegally? Proving “Lawful Entry”

To qualify for a U.S. green card, in most cases, you need to have entered the country lawfully. It’s important to understand what exactly “lawful entry” means. For immigrants that otherwise qualify for a green card but may have illegally worked in the U.S. or failed to maintain lawful status, being able to prove lawful entry is important.

Visa Overstay

Many people enter the country on a visa and overstay. This still qualifies as lawful entry and can help you qualify for a green card. If you have a relative that is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or is serving in the U.S. military, you may qualify for a waiver that allows you to immigrate to the United States.

Lawful Entry without Documents

Entering the country without documents and without receiving a visa or proof of your entry can sometimes qualify as lawful entry. Here’s an example.  

You entered the country without a visa or other type of immigration document, maybe as a passenger in someone's car or walking through. In this case, the officer might have simply waved you in. You presented yourself for inspection and the officer admitted you into the country. Even though a formal inspection didn’t occur, under the law, this counts as lawful entry.

The hard part in these cases is proving it. Without a I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, a stamp in your passport, or a visa, there isn’t any documented proof of your entry into the country. You will need to present secondary evidence in the form of declarations. This can be tricky and I would recommend you seek the advice of an attorney if this is your situation.

Entering the U.S. with False Documents

It’s also possible to qualify for lawful entry if you entered the country with fake documents, depending on the type of document you used and when you entered the country. Here’s an example.

You hire a notario who gives you a fake residency card and enter the country with it. The officer looks at the card, inspects it, and you are let into the country. This is an immigration violation and does have a punishment. But because you were inspected and admitted, it can still qualify as lawful entry and later allow you to lawfully immigrate to the United States.

However, consequences vary depending on what type of document you used and when you entered the country. If you in any way pretended to be a U.S. citizen—whether with a fake U.S. birth certificate, fake U.S. passport, or simply in an oral statement—then you committed a serious crime under immigration law. If this occurred after 1997, then there is no waiver and you may not qualify to immigrate to the United States. However, if it occurred before 1997, then you can request a waiver.

In this case, you will need to file the waiver to forgive the use of false immigration documents. This waiver can be filed at the same time as the immigration petition or later. In the current political climate, however, I would recommend filing everything together and having an immigration attorney help with your case. 

Immigration Help: Proving Lawful Entry

If you have any questions about your entry into the United States, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer. I had her help me out with a couple of immigration issues. A couple of friends of mine have been able to establish residency because of her. She is very affordable and offers an incredible service to all of her clients. I'd recommend her to everybody!

Esteban , Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Immigration Attorney - Father and Child Proof of Relationship

Form I-130, Proof of Father-Child Relationship

Family-based green card applications require that you submit proof of the relationship. This article gives an overview of how to prove a father-child relationship for USCIS Form I-130, whether the father is petitioning for the child or the child is petitioning for the father. Evidence will vary depending on whether or not the petitioning father was married to the mother before the child’s 18th birthday.

If the Parents Were Married Before the Child’s 18th Birthday

The primary document immigration wants to see is a marriage certificate between the child's mother and the petitioning father. Ideally, the marriage took place before the child’s 18th birthday. If a marriage took place after the child’s 18th birthday or not at all, you will need to submit additional documentation.

If the Parents Were Not Married Before the Child’s 18th Birthday

If the petitioning father and mother were not married before the child’s 18th birthday or never married, you’ll need to submit other documents. The point is to show that there was a paternal relationship between the father and child. Examples of this type of evidence include:

  • Photographs
  • Proof of having lived together
  • School records
  • Money transfers
  • Joint savings account
  • Letters between father and child

You want to provide as much proof as possible that you publicly treated the child as your own or participated in the child’s life, specifically through financial or emotional support. Proof will vary depending on your situation.

I'll give you an example of a father I helped file a petition for his daughter. In this case, the father was never married to the mother. He had left his home country and became a United States citizen, but his daughter was still living abroad. They hadn't seen each other for years. They didn't have any pictures together or other physical proof of that sort to send to immigration. In this case, we sent copies of years worth of letters they had sent to one another. In addition, we submitted evidence of money wires sent from the father to his daughter abroad. 

Immigration Help: Proving a Father-Child Relationship

If you have any questions about proving a father-child relationship for Form I-130, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon is the best lawyer I've had the pleasure to work with!

Sharon is the best lawyer I've had the pleasure to work with. She was very professional, but also offered emotional support during sometimes tough episodes and harsh deadlines. Indeed, I would definitely recommend her. Thanks Sharon! Mallory, the kiddos and I appreciate all your hard work!

Eloy F. , Los Angeles, CA
Immigration Attorney - Tourist Visa Application - Travel to USA

Can I Travel to the U.S. while Waiting for a Green Card?

Family-based green card applications can take years to be processed. While your I-130 application is pending, is it possible to travel to the United States? The straight answer is yes, but it’s important to understand what’s expected of you when you take these trips.. 

Visiting the U.S. on a Tourist Visa (B-1/ B-2)

Every time you enter the United States on a tourist visa, the B-1/B-2 visa, you are promising the United States that you intend to go back to your home country to live and that you have no intention of living in the United States. But, a pending I-130 petition contradicts this. A pending green card application shows that you do have the intention, at least eventually, to live permanently in the United States. It may cause the immigration officer to ask you questions about your visit and your intent to return to your home country. In some cases, people are even turned away. Here are some tips to prepare for this and avoid getting denied entry.

Come prepared. Bring evidence, documents, to the border that prove your intent to stay in your home country. If you're in college, bring proof of enrollment. If you own a home, bring the mortgage. If you have a good, stable job, bring pay stubs and a letter from your employer. Show proof that you have purchased a return ticket. You want to show that you have a steady reason to return to your home country. The more proof, the better. If the documents are in a foreign language, bring translations.

Many people think that by having an approved tourist visa they will avoid this problem. But, every time you go to a U.S. port of entry, you are inspected. The border patrol officer has the ultimate power to allow you entry into the United States or deny you. Every time you arrive, immigration's checking you out again, and if since your last arrival you now have a pending I-130, they may ask you questions at the border and they can turn you away. 

Immigration Help: Travelling with a Pending I-130

If you have any questions about travelling with a pending I-130 application, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the greater Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon was very professional, knowledgeable and very informative...

My husband and I had the best experience working with Sharon. I HIGHLY recommend her. She helped us with our immigration process and made us feel at ease every step of the way. Sharon was very professional, knowledgeable and very informative whenever we needed questions answered she was there from the very beginning until the very end, making sure we were prepared. Words can't explain how grateful my husband and I are. We would definitely not hesitate to contact her for any future services.

Karem S. , Los Angeles, CA
Immigration Attorney - Work Permit - Working Visa

Can I Get a Work Permit While I Wait for a Green Card?

Want to work while your green card application is pending? Good news! Many permanent residence applicants qualify for a work permit while waiting for their green card.

If you are applying for a green card from within the United States, you likely qualify for a work permit while your permanent residency application is pending. This process, called “adjustment of status,” allows you stay in the U.S. throughout the green card application process and work. You are not required to leave the country to attend a visa interview. Below are three ways paths to get a green card through adjustment of status.

Applicants who are required to leave the U.S. to attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, unfortunately, do not qualify for a work permit. 

3 Ways to Get a Family-Based Green Card without Having to Leave the Country (AKA Adjustment of Status)

How do you qualify to apply for a green card from within the United States? There are three basic ways. These paths are for people who otherwise qualify for a green card but may have entered the country illegally, illegally worked in the U.S., or have failed to maintain lawful status.

Adjustment of Status through the LIFE Act, 245(i) Adjustment

The LIFE Act or 245(i) is a special policy that allows people to apply for a green card even if they entered the U.S. illegally, illegally worked in the U.S., or have failed to maintain lawful status. To qualify, you must have been the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) filed on or before April 30, 2001. You might have a 245(i) as a derivative applicant if an immediate relative such as a parent or former spouse was approved for an immigrant petition.

If you think you may have a 245(i), it’s a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney. Because that is a big golden ticket.

Adjustment of Status by Virtue of a Lawful Entry into the United States

Another way to immigrate in the US is through what's called “lawful entry.” If your last entry to the United States was lawful, you may qualify for a green card through adjustment of status. Lawful entry simply means that you were lawfully inspected and admitted into the United States at a U.S. port of entry.

It’s important to note that in some cases, your entry may be considered a “lawful inspection and admission” even if you entered with no documents or fake documents and were let in regardless. You may need a waiver to forgive any possible issues of fraud, but the fact that you presented yourself at the border for inspection and the officer admitted you may be enough to qualify you for adjustment of status. The tricky part to this process is finding sufficient evidence of such an entry and, in some cases, filing for additional waivers. If this applies to you, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of an immigration attorney.

Adjustment of Status through Military Relative

You may qualify for a U.S. green card if you have a relative in the U.S. military—even if you are currently living in the U.S. without legal status. This process is called “Parole in Place” this is a path to permanent residency for spouses, widows, parents and children of active or honorably discharged U.S. military.

How to Apply for a Work Permit

You can apply for a work permit at the same time you apply for your green card. Simply file both forms at the same time: Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If you’ve already filed your I-485, you can still apply for a work permit by filing the I-765 separately. It usually takes about 90 days to receive your work permit.

Immigration Help: Get a Work Permit with Pending Green Card Application

If you have any questions about getting a work permit while waiting for a green card, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer. I had her help me out with a couple of immigration issues. A couple of friends of mine have been able to establish residency because of her. She is very affordable and offers an incredible service to all of her clients. I'd recommend her to everybody!

Esteban , Los Angeles, CA
Immigration Lawyer - Parole In Place

Parole in Place | How To Get a Green Card through Military Family if You Entered the US Illegally

Parole in Place is a path to permanent residency for certain undocumented immigrants who have relatives in the U.S. military. Immigrants who entered the country illegally are given the opportunity to apply for a family-based green card without having to leave the country.

What Is Parole in Place? 

Parole in Place (PIP) is policy that gives people “fake entry.” Generally speaking, people who entered the country illegally and who don’t qualify for a green card through the LIFE Act 245(i) cannot apply for a green card or other valid immigration status in the United States—even if you meet all other requirements. PIP is an exception to this rule. PIP is a discretionary policy, meaning that government is not required to give it even if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Parole in Place gives you a valid I-94, Arrival/ Departure Record which allows you to then apply for a green card through the adjustment of status process. You don't have to file for a provisional waiver and you don’t have to leave the country, which is risky, costly and time consuming.

PIP is not a waiver. It does not forgive any other issues of inadmissibility. It does not forgive other immigration violations you've had or criminal violations. It is only a fake entry that allows you to apply to legally immigrate to the United States without having to leave the United States. All other rules apply to your case.

Who Is Eligible for Parole in Place?

Family of active U.S. military or military members that have been honorably discharged may be eligible for Parole in Place.

You may be eligible for Parole in Place if your military family member is:

  • An active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces
  • An individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve
  • An individual who (whether still living or deceased) previously served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and was not dishonorably discharged

Eligible relatives for Parole in Place:

  • Spouse or widow(er)
  • Parent
  • Child under age 21

You must have entered the U.S. illegally to qualify for Parole in Place. If you entered the U.S. lawfully but overstayed your visa (or are otherwise in the U.S. past your period of authorized stay), you are not eligible for Parole in Place because you are not an applicant for admission.

Do Undocumented Immigrants Qualify for Parole in Place?

Yes! Parole in Place is a policy that specifically benefits undocumented immigrants.

I’ll give you an example of one of my recent clients. She entered the U.S. illegally over 21 years ago and has lived here since as an undocumented immigrant. She had her child here, who is a U.S. citizen. This entire time, she had no way of immigrating to the United States, no pathway to get a green card. She didn’t have other relatives here that could petition for her. However, she knew that when her son turned 21 years old, he could. Well, her son had just had his 21st birthday and he is now eligible to sponsor her for a green card. However, because she didn't have a lawful entry and she also didn't have 245(i), she didn’t meet the other eligibility requirements for a family-based green card. She needed lawful entry.

I asked her if she had a relative in the U.S. military. She replied that yes, her son was serving. Because of this, she is eligible to apply for Parole in Place (PIP). If it’s granted, then she can apply for a green card through the adjustment of status process.

How To Apply for Parole in Place

To apply for Parole in Place you need to prove that you’re a good, moral person and an asset to the community. To do this, you can submit documents from the community such as:

  • Letters from family saying they are dependent on you
  • Letters from family or friends proving you have strong community and support in the United States
  • Proof of any activities that show your good character such as church attendance, community service, etc. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also requires you submit:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Documentation of termination of previous marriage
  • Son or daughter’s birth certificate
  • Military member’s birth certificate with parent’s name
  • Proof of enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS)
  • Evidence that your family member is a current or former member of the U.S. armed forces, such as a photocopy of the front and back of the service member’s military identification card or DD Form 214
  • Two identical, color passport style photographs

If you’re approved for Parole in Place, the USCIS will place a stamp in your passport and issue an I-94 number. That's like having a lawful entry, allowing you to then immigrate to the United States.

Immigration Help: Applying for Parole in Place

If you have any questions about Parole in Place or think you might be eligible, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the greater Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon is the best lawyer I've had the pleasure to work with!

Sharon is the best lawyer I've had the pleasure to work with. She was very professional, but also offered emotional support during sometimes tough episodes and harsh deadlines. Indeed, I would definitely recommend her. Thanks Sharon! Mallory, the kiddos and I appreciate all your hard work!

Eloy F. , Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Immigration Attorney - Form I-751 -Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence Based on Marriage

Form I-751 | Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence Based on Marriage

While most green cards are issued for a period of 10 years, some are only issued for two. Conditional green cards are issued to certain residents who got their green card through marriage. Before your conditional green card expires, you will need to file Form I-751 to remove conditions on your residence.

What Is a Conditional Green Card? 

A conditional green card is a two-year, temporary green card issued in some marriage-based cases. Your green card is conditional if you were married for less than two years when you either arrived in the U.S. on an immigrant visa or were approved for a green card through adjustment of status.

Why? Essentially, it’s because immigration wants to make sure that your marriage is still legitimate and that you didn’t enter into the marriage simply to get a green card. If after two years the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines that your marriage is legitimate, then you will receive a non-conditional, 10-year green card. 

Form I-751 Filing Tips

Before your conditional green card expires, you’ll want to file Form I-751. Here are some tips to help you file successfully.

Submit More Evidence than Your Initial Green Card Application

Since you’ve been married an extra two years, you’ll want to submit more evidence than you did with your initial green card application. If you had kids during that time, you'll want to take birth certificates. Definitely show them the joint taxes you've been filing. If you bought a house or are renting a new apartment, bring your mortgage documents or your lease. Anything you've been doing jointly, you'll want to prove. 

File on Time, within the 90-Day Window

You're going to want to file within the 90-day window before your conditional green card expires. If you try to file before that, the case will be rejected and sent back to you. If you file too late, you are no longer permitted to use your green card for work purposes or travel. There is also a good chance that the USCIS will refer your case to Immigration Court.

If you did not file on time and have not yet been issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court, I highly recommend that you file as soon as possible! Doing so may prevent your case from being decided before an Immigration Judge.

Exceptions to Form I-751: Divorce, Separation and Death

I get a lot of questions from individuals who married out of love but by the time the conditional resident had to apply to lift conditions on their residency, the couple for one reason or another had separated. It is crucial to know that there are ways to apply to lift conditions on residency, permitting you to keep your residency, even if you are no longer with your U.S. citizen spouse. If you apply to lift conditions alone, then you are filing for what is called a “waiver”.

You may be eligible to file a waiver of the joint filing requirement if your spouse is deceased, if you divorce, or if you were battered or suffered extreme hardship at the hands of your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse.

If you are a conditional resident who for some reason can no longer satisfy the requirement of joint filing with their U.S. citizen spouse, I recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney about your particular matter to make sure that your case is handled correctly.

Immigration Help: Removing Conditions on Residence

If you have any questions about Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, I'd be happy to help. I’m a dedicated and passionate immigration attorney, fluent in English and Spanish, located in the Los Angeles area. Call (310) 803-3040 or visit https://abaudlegal.com/appointment/ to schedule an appointment.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer.

Sharon is an amazing immigration lawyer. I had her help me out with a couple of immigration issues. A couple of friends of mine have been able to establish residency because of her. She is very affordable and offers an incredible service to all of her clients. I'd recommend her to everybody!

Esteban , Los Angeles, CA
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