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SSD Law Firm PC

Green Card Lawyer Arcata

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Things to Know Now

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Do You Need Immigration Assistance around the Arcata area?

Arcata is a city with a population of approximately 18322 people. Many people in Arcata are illegal but can get their Green Cards with a little assistance. Our law firm can help with all types of Green Card cases in the Arcata area. Additionally, we can also assist you with Green Cards throughout every state in America.

Understanding the Green Card Interview Process

Location

Your Green Card Interview will be held at the local USCIS office nearest Arcata. Ensure that you know the exact address and plan your travel to arrive early so you can find parking. Familiarize yourself with the office location and any specific instructions provided in your appointment notice.

Arrival

Arrive with your appointment notice, government-issued identification, and any additional documents requested. Plan to arrive early to allow time for security checks. Bring all required documentation organized in a folder or binder for easy access.

Documentation

Essential documents include marriage certificates, financial documents, proof of residency, and any other evidence supporting your green card application that may also be listed on your appointment notice. Ensure all documents are original or certified copies unless otherwise specified. Organize them in a logical order to facilitate a smooth review by the officer.

Questioning

The USCIS officer will ask questions to verify the accuracy of your application and assess the legitimacy of your case. Questions may cover personal background, relationship history if applying based on marriage, employment details, and other relevant information. Be prepared to provide clear, concise, and truthful answers.

Biometrics

Though you likely had them done already, the officer may take your fingerprints and photographs as part of the biometrics process. This is a routine procedure to verify your identity and background. Ensure your hands are clean and free of any substances that might affect fingerprint quality.

Medical Examination

Your medical examination results will be reviewed to ensure you meet the health requirements for a green card. The examination must be conducted by a USCIS-approved doctor, and you should bring the completed Form I-693. Ensure all medical documents are up-to-date and properly sealed.

Responses

Provide clear, honest, and concise answers to all questions posed by the USCIS officer. Avoid providing unnecessary information or elaborating beyond what is asked. Maintain a calm and respectful demeanor throughout the interview.

Decision

The officer may inform you of their decision at the end of the interview or indicate that further review is needed which is the typical procedure. If additional information or documentation is required, you will receive instructions on how to provide it. Be prepared for either outcome and follow any additional steps promptly.

Green Card Expired, Now What?

Unconditional Green Card = 10 Years

A green card is typically valid for 10 years. For most lawful permanent residents (LPRs), this 10-year validity period applies, and they must renew their green card before it expires to maintain their status. The renewal process involves filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, which can be done online or via mail. It’s recommended to start the renewal process about six months before the card’s expiration date to avoid any lapse in status.

Conditional Green Card = 2 Years

Conditional green cards, issued to certain individuals such as those who obtained their status through marriage or as entrepreneurs, are valid for only 2 years. Conditional residents must apply to remove the conditions on their residency by filing Form I-751 (for marriage-based conditional residents) or Form I-829 (for investor-based conditional residents) within the 90-day period before their card expires. Upon approval, they receive a regular (unconditional) 10-year green card.

Validity

It’s crucial for green card holders to keep their card valid, as it serves as proof of their lawful status in the United States. An expired green card can cause complications with employment, travel, and obtaining benefits. Green card holders must also ensure their information is up to date with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to avoid any issues with their permanent residency status.

What forms do I file for my Adjustment of Status Application

In order to apply for your Green Card, you will likely be filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is a crucial step for those seeking to obtain a green card while already in the United States. This form is used by individuals who are eligible to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) without having to leave the country. The following list is not an exhaustive list, but includes the common forms used when filing for your Green Card.

Proof of Lawful Entry

To begin, ensure you have all necessary documents, such as your passport, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, and proof of lawful entry into the U.S. Depending on how you entered the United States, you may have a stamp in your passport reflecting your lawful entry.

Petitioner/Sponsor

You will need evidence of your eligibility category, such as an approved Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) or Form I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker). You will also need form I-864 which will be filled out by your sponsor, guaranteeing your economic stability during your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Work Permit Application

You can file form I-765, Authorization for Employment, with your I-485 application. It is typically free to file this form with your I-485 (at the time of this writing) so we file it every time we file form I-485. Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) usually gets approved first, along with your Social Security Card, before final determination of your Adjustment application.

Questions About Your History

The form requires detailed personal information, including your name, address, and employment history. You must also provide information about your immigration history, including any previous visa applications or immigration violations. Be prepared to answer questions regarding your criminal history and affiliations, as honesty is critical to avoid complications or denials.

Medical Examination

Part of the I-485 process involves undergoing a medical examination by a USCIS-approved doctor. The results, documented on Form I-693, must be submitted along with your I-485 application. Additionally, you must include the required filing fee or a fee waiver request, if applicable.

Biometrics and Interview

Once submitted, USCIS will process your application, which may include a biometric appointment for fingerprinting and an interview. During this period, it’s essential to monitor your case status and respond promptly to any USCIS requests for additional information.

Checklist of Evidence for Green Card Eligibility in Arcata

For an Adjustment of Status (AOS) to be successful, applicants must demonstrate bona fides, or good faith, in various aspects of their application. These are some of the key bona fides required:

Valid Entry and Continuous Residence

  • Proof of Lawful Entry: Applicants must provide evidence that they were lawfully admitted to the United States. This can include a visa stamp, Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), or other entry documentation.
  • Continuous Residence: Applicants must demonstrate that they have continuously resided in the U.S. since their entry and during the required period preceding the application.

Eligibility Under an Immigration Category

  • Family-Based Petitions: If applying based on a family relationship, such as through a U.S. citizen spouse or parent, applicants must provide documentation of the relationship, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, or proof of a bona fide marriage. Evidence of a bona fide marriage can include joint bank accounts, leases, mortgages, and photographs.
  • Employment-Based Petitions: For employment-based applications, applicants need a job offer and an approved labor certification. Documentation might include an employment contract, employer’s letter, and evidence of qualifications or skills.
  • Other Categories: Applicants under other categories (e.g., asylees, refugees) must provide relevant documentation supporting their status and eligibility.

Good Moral Character

  • Criminal Background Checks: Applicants must undergo background checks and provide police records, demonstrating they have no serious criminal history.
  • Personal Conduct: Evidence of good moral character can include affidavits from employers, community leaders, or others who can vouch for the applicant’s integrity and behavior.

Medical Examination

  • Form I-693: Applicants must undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved doctor. The results, documented on Form I-693, must be submitted as part of the AOS application to show they meet health-related standards.

Financial Support

  • Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): For family-based applications, sponsors must submit an Affidavit of Support, proving they can financially support the applicant to prevent them from becoming a public charge. Evidence might include tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements.

Immigration Status Documentation

  • Proof of Current Status: Applicants need to maintain valid non-immigrant status until their AOS application is filed. This includes providing documentation of current visas and any status changes.

Collecting and organizing these bona fides is crucial for a successful adjustment of status application. In Arcata, our immigration lawyers can provide assistance in gathering the necessary documents and ensuring that all requirements are met.

The Role of an Attorney in Your Green Card Application in Arcata?

Obtaining a green card is a complex process that involves navigating various legal requirements, submitting extensive documentation, and adhering to strict timelines. A Green Card lawyer can be an invaluable asset in helping you secure your green card by providing expert guidance, minimizing errors, and ensuring compliance with all regulations.

Expertise and Knowledge

Immigration Green Card attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of U.S. immigration laws and procedures. They stay updated on the latest changes and can advise you on the most appropriate path to obtaining a green card, whether through family sponsorship, employment, asylum, or other categories. Their expertise ensures that you understand all eligibility requirements and prepare your application accordingly.

Personalized Guidance

An immigration Green Card lawyer can assess your unique situation and tailor their advice to your specific needs. They can help identify the most suitable immigration category, gather necessary documentation, and address any potential issues that may arise during the application process. This personalized approach can significantly increase the chances of a successful outcome.

Document Preparation and Review

The green card application process requires meticulous preparation and submission of various forms and supporting documents. A Green Card attorney can assist with completing forms such as Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), ensuring that all information is accurate and complete. They can also review your documentation to ensure it meets the required standards and addresses any potential red flags.

Legal Representation

If your case involves complications, such as prior immigration violations, criminal records, or the need for waivers, a Green Card lawyer can provide essential legal representation. They can advocate on your behalf in front of immigration authorities, handle correspondence with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and represent you during interviews or hearings.

Peace of Mind

Navigating the green card process can be stressful and time-consuming. Having a Green Card lawyer by your side can provide peace of mind, knowing that a professional is handling your case with expertise and attention to detail. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your life while ensuring that your application is in capable hands.Overall, hiring an immigration Green Card lawyer can streamline the green card application process, reduce the likelihood of errors, and enhance the prospects of a successful outcome. Our specialized knowledge, personalized guidance, and legal representation can make a significant difference in achieving your goal of becoming a lawful permanent resident.

Do Immigration Authorities Have the Right to Investigate Your Home?

If Immigration Officers decide to do an in home inspection regarding your Green Card application, the following are your rights to keep yourself safe.

Right to Refuse Entry

Firstly, you have the right to refuse entry to immigration officers, unless they have a valid warrant signed by a judge. This warrant should specify your name and address. Ask the officers to slide the warrant under the door or show it through a window to verify its validity before allowing them inside.

Right to Remain Silent

You also have the right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer questions or provide information without consulting with a Green Card lawyer. Politely inform the officers that you choose to exercise this right and request to speak with a Green Card lawyer.

Right to Legal Representation

You have the right to consult with a Green Card attorney before answering any questions. If you do not have a Green Card attorney, you can find one through local legal aid organizations or immigration advocacy groups in Arcata. An attorney can provide guidance on how to interact with the officers and protect your rights.

Right to Privacy

Immigration officers cannot search your home without your consent unless they have a valid search warrant. If they do have a warrant, ensure it is specific to your situation and covers the areas they wish to search. If the warrant is not valid or specific, you can deny them access.

Document Everything

Document the encounter by noting the officers’ names, badge numbers, and the time and date of the visit. If possible, record the interaction, as this can be useful for legal proceedings if necessary.Understanding and asserting your rights during an immigration home investigation can help protect you and your family from potential legal complications.

Understanding Green Card Eligibility Criteria in Arcata

Qualifying for a green card in Arcata follows the same federal guidelines as the rest of the United States. The primary pathways to obtain a green card include family sponsorship, employment-based visas, asylum or refugee status, and the Diversity Visa Lottery.

  • Family Sponsorship: Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses, children under 21, and parents, have a straightforward path to a green card. Other relatives, including siblings and married children, may also qualify but face longer waiting periods due to visa caps and limitations. Under section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), two things are required for a family based green card (1) Legal Entry, and (2) Petitioner. If your entry is illegal, we can help you figure out different ways to fix your entry. There are multiple different people that can be petitioners which we will also analyze for you so that we can help you figure out the quickest way to get a green card.
  • Employment-Based Visas: Individuals with a job offer in the U.S. can qualify for a green card through employment. Categories include priority workers (EB-1), professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities (EB-2), skilled workers (EB-3), and special immigrant categories, such as religious workers (EB-4). Investors who create jobs in the U.S. (EB-5) also qualify.
  • Asylum or Refugee Status: Those granted asylum or refugee status can apply for a green card one year after being admitted to the U.S. under these protections. You can also apply for your spouse and children (under 21) after being granted Asylum status.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery: Individuals from countries with low U.S. immigration rates can apply through the Diversity Visa Lottery, which grants up to 50,000 green cards annually.
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Reach out to our Arcata Green Card Attorneys Today

SSD Law Firm PC stands out as your go-to immigration lawyers in Arcata, offering strategic legal guidance and support. Our Green Card immigration lawyers are dedicated to providing a seamless experience with a free consultation and thorough case evaluation tailored to your needs and within your own language (English, Espanol, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Lao). We understand the nuances of immigration law and are committed to helping you achieve your American dream with clear, informed, and compassionate legal representation. To get your case started, contact our Green Card Lawyer Arcata Department now.