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SSD Law Firm PC

Green Card Lawyer Holtville

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Things to Know Now

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Do You Need Immigration Help around the Holtville area?

Holtville is a city with a population of approximately 5426 people. Many people in Holtville 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 Holtville area. Additionally, we can also assist you with Green Cards throughout every state in America.

What is a Green Card in Holtville?

A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), often called a “green card” holder, is an individual who has been granted the privilege to live and work in the United States permanently. This status allows the person to reside in the U.S., seek employment, and travel internationally, albeit with certain restrictions. LPRs must adhere to specific rules to maintain their status.Lawful Permanent Resident status is obtained one of two routes: either Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status. Consular Processing involves doing your immigration interview with an immigration officer from America while in another country abroad. Adjustment of Status on the other hand involves doing your immigration interview in the United States, usually without ever leaving the U.S..One of the significant advantages of being an LPR is the ability to work without needing employer sponsorship, which provides greater flexibility in job opportunities. Additionally, LPRs can travel outside the U.S. and re-enter, though extended absences may affect their residency status. It is crucial for LPRs to avoid actions that could jeopardize their status, such as committing certain crimes or failing to notify USCIS of a change of address.Moreover, LPRs have the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting particular requirements, including continuous residence in the U.S. for a specified period, demonstrating good moral character, and passing English and civics tests. Becoming a U.S. citizen provides additional benefits, such as the right to vote and protection from deportation.

How Long Can You Use Your Green Card?

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.

Is a Work Permit Necessary with a Green Card in Holtville?

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, allows individuals to work legally in the United States while their Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) is pending. Filing Form I-765 with your I-485 is highly beneficial, as it provides a means to earn a livelihood during the often lengthy green card application process.Submitting Form I-765 concurrently with your I-485 can expedite your ability to work legally, eliminating the need to wait for your green card approval to start employment. At the time of this writing, submitting the I-765 with your I-485 can also be done for free. Additionally, an approved I-765 grants you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which serves as proof of your legal right to work in the U.S. This can be crucial for maintaining financial stability and accessing job opportunities while your green card application is processed.In Holtville, utilizing local legal resources can help ensure your I-765 and I-485 applications are correctly completed and submitted, maximizing your chances of a smooth and successful adjustment process.

Applying for Citizenship: How Long After a Green Card in Holtville?

Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through the process of naturalization, typically after five years of continuous residence in the United States, as outlined in Section 316 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) [8 U.S.C. § 1427]. This period is reduced to three years for those married to and living with a U.S. citizen, under Section 319(a) of the INA [8 U.S.C. § 1430(a)].

Continuous Residence and Physical Presence

To qualify, LPRs must demonstrate continuous residence and physical presence in the United States during the required period. Specifically, they must have been physically present for at least 30 months plus one day out of the five years, or 18 months plus one day out of the three years if married to a U.S. citizen. Additionally, they must have resided in the state or USCIS district where they apply for at least three months prior to filing.

Good Moral Character

Green Card holders must also show good moral character, a requirement detailed in Section 101(f) of the INA [8 U.S.C. § 1101(f)]. This includes adhering to the laws of the United States and demonstrating integrity and honesty in their dealings.

English Skills

Applicants must be able to read, write, and speak basic English, and possess knowledge of U.S. history and government. These requirements are waived for certain applicants, such as those who have been permanent residents for at least 20 years and are over 50 years old, or those who are over 55 years old and have been permanent residents for 15 years. Medical exemptions can also be warranted if your doctor is able to provide evidence that you cannot learn or speak English due to a mental or physical disability.

Oath of Allegiance

Applicants must take an Oath of Allegiance to the United States, affirming their commitment to the country’s principles and laws. Local resources in Holtville, including legal aid organizations and immigration attorneys, can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the naturalization process, ensuring all requirements are met.

Gathering Evidence for a Successful Green Card Application

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 Holtville, our immigration attorneys can provide assistance in gathering the necessary documents and ensuring that all requirements are met.

Leaving the US During a Pending Adjustment Application

Traveling abroad while your green card application is pending can be complex and requires careful planning. Here’s a detailed overview of what you need to know and the steps to take:

Understanding the Travel Restrictions

  1. Advance Parole Requirement: Generally, if you leave the U.S. while your green card application (Form I-485) is pending, your application may be considered abandoned unless you have obtained Advance Parole. Advance Parole is a travel document that allows you to re-enter the U.S. without jeopardizing your pending green card application.
  2. Applying for Advance Parole: To secure this document, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with USCIS. It is advisable to submit Form I-131 simultaneously with your I-485 application to avoid delays. The processing time can vary, so plan accordingly.
  3. Emergency Travel: If an emergency necessitates travel before you obtain Advance Parole, consult with an immigration lawyer. In some cases, it is possible to expedite the process by providing documentation of the emergency.

Practical Steps to Follow

  1. Check Your Eligibility: Confirm that you are eligible for Advance Parole. Certain applicants, such as those in removal proceedings or who have violated their immigration status, may face restrictions.
  2. Submit Form I-131: Fill out Form I-131 accurately and include supporting documents, such as a copy of your I-485 receipt notice, passport photos, and proof of the need to travel (if applicable).
  3. Await Approval: After submitting your application, wait for USCIS to process and approve it. Avoid making non-refundable travel arrangements until you have received your Advance Parole document.
  4. Travel with Documentation: If you receive Advance Parole, carry it along with your valid passport when traveling. Ensure you return to the U.S. within the validity period specified on the document.

Important Considerations

  • Non-immigrant Visa Holders: If you initially entered the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa (such as a tourist visa) and later applied for a green card, consult with a Green Card lawyer to navigate potential issues related to intent and visa compliance.
  • Timelines and Deadlines: Be mindful of the timelines for both your Advance Parole application and your green card process. Missing deadlines or being abroad when USCIS requests additional information or schedules an interview could complicate your case.
  • Legal Advice: Given the complexities involved, seeking legal advice tailored to your specific situation can prevent potential pitfalls and ensure that you remain compliant with immigration laws.

By following these steps and understanding the underlying reasons, you can manage your travel plans without jeopardizing your green card application.

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Call our Holtville Green Card Lawyers Immediately

SSD Law Firm PC stands out as your go-to immigration lawyers in Holtville, 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 Holtville Department now.