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SSD Law Firm PC

Green Card Lawyer Laguna Hills

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Things to Know Now

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Do You Need Immigration Assistance in the Laguna Hills area?

Laguna Hills is a city with a population of approximately 29830 people. Many people in Laguna Hills 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 Laguna Hills area. Additionally, we can also assist you with Green Cards throughout every state in America.

Immigration Insights: The 90 Day Rule Explained

The 90-day rule in U.S. immigration is a guideline used by immigration officers to determine if an individual who entered the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa misrepresented their intentions when applying for the visa. According to this rule, if a non-immigrant engages in conduct inconsistent with their visa status within 90 days of entry, it is presumed that they willfully misrepresented their intentions.

Examples that Could Activate the 90 Day Rule

  • Marrying a U.S. citizen and applying for adjustment of status.
  • Enrolling in school without the proper visa.
  • Undertaking unauthorized employment.

If an individual engages in these activities within the first 90 days, immigration authorities may presume fraud or willful misrepresentation, which can lead to denial of the visa application and potentially severe immigration consequences.However, if such activities occur after the 90-day period, the presumption of misrepresentation is not automatic, although it may still be considered. It’s essential to provide evidence to counter any presumption of fraud if questioned by immigration officials.Understanding the 90-day rule is crucial for those on non-immigrant visas to avoid actions that could negatively impact their immigration status. Consulting with an immigration attorney can provide guidance tailored to specific circumstances and help navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration laws.

Do Green Card holders need a separate Work Permit in Laguna Hills?

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 Laguna Hills, 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.

When are Green Card holders Eligible for Citizenship in Laguna Hills?

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 Laguna Hills, including legal aid organizations and immigration attorneys, can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the naturalization process, ensuring all requirements are met.

Green Card Expiry: How Long Until Renewal?

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.

Pending Adjustment of Status: Can You Leave the Country?

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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Contact our Laguna Hills Green Card Lawyers Now

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