A green card is a resident visa. It’s name is after the color of the identification card that issues to aliens. The green card allows foreign citizens to live and work in the U.S. lawfully. The official name for the green card is Form I-551. If you are not eligible for U.S. citizenship but you wish to permanently reside in the U.S., you can apply for a green card under one of three conditions:
- An immediate family member such as parent or child can petition for a green card on your behalf and sponsor you
- A spouse who is a U.S. citizen can petition for a green card on your behalf and sponsor you
- An employer can petition for a green card on your behalf and sponsor you if and only if you meet very specific criteria regarding sought-after and unique skills, as well as other eligibility criteria
Tulsa Green Card Process:
The procedure of obtaining a green card begins with entering the U.S. as a legal immigrant. Then you must complete Form I-551. All applicants must have a U.S. citizen sponsor, such as an employer or spouse. If you are in another country, you can file your petition with the U.S. embassy of that country. If you are in the U.S., you can file your petition with United States Citizenship and Immigration services (‘USCIS’).
In addition to requiring a sponsor, USCIS may also require personal letters from individuals who know you well who can attest that you are not obtaining residency status for a fraudulent purpose and that you are of good moral character. U.S. citizens must write these letters. In addition, you may need to provide information about where you will be living and with whom, your job situation, and your background. USCIS may also require that you take and pass a civics exam on American history and government.
Green Card Begins as Conditional:
If USCIS permits green card status, your green card will be conditional and will expire after two years. This is designed to weed out individuals who are using fraudulent methods to become legal residents. A common scam is the ‘green card marriage’. If you marry someone solely to get a green card so that you can legally live and work in the U.S., you are violating U.S. immigration laws. Generally, these types of couples do not last very long, and USCIS hopes to weed them out by requiring them to stay together for at least 2 years before granting the alien with permanent green card status.
If you have a conditional visa, you will need to petition to remove the conditions before the 2-year expiration date. You must file this petition at least 90 days before you card expires to make time for the lengthy approval process. Form I-751 is the form associated with removal of conditions. You may again be requested to submit letters from U.S. citizens who know you well and can attest to your commitment to the U.S. and your spouse. You will also be required to validate your marriage, meaning you must prove that you did not get married for fraudulent reasons. You can do this by providing USCIS with evidence, such as:
- Witness letters
- Property deeds containing both names
- Joint tax returns
- Joint bank accounts
- Honeymoon photos
If the conditions remove, you will receive a permanent resident card. This card needs renewal every 10 years. To renew a permanent resident card, simply submit Form I-90. If you receive a conditional green card due to a marriage and then divorce prior to requesting removal of your conditions, you may face removal from the country when your green card expires. However, in some circumstances, USCIS will permit you to petition without sponsorship by your ex-spouse. These circumstances usually involve extreme situations such as death of a spouse or domestic violence that necessitated divorce.
Call Our Experienced Tulsa Green Card Attorneys:
If you need information regarding immigration call our Tulsa green card attorney today. The immigration process is complex and mistakes can cost years of time. There is no reason to go it alone. Our attorneys have helped people form all over the world with visas, green cards and most other immigration issues. Call us we care and want to help you 918-743-2233.