A lot of people find the green card application process daunting: It is lengthy and complicated. This might be true especially if you do not know where to start and the right procedure to follow. One can download the full guide about how to apply for green card. Below is a quick overview. The green card application process differs depending on the type of applicant and his/her current location or residency. Nonetheless, the following steps are generally applicable: Application, petition, adjudication, medical examination, green card interview, and approval.
Anyone applying for the green card while living outside the United States, needs to go through consular processing. In this case, one submits application documents to and conduct interviews with U.S. consular officers in one's home country. On the other hand, people applying for a green card who area already in the United States are required to go through a process known as Adjustment of Status. As such, their application process is conducted entirely in the United States. In both cases, application process involves filling out a bunch of forms and submitting certain support documentation for the review by the U.S. immigration authorities.
Either a relative, an employer, or in some rare cases, an applicant him or herself, files an immigration petition for the beneficiary, the future immigrant. For example, I-130 is the petition file reserved for the family based immigration process, while I-140 is used for employment based immigration process.
Immigrant Visa Availability
Due to the various restriction and quotas, a person may not automatically get a permanent residency after submitting his or her immigration petition. Such person may have to wait for their visa number to go through a queue; in some rare cases the wait may take years. In case of immigration through marriage, however, there are no such restrictions or wait times. If the immigration petition gets approved, the case is forwarded to the National Visa Center.
Once the immigrant visa number is available (which means the priority date becomes current), the person seeking immigration benefit can now secure adjustment of his/her status to permanent resident if the said person is already in the United States. However, if the person is not in the United States, he/she can now apply for an Immigrant Visa from the U.S. Embassy that has the jurisdiction over his/her residence, and then seek adjustment of status after he/she enters the United States.
The person applying for the green card will have to undergo a medical examination covering vaccinations, including x-rays, various blood tests and physical exam. The timing of the medical exam is dependent on the specific type of green card one pursues.
Green Card Interview
All applicants must go through an interview. During such interview, the officer in charge will ask the applicant several questions to verify the eligibility of applicant and accuracy of the information provided. It’s important for one to prepare well for the interview, else the application might be delayed through request for additional evidence, or worse be denied.
When All is Said and Done
After an applicant has obtained a green card, he/she, generally, can enjoy its benefits for ten years. In order to maintain the legal permanent residence status, its holders must comply with the United States laws, including certain immigration related regulations like duration of stay outside of the U.S.
Green card application process is hard, complex and may be expensive. To ensure this process is as efficient as possible, please visit www.doityourselfgreencard.com to download Green Card by Marriage guide and subscribe to our newsletter, or www.doityourselfgreencard.com/blog for further discussion of immigration and green card issues.