Asylee or Refugee Travel Document

Simply put, this is a special travel document, issued only to refugees and allows refugees to return to the United States after traveling outside the United States. Refugee Travel Document can also be provided to permanent residents who have or have refugee or exile status. Without this document, in other words, permission, refugees are not given the opportunity to return to the United States. Also, you need to know that the Refugee Travel Document does not guarantee that as a refugee you will be allowed to enter the United States after your departure, the legality of your return to America will be decided by the Ministry of National Security, it is the process of determining the expediency Your arrival, when you return to the United States, you will need to provide the Refugee Travel Document itself.

Processing time of obtaining the Refugee Travel Document

Many people have a logical question, how long does the Refugee Travel Document work? We answer, Refugee Travel Document is valid for one year and there is no possibility to extend it. The Immigration and Citizenship Service should not update your Refugee Travel Document for refugees.

The refugee must submit an application in accordance with Form I-131, this application ensures receipt of this document. It is worth knowing that if you have a permanent residence, you should, in any case, ensure that you receive the Refugee Travel Document if, of course, you intend to travel outside the United States.

The processing period for your application is usually 3 months, but this period may be either smaller or larger, the length of production depends on the handling of the processing center, the fewer applications, the faster the process of manufacturing, the more applications, the longer the process manufacturing, it all depends on how many applications it needs to process the center in a certain amount of time.

In some cases, deportation takes place. It is worth knowing that it is advisable not to go to your home country if you do not want to lose your refugee status. You should also know that you do not need to use your personal passport when traveling with your Refugee Travel Document.

When traveling outside the United States, you only need to have a refugee travel document issued specifically by the US Government. Traveling with a passport issued by the state from which you were granted asylum and refugee status, it is possible that it could cause loss of your asylum and refugee status. It’s all interesting, however, information about cost is more interesting to many.

Fee and costs of applying for the Refugee Travel Document

  • If your age at the time of filing is 16 years old or older, the cost of applying today is $ 135.
  • In case you apply for a child aged less than 16 years old, the very cost of registration for today is $ 105.
  • If you are between the ages of 14 and 79, you will need to pay an additional fee of $ 85 to provide biometric services.

After submitting your I-485 application form, which is a permanent residence application and your application has not yet been reviewed, it is pending review, you should not pay for your current refugee status in the United States.

As noted above, the Refugee Travel Document is issued to refugees after a refugee has filed an application under Form I-131; this refugee application is provided by the Refugee Travel Document.

There are some parameters that provide accelerated processing of the I-131 form and, accordingly, faster issuance of the Refugee Travel Document.

The USCIS may, in some cases, accelerate the processing of refugee I-131 forms in certain situations that include such criteria and certain situations as:

  • Severe certain financial losses of the company or a specific person;
  • Various emergencies that may occur;
  • Various humanitarian factors;
  • Especially for a non-profit, non-financial organization that promotes the cultural and social interests of the United States of America;
  • A request from the official US state body – the Department of Defense, which provides the interests of the nation;
  • Various other interests, parameters, and factors of the immigration and citizenship service.

Consequences of leaving the United States without obtaining the Refugee Travel Document

Before you leave the United States, you must obtain the Refugee Travel Document before leaving the United States. If you do not receive this document, your departure will adversely affect your immigration history.

For example, any trips outside of the United States may have serious problems for you if you want to have a permanent resident status, in other words, you want to get a green card.

In general, if you want to have an immigrant status, a so-called green card and do not legally leave the United States without prior permission, you may well be unacceptable to the United States after your return, you may not be allowed into the United States.

Green Card Priority Dates

As a prospective immigrant person, you are able to find your priority date on Form I-797. It also calls “Notice of Action” form for the petition filed on your behalf. You need to understand that the waiting time of expecting of receiving your immigration visa or adjusting status depends on several factors.

Video — What is Priority date?

Here are the list of it:

  1. The demand for and supply of immigrant visas;
  2. The per-country visa limitations;
  3. The number of visas allocated for your preference category.

Priority Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference Cases

For family-sponsored immigrants, the priority date is the date that the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, or in certain instances the Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow or Widower, or Special Immigrant, is properly filed with USCIS.

Priority Dates for Employment-Based Preference Cases

For employment-based immigrants, the priority date depends on several positions too. If your preference category requires a labor certification from Department of Labor (DOL), then your priority date is the date the labor certification application is accepted for processing by DOL. To preserve the priority date, you must file Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, with USCIS within 180 days of the DOL approval date on the labor certification or else the labor certification is no longer valid. If your preference category does not require a DOL labor certification then USCIS accepts Form I-140 for processing to classify the sponsored worker under the requested preference category.

If you are a fourth preference special immigrant, including religious workers then USCIS accepts Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow or Widower or Special Immigrant, for processing.

If you are a fifth preference investor then USCIS accepts Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, for processing.

Checking your case in the visa queue

The Visa Bulletin allows you to check your case status in the immigrant visa queue. The Visa Bulletin provides the most recent date for when a visa number is available for the different categories and countries for family-sponsored, employment-based and diversity green card visas.

Your visa must be available before you can take one of the important final steps in the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident. There is a rule in the law that the exact amount of immigrant can become permanent residents each year. Only limited number of such category visa allow for every year. You have to clearly understand that not everyone can get the visa immediately, especially the immigrant visa cases must be checked careful.

The time of waiting your visa arrives depends on your priority date, preference category and type and the country where the visa will be charged to.

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A visa can be available for you when your priority date is earlier than the cut-off date shown for your preference category. Also, if the country of chargeability in the applicable chart in the Visa Bulletin, as described above in the Acceptance of Adjustment of Status Applications section.

There are some situations, when a priority date that is current one month will not be current the next month, or the deadline date will move backwards to an earlier date. This term is also calls visa retrogression. This can occurs when more people apply for a visa in a particular category than there are visas available for that month.

As usual, visa retrogression can happen when the annual limit for a category or country has been exhausted or is expected to run out soon. When the new fiscal year begins, for the United States it is on October 1st, a new supply of visa numbers becomes available. Usually, but not as a rule, the new supply returns the cut-off dates to where they were before retrogression. This means the balance will be returned to the system and all be done for your comfort.

If you are asking for adjustment of status on a family base and employment-based preference category, you may concurrently file your Form I-485 with the Form I-130 or Form I-140.

This is possible only if:

  1. Your priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed in the “Application Final Action Dates” chart in the monthly Visa Bulletin for your preference category and country of chargeability.
  2. The Visa Bulletin chart indicates “C” instead of a specific cut-off date, meaning that your preference category and country of chargeability is current and that you may file Form I-485 regardless of the priority date.
  3. When permitted by USCIS your priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed in the “Dates for Filing Applications” chart for your preference category and country of chargeability.
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From the first of October, a new year which is FY2017 will starts. EB2 India has become a new EB3 India now. Previously, it was safe that if you filed your permission and I-140 in EB2I, you will most likely get your EAD within 4–5 years and green card within 5–6 years.

This happened because of the lots of unused green cards from an annual quota of 140,000 which used to flow down to EB2I as a spillover. EB4 and EB5 usage was low. Those unused number of green card applications were spilling over to EB1. But EB1 usage wasn’t optimal either. So those extra green cards from EB4, EB5 and EB1 category used to come to EB2. Since EB2 ROW (Rest of the World) has always been current with their priority dates, those spill overs were applied to Indian and Chinese applicants waiting under EB2 category. EB3 was the ultimate sufferer.


Green Card: Renewal, Fee and Cost

The status of a permanent resident, means, the possession of a GC is not permanent. Just like the driver’s license, the green card needs to be updated from time to time. As a rule, green cards are a valid term for 10 years. Therefore, if you still have a green card with no expiration date on the front, you must immediately replace it in order to have a valid document confirming your immigration status in the US. Of course, if you have not applied for a green card replacement and not paying a consular fee, you will not be fined and will not lose permanent resident status.

Still, don’t let the green card to expire and update it on time. Without a valid certification, you will have problems with proving that you are a permanent resident, and this can also influence on your ability to travel or work in the US. This page will give you complete information about how to renew your Green Card and how much does it cost to renew green card.

As an alien, you may need going through Green Card renewal process if you, for example, lost it or someone had stolen it from you, or you just already passed a 10-year period of holding your card. That means your Green Card is expired and you need to apply for a new one as a renewed.

You need to renew your Green Card in case if:

  • card was lost, stolen or destroyed/ damaged
  • card was issued but never received by you
  • card was mutilated
  • card printed with incorrect data
  • name or other biometric information has been legally changed
  • have reached your 14th birthday and are registering as required
  • card is expiring within 6 months or has already expired
  • get a commuter status.

You can check the green card fees and cost of each case and find out the total amount of money you have to pay for your renewal, but also, there are cases which free to pass. Look at the link and find the exact example for your case in the chart, so you can be sure how much you need to pay.

Video – And know is a right time to ask how to apply to renew your Green Card?

It is important to apply and obtain permission to re-enter the US before leaving the country for 12 months or more, in order to avoid losing permanent resident status. Not being able to prove a temporary stay abroad can result in the loss of the Green Card. Nevertheless, in certain cases, if you have been abroad for a long period of time and did not have this permission, you can apply for an SB-1 visa for Green Card holders who wish to return to the United States.

If you are a permanent resident whose 10-year Green Card has expired or will expire within the next 6 months, you may begin the renewal process by:

  • Online E-Filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
  • Filing a paper Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card by mail
  • Pay the renew green card fee

If you are outside the United States and your green card will expire within 6 months (but you will return within 1 year of your departure from the United States and before the card expires), you should start the renewal process as soon as you come back to the United States.

If you are outside of the United States when the card expires and you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, you should contact the nearest U.S. Consulate, USCIS office, or U.S. port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal green card.

A good question too is when to renew a Green Card? You should renew your green card if you are a permanent resident with a Form I-551 valid for 10 years and the card is either expired or will expire within the next 6 months.

Status of your application for renewal process

You have a possibility to get to know about your case status online at My Case Status. Please remember that an e-filed receipt number may not be available through “My Case Status” for the first 72 hours. In case if you have additional questions about this theme, you also can make a call to the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283. You should be prepared to provide the USCIS staff with specific information about your application:

  • Alien Registration Number
  • Name and date of birth
  • Your receipt number

Be ready that your application can be denied. If that happened to your renewal application soon you will receive the letter which tells you why your application has been denied. You won’t appeal a negative decision. But you have a right to submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the same office that made the unfavorable decision about your case. By filing such a motion, you will ask the USCIS office to reexamine or reconsider its decision. Preparing to give facts and evidence that can help to prove that the negative decision was incorrect.

Sometimes happens you are having a previous version of the alien registration card, it may be USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103 or Form I-151. It means you must replace it with a current Green Card.

Green Card Renewal application Form I-90

Every person who submits a Form I-90, Application to Replace PR Card, can create a USCIS online account to track and manage their case online.
If you submit a paper Form I-90 application, you will receive a USCIS Account Acceptance Notice in the mail with instructions on how to create a USCIS online account. The advantages of having a USCIS online account are that you can:

  • Check the status of your case
  • Receive notifications and case updates
  • Respond to requests for evidence
  • Manage your contact information, including updating your address

If you are an attorney or accredited representative, creating a USCIS online account will allow you to manage all of your clients’ Form I-90 applications in one place.
USCIS organization will provide further processing on your application even if you choose not to access your USCIS online account. You will continue to receive notifications and updates about your application by mail through the U.S. Postal Service.

The USCIS office does not accept forms submitted without the correct biometric services fees now. You need pay the applicable biometric services fees which is 85$ when you filling your Form I 90.

The USCIS can reject your Form I-90 if there won’t be the correct biometric services fee paid already, as was written in the guidance for the filing the Form I-90.

Green Card Renewal Fee Waiver

If you need to apply for Green Card renewal, or changing status, or get a citizenship or other services in USCIS, but you don’t have enough money to pay the fee, you can use I-912 Form, Request for Fee Waiver. This form created for those who have some financial issues and cannot pay for USCIS services by themselves.

You can fill this form on the PC or write by hand. The only one condition which you need to know – as all immigration forms, the I-912 should be filled with black color and, if it’s possible, in block letters.

The full filled I-912 form should be attached to the other immigration form which you will send to the USCIS.

To submit this form are eligible those who:

  • Receive state disability benefits, food stamp, or social financial assistance. (Do not forget to attach proof to the completed form that you and/or your family will receive financial help from the state).
  • Whose family income is at or below the federal poverty line. (If this is your situation, and you do not receive social assistance but are below the poverty line, you should attach proofs in the form of a salary check, the number of family members, and the indication of monthly expenses for housing, food, utilities).
  • Currently in a difficult financial situation (for example, lack of work or other temporary difficulties, because of which you cannot pay the fee for the documents submitted.)

If your application provides biometric services (fingerprints), then the fee for them will also be excluded from the payment of immigration services. That is, you will not need to submit an additional form I-912 or pay this fee separately.

USCIS can reject your Form I-90 if there won’t be the correct biometric services fee paid already, as was written in the guidance for the filing the Form I-90.

How can you pay for renewal Green card

In nowadays exist two ways which will help you to pay for renewal process for your Green card.

You can pay with a check

Bank drafts, cashier’s checks, certified checks, personal checks, and money orders must be drawn on U.S. financial institutions and payable in U.S. funds. If you are paying your fees by check, please be aware of the following:

  • Authorization: By submitting your check, you authorize that USCIS authorities will convert your check into an electronic fund transfer. If the transfer cannot occur for technical reasons, you authorize us to process the copy of your original check through ordinary simple paper check bank procedures.
  • Electronic Deposit of Checks: If you are paying your fees by check, we will convert your check into an electronic fund transfer too. We will use the account information from your check to make an electronic fund transfer from your checking account for the amount of the check. It is an ordinary bank procedure.
  • Insufficient Funds: The electronic fund transfer from your account can occur faster than when you send a paper check to the USCIS office. If your check or other financial instrument is returned as unpayable, USCIS authorities will resubmit the payment one time again to re-check the process of payment. If it is returned as unpayable once again, the second time, USCIS will reject your filing and will charge you a 30$ returned check fee.

Personal checks must be pre-printed with the name of the bank and the account holder (your name). Also, your address and phone number must be pre-printed, typed or written in black ink on the check. All checks must be typed or written in black pen ink.

You can pay with a card

Also, you can make a payment with your card. You may use Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. You may also use pre-paid cards with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover logos on it. Check what cards you have in your wallet and find if there are a logos named before in the list.

If you choose to make a payment with a credit or gift card, you must pay the entire fee using a single card. Be sure that the credit card or gift card you want to use for a payment has enough money to cover the fee. USCIS will reject your application if the card is declined.

List of steps

To ensure your Form I-90 is accepted for processing:

  • Fill out the form completely and accurately
  • Sign the form with your signature
  • Pay the correct filing fee
  • Submit all evidence and supporting documentation listed in the Form Instructions. Please submit photocopies unless USCIS specifically requests originals.

Acceptable methods of payment:

  • Filing by Mail: Check or money order (No credit or debit card, no cash)
  • Filing Online: Credit card, debit card, or U.S. bank account
Reason for Application Form Fee Biometric Services Total
My card has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. $455 $85 $540
My previous card was issued but never received. free free free
My card has been mutilated. $455 $85 $540
My existing card has incorrect data because of DHS error. free free free
My name or other information has been legally changed. $455 $85 $540
My card will expire within six months or has already expired. $455 $85 $540
I have reached my 14th birthday, and my existing card will expire after my 16th birthday. $0 $85 $85
I have reached my 14th birthday and my existing card will expire before my 16th birthday. $455 $85 $540
I am a permanent resident who is taking up commuter status. $455 $85 $540
I am a commuter who is taking up residence in the U.S. $455 $85 $540
I have been automatically converted to permanent residence status. $455 $85 $540
I have a prior edition of the card, or I am applying to replace my card for a reason not specified above. $455 $85 $540

If you have any questions about this theme feel free to comment below and communicate with other people through the web site to help each other.Your point of view is very important for us.

So tell us what you want to know or ask any questions here.

FAQ: DV Lottery Green Card

The USA can be truly called a dream country for some people. More and more people nowadays wish to move to the USA, however, only lucky ones can find a reason to stay there. Once a year everyone has a chance to participate in a DV lottery, or, so called, green card lottery. A green card lottery is a chance to settle in the USA as it gets you a legal right to stay and work in the US.

Which country cannot participate in DV lotteries?
As known for today, DV lottery 2022 eligible countries are all countries except:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Vietnam
  • The Philippines
  • The United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • China (mainland-born)
  • Peru
  • Pakistan
  • Colombia
  • Nigeria
  • The Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Mexico
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • India

What diploma is needed for a DV lottery application?
Firstly, you should have completed and received a high school diploma when applying for a green card. For an actual submission of the application it is not important, however, if you win one, then you need to submit an evidence. If you’ve chosen to have an apprenticeship after a few years of school, then you need to have “a minimum of two years’ work experience (within the past five years) in a profession which requires at least two years of training”. So, in other words, if you successfully completed your make up courses and have a diploma and a recent work experience, there is no need to go to school for the diploma.

What are the DV lottery photo criteria?

  • Technical requirements: JPEG only; minimum file size is 240 KB; 600x600px; 24-bit in color
  • The photo should be taken no more than 6 months before applying for a green card
  • A person on the photo should look straight only, a face is seen clearly and not covered by hair or any accessories, the facial expression is neutral.
  • No shadows on the photo – this means not only shadows on the face, but also on the background and aside from you
  • No other objects should be in the photo
  • Glasses, scarfs, and hats are not permitted
  • The background must be white/light grey color only
  • Clear resolution is a must – no digital alternations are allowed, so if you want to zoom the picture after you’ve taken it, you will be disqualified due to the incompatible photo submitted

As well, if you have any children after 21 or if you are married, you will need to put a full information about your family member as well. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have an up-to-date passport style photo of your family members too.

Revealing time: DV lottery status check
After the application, make sure you’ve printed out the details on the screen which contain your contact details and unique reference number that you will need later. Results are available mid-May till September so at this time it worth checking an official website with a reference number you’ve taken note of when applying back in October/November. If you see a message that you are invited, congratulations, you are the lucky one!

Is middle name the same as father’s name?
No, they are different things in the US. If you don’t have a middle name (eg Anna Victoria Berg, Victoria is a middle name), just tick a box underneath.

What if I have several middle names on my birth certificate?
Typically, in the US they put only initial of the middle name on most documents (eg driving license), so just choose the one you use most of the time.

If I have several names, can my middle one be my first name?
No, it can’t. Later you will need to prove your identity, and therefore your first name should always stay first. For example, Mary Lucy Grace Smith can be registered as Mary Grace Smith, but not as Lucy Grace Smith.

What if I am a transgender?
Unless you are a registered transgender and your documents are officially changed, you will need to put your physical gender when doing an application.

I am HIV positive, does this matter?
No, luckily for you this is no longer a ground of inadmissibility.

What if I am an LGBT person?
You are welcome to apply. If you have the same-sex partner, you should include him as a spouse in your application as well.

What if there are several cities with this name in my country?
Don’t worry about this, just fill in the name, please, don’t put any extra information in this field.

What if my city has been renamed recently?
Put the name of the city like in your birth certificate first, then dash and a new name (eg Leningrad – St. Petersburg)

Should it be my mailing address written down?
No, it is just the mail address for correspondence, it can be your friend’s one or your rental postal address.

Should I submit my application from the eligible country only? Is it IP-tracked?
It doesn’t matter where on the globe you are now as soon as you have a stable internet connection to fill in the form.

What if I am married but we don’t live together?
According to your documents, you are still married, therefore, you should tick married. Otherwise, you will be penalized.

What if we live together for several years?
Unfortunately, only legal documents are considered, therefore you are not married according to those.

What if I don’t take my child with me to the USA?
Despite your future plans, you need to put them in the application anyway.

What if my spouse has children from the previous relationship? They are not technically mine, right?
Officially you are some way related to them, therefore you should include his children in your application as well unless they’ve been adopted.

Can I submit several applications?
No, this will not only not increase your chance of winning but remove you from participation. Only one application is accepted from one person

Do I need to check the official website regularly?
It is worthwhile checking the website after results are revealed several times. Sometimes some applications are not accepted further, and the program chooses new winners.

What if I forgot to take note of my reference ID?
Unfortunately, there is no way to restore it for now. Try one more time next year, but be more careful this time.

Can my spouse apply as well?
Yes, there are absolutely no restrictions on that, each person can submit one application.

Are there any hidden fees?
Participation is free and doesn’t require any charges to be paid. However, if you win, you should be prepared to pay fees for the paperwork required and the interview being conducted

How often does the DV lottery happen?
Once a year, starting from mid-October till early November. Always check dates on the US government immigration page in September for more precise information.

What if I applied for an immigrant visa in a different category already? Can I be a participant?
Yes, there are no restrictions on this if you are eligible.

How much time we have to receive a DV visa starting DV lottery reveal dates?
You have one calendar year exactly to do this, from 1st October to 30 September next year to complete the paperwork and health checks and do the interview. After this date, you will need to participate again if you want to receive a green card and the whole process will need to be repeated.

Do I need to know English to submit an application?
For submitting itself it is not a requirement. However, remember, that at the end you need to persuade your interviewer that you will be a good match to an American society, and your chances if you don’t know English are smaller, so it worth starting attending courses as soon as possible after applying.

What if something happens with the main applicant? Can his/her spouse still go or…?
Unfortunately, in this case, your DV application is terminated and the other winner is chosen. It means that nobody from the family listed in the application will be able to go.

Can I do some parts of the application now and some tomorrow?
Unfortunately, there is no safe button in there, so worth checking your internet connection and make a tea prior to the start. All information required is needed to be filled in one go.

If I win and get through the interview, is there any support available to me?
You can always ask for advice, however, there are no subsidies for transport, healthcare and housing expenses. Moreover, you will need to provide an evidence that you are able to pay for them and will not become a public charge in the US once you are there.

Are there any age restrictions?
Technically not, however, in practice due to educational requirements people under 18 are often disqualified from further participation after the interview stage.

What are the next steps?
Winning a green card doesn’t mean that you are going to the US next week. It means a year of hard paperwork, diplomatic interview and about $1000 of cash (hopefully, not wasted ones).

In the end, the decision to let you in or not is from the officer who interviews you, so you need to convince him why you need to go to the US and what skills you can bring to the country. Don’t try to lie – everything you say can be checked and if the truth becomes revealed at the end, you will lose your chance to participate.

Once you approved, you will need to have a full health check conducted. In order not to spend more money here, better to take a note from your GP and translate it into English first in order to get rid of not necessary vaccinations. And only after all the above, you can go to have your fingers scanned to be present on your green card.

Hope this helps you on your way to the dream! Good luck with your application and check what else you need to know before moving to the USA here.

10 epic fails while you are applying for a GC (Green Card)

More than one million people annually apply for a GC in the US. This moment is a significant for all families, and for many, it is the first step to “American dream”.

Often the documents which submitted to the USCIS contain errors on the part of the applicants. Because of them, consideration of the issue of issuing a GC may be delayed or even lead to a refusal.

1. You didn’t submit all the necessary documents

Possible loss of time: from 6 months to 2 years
The potential loss of money: $ 500

The application for a GC is not the only form that you fill out and send to the USCIS. The process is not that simple. The application for a GC is a complex of 8-12 official forms plus additional documents.

Together they make an application for a GC. You can apply for a status change for a relative who is already in the US or fills out a GC application for the spouse or parent who lives in another country. In any case, you will have to submit several forms to get a GC eventually.

If you do not submit some form, it will have guaranteed refuse in consideration of the application. In some cases, for example, you can send all required forms to the USCIS at the same time. This is called simultaneous filing, and it helps to shorten the duration of the process for years.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that you not missed any of form or fill they corrected, otherwise you will lose valuable time.

2. Some documents do not have English translate

Possible loss of time: 6 months

When submitting process begin, you hand over a lot of additional papers proving your identity. Such documents as:

  • a birth certificate;
  • marriage certificate;
  • driver’s license;
  • passport;
  • visa;
  • information from a bank account;

If you are not from an English-speaking country, all documents must be translated into English. If you do not translate the documents and do not notarize the translation, it may delay processing the application for up to six months.

3. The documents without a signature

Possible loss of time: 6 months
The potential loss of money: $ 50-100

All time spent on the ideal documents filling will be useless if you do not sign them, and exactly where you need them. This is important: make sure you SIGN ALL DOCUMENTS. Also, make sure you understand correctly what kind of documents are required be a sign and by whom. For a GC application necessary sign, in some places, of “beneficiary” or an “applicant”.

In other cases, the person who sponsors the recipient of the GC is signed, in some place for “petitioner” or “applicant” on different forms. This is difficult to understand, but if you do not understand at all, then USCIS will automatically reject the application. Spend a couple of minutes trying to re-check everything before sending documents to the US government.

4. Incorrect payment of the fee for submitting forms

Possible loss of time: 2-4 months

Many people wrongly pay GC fees for processing applications for a GC. On each form of USCIS instructions are prescribed how much to pay for processing this particular form or application. For an application for a GC, prepare to shell out more than $ 1,000 to the account of the US government. If you pay $ 100-300 – this indicates as an error. USCIS will return you your application along with the invoice to the correct amount, and you will automatically be moved to the end of the queue, which cannot fail to disappoint.

5. You missed important deadlines

Possible loss of time: 6 months
Another possible aftermath: Refusal to accept an application

After your arrival in the United States and the beginning of the GC application process, the clock starts counting down several important deadlines that you are required to know about. Do not forget about the validity of your visa, the date of processing the application, the dates of the interview and, finally, the deadline for renewal after 2 years.

If you miss these dates, your application can be rejected. The US government is very strict about deadlines and suggests that if a person does not fulfill them, he does not want to get a legal residence permit. Make sure that you correctly understand the deadlines on the application, as well as where you need to be at this time, so as not to miss an important meeting and get a GC.

6. Fake personal data

Possible loss of time: 6 months – 1 year
Another possible aftermath: a lifetime ban on entering the USA

Fake personal data, even if it is an accident, can be counted as giving false information in the questionnaire. If the US government suspects you of this, you will ONLY be banned from entering and can force you to leave the US forever. Always have at hand all the dates, places, data on convictions and other important details when filling out forms. So you will avoid mistakes in your data and the subsequent ban on entering the US.

7. Fraud catch you

Possible loss of time: 6 months – 2 year
The potential loss of money: $500-5000

Annually thousands of people trying to get benefits from immigrants. For example — attorney. Highly important to realize that if everything sounds unreal cool, there had some chances that you’ve been cheated. Stay away from the sites, which asking your credit card data and do not give you any guarantee. Avoid untruthful attorney who asked about prepaid before completed your case.

Do most of the work yourself before trusting someone personal immigration documents. If you make a mistake and contact with fraud, you may lose the chance to obtain a residence permit for good.

8. You didn’t ask for help with documents

Possible loss of time: 6 months

If you are trying to do something complicated without someone help, there is a high probability that you will go wrong. When you learn to play chess, mistakes are good, you will grow on them and avoid them in the next game. But immigration is not a game; here mistakes are expensive. Do not waste valuable time and money trying to do everything yourself.

Filling immigration documents frightens even those who speak fluent English. Many organizations and resources can help you with the process. Use them to avoid mistakes. Each year, USCIS rejects more than 100,000 applications because of errors that could be avoided.

Having received the right help, you can easily avoid these mistakes and save many months or even years of expectations. Do not ask for help can be one of the most expensive misses.

9. You do not fit the requirements for apply

Possible loss of time: 6 months

If you apply for a GC, but do not suit the conditions, your application will be denied. This is elementary, but it is sometimes difficult to understand how and when to apply. If you apply for a GC too early, too late or something like that, you will lose many months of valuable time. The USCIS service has developed special tools that you can use to understand. Even if you did everything by yourself, it is sometimes useful to consult an immigration lawyer to make sure that you did not miss anything important.

10. Problems with financial requirements

Possible loss of time: 2-4 months

When you are applying for a GC, you need to have a financial sponsor. This person submits Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support.

There are several requirements for a financial sponsor: he must be a US citizen, he must reside in the US and his income must meet the criteria in Form I-864R, where a subsistence minimum is prescribed to provide a letter of guarantee.

If your sponsor does not earn enough, he can invite another person to act as a co-sponsor, if together their income meets the requirements of the US government.
But if one more person is added as a sponsor, then the income criteria are also increased. In general, in connection with the form of I-864, you can make many errors, so it is highly important that you carefully read the criteria for this papers.

Hope our article save your time, and you will avoid the most common mistakes while getting a Green Card. If you have questions — don’t hesitate — contact us or write comments below!

Application for a Permanent Resident Card

Immigration legislation is very rigid in the US. Attempts to cross the border illegally are persecuted, the perpetrators are deported. The main goal of all immigrants is a PR Card which allows living in the US for an unlimited time, empowers a foreigner with extensive rights.

What is a Permanent Resident Card?

A PR Card is a permit to live in the US. It has a greenish color. Hence its other name Green Card appeared. Officially, it is called the United States Permanent Resident. It is issued in form of a plastic card, contains personal info of the immigrant, his fingerprints, a digital photo, other data about the holder.

PR Card gives the foreigner almost equal rights with the Americans, except the following details:

  • the possibility to participate in voting and elections is absent;
  • it’s forbidden to leave the US for a long time (6-12 months) without important reasons;
  • cancellation of the card and deportation from the state is possible in case of laws violation;
  • restrictions on receiving privileges and aids have been established.
  • What advantages does PR Card grant

    The holder of this document receives a number of advantages:

    • possibility to visit and leave the country without additional documentation;
    • a lifelong right to reside in the US. Although every 10 years card needs to be extended, you don’t have to give up your citizenship;
    • saving on training owing to special discounts for immigrants, receiving of various grants financed by the authorities;
    • the possibility of employment in any American company except structures related to state secrets where only Americans are hired;
    • registering your own business in the US or buying an already operating company;
    • social benefits for pensioners provided that they have worked in the US for more than 10 years;
    • the right to bring your relatives (spouse, minor children) to the US;
    • the ability to receive loans, register mortgages at low interest;
    • more rapid resolution of many social and medical issues;
    • free movement within the state;
    • the possibility of buying firearms and real estate;
    • reduced interest rates on taxes;
    • the prospect of entering into US citizenship after 5 years.

    Obligations and limitations of the PR Card owner

    In addition to a variety of rights, the immigrant receives a number of duties failure of which leads to a loss of status. You’ll have to:

    • observe the American laws;
    • declare your income annually and pay all taxes;
    • support the US state administration system, do not commit actions aimed at changing the state structure of the country;
    • men aged 18-25 should have the military records (they will not have to serve in the army, there is no conscription system in the US)

    Ways of application for PR Card

    A candidate must have grounds for Permanent Resident Card application. Foreigners can use one of the following ways:

    1. Reunification with the family provided that your direct relative with an American passport resides in the US.
    2. Marriage with a US citizen. Documents confirming close relations between spouses will be required. It is necessary to pass the interviews with experienced psychologists before officials are convinced that marriage is not fictitious. Applicants can use family photos from a personal archive, information on common children as evidence.
    3. Employment in an American company. If an immigrant officially works in the US with a visa, and the company is interested in his services, the employer can apply to the immigration department for a residence permit for his employee.
    4. Receiving asylum. A foreigner can count on protection from persecution at home. Evidence of this fact will be required.
    5. Investments in the US economy. Their sum should exceed 500 thousand dollars.
    6. Studying in the USA. Such a path is a long but at the same time the most reliable option. First, a foreigner enters any American university, receives a diploma and finds a job on the basis of H-1 visa, then applies for a PR Card.
    7. Lottery. US authorities annually grant 55,000 PR Cards to citizens of countries with low-intensive immigration. In the autumn of each year, participants registration starts. Winners are selected randomly using special software.

    When is it impossible to apply for PR Card?

    Firstly, it concerns the state of health. A migrant can’t obtain a document if he has medical contraindications:

    • presence of diseases or mental disorders dangerous for surrounding people;
    • drug addiction;
    • the absence of necessary vaccinations;
    • the presence of a serious illness (because of the risk that the person will be on the state’s maintenance).

    Secondly, problems with the law and migration legislation will call into question the move to the United States. This means that the applicant:

    • committed a dangerous intentional crime;
    • in the past, he was in the United States on illegal grounds for more than 180 days;
    • he was deported from the country during previous trips;
    • false documents were presented for visa registration, the fictitious marriage was fixed.

    Where to get a Permanent Resident Card

    You can fill in the PR Card application form in the embassy of the United States. Package of docs varies depending on the reason for receiving the card. The candidate passes an interview and a medical examination.

    After the request is accepted, the candidate must travel to the US within next 6 months. At the border, a foreign passport with a visa is presented. After that, a temporary document is issued for 1 year. A permanent option with 10-year validity will be sent to your home address in the US.

    If the document’s receipt took place in the US, you have to contact the immigration department where the applications are reviewed.

    Documents needed for PR Card application

    The main papers needed are:

    • Online questionnaire. The document is printed, signed and submitted for an interview.
    • International passport.
    • A photo corresponding to the established requirements.
    • Certificate of criminal records absence.
    • Receipt for fee payment.
    • Medical certificates.

    Additional papers which may be required:

    • documentation of financial solvency;
    • certificates of birth, marriage or divorce;
    • documents confirming family ties;
    • invitation letter.

    Permanent Resident Card validity and renewal

    There are 2 types of cards: conditional and permanent. The first document may be used for 2 years. A person should meet some rules to get a permanent card for 10 years.

    Six months before the end of a period, the holder must renew PR Card (application form I-90). Violation of this condition does not lead to a loss of status but will cause difficulties in finding a job, traveling abroad, buying a house, an apartment or a car, preparing a driving license. There are no fines for delay of application to renew PR Card in state law.

    However, the issue of timely re-registration should be taken responsibly. Serious difficulties may appear when entering the US. Border guards will demand confirmation of your status and may prohibit entry into the country.

    The last phenomenon is extremely rare but such cases occur sometimes. If the border guards will allow entry, you will have to pay a commission. So don’t forget to use the application form for PR Card renewal in prescribed time.

    We hope that it was useful for you to find out what the PR Card is, what are the ways of its acquisition and when to fill in the PR Card renewal application.

    Are there some questions about US permanent residence? Ask everything you want to know in comments.

Tracking your green card status

Those people, who are applying for green cards within the United States can track the status of their applications through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by phone or online, reports the Department of Homeland Security. Those, who are applying through consular processing, can track USCIS application status in monthly U.S. Department of State visa bulletins.

Tracking a green card status APP

Worth to know — that in nowadays there is NO Tracking Your Green Card Status APP! Just be aware and try not being the caught by fraud. You can check your green card status ONLY on the official website of the USCIS.

The ability to change status from nonimmigrant to immigrant while living in the United States of America is known as adjustment of status, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Eligibility is usually based on family, employment, humanitarian needs or other special considerations. Applicants typically file forms, provide photos and fingerprints, and appear for the personal interview. They are notified of final decisions by paper mail in writing. To track their case status by phone or online, applicants must provide information such as the application receipt number.

The process of obtaining a green card from outside of the United States is known as consular processing as reported by the Department of Homeland Security.

Criteria for eligibility are the same. Applicants usually show a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which passes approved petitions on to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. Because there are a limited number of visas available in some categories, potential immigrants must wait in queues based on their visa numbers, and the monthly visa bulletins inform them of their position in the queue.

Method №1: tracking a green card status online

There are several ways to track your green card status or track the case status as well. The online system permits to track the green card status immediately if you have a confirmation number of registered entry. You can track if you were granted a green card via the electronic system on the official site of the Immigration Department of the United States of America.

Video — How to track your green card status?

There is another possibility to track your green card status. If you have been registered for a DV Lottery for a getting green card as a national lottery, which is settled up every year.

If you have a confirmation number for the Diversity Lottery of Green Card you need to go to the link and fill all the required information.

  1. A confirmation number. The confirmation number was given to you at the end of the process of registration you as a person who wants to apply for a green card during the lottery time. The confirmation number consists of letters and numbers and include four numbers at the beginning which are the year of getting your green card in case if you win it. For example: 2019P6758N6Y0JNM.
  2. Full name or last name/surname/family name. You need to type it correctly as well as you did it when you have been completing the data during the process of applying a green card lottery sections.
  3. Date of birth. You need to fill up the month, day and year of your birth as well too.

As soon as you fill this data into the correct lines on the official site system which is for the tracking your winning status as a green card lottery member, you will get the notification. It may be written in two ways. You can win your green card immediately or your entry won’t be selected at all by the system.

Important! Don’t be frustrated if your entry won’t win for the first time. You will be able to track your confirmation lottery number again if your tracking green card number win or not within next six month.

Also, you can track your case status too. There is a special page for it. You can track your case status of your application online.

If you still have any questions about your application status or you can’t track the information, or have troubles with finding your case number, you can dial the customer service center by 1-800-375-52-83.

If you already set up all the application, know the number of your visa case as well or simply want to track your application status, you can see it on the site of Department of State, at Consular Electronic Application Center.

track status
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Choose the link and then pick up the visa status check availability. Choose the visa application type. There are two of them. Immigrant visa IV and Nonimmigrant Visa NIV. After it, type correctly the immigrant visa case number that was given to you previously. At the final step, make sure for the system you are not a bot, by typing the code which is the system proposes to you at a shown picture. Press a submit button to see the result

Method №2: tracking a green card status with CEAC Status Check

There are some other ways to check your green card visa status. You can track your visa application by using the Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) Status Check.

You may also contact the National Visa Center at phone number (603) 334-07-00 to receive an update on your case.

To use the CEAC Status Check, you just need to enter your CEAC Barcode and the interview location for nonimmigrant visa (NIV) cases and the case number for immigrant visa (IV) cases.

Also, you can check your application or petition as it moves through the immigration process by visiting official web resource and select the feature “check your case status”.

You will need your 13-character receipt number which can be found on your receipt notice. It begins with three letters such as (EAC, WAC, LIN, or SRC). You can register for automatic case status updated by email and text message by “creating an account” via the “check your case status” feature on the same official site as was mentioned before.

Moreover it, you can always contact with official persons from the Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center for your status tracking and other questions. There is an online help also available. You can start the live conversation with the consultant and ask any questions you need to know answers on.

track status
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Basically, you have many chances not only to get to know your status as an applicant but to get to know more useful information for the future. You will definitely need an additional information just because no matter what type of visa you asking for, you will need to get to the United States personally. That is why, the more information you will get, more you will know how to behave when you will get your visa to the U.S.

The procedure of tracking your green card status is not difficult at all. But don’t hurry up to track it again and again. The system is working properly and there is no need to recheck it too often for any changes in your visa case.

It is possible that you can find out your entry wasn’t selected this year for a green card lottery. Don’t be frustrated. As you already understood there are many possible ways to become a green card holder.