Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Apply Green Card

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Instructions for Completing Form I-90

Why Should a Lawful Permanent Resident File Form I-90?

Green card holders can apply for a Green Card renewal by filing Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, so as to keep their Green Card updated. Form I-90 must also be filed with the USCIS in order to request for a replacement of a Green Card.

Things to be noted while completing Form I-90

Under the section for entering the applicant’s name, the name entered should match exactly with the name listed on the Green Card, unless otherwise the Green Card contains an error or if there has been a formal name change of the applicant. In case of the applicant not receiving the green card, then it should match exactly with what is listed on the alternative identity proof that is submitted along with Form I-90.

A# refers to the applicant’s Alien Registration number that is printed on his/her Green card.

Information in response to the following questions should be in the mentioned format.

  • City of Residence where the applicant applied for an Immigrant Visa or Adjustment of Status refers to the city where the applicant was residing when he/she filed an Immigrant Visa or Adjustment of Status petition.
  • Consulate where the Immigrant Visa was issued or the USCIS office where status was adjusted refers to the U.S. consulate where the applicant’s Immigrant Visa was issued or the USCIS Service Center which approved the applicant’s Adjustment of Status petition.
  • To the question on the Date of Admission as an Immigrant or Adjustment of Status, the date on which the applicant entered the U.S. on an Immigrant Visa or the date on which the applicant’s Adjustment of Status application was approved by the USCIS
  • To the question on the Destination in U.S. at time of admission, the applicant should enter the city and state where he/she was planning to go after arriving in the U.S. In case the applicant falls under the Adjustment of Status criteria, then he/she must write Not Applicable.
  • To the question on Port of entry where admitted to U.S, the applicant should indicate the city and state through which the applicant gained entry into the U.S. This information is stamped on the passport of the applicant. Applicants falling under the Adjustment of Status criteria should indicate that they are Not Applicable.
  • To the question, “Are you in removal/deportation or rescission proceedings?” the applicant should check the appropriate box and, if applicable, provide a detailed explanation on a separate sheet of paper. A Permanent Resident who is in the process of removal proceedings has a right to get a proof of a permanent resident until the final order of removal is issued. Temporary proof can be issued to cover the removal proceedings of the applicant.
  • To the question, “Since you were granted permanent residence, have you ever filed Form I-407?”, the applicant should check the appropriate box and submit a detailed explanation on a separate sheet of paper. Generally, Form I-90 will be rejected if the applicant’s answer is “Yes”, unless otherwise there is proof that they did not abandon their status of a permanent resident. Under such circumstances, the applicant should seek the assistance of an immigration attorney.

Finally, the applicant must sign and date the Form I-90.

Source:Instructions for Completing Form I-90

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Immigration Scams - Immigration Direct


Evaluating immigration services is as important as when evaluating any purchase of business-related services. It is always in your best interest to understand the terms and conditions you will be agreeing to in relation to the services you will be receiving.

There are immigration companies out there that will not provide the services as they describe. These companies are immigration scams. The information provided here is intended to help you:

(i) make the right choice when you require help with your immigration application or petition;
(ii) locate and identify educational resources that are available; and
(iii) avoid falling victim to an immigration scam.

Identifying immigration-related services that are actually immigration scams can be done in many ways. For example, blogs may be a good way to gain knowledge on immigration service companies; however, blogs are often used as a competitive tool to drive business away from other companies. Immigration companies, or any company for that matter, may pay individuals to post false information (mostly anonymous) about other immigration service companies. The best suggestion is to always read the terms and conditions available on the site before doing business or purchasing any type of service. Legitimate companies generally will post their terms and conditions and have contact information, including a legitimate telephone number and an email address to reach their customer service department.read more here at immigration direct scam

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Tri Valley University Immigration Scam

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hispanic Group Critiques Obama on Immigration Reform

Despite improving some services and moving to block strict state laws, the administration of President Barack Obama has not delivered on immigration reform promises, according to a recent National Hispanic Leadership Agenda progress report.

“In no other area of public policy have the Obama Administration and Congress over-promised and under-delivered more than immigration,” the report states.

In its report, NHLA praises the U.S. Department of Justice for securing an injunction against Arizona’s strict omnibus immigration law, SB 1070, which NHLA says would have led to racial profiling in the state. The organization also recognizes the administration for cracking down on vigilante anti-immigrant crime and commends U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for streamlining naturalization processes.

These positive steps have been overshadowed, NHLA says, by legislative inaction or stalemates at the federal level. No action has been taken on Congressional bills to reunite immigrant families, and after passage in the House of Representatives, the Senate blocked passage of the Dream Act. In addition to these legislative disappointments, NHLA says the Obama Administration has increased deportations of Hispanic immigrants.

The U.S. Supreme Court might soon provide direction regarding immigration reform, as the state of Arizona recently petitioned the top court to overturn the injunction blocking SB 1070.

Hispanic Group Critiques Obama on Immigration Reform

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Immigrants with Entrepreneurial Spirits Could Gain Green Cards

Officials at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) recently announced a policy shift that would allow foreigners who dream of owning a business in the states an easier path to obtaining a green card, the New York Daily News reports.

"What we hope is that we will receive more applications and petitions," explained Alejandro Mayorkas, director of CIS.

The laws for legal residency and citizenship will remain the same for now, but the initiative by CIS is designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs find waivers and possible loopholes to expedite their bids for green cards. Staff members at CIS will also be trained on how the visa rules apply to owners of start-up businesses. The agency is especially interested in foreigners who want to start businesses in the high-tech industry.

Applicants must show how their work will benefit America in order to have their information fast tracked. However, the normal rules still apply regarding quotas that allot a certain number of work visas to be given to highly skilled foreign workers from a particular country.

According to the University of Pennsylvania, one in four American technology and engineering companies founded between 1995 and 2005 had at least one founder that was foreign-born.

Source:Immigrants with Entrepreneurial Spirits Could Gain Green Cards

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Congressman Arrested During Immigration Protest

A prominent proponent of immigration reform in Congress was arrested recently in front of the White House during a sit-in that protested President Barack Obama's deportations of illegal immigrants, Fox News Latino reports.

Representative Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, was accompanied by hundreds of activists as they protested for two hours before the White House.

According to the news source, America has deported more than 1 million undocumented immigrants under the direction of Obama since he became president over two years ago. The protesters argue that these actions go against his campaign promise to reform the immigration system.

Gutierrez and the other protesters issued an ultimatum to the President, asking that he halt these deportations before August 15. If not, the group vowed to create a campaign to discourage Hispanics, a powerful voting force for Democrats, from voting for the President during his re-election.

The protest was a peaceful display as federal agents looked on, but arrests were made when Gutierrez and the other demonstrators refused to leave after two warnings from police.

WBBM in Chicago reports that Gutierrez was released from custody that afternoon after he paid a $100 fine.

Source: Congressman Arrested During Immigration Protest

Monday, July 25, 2011

Do you need to renew your Green Card?

The New Year is fast approaching. Is it time to renew your expired Green Card? Keep in mind that green card renewals are necessary every ten (10) years. visit the uscis.gov for details.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Immigration to US and Its Nuances

USA has undergone a vast change in its ethnicity, culture and population due to massive inflow of immigrants into the country. Presently in US, there are more than 38 million authorized and illegal immigrants from the chief emigrating nations of India, Mexico and Philippines. Stark antagonists of illegal entry ask the entrants to get in proper line, without considering how long the line can be.

Guidelines to Legally Immigrate to US

1.Immigration through Relationship with US Citizen – The easiest way to immigrate into US is through a family member. If you have a US citizen as your relative (spouse, children and parents), then you can acquire a green card through family. After being a green card holder for 3 years in case of a partner and 5 years otherwise, you can become a citizen of US after passing a civics and language test. So it’s a matter of 6-7 years. However, if you are a descendant of a citizen, but above 21 years, then you have to wait for 12-28 years to get your turn to immigrate, which further depends on the wait time of your country.

2.Immigration through relationship with Green Card Holder – A legal permanent resident can get his/her spouse and children to immigrate to US. Although the waiting period depends on your native country, it is a normal 13 years wait for the spouse and single children and 20 years in case of married children to immigrate to US. Moreover, you cannot apply for any other immigrant petition if your case is pending with the US Consulate.

3.Skilled Labor and Professionals Immigration – Some special skills or degree on some specialization done in some college of USA or other country might earn you a ticket to USA. The first step in this process is to get a job where your employer is prepared to pay a legal fee of approximately $8000 to $10000, to prove your extra skills. After getting the H1-B visa or non-immigrant US visa it will take another 5-6 years to get the green card and another 5 years to become citizen. So it is a long process of 12-16 years to immigrate to US under this category. All this is only possible when your employer is ready to file H1-B petition.

4.Businessman and Entrepreneur Immigration – You can get a green card and immigrate with a status of permanent resident in only 18 months, if you can invest $1 million in US. With 5 years wait you can also get a citizenship of US. So in this category you can immigrate to US completely in about a period of 7 years.

5.Government Approved Defense Scientist – You can be exempted from this long queue and immigrate to US as a lawful resident, if you are supremely intelligent and working on a brilliant project outside US, and become useful to the US Government. Amazingly you can become the citizen of America the very next day as well.

The Process Involved

In spite of its strict rules, US, is the sole country, which allows most migrants to immigrate legally in comparison to all the countries of the world combined. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, has to be submitted by a US citizen or a green card holder (sponsor), at the center of USCIS having authority over their place of living in US. Similarly, Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker has to be submitted by US employers in the area where the migrant is expected to work in US.

After receiving the approval of USCIS, the application goes to National Visa Center (NVC), which provides guidelines to applicants, petitioners and sponsors. NVC receives fees and documents of the visa application, notifies the concerned person about their priority date becoming current and is the authority to approve or reject the application.

Source:Immigration to US and Its Nuances

Friday, June 24, 2011

Immigration Act

Immigration legislation in the United States dates back to 1790, where the Naturalization Act of 1790 laid down the rules for naturalized citizenship, as delineated in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. At the time, no restrictions were placed on immigration but citizenship was limited to white persons. By 1795 and 1798, Naturalization Acts were enacted that required individuals to establish the date of initial residency as well as lengthening the required period of residency before becoming a U.S. citizen. In the 1800s, several legislative acts were enacted that placed restrictions on immigration. The Page Act of 1875 was the first federal that prohibited the entry of immigrants considered to be “undesirable.” This included anyone from Asia coming to the U.S. as a contract laborer and all people considered convicts in their original country of residency. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 became the first race-based immigration ins legislation that suspended Chinese immigration and the ban was meant to be in existence for 10 years but was not repealed until December 17, 1943 by the Magnuson Act.

The Naturalization Act of 1906 standardized immigration procedures, making some knowledge of English a requirement and also established the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. The Immigration Act of 1917 restricted immigration from Asia by creating an “Asiatic Barred Zone” and introduced a reading test for all immigrant over the age of 14 years, with children, wives and elderly people excepted and the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 placed annual restrictions on immigration from a given country to 3% of the number of people from that country living in the United States in 1910. The Immigration Act of 1924, or the Johnson-Reed Act, was aimed at freezing immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans, who seemed to immigrating in big numbers since 1890’s. This ban was also extended to Asians. The Immigration Act of 1924 also established the Nations Origin Formula. This basically stated that total annual immigration was capped at 150,000 individuals and this restriction was only applied to individuals from “ quota-nations.”

The Immigration Act was in full force as a law until 1952 when the law was changed to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (or McCarren-Walter Act). This legislation somewhat relaxed immigration from Asia but it gave more power to the government in deporting illegal immigrants suspected of being Communists. This was consistent with anti-Communist tendencies of the time of McCarthyism.

According to some historians, the Immigration Act that really changed the shape and culture of the United States was the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (or Hart-Cellar Act). This legislation discontinued quotas based on national origins and at the same time, preference was given to those who had U.S. relatives. What this Immigration Act did was invalidate decades of excluding very systematically immigrants coming to the United States from Asia, Mexico, Latin America and other foreign countries and also transformed the culture, economic and demographic distinctiveness of many urban areas.

The United States is a young, democratic republic that is still evolving. As one can plainly see, its policies on immigration have been mixed, from those that were restrictive to those that liberalized our approach to immigration. But it is a nation of immigrants that contribute to the vitality of our culture, our society and innovative spirit. Establishing and enacting immigration laws will always be a part of the U.S. And depending on the times, it will always have its ups

Source: Immigration Act

Friday, June 17, 2011

Voided Green Card Winners Sue State Department

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the US State Department on behalf of thousands of people who were accidentally told they would likely receive green cards in May due to a computer glitch, according to the Huffington Post.

On May 1, the State Department mistakenly posted that about 22,000 people from across the world had won the Diversity Visa lottery, which would allow about 50,000 randomly selected people from nations with low immigration rates relocate to the US. However, the agency said a computer problem accidentally selected 90 percent of winners from a pool of people who had applied for the green card within the first few days the draw was opened, leading it to void most of the winners. As a result, many people who thought they would soon be moving to the US must re-enter the drawing for July.

A lawyer representing the 22,000 jilted applicants claims the selection process during the voided lottery was still sufficiently random because it was not manipulated by any party, the news website reports.

"Such results could have happened naturally, and even if there was a computer glitch, as the Department contends … there was a level playing field," he wrote.

The source said the lawsuit asks the State Department to allow the May lottery winners, as well as the winners of a July drawing, to apply for final Diversity Visas.

Those selected for a green card through the Diversity Visa program are able to receive a fast path to permanent residence without a family member or employer as a sponsor, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Source: Voided Green Card Winners Sue State Department

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Couples Plead Guilty to Switching Partners in Marriage Fraud Case

Two couples living in Alabama pled guilty to federal fraud charges for participating in green card marriages, according to the Press-Register.

The foreign couple, Moldovans Marin Limbas and Ludmila Bacioi Seal, have been sentenced to time served and will be handed over to immigration officials for deportation. The newspaper said the Americans, Christopher Seal and Surina Christine Seal Limbas, will be sentenced in September.

Court records show that all four defendants admitted to submitting fraudulent documents with immigration authorities in order to gain permanent residency for the foreigners, who entered the US legally on work visas. The Moldovans, who are a couple, were friends with the Americans, who agreed to the sham marriages as a favor, reported the paper.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Bordenkircher told the court that other than the marriage fraud, the Moldovan couple were law-abiding residents. He did not seek additional jail time for the pair.

The Center for Immigration Studies reports marrying a US citizen is the most common way foreign nationals receive US citizenship. More than 2.3 million foreigners received.

Source:Couples Plead Guilty to Switching Partners in Marriage Fraud Case

Friday, June 3, 2011

USCIS Changes Immigration Document Mailing Set Up

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has completely implemented a change to the way it mails out important immigration documents.

The federal agency said that the Secure Mail Initiative (SMI) has been implemented and it will utilize US Postal Service (USPS) Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation. This change will ensure that immigration documents are not only delivered in a secure fashion but also that they arrive in a timely manner, according to the USCIS.

SMI will allow those waiting for important immigration ins documents – such as permanent residence cards and employment authorizations – to track their packages using the Post Office's tracking system. It will also get these US green cards and other documents to their intended recipients. According to a release from the USCIS, post sent as USPS Priority Mail usually arrives two to four days sooner than first-class mail.

The USCIS said in its release that those waiting for immigration documents should wait at least two weeks after they get their approval notices to contact the agency for further information.

Source: USCIS changes immigration document mailing set up

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Renewing A Green Card

Green cards grant permanent resident status to individuals but even if one follows all the responsibilities that come with this status, the card must typically be renewed every 10 years.

Those who should renew are usually green card holders with a Form I-551, which is valid for a decade. After 10 years, or within six months of the 10-year period, individuals should file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card either online or via mail.

Once this form is filed, applicants can check their status either at the website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center.

Those who are abroad when their green card will expire but have not applied for a Green Card Renewal prior to their departure should contact the closest USCIS office, American port of entry or US Consulate before filing Form I-90.

Those who are not permanent residents and have conditional resident status should not follow these instructions and should instead file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, to attempt to have their status changed.

Source: Renewing a green card

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

US Senators Urge Crack Down On “Sham” Universities

A number of prominent US senators recently sent a letter to President Barack Obama's administration, urging it deal with supposed "sham" universities that exist solely to give US student visas to illegal immigrants.

"These so-called schools not only defraud students and violate immigration laws, but they pose a real threat to our country," the senators wrote in a letter to officials at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "When the student visa program can easily be manipulated by bad actors, it threatens the viability of the entire program for the large majority of bona fide participants.

According to Fox News, the letter was signed by senators Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester, all of whom are Democrats.

The letter cited the example of California's Tri-Valley University, which was investigated after officials noticed that its enrollment soared to 1,500, and many of the students came from the same area in India. A sting operation found that the school may not have ever provided classwork or courses.

NY1 reports that some of the people involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks entered the country via student visas.

Source: US senators urge crack down on “sham” universities

Friday, February 11, 2011

(Re)calculating the Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform

Last week, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) made a compelling case for comprehensive immigration reform in Politico, pointing out the various economic benefits of a legalization program. In response, Heritage Foundation analyst Jena McNeill fired off a sharp rebuttal which advanced several common immigration myths.

McNeill starts by saying "the left" never argues that “amnesty” will improve the economy, but insists that comprehensive immigration reform will boost the economy. She’s absolutely right: supporters of comprehensive immigration reform like Rep. Honda maintain that it will yield significant economic benefits, but only if a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants (what McNeill calls amnesty) is part of the deal.

No one argues that legalization alone can fully solve the problems of our broken immigration system, because it won’t. Nor will enacting an enforcement-only immigration bill, similar to the one put forward by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Comprehensive immigration reform will fully benefit the nation’s economy and security only if it measures up to its name. In addition to legalization and border enforcement measures, a comprehensive solution should include provisions for families and future workers to enter the country legally. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano aptly calls this strategy the "three-legged stool."

McNeill goes off track when she declares that comprehensive immigration reform is actually a “code phrase for amnesty,” invoked because Americans are against it. I’m all for decoding long-winded immigration terms, but this is wildly inaccurate. Comprehensive immigration reform is not a euphemism for “amnesty.” The phrase refers to a package of policies, in which a legalization plan is but one controversial component. According to the author, immigration reformers are playing word games because Americans “by and large don’t support amnesty. That’s why Americans supported the attempt by Arizona to actually enforce the law.” But this isn’t the full story. Several polls show that Americans who backed Arizona’s law also think undocumented immigrants living here should be able to do so legally, after paying fines and meeting other requirements. Americans want elected officials to combine enforcement measures with a firm but fair path to legal status. Sound familiar?

This approach would add a staggering $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over the next ten years, according to an influential Center for American Progress study. In his op-ed, Honda also explains how newly legalized immigrants are likely to find better paying jobs, spend more in consumer dollars, and pay higher taxes. Indeed,research on the flawed 1986 legalization bill revealed lower poverty rates, higher homeownership rates and generally improved socioeconomic situations among legalized immigrants. Continue reading here .............

Friday, January 14, 2011

How To Get Green Card For My Sister?

Many of us wish to bring our siblings to the United States and are faced with the impending question "What is the green card sister application, and how do I go about it?" Let us now try to understand the process a bit more.

American citizens who are desirous of bringing their sisters to the US are allowed to file a green card sister application to petition their sisters. Per law, brothers and sisters are brought under the "preference category" and are not considered immediate relatives of the US citizen. The wait period is generally longer when compared to petitioning an immediate relative.

To be eligible to petition for the green card sister application you must be:

a. US Citizen and

b. at least 21 years of age.

It is not mandatory that you must be a natural born American. Your citizenship could have been acquired through naturalization or in any other way. However, as the petitioner you should be 21 years of age at the time of filing the petition.

Filing the Green Card Sister Application using Form I-130.

Before you file Form I 130 ensure that you have all the legal documents to establish your relationship with your sister. For the different types of relationships that are recognized by law you will require:

a) For legitimate sisters: A birth certificate for both you and your sister to show that you share at least one parent.
b) For half-sisters: A birth certificate for both you and your sister. This is to show that you share the same father. In such cases the marriage certificates of the father to each of the mothers and proof of termination of both parents' earlier marriages should be available.
c) For stepsisters: A birth certificate for both you and your beneficiary. In additon to this the marriage certificate of your parent and stepparent occuring prior to your 18th birthday would be needed.
d) For adopted sisters: The adoption decree occuring before the adopted child turned 16 years old, and your birth certificates.

Once you have all these documents ready you are ready to file the green card sister application (Form I 130 -Petition for an Alien Relative).

Gather and put all the required documents for your petition in a packet. These would include:

1) I-130 Petition for Alien Relative.
2) Proof of your citizenship.
3) Your (petitioner's) birth certificate.
4) The beneficiary's birth certificate.
5) Evidence of relationship.
6) If there is name change of the petitioner or the beneficiary (legally) proof of the name change.
7) The relevant fee applicable to the form I 130.

Prepare two copies of the visa petition. Mail one package to the USCIS, Chicago Lockbox and wait till a visa number is made available.

The US government limits the number of approved immigrants each year and as such you will be required to wait for a long time (close to about 10 years) as brothers and sisters fall into the fourth preference category. You need to wait till the USCIS approves your petition and also have a watch on the visa bulletin to find out when your petition date becomes current.

If your petition is approved and you are given a family visas number your sister can complete the green card sister process. She must then submit an immigrant visa application to the NVC. She will be scheduled for an interview at the local US consulate. If she passes the interview she will be given a visa and will be allowed to join you in the US.

In case your sister is in the US legally, she need not file an immigrant visa but she can file for an adjustment of status using Form I 485.