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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – Continuous Residence

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the criteria to qualify for deferred action as a childhood arrival is continuous residence. Continuous residence will not be considered interrupted is one’s absence is “brief, casual, and innocent.

According to USCIS guidelines, absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent if it was before August 15, 2012, and:

  1. The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
  2. The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
  3. The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings; and
  4. The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law.
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Expired Green Card / Renewing Green Card: FAQ

January 18, 2012 3 comments

Am I out of status if my green card expires?

If your green card is expired, it does not mean you are out of status. Green card is proof of your immigration status of alien resident, an expired green card does not immediately affect your immigration status.

What is the consequences of holding an expired green card?

Section 264 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states, “Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him… Any alien who fails to comply with [these provisions] shall be guilty of a misdemeanor”

What is the fee to renew green card?

The filing fees as of Jan. 19, 2012 is a total $450. (This includes the $365 filing fee plus the $85 biometric fee for a total of $450.)

How to apply to renew green card?

The form that needs to be filed is form I-90. If you are filing to renew an expired green card (NOT remove conditions) you may e-file.

Premium Process EB-5

August 23, 2011 1 comment

Premium processing of EB-5, investor visa, will be available shortly. On Aug. 2, 2011, Department of Homeland Security released a statement stating that the implementation of the USCIS proposals to streamline the EB-5 application process will begin “within 30 days”. By choosing to pay an additional fee for premium processing, applicant will have their application processed within 15 calender days. This is especially useful in cases where Request For Evidence (“RFE”) is issued by USCIS because the RFE will have to be processed within 15 days as well. This not only provide a speedier application process, it gives the applicant a better timeline to plan their schedule accordingly. The other “fundamental enhancements” proposed by USCIS also includes “implementing direct lines of communication between the applicants and USCIS and providing applicants with the opportunity for an interview before a USCIS panel of experts to resolve outstanding issues in an application.”

I-797: Getting A Duplicate Copy

August 5, 2011 3 comments

I-797 is the approval notice of family green card petition. If you lose this document, you will need to file a I-824 to request a duplicate copy. The filing fee of I-824 is $405.00 and the average processing time of I-824 ranges from 3 months to 8 months.

If your original application or petition was approved by Vermont Service Center or Texas Service Center (receipt number starting with EAC or SRC), the I-824 should be mailed to USCIS Dallas Lockbox.

If your original application or petition was approved by California Service Center or Nebraska Service Center (receipt number starting with LIN or WAC), the I-824 should be mailed to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox.

Detailed instructions of how to complete the I-824 can be found here.

 

Green Card Tracker (EB Petitions)

June 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I found this useful website that let green card applicants estimate how many applications is before their own. The link is pretty self-explanatory and is helpful for applicants with pending applications.

 

Documents That Shows Extraordinary Ability (EB1/O-visa)

May 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Whether applying for EB1 green card or O-visas, one of the question I am often asked is what documents shows “extraordinary ability.” Below is a list of documents I often suggest clients to look for and consider when judging whether they qualify for visas that requires “extraordinary ability.”

1. Internationally acclaimed award/prizes

2. Membership in prestigious associations

3. Publications in major journal or well recognized mass media

4. Publications about you or your work in major journal or mass media

5. Participation as judge in your field of work

6. Leading role in distinguished organization

7. Commercial success

8. High salary compared to other

9. Reference letter from well recognized clients, colleagues, or business partners

10. Display/Performance of work in prominent space

Green Card Through Family: Petitioning for Sibling (California Process Center)

April 19, 2011 2 comments

In a phone conversation with an USCIS customer service representative, I was notified that due to the large amount of backlog of I-130 in the California process center, there will be very little progress made to Green Card petition filed for siblings in the California process center. So if you filed a petition for your brother or sister in the California process center, do not be TOO concern if the status of your case is stuck at initial review. When the petition is processed, the “priority date” of the petition will be backdated and will reflect when the application is submitted, hence the backlog in the process center should not affect the time it will take to receive green card.

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