The road to U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card) can take several months to many years and typically require several different applications to different U.S. government agencies. Due to these complexities, many foreign nationals residing in Wisconsin find that the processes leading up to receiving the green card can be very confusing. The following information explains the green card process and provides helpful hints on how to make sure a foreign national’s application is as successful as possible. To fully understand how you should proceed, however, you should contact a knowledgeable Wisconsin immigration lawyer at Nicolet Lawyers. Spiro Nicolet has compiled many years of experience helping foreign nationals gain LPR status and pursue new lives in the United States.Timeline for Filing an LPR Application
The green card application is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-485. The foreign national is eligible to file the I-485 application when the national’s priority date is current.
The priority date is the date assigned to the national that marks his or her “place in line” for a green card. There is a waiting line for green cards because the U.S. Congress has set a limit on how many will be given out per year to foreign nationals from different countries. Since the demand for green cards far exceeds the supply in a given year, foreign nationals are now assigned priority dates that tell them when they can apply for a green card. If the national’s priority date is current, the national can submit the I-485 Application. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) publishes a Visa Bulletin every month to inform foreign nationals what priority dates are current.Materials to Include in an I-485 Application
In general, all I-485 Applications must include the filing fee made payable to USCIS, the completed and signed Form I-485 and Form G-325, passport photos, color copies of photo identification documents (such as passport biographic pages or driver’s license), and proof that the applicant is currently in legal immigration status in the United States. Applicants must also submit a sealed immigration medical examination (Form I-693), which is completed by an approved physician.
Additionally, other documents may need to be included in the application depending upon how the applicant qualifies for a green card.Applicants may qualify through a family member, through a U.S. employer, or in several other ways.
If an applicant qualifies because of a job offer from a U.S. employer, the application should include a signed letter from the employer confirming that the job offer still exists and that explains the term of the offer, including the job title, duties, and salary. Or, if an applicant qualifies because of a family member, an additional form called the I-864 must be included. The I-864 must be completed by the family member and must outline all of the family member’s income sources. It must prove to the U.S. government that, even if the applicant does not work, the applicant’s family has enough money to support him or her.
By submitting all of the required documents in the I-485 Application, the foreign national has a greater chance of quickly receiving the green card. On the other hand, if the foreign national forgets to include a document, USCIS will formally request the missing materials. This can delay the application.Consult a Wisconsin Immigration Lawyer to Pursue a Green Card Application
Spiro Nicolet and the skilled Wisconsin immigration attorneys at Nicolet Lawyers are ready to assist you. We can explain all of the documents and materials that need to be included in the I-485 Application, and we can assist you in preparing the application for USCIS. Recognizing that every person’s situation is different, we will discuss the details of your specific circumstances with you and make sure that you understand every step of this complicated process. Contact us by calling (773) 562-6884 or by completing our online form to set up a free initial consultation.