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Posted by attorney Keisha Samuels

Green Card (Family Member)

To get a family-based Green Card, one must be sponsored by a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. This is a two-step process. The 1st step is the “Immigrant Petition" which establishes that a qualifying relationship exists between the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and the Green Card applicant. The 2nd step is the Green Card application. If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen and the Green Card applicant is a spouse, parent or minor child who is currently in the U.S., then these two steps can usually be combined into one.

What is a Conditional "Green Card"? Your permanent residential status will be conditional if it was based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen that was less than two years old on the day your "Green Card" application was approved. Your permanent resident status is conditional because you must prove that you did not get married only to to get a "Green Card". You and your spouse must apply together to remove the conditions on your residence. You should file Form I 751 (, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence during the 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. The expiration date on your temporary "Green Card", is also the date of your second anniversary as a conditional resident. If you do not apply to remove the conditions in time, you could lose your conditional "Green Card" status and be removed from the country. If you are no longer married to your spouse, or if you have been battered or abused by your spouse, you can apply to waive the joint filing requirement. In such cases, you may apply to remove the conditions on your permanent residence any time after you become a conditional resident, but before you are removed from the country.

What is Form N-400? It i is an application for U.S. citizenship

Which fees can USCIS waive if requested?

A. If you are unable to pay, you may request a fee waiver for the following fees:

  • Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821);
  • Application for Employment Authorization (Form I-765);
  • Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility (Form I-601); and
  • The biometrics fee.

Application By Refugee For Waiver of Grounds of Excludability



01/06/10. Previous editions accepted.

Health and Human Services Statistical Data for Refugee/Asylee Adjusting Status



10/29/09 Prior versions acceptable

Application to Adjust Status from Temporary to Permanent Resident (Under Section 245A of Public Law 99-603)


$1,410 (See additional information on fees under "Special Instructions" below.)

12/29/2009. Previous editions not accepted after 04/17/2010.

Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition


No fee

01/06/10. Previous editions accepted.

Application for Temporary Protected Status


$50 for first time applicants. There is no application fee for re-registration. An $80 per person fee for biometrics may be required.

10/17/07. No previous editions accepted.

Application for T Nonimmigrant Status


No fee. Biometrics services may be required at no cost to the applicant.

03/30/09. Previous editions accepted only through June 6, 2009.

Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status


No Fee. Petitioners may have to pay an $80 biometrics fee.


Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U-1 Nonimmigrant



07/15/09; Prior version accepted

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