Skip to main content

Green cards

Your green card is a legal document that provides proof of your status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Enrique Javier Nunez Elorza | Oct 13, 2019

How to go from Green Card to Citizenship in Just 3 years!

Be a Green Card Holder! The first step is to be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). If you are an LPR, your 3 or 5 year wait time begins the moment your residency begins. If you are a Non-Permanent Resident, you need to first get your Green Card. Most people get a green card either through a family based petition (Spouse, Children, Parents, or Brothers and Sisters) or through a work visa. There are more ways, but these are the most common. Be married to a U.S. Citizen! If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you only need to wait three years, either from the date of marriage (3 years married) or from the date of LPR Status. You will need 3 years in both of these categories. Be Eligible for Citizenship! To become eligible, you must be 18 years old, have at least one and a half years Physical Presence in the United States, Be able to read, write and speak english, Be able to pass the civics and history test, and be a person of Good Moral Character. Not be Ineligible! Some people are ineligible for citizenship based on unpaid or unfixed taxes, unpaid child support, or criminal records.If any of these apply to you, Chances are these issues may be resolved by good attorney. Many times, Attorneys can set you up with payment plans for child support and the IRS and document why certain criminal offenses do not make you ineligible for citizenship. Nobody is perfect, and you don't need to be in order to become a citizen. If you have any of these issues, we highly recommend reaching out to a qualified attorney.

Melanie Shapiro | Oct 9, 2019

The New Rules on Public Charge - What They Mean and Who is Impacted

What are the changes to the public charge rules? The "public charge" ground of inadmissibility was designed to identify people who depend on the government as their main source of support. If the government determines a person is "likely at any time to become a public charge" in the future, it can deny admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent resident (or "green card" status). On August 14, 2019, USCIS published a final rule amending regulations related to the public charge ground of inadmissibility. The final rule makes significant changes to the public charge ground of inadmissibility that will make it much harder for low and moderate income immigrants to obtain lawful permanent resident status (green card). It goes into effect on October 15, 2019. On October 9, 2019, USCIS published new versions of several forms reflecting the changes. The final rule redefines a "public charge" as a non-citizen who receives one or more public benefits, for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (i.e. the receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months). The regulations applies a forward-looking test --- looking at whether a person, in the "totality of the circumstances" is more likely than not to become a "public charge" in the future. The rule expands the list of public assistance programs that may be considered as negative factors in a "public charge" determination. Groups not submit to the public charge rule include: refugees, asylees, survivors of trafficking, domestic violence, or other serious crimes (T or U visa applicants/holders),. VAWA self-petitioners, special immigrant juveniles, certain people paroled into the U.S. as well as other "humanitarian" immigrants, and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) are not subject to the public charge test when they apply for U.S. citizenship. What types of benefits and circumstances are treated negatively under the new regulation? Prior history of benefits receipt, a minimum income threshold (earning less than 125% of the federal poverty level), being a child or a senior, having certain health conditions, limited English ability, less than a high school education, a poor credit history, and other factors. Benefits considered income the following: -any federal or state cash assistance for income maintenance, including TANF, SSI, and general assistance programs; -Medicaid (with exceptions for including coverage for emergency services, children under 21 years old, pregnant women and 60 days of post-partum services); -Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called "food stamps"); -Federal Public Housing, Section 8 housing vouchers and Section 8 project-based rental assistance. Important to note-- This rule is not retroactive. That means that benefits (apart from cash or long-term care at government expense) that are used before the rule is effective on October 15, 2019, will NOT be considered in the public charge determination.

Ajla Husic | Oct 9, 2019

Green Card for Artists, Musicians and Performers

Criteria Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability The U.S. created the EB-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card category in order to attract individuals with talent and ability. Although many of the individuals who use this visa category are in the STEM fields, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the EB-1 category also applies to individuals in the arts. The Extraordinary Ability Green Card can be a great fit for any type of artist, whether their art form is in the fine arts, applied arts, or the performing arts. To qualify for a green card under this category as an artist, you must be at the very top of your particular field. This means that you have received sustained recognition at the international or national level and that other’s in your field recognize you for your artistic achievements. For those who receive a major internationally recognized award, such as the Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Golden Globes, or the Academy Awards, this alone may be used to demonstrate extraordinary ability. Although winning an Oscar would certainly be an extraordinary achievement, it is not the only way to show immigration officials that you are an artist with extraordinary abilities. There are ten (10) other criteria of which three (3) must be shown in order to qualify for the Extraordinary Ability Green Card. While the requirements may appear tailored to researches and academics rather than artists, with some skillful and creative argument artists can also explain how a particular artistic achievement fulfills the required criteria. Self-Petition for an EB-1(A) Green Card Individuals don't need an offer of employment to apply for the Extraordinary Ability Green Card. Individuals can submit an application on their own behalf and explain how they qualify for at least three (3) of the ten (10) criteria.

Ajla Husic | Oct 9, 2019

USCIS Revises Interview Policy for Two Year Green Cards

USCIS Policy USCIS issued a policy memo that went into effect on December 10, 2018, which provides guidance to USCIS officers on waiving the interview requirement for filing I-751 Petitions. Individuals who obtain status through marriage, in certain circumstances, receive a conditional Green Card for two years. The conditions must be removed in order to maintain valid legal status. The I-751 is an application to remove the conditions on a Green Card and if approved the individual would receive a regular 10 year Green Card. The new policy applies to all I-751 petitions received by USCIS on or after December 10, 2018. The policy is more expansive than the previous policy, which required interviews only when there was insufficient evidence of the bona fides of the marriage, and/or in waiver cases, there was inconclusive evidence to establish eligibility for a waiver. Additionally, the prior policy encouraged use of Requests for Evidence (RFE) to obtain additional information in lieu of transferring the petition to the local USCIS office for an in-person interview. What Does This Mean? For those who received their visa at a U.S. consulate overseas or entered the United States as a K visa holder and were never interviewed by USCIS will be required to attend an in-person interview, even if they are able to establish, through initial evidence, that the marriage is bona fide. This applies to individuals who file jointly with their spouse and to those who file individually and need a waiver because of divorce, death of the spouse, or other qualifying reasons. This new guidance suggests that more I-751 petitions will be transferred to local USCIS offices and scheduled for an in-person interview. The processing times for I-751 petitions are already facing substantial processing delays and have increased from an average of 12 months to 18 months. The increase in interviews is likely to cause significant delays in obtaining a final decision on the I-751 petition.

Carl Michael Shusterman | Oct 1, 2019

How-To Immigration Videos

Immigration Videos US Citizenship Videos US Citizenship through Naturalization (Part One) US Citizenship through Naturalization (Part Two) US Citizenship through Parents & Grandparents How to Get a Green Card Green Card Through Marriage Green Cards for Family Members Employment-Based Videos How to Get a Green Card through Employment Understanding the Visa Bulletin: Employment-Based Categories EB5 General Overview EB-5 Investor Visas Direct EB-5s H-1B Visa Guide: What You Need to Know H-4 Spouses: Apply for EADs L Visas for Executives and Managers L Visas for Persons with Specialized Knowledge O Visas for Persons of Extraordinary Ability P Visas for Entertainers, Athletes and Artists Adjustment of Status Videos Adjustment of Status Benefits of Section 245(i) Adjustment of Status Immigration Help for Registered Nurses US Immigration for Registered Nurses Immigration for Nurses: Free Legal Assistance Immigration for Nurses: Consulate Green Card Process Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Videos CSPA Case Heads to the Supreme Court How the Child Status Protection Act Can Help You (Part 1) aaHow to Survive an I-9 Audit (Part 1)">How to Survive an I-9 Audit (Part 2) Best Strategies for Winning Your Immigration Court Case How to Win Your Case in Immigration Court Winning Your Case in Immigration Court Canadian Orphan Gains Permission to Join Family in the U.S Honor Student Beats Deportation How to Win Your Asylum Case Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents Stop Your Deportation Under Pereira V. Sessions How to Stop Deportation Under Pereira v. Sessions Stop Deportations Under Pereira v. Sessions Family-Based Immigration Family Preference Categories: An Introduction Family-Based Immigration: Speeding Up Your Case Understanding the Visa Bulletin: Family-Based Categories The Law Offices of Carl Shusterman on News Outlets CNN Interviews Attorney Angeline Chen about Situation at the Mexican Border Attorney Shusterman on CBS News: Melania Trump & Chain Migration Discussion on Trump's Immigration Ban on ABC 7 Attorney Angeline Chen on CTV News Other Immigration Assistance Videos Free Immigration Assistance How to Select an Immigration Lawyer How to Get a Copy of your Immigration File Preparing for Your USCIS Interview What to Do After TPS Ends Paths to Stay Here Legally aaResidencia permanente por matrimonio Cómo obtener una tarjeta verde a través del matrimonio Cómo ganar en la corte de inmigración Cómo ganar su caso de asilo Cancelación de deportación para residentes no permanentes Estudiante con honores le gana a la deportación Cómo convertirse en ciudadano estadounidense (Parte 1) Cómo convertirse en ciudadano estadounidense (Parte 2) Ciudadanía estadounidense a través de padres y abuelos Exenciones provisionales I-601A Reforma migratoria: lo que debe saber Cómo elegir un abogado de inmigración Abogado Shusterman ante el senado de EE. UU. Green Card through Marriage (Videos in Mandarin & Korean) 혼인을 통한 영주권 취득 美國結婚移民

Carl Michael Shusterman | Sep 29, 2019

How to Become a U.S. Citizen

How to Become a US Citizen through Naturalization To be eligible to become a US citizen through naturalization, you must: 1. Be a lawful permanent resident of the United States for 5 years, or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen for a minimum of the 3 years (although there are certain exceptions to this requirement for persons who have honorable service in the U.S. Armed Forces); 2. Be physically present in the United States for over 50% of the required residency period; 3. Be a person of good moral character; 4. Take an oath of loyalty to the United States; 5. Be able to speak, read and write simple words and phrases in the English language (although there are certain exceptions to this rule); and 6 Pass a test in US history and government. In general, the naturalization process includes the following steps: 1. Determine if you are already a U.S. citizen. 2. Determine your eligibility to become a U.S. citizen. 3. Prepare Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. 4. Submit Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. 5. Go to the biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment. 6. Complete the interview. 7. Receive a decision from USCIS on your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization. 8. Receive a notice to take the Oath of Allegiance. 9. Take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. 10. Understand your rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen. Once you become a citizen of the United States, you may sponsor your spouse, parents, sons and daughters as well as your brothers and sisters for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. How to Acquire US Citizenship through Your Parents and Grandparents If you were born outside of the U.S., how can your acquire US citizenship through your parents or grandparents? What if you were born abroad to U.S. citizen parents? You probably are a U.S. citizen, but you need to get some paperwork to prove this. Or what if you were born abroad and only one of your parents was a U.S. citizen at the time? That’s a little trickier. How do you determine if you “acquired” U.S. citizenship at birth through a parent, or if you obtained derivative citizenship as a minor through your parent(s)? We simplify the complex laws regarding acquisition and derivation of US citizenship through parents and grandparents so that they are understandable to non-lawyers. There are 4 Nationality Charts that attorneys use to assist them in such cases. These charts are difficult to find on the USCIS website so we replicate them here so that you can use them to begin your research. Derivative citizenship laws are one of the most complex areas of immigration law, and Congress has amended these laws multiple times. Fortunately, Attorney Shusterman spent several years as an INS Citizenship Attorney in the 1970s adjudicating N-600 derivative citizenship applications. This experience proved invaluable. Since he entered private practice in 1982, he has helped hundreds of clients obtain U.S. citizenship through their parents and grandparents.