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IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS – GREEN CARDS

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Adjustment of status which is also known as “obtaining a green card” is a process that our team of immigration attorneys are very passionate and dedicated about. We love having the opportunity to be able to help great people feel secure in the United States, knowing that they can permanently reside here to live with their families.

Our firm has helped thousands of individuals obtain their lawful permanent residence status (LPR).

If you or a loved one need the services of our immigration lawyers, please do not hesitate to contact us immediately in order to schedule your free consultation. We comprehend that the process to become an LPR can be difficult and confusing. Which is why we offer free consultations her at Alcock and Associates.

Our ultimate goal here at Alcock and Associates is to educate you and help you in the process of obtaining a green card. Throughout the years we have found that it is very important and critical for each of our clients to fully comprehend the process.

Below, we have provided an abundant amount of information in regards to how the adjustment process works. But, keep in mind that if you have any further questions you can contact us.

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If you or a loved one need the services of an experienced and caring immigration attorney to help you with your adjustment of status, please contact us at 602-989-5000.

FREQUENTLY ASKED ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS QUESTIONS:

Here are some quick frequently asked questions about AOS immigration. For qualifications scroll below.

WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP?

The first step in the adjustment of status process is your family member files an I-130 for you. The reason for this is that immigration must verify that your family member qualifies to petition for you.

WHAT HAPPENS ONCE THE I-130 IS APPROVED?

After the approval, YOU will have to file the adjustment of status application.

CAN I ADJUST FROM MY HOME COUNTRY?

One does have the option of adjusting from their home country, however this is a different process that requires different paperwork. This process is also known as the consular process. If previously the individual has traveled to the United States without obtaining a visa or entered without inspection, it may be required to file a waiver.

IF I AM ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES, DO I HAVE TO HAVE ENTERED THE US LEGALLY?

For adjustment of status within the United States, the short answer would be yes. To be eligible for adjustment of status your entry must have been lawful. There are exceptions and waivers which we have provided information for below.

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS USUALLY TAKE?

The process can take anywhere from six months to a year. It all varies due to government processing.

WHEN WILL MY BIOMETRICS (FINGERPRINTS) APPOINTMENT BE?

Usually you will be given your fingerprint appointment about three months after you submit the initial application.

WHEN DO I DO MY INTERVIEW?

The interview is usually scheduled 6 to 9 months after submitting the initial application.

CAN I LEAVE TO MY HOME COUNTRY AFTER I APPLY?

No, one should remain in the United States while your application is pending.

DOES THIS PROCESS LEAD TO A “GREEN CARD?”

Yes. After you are approved in the interview, you normally get your “Green Card” in 30 days.

ONCE I GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS CAN I INCLUDE MY FAMILY MEMBERS LATER?

Yes, but they must also qualify. We recommend that you get into contact with us so we can explain the process. This area of law can get very complicated.

HOW MUCH ARE THE FEES FOR THE PROCESS?

Well, there are three separate fees in the entire process. We have listed them for you below:

  • $535 for I-130 family petition
  • $700 for EAD work permit I-140
  • $1225 for adjustment of status (green card) application form 485

WHEN MAY I BE ABLE TO START WORKING?

You can apply for a work permit throughout the process. Recently, we have seen quite a bit of a delay in regards to approvals, however. It is not uncommon for the “Green Card” to arrive prior to the work permit. It is your decision whether or not you would like to file for a work permit through I-140.

GREEN CARD OVERVIEW:

Adjustment of Status, or “AOS,” is the process which allows certain individuals to apply for lawful immigration status in the United States. At the end of this process, the applicant will receive lawful permanent residence status, or become a green card holder.

If you or a loved one are thinking about and are considering this type of application to get a green card, we would like to share some important information and tips. Unfortunately, due to the constantly changing immigration law, there is a great deal of misinformation about Adjustment of Status and we hope to help you better understand your options.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR GREEN CARDS:

In order for an individual to become a legal permanent resident through Adjustment of Status, you must meet a number of specific requirements.

Keep in mind, this letter only discusses Adjustment of Status which menas you may be eligible for other processes.

  1. In order for an individual to adjust their status within the United States, they must have entered the U.S. legally. This means with you came with some sort of visa that gave you permission to enter the United States. You must be able to prove that you entered legally, which can be done by providing a copy of your visa.
  2. 245(i): 245(i) is a special section of immigration law which allows certain individuals to apply for a green card in the United States even though they entered the country illegally. To qualify under section 245(i), you must be the beneficiary of a petition that has a priority date on or before April 30, 2001. The immigration petition giving your 245(i) protection can be either an I-130 family petition, or an I-140 petition for labor certification. If you qualify for 245(i), there is an additional $1000 “penalty” fee that you must pay at the time of applying for your green card.
  3. There may not be anything on your criminal or immigration record that would otherwise prevent you from becoming a resident. This means you must not have any prior deportation orders or a criminal history that would restrict you from being admissible. If you came into the United States with a visa, you may only apply for Adjustment of Status in the United States if you have one or less period of times you have overstayed your allowed stay in the United States. This means you CANNOT apply for Adjustment of Status if you have stayed over the amount of time your visa allowed for two or more occasions.
  4. You must also have an immediate relative that can petition for you. Eligible “immediate relatives” include: a U.S. citizen spouse, a U.S. citizen child who is at least 21 years old or older, and U.S. citizen parent whose child is under the age of 21.
  5. You must be physically present in the United States when you apply for Adjustment of Status and you cannot leave the United States while your application is pending without first seeking permission from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  6. You must submit a medical examination with your application for Adjustment of Status. The medical examination must be completed by a doctor who has been authorized by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to do the immigration exams. The medical exam is done in order to make sure that you have all of your required vaccinations and that you don’t have any serious, contagious diseases that could get other people in the United States sick. Each doctor has his or her own fee that is charged for completing the medical exam.
  7. You must be able to show that the person petitioning for you makes a certain amount of money based on the number of people in his or her household. To show this requirement is met, your petitioning family member must provide his or her tax returns for the most recent year and also proof of their employment. The government requires this information to make sure that when you get your green card, you won’t need to depend on the assistance of the government, which is food stamps and welfare. If your petitioner does not make the required income or is not working, a co-sponsor will be needed.

DOCUMENTS AND FEES:

Step One – Gather the required documents

Documents must be gathered in order to show that you meet the requirements. This means you must gather documents including your proof of legal entry or 245(i) protection, your completed medical exam, proof of your relationship with the petitioner, your petitioner’s taxes, and co-sponsor documents if needed.

Step Two – Mail applications and supporting documents to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”)

Once you have all the required documents and application forms completed, you are ready to file your Adjustment of Status application

  • Costs:
    • $535 for I-130 family petition
    • $1225 for adjustment of status (green card) application
    • If you have 245(i), $1000 fee
  • Processing time: About 6-8 months

You are also eligible to apply for a work permit with your application for your green card. The work permit gives you permission to work in the United States while your application for your green card is still being reviewed by USCIS.

After the 6-9 month processing time is done and USCIS has completely reviewed your application, you will either receive your approval notice by mail or receive an interview notice from USCIS. Interviews are always required when your petitioner is your spouse. At the interview, the Immigration Officer will ask questions to confirm the valid relationship between you and your petitioner, and ask you questions about your immigration and criminal history to make sure you qualify for a green card.

YOU MUST NOT APPLY IF:

There are certain conditions that may make you ineligible to adjustment your status in the United States. Don’t file for adjustment of status if:

  • You have entered the U.S. illegally and don’t have 245(i) protection
  • You have used fake, false, or forged documents to enter the United States
  • You lied to get your visa to allow you to enter the United States
  • You have sold, smuggled, or trafficked drugs
  • You helped anyone else enter the United States illegally
  • You have told someone before that you are a U.S. citizen
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We are dedicated to helping YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.
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Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
Phoenix AZ 85004

602-989-5000
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Alcock & Associates P.C.
2 North Central Avenue, 26th Floor
Phoenix AZ 85004