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Tip of the Week

My name is Andres Mejer, and I’m an immigration attorney. For our Tip of the Week, I’m going to give you more information about a topic many people are asking us about – amnesty. We’re going to discuss the nine types of documents you should gather now so that you are ready to apply if amnesty happens, as President-Elect Biden has been talking about.

For almost any immigration application, and if amnesty is available after President-Elect Biden is in office, you will need the following documents:

  1. A valid passport – this means it must be current. If your passport is not current, I recommend you do everything you can now to get it replaced.
  2. The passport you had when you entered the US. That may be expired, that’s ok. I hope you still have it. If you entered legally your passport from then will have a VISA.
  3. If you entered legally, you will also need your I-94 from when you entered.  Nowadays, it’s just a stamp in your passport, but it used to be a white document that was issued with every entry.
  4. Your birth certificate, as well as any marriage certificates, death certificates, or divorce decrees.
  5. The birth certificate of any US Citizen children.
  6. Documents showing a continuous residence in the US. Usually, when amnesty is offered it’s for people who have lived in the US for a certain period and have stayed here that entire time. You will need proof to show you have been here – this might be a lease or rental agreement, utility bills, or other documents that support your claims.
  7. Tax returns.  If you haven’t filed taxes, you should make plans to do at least the last 2-3 years.  Then each year you apply you file for that year and a prior year.  That way the next year you will have filed for 5 years, the following year for 7 years, etc until you are caught up.
  8. Any documents you have submitted to USCIS such as applications and responses from them (even if they were denials). This is further proof that you have tried to stay in the US and want to live here permanently.
  9. Criminal history, if any. It is most likely that you will need to have a background check done to be granted amnesty. You usually need to do biometrics through USCIS, and they check your background history. 

If you are worried about something in your past, our office can do a background check for you. Our check is more complete than most because we are looking in the same places USCIS will look. Call us if you’d like us to do that. There is a fee, but we think it is worth it to resolve any issues with your background before applying for an immigration status. 

So there you have it – the 9 types of documents you’ll need when you apply for amnesty. 

When we apply for any immigration benefit for our clients, we include other evidence depending on what they are applying for. Please know that this list is very basic for informational purposes only. If you need help with your immigration problem, call Andres Mejer Law to schedule a consultation today.