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It is a two-step process to get a family-based green card in the U.S.
First, your Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) or U.S. citizen must relative must file on your behalf Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The purpose is to prove the relationship between the immigrant and the Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen is legitimate.
Second, the immigrant (the person who needs a green card) will have to change his or her status by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. In order to file Form I-485 the immigrant must have entered the U.S. legally or have the illegal entry forgiven.
What do you mean by legal entry?
By legal entry, I mean that you came into the U.S. through an airport, seaport, highway, or other official checkpoint and met face-to-face.
How can I waive my legal entry?
The most common waiver of legal entry was the Life Act (otherwise known as 245i) but unfortunately, that law expired on 30 April 2001. With its expiration, that leaves a VAWA application, U-Visa, or Temporary Protected Status as the most common ways to waive illegal entry into the U.S. and still get a green card in the U.S.
If you don’t qualify for any of these, then the only way to get your green card is by first leaving the U.S. through consular processing.
What is Concurrent Filing?
For those, who did enter the U.S. legally (or illegal entry is forgiven), you can typically file your Form I-130 concurrently with Form I-485. That just means that both forms are filed at the same time, which speeds up the process. In order to file both forms at the same time, your relative must be an Immediate Relative. That means he or she is a U.S. citizen and
- Your spouse;
- Your Parent (as long as you are unmarried and under 21); or
- Your child (as long as he or she is over 21 years old)
How does Andres Mejer Law help me apply for a Family-Based Green Card?
Andres Mejer Law can do it all for you.
- We will provide you with a list of questions and documents (in Spanish and English) that we need to prepare your petition.
- You will meet with one of our bilingual specialists (fluent in Spanish and English) who will take your answers and prepare all the necessary petitions.
- Our specialist will assemble and organize all of your supporting documents.
- Unless you tell us not to, our specialist will order your criminal background and driver’s abstract to make sure your past doesn’t disqualify you from getting a green card.
- When it is all complete, our specialist will go over with you every single question in the petitions. We want to make sure your petition is as close to perfect as possible before the petition is mailed to immigration.
- If you chose, an Andres Mejer Law bilingual attorney (fluent in Spanish and English) will go with you to your interview to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
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