This is not the document you are looking for? Use the search form below to find more!

Report home > World & Business

A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions

4.00 (223 votes)
Document Description
This guide was written to answer common questions about immigration law and other issues of concern to our non-citizen clients. The questions are grouped into five categories
File Details
  • Added: November, 20th 2008
  • Reads: 161534
  • Downloads: 4155
  • File size: 318.97kb
  • Pages: 21
  • Tags: immigration, united states, america, law
  • content preview
  • Username: cald
  • Name: cald
  • Documents: 27
Embed Code:

Add New Comment

Showing 50 from all 766 comments

by john on August 19th, 2011 at 07:26 am
Can some1 get deported even if they are in the process of getting a temporary residence
by jose velez on August 19th, 2011 at 06:12 pm
can a family member petition for another family member whose been deported after being convicted of a crime
by katy on August 20th, 2011 at 02:57 pm
my fiance is a citizen in the u.s by birth, we both 20 and now his about to fill a petition to bring me over to the u.s from Africa to get married to him.. how long would the process take, like how many months?
by raviteja narla on August 20th, 2011 at 07:54 pm
my visa is upto may 2012 but i got a letter from university that i have to vacate in 28 days time due to lack of enough credits i got this message on 19 august wat should i do and i have paid the whole fee wat will happen if i stay here untill may 2012 i desperately want to continue my studies plz plz plz plz plz reply for this *tears*
by Sean on August 23rd, 2011 at 01:01 am
I am an American citizen, but my girlfriend, who I dated in High School and have started dating again after 25 years, is a Peruvian national. She lives there in Peru with her 2 children and parents. She has a 10 year Visa for multiple entries. We want to bring her and the kids up to the United States and eventually get married. How do we go about getting her and the kids here? Is there some form that she can fill out to remain here with me? And if so, will her children be allowed to come and stay also? I understand that when you love a woman, who has children, it is a package deal, you can't accept the woman without accepting the children. Does the U.S. government look at it this way too? Please advise.
by michael on August 25th, 2011 at 07:52 pm
i am living in the usa for the past 18 years my mom is a us citizen can she sponser me i an 50 years old
by fifi on August 27th, 2011 at 05:57 am
i have got spouse visa, and i leave in uk with my britsh sitizen husband and we are leaving during 2 years with fried and relative, can my application be refused, shall the relative and frienf provide somthing for as to coplite my application
by Bre on August 30th, 2011 at 09:52 am
If you immigrated to the United States and wanted to become a citizen, when would your time as a permanent resident begin?
by RioNogal on September 02nd, 2011 at 10:26 am
Hi I just have a simple cuestion. I'm a legal resident since in 8 October 2008 this October I'll a have three years, I get married to US Citizen and I know I can apply for my citizenship after a period of 3 years. But how long have to wait after my three years period is complete to put my citizenship application? Did I could just put my aplications in the same month (October 2011)?
by Alicia sy on September 05th, 2011 at 10:46 pm
Hi Im maried to a malian, his dad is very sick and has told my husband, should he not make it he rants him and me to bring these small children to live in america with us. How does this process begin?
by Elena on September 09th, 2011 at 10:10 am
If you entered the country illegally, can you leave on an airplane with your passport? Or will immigration/customs check to see that your passport was stamped upon entry to the country when they go to stamp it for your exit? Is this a problem?
by ram on September 12th, 2011 at 12:01 am
i been living illegally in new York for 21 years .and have two kids who are united states citizens. my father put an application for me two years ago and he is a citizen of united states. is there any
Additional Details
i am not married and my kids ages are 12 - 14 i allso have 2 other kids who are allso illegal ages 22-25. all four of my kids live with me and the 2 older ones have been in the states for the same length of time without leaving .
by mhassan on September 15th, 2011 at 04:47 pm
I am a us citizen by birth, but i haven't lived in the states for five years, now i have filed a pitition for my two kids( age 8 and 6 years) I have recieved thier immigrant visas but i want to know for how long should we stay in the states to get their citizenship
by cristiane on September 16th, 2011 at 09:46 pm
iam in the us for 8 years , i came without visa , ben married for 6 years , have 5 years old daughter , my husband son lives with us
hes mother can't take care of him
i want to know if a have a chance to have my paper work done some day ?
by UCHE on September 19th, 2011 at 12:14 pm
my mum just got her citizen in august,she filled for me when i was not married but now i am married and and she has sent my papers.Please how long will it take for them to call me for my interview in my country nigeria?
take you for any information
by Daysi on September 21st, 2011 at 12:14 pm
i'm a resident married with a U.S Citizen, and i would like to bring my mom from the dominican republic do i need to be a citizen too, or can my husband help me with the process?
by Walaa Eldeen on September 22nd, 2011 at 01:27 am
We have been granted leave to remain in Britain, I want to know what will happen to my child when born, do my child will be British?
by Sean on September 29th, 2011 at 12:19 am
I am a naturalized citizen and would like to submit a petition for my parents to receive green card (or permenant residency here in US). If they are traveling to the US (where I live) on a travel visa, can they stay with me (here in the US) until they receive the green card? Or do they have to go back to their country of citizenship and wait for the approval?
by marlon on October 05th, 2011 at 12:14 pm
i was granted voluntary departure for overstaying my time in the us. the judge said i can visit my daughter is that true?
by jenny on October 10th, 2011 at 10:08 pm
i have a boy friend of 53 years old and i am 38 he is deaf white and i am black ..we want to apply for green card ..will there be a difficulties because he is deaf???
by Arina on October 11th, 2011 at 07:29 pm
I m suing my ex husband at federal court for not helping us out I-864 form ,is it possible to expedite process,how?
by MARIA on October 20th, 2011 at 09:01 pm
by Kliknij Tutaj on October 29th, 2011 at 04:01 pm
Thank you very much for all the answers, this information really helped me a alot! Appreciate it...Have by the way never seen as many comments on a blog before that are so valuable. Its nice to see that there are so many people out there carrying about this...
by oudala on November 01st, 2011 at 10:28 am
Please give me answer: i went to interview on Tuesday Octo 25 ,2011 but i get yellow paper ask for more financial documents from my husband, and now we are worry because we try to read infromation from U.S visa but still don't understand ,
My husband is retire since 1997 and doest not file the IRS form because his income less for the IRS file (17,500 per year in his income) asset (2 condo in Thailand)+ saving money in Thailand and US=11,4000 , do you think this will help ?, what should i do for this stuation ? i have send U.S emabssy of my husband's bank stetament and letter of our 2 condo in Thailand and one we bought together , in this case , will we need joint sponsor ? please give me anwer helpppppppppp
by tommy on November 07th, 2011 at 01:21 am
my husband live in new york almost 30 years with his family before he finished citizen paper he got deported to Egypt back , he cant live in Egypt and all his family us citizen what he have to do to go back USA, iam Egyptian too
by sheena on December 03rd, 2011 at 09:59 am
i am married in the philippines,i want to divorce my husband for some grounds,but we dont have divorce in the philippines,i come to canada as a worker.and i ve been dating a canadian citizen.and im pregnant now.but im not yet a permanent resident.can i register my baby with his father's surname?while im waiting to be a permanent resident here?thanks
by TRT Caribbean on December 07th, 2011 at 12:29 pm
My parents (both pensioners) was vacationing this year for one month on the eve of the vacation to make it one week, my father tookin very Ill and was hospitalised in ICU for a few months now the bills are mounting up. is there any sort of medical assistance that they can get access to help pay for these bills.
by alfie on December 14th, 2011 at 07:49 pm
a British women and child is stuck in Jamaica and fearing there life with no money or flight tickets how do they get back
by emily on January 25th, 2012 at 01:17 am

I also wanted you to relay a little message to Reverend Dr.( for me, Tell him that the results are going very well and I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am so glad that I put my faith in this and I am very happy so far, and would very much like it to continue!i will advice anyone to contact him for any kind of problem because he is a powerfull spell caster..
by Ritter on February 22nd, 2012 at 06:31 pm
Dearest powerful wintchcraftspell , It has been my desire to be the light that others will use to see from,that has been my prayer since when i was child, I have always wanted to help the hopeless, and above all to be a source of peace wherever I find myself,i most confess your GOODLUCK SPELL CASTING shows changing s in my life,the spell casting is realy accomplish me of my wishes. my financial problem now has stop for survival you intercede for me so I will be the one that will be able to provide for them and the one people will look up to. As I take you as my patron HILLER from the day i meet you have show me the power of your oracles and make all the impossibilities in my life possible and pray for peace and love in my life i can see the light nowwwwwwwwww sweet wintchcraftspell.
by temi caraballo on February 29th, 2012 at 08:24 pm
im getting divorce well in process i met a new girlfriend after my wife left me is there any way i could bring my new girlfriend in to the us before the divorce gos threw i have 5 month to wait until
the divorce gos threw
by glyn on May 04th, 2012 at 04:28 pm
does the person filed the affidavit of support have the right to deport the 19yrs old who is pregnant and seeking the help from social services?
by Mira on May 14th, 2012 at 11:53 pm
My father is a US citizen he is going to petition me [his daughter]. How long would I wait to for that processing?
by Marie on June 19th, 2012 at 12:08 am
I want to know if my father who's immigrant in USA for 15 years now could apply for a naturalized citizenship, since his grandfather was a true American born in Chicago Illinois. My father have all the supporting documents to prove that. How can he apply for a US citizenship through naturalization (is that the right term?)? Can it be pass on to us, his children and grandchildren here in the Philippines in order for us to to USA fast? Where should my father apply or submit it, in USA or here in Philip[ines? I need an answer for this, thank you!
by hugo on August 05th, 2012 at 08:12 pm
i have be maried 4 times at us just the fisr time i apply for paper but she never show up for interviuw is any chances if a apply again?
by LIZZI on August 13th, 2012 at 06:05 pm
Hello to all that is reading these reviews. I just wanted to let you guys know that you should not fret or worry. If Dr.ZACK BALO says that he will help you, thats exactly what he does. I came to Dr.ZACK BALO with an EXTREMELY complicated case and I had huge doubts that something can be done; but I went for it anyways. And I am glad that I did. As I receive results from the WISEINDIVIDUALSPELL, I am learning lessons in patience & postive thinking. Those 2 things are key to getting thru all of this. So to everyone, dont give up hope. Do whatever you have to do to stay postive! The results will come as long as you truly believe that they will,Email to contact him is
by Fiona on October 24th, 2012 at 06:34 am
Hi, my grandfather was from California and served in the American navy he came out to Australia with the navy and jumped ship when it returned to the USA, on the way back the ship was bombed and all on the ship died. My grandfather applied for Australian citizenship and lived in Australia, what I want to know is if I can legally immigrate to America if my grandfather was originally from california. I am registered nurse in Australia and my husband is a truck driver and farm hand and we have one child together. Thanks for your advice Fiona Nuske
by rubis for kids on November 01st, 2012 at 02:13 am
my husband is not a united states citizen, somehow, everify system has him marked as a u.s. citizen how can we change it back to non citizen. This stopped my husband from working
please help we dont know what to do.
by TRACY ADAM on March 29th, 2013 at 12:54 am
An amazing testimony of a spell caster that help me get my husband back to
My name is Tracy Adam i lived in U S A and i have 4 kids, before i was
having having problems with my husband which make him hate us so much that
even lead to break up and leave us to another woman, until a friend of mine
directed me to this man called Dr. Okungbor, i contacted him and he start
to cast the spell immediately, then he help me and i get my husband back in
peace and we are now happy family am very much thankful to Dr. Okungbor
that help me,so i must tell the people how good he his. I will advice you
to contact him through this email or call his mobile number +2348156784928 for any help.Then your problem will
be solve

by DR CHANGI on April 03rd, 2013 at 09:35 am
am changi from japan, i was amazed by the african power, that brought back mine business, i was duped a long 2years ago by some of mine business partners, so since then, have been looking for how to take my money back, not being through with that mine wife fell sick of cancer of the lungs, all the spell caster i met did noting but just scarmed me and promised me, i waited for whole two years, and noting happend, not untill i was introduced to this helper, DR EHOHO, i thought he was like the rest, but he said i should just give him 12 days to cast the spell ,and i did, the 14th day, i was so suprised that my lost partners sent me a mail, appologicing for all they did to me, and they paid my money with intrest, that was when i knew that there was God in african magic.he helped me with mine wife illment and the doctor said the cancer was gone, indeed this is a life TESTIMONY, DR EHOHO, you are too good to be in african, if you want to meet him, email immediately with this

hon changi from japan....
by shawn143 on April 12th, 2013 at 11:26 pm
I have spoken to several people lately about why an immigration status affects one's estate planning.
by hanger on June 08th, 2013 at 08:41 pm
My Name is Hanger from USA.I never believed in Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster called DR UDEGBE The woman i wanted to marry left me 2 months to our weeding ceremony and my life was upside down.she was with me for 4 years and i really love her so much..she left me for another man with no reasons..when i called her she never picked up my calls and she don't want to see me around her…so,when i told the man what happened.he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other man has done some spells over my wife and that is the reason why she left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell to bring her back.At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 3 days,she called me herself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe she can ever come back to me again but now i am happy she's back and we are married now and we live as a happy family..Am posting this to the forum if anyone needs the help of this man.Can contact him through this email address. or call his mobile number +2348156784928
by Andrea Ramsay on June 24th, 2013 at 02:41 pm
Greetings to you that is reading this testimony. My name is Andrea Ramsay, I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage, he left me and the kid to suffer, one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back, i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back, because i am now happy with my husband. His email again is
by Joy on July 21st, 2013 at 06:31 am
Hi! I have a question..I was being petition before and i got married in US but after a month of living there i came back to my country. My question is do i can use the previous petition or it could help me to do the paper works quicker?
by James Tamblyn on August 10th, 2013 at 02:32 pm

My name is James Tamblyn, i leave in UK, my girlfriend and i have been together
for over 6 years now, in the last few weeks i have been having problems
with her, I do love this woman a lot and do want to get married to her but
at times i did feel a little confused about this and has wondered if she
has been true to the relationship...until i found king son, who told me
that she was not being true with me..I did later find out that she has been
seeing her ex boyfriend I was devastated and did not know what to do,
although I still loved her and could not see myself with anyone else, I did
not want to lose her and king son assured me that they could help me with
this problem, he told me about a spell caster Dr UKAKA i decided to give
it a trier so I contacted once again to let
him know that I did want to get help with this. With the powers that they
do have my girlfriend and I did work a lot of things out and she has came
back to me and we are now back together and engaged I did get over the fact
that she has cheated on me but sometimes we do need to forget the past and
move on to a better future and without king son' help I don't think it
would have ever worked out.he is truly an Angel sent from up above!
by Krystyn on August 24th, 2013 at 12:22 pm
still actual, ths for shering
by natalie on September 10th, 2013 at 07:50 pm
I want to know how far after you get married can you fix your spouse papers and what if he was caught by immigration twice tryin to cross? And what will we need to start the process and how much and can he stay here without having to leave california?"I want to know how far after you get married can you fix your spouse papers and what if he was caught by immigration twice tryin to cross? And what will we need to start the process and how much and can he stay here without having to leave california?"
by chu on September 24th, 2013 at 07:25 am
Hello me and my husband get a tourist visa purpose is business trip visiting a couple who own a business they pay our ticket to USA . when we got there it change everything and we got traffic for 9 month until we got help to run by somebody ,we talk to FBI and apply for T-visa and was denied we stay in US for 12 years we have two America minor kids one has a disability .We decide to went home country to start over .even its difficult we want to apply again but we don't know if we can comeback to US without barred for 10 years .
by joyce on March 17th, 2014 at 12:39 am
Hi everyone, I do hope my post gets read and hopefully helps somebody along the line.i will never forget the help Dr Papa temple render to me in my marital life. i have been married for 4 years now and my husband and i love each other very dearly . after 3 years of our marriage my husband suddenly change he was having an affair with a lady outside,i notice it then i was praying for divine intervention the thing became more serious i told my pastor about it we prayed but nothing happen. my husband just came home one day he pick up his things and left me and the kids to his mistress outside at this time i was confuse not knowing what to do again because i have lost my husband and my marriage too. i was just checking my mails in the office when i saw someone sharing her testimony on how Dr Papa temple help her out with her marital problems so i contacted the email of Dr papa i told him my problem and i was told to be calm that i have come to the right place that i should fill some information concerning my self i did after 30 minus he called me again congratulating me that my problems will be solve within 48 hours. he told me what went wrong with my husband and how it happen.that they will restored my marriage but i will make a free donation to their Papa home anything my heart told me. to my greatest surprise my husband came to my office begging me on his knees that i should find a place in my heart to forgive him i quickly ask him up that i have forgiven him.friends your case is not too hard why don't you give Dr papa a try they work surprises because i know they will also bring back your husband. contact him via
by Hazel gaye z. Pepito on November 18th, 2014 at 03:21 am
Hi. I'm 33 yrs old presently living in the Philippines as a Filipino citizen. My mom is a U.S. citizen and is presently living in Oregon. I traveled to the US At the age of 8 and lived there till I was 12 years old and after I was sent back home to the Philippines. From that day I was sent back to the Philippines to live with my grandma, my mother has never supported me. I still have my social security card number. Is there or what complain can I file against my mother for not supporting me for the last 24 years? Can anybody help me?
Related Documents

Pass the 63: A Training Guide for the NASAA Series 63 Exam by Robert Walker

by: beert, 2 pages

Pass the 63: A Training Guide for the NASAA Series 63 Exam by Robert Walker Great Guide For The Series 63 This must-have book guides you ...

A CISO Guide for Application Security

by: Forti, 16 pages

A CISO Guide for Application Security

A Resource Guide For Parents And Video Games

by: temple35babies, 2 pages

Adults and children both love video games. Video games can provide a great outlet for stress. You ma...


by: hubert, 30 pages

This convenient guide has been prepared to help hemophilia B patients and their families navigate through the maze of medical terminology often heard during conversations with medical personnel, read ...

Why Legalization Matters: A Guide for Non-Stoners

by: Eric, 4 pages

An article arguing that legalization is important for all Americans, not just those who smoke marijuana.

DEALING WITH WORKPLACE BULLYING: A Practical Guide for Employees

by: olivia, 18 pages

Bullying is not acceptable workplace behavior and it should not be tolerated in any form. This practical guide has been developed to help employees identify and deal with bullying in the workplace. ...

Preventing Workplace Bullying: A Practical Guide for Employers

by: kinga, 22 pages

Workplace bullying constitutes a significant threat to the health, safety and welfare of people in the workplace and potentially has wider implications for employers, including reduced profitability, ...

Choosing a Local Distributor For Psychometric Tests

by: psychometrictests, 2 pages

Choosing a Local Distributor For Psychometric Tests from PsyAsia International

Social Media for Non Profits

by: matheus, 41 pages

Social Media for Non Profits

What Is SEO? A Basic Guide for Small Business

by: monroeklein229, 2 pages

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a foreign word to many small business owners. Some know what it is but think it's irrelevant, many others have no idea what it is and don't care to know. It is ...

Content Preview
A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens:
Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions
Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization
at Yale Law School

A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some
Frequently Asked Questions

-- Nick Lewin, YLS Class of 2004
This guide was written to answer common questions about immigration law and other
issues of concern to our non-citizen clients. The questions are grouped into five
Lawful Permanent Residency and Visas

o Undocumented Status and Out-Of-Status

o Applying for Your Green Card (Lawful Permanent Resident or LPR) 6
o Becoming a U.S. Citizen

o “Good Moral Character”

o Receiving
Talking to Police and Immigration Agents: Your Rights and Responsibilities 14
Domestic Violence


The information in this guide is current as of August 2006, but may have changed.
Please understand that this guide is for general informational and educational purposes

only. It is not legal advice, because legal advice depends upon the specific
circumstances of each situation. The information in this guide cannot replace the
advice of an experienced lawyer. For more information about finding a lawyer, please
contact Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization through Junta
for Progressive Action at (203) 787-0191 or Connecticut Statewide Legal Services at
(800) 453-3320.


Lawful Permanent Residency and Visas

1. Undocumented Status and Out-of-Status
Unfortunately, changes in the law made in 1996 make it almost impossible to become
a permanent resident or citizen if you entered the United States illegally, unless you first
return to your country of citizenship and begin the application process there. Entering
the country “illegally” means that you entered without inspection at a port of entry.
However, if you have been unlawfully present in this country for 180 days, and you
leave the country to pursue legal status, you wil not be allowed to return for three
years, and if you have been unlawfully present in this country for one year and leave,
you will not be allowed to return for ten years. Because of these “3 year/10 year” bars,
if you are currently out-of-status, you should not leave the country to pursue legal status
without first consulting with an experienced immigration attorney.
First, it is important to understand that there is a difference between entering the country
illegally and entering the country legally
(with a valid U.S. visa) but being “out-of-status”
because your visa has expired. If you entered the country legally, but are currently out-
of-status, you should speak with a lawyer. Depending on how long you have been out-
of-status, you may have some options. The information in this section only applies to
people who entered the country illegally, and are interested in applying for a green
card without first returning to their home country.
If you entered the United States illegally there are a few things you should know:
1. Marrying a U.S. citizen or permanent resident does not guarantee that you will get a
green card.
2. Having an employer who is wil ing to sponsor you does not guarantee that you get a
green card.
3. The sponsorship of a family member – even a brother, sister, or parent – who is a
permanent resident or citizen, does not guarantee that you get a green card.
4. Under the current law, it generally does not matter how long you have been in the
country, if you entered illegally. There is a very limited exception, called
“Cancellation (b)” for immigrants who have been in the United States for more than
ten years and for whom deportation would create “exceptional and extremely
unusual hardship” to a citizen or LPR spouse. Cancellation (b) is discussed in more
detail below.
5. Unless you fit under one of the exceptions which are discussed below, you need to
return to your country of citizenship and try to re-enter the United States legally.
However, even if you do return to your home country to apply for a green card,

- 2 -

there are still rules that might prevent you from becoming a lawful permanent

• If the U.S. government knows that you were in the United States illegally for more
than 180 days, and you leave and then want to re-enter, you may be barred
from re-entering for 3 years.
• If the U.S. government knows that you were in the United States illegally for 365
days or more, and you leave and then want to re-enter, you may be barred for
re-entering for 10 years.
• It is your burden to show that you were not il egally in the United States. In other
words, if the U.S. government suspects that you were in the United States illegally,
you will have to convince them that they are wrong. This can be very difficult to
• However, applicants who have been in the United States illegally can apply for a
waiver of these bars. The waiver is only available if you can show that, even
though you were here illegally, barring you from reentering the country will cause
extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse or parent, or to your lawful
permanent resident (green card holder) spouse or parent.

*** If you have lived in the United States illegally for more than 365 days, leave the
United States, and then return illegally, YOU CAN BE PERMANENTLY BARRED FROM

IMMIGRATING. If you leave the United States following an order of deportation and
return illegally you can be PERMANTLY BARRED FROM IMMIGRATING. If you reenter the
United States illegally after previously being deported the U.S Immigration and Customs

There are few ways in which people who entered the country illegally can become a
resident without returning to their country of citizenship and applying from there. You
should know that these exceptions are very limited, and most people who enter the
United States illegally do not qualify. However, if you believe you are one of the few
people who do qualify for one of these exceptions, you should talk to an experienced
immigration lawyer because these kinds of applications are very complicated.
The four primary ways in which someone who entered the United States illegally can
become a resident are:

- 3 -

Applying for Asylum:
• In order to be eligible for asylum, you must prove that you have a “well-
founded fear of persecution” by the government in your home country, or by
a group that the government in your home country is not able to control,
such as a rebel or terrorist organization. But just being scared is not enough.
Your fear must be considered “reasonable” by immigration authorities. If you
think you might be eligible for asylum in the United States, you should speak
with a lawyer who has experience with asylum petitions.
• General y, you can only apply for asylum within one (1) year of entering the
United States illegally or legally. There are very limited exceptions to the one
year rule, such as where certain conditions change in your former-home
country or if extraordinary personal circumstances, such as serious illness,
prevented you from applying. It is your burden to show that you have been
in the United States less than a year or to show that there were special
circumstances that kept you from applying before the year was up. If
you’ve been in the United States for more than one year, but think you might
be eligible, you should speak to an experienced immigration attorney.

Victims of Domestic Violence or a Serious Crime: If you are the victim of domestic
violence, you might be eligible for either a self-petition or for a U-Visa. Both of
these could allow you to get a green card. Please see below for more details on
domestic violence, self-petitions, and U-Visas.
• If your husband or wife who is abusing you is a U.S. citizen or a lawful
permanent resident you can self-petition for a green card. Please see below
for more details on how to self-petition.
• If your husband or wife is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (but is
here illegally or on a temporary visa), or if you are not legally married to the
person who is abusing you, you might be eligible for a U-Visa. If you are the
victim of another serious crime you might also be eligible for a U-Visa. Please
see below for more details on the U-Visa.

Someone filed a family petition (I-130) or an employment petition (I-140) before
May 1, 2001 under which you could immigrate: The law is actually very complex,
therefore you should consult a lawyer if you think you may be eligible.

Immigrant has been in the U.S. continuously for more than 10 years and removal
would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship for a U.S. citizen/LPR
spouse or children. This is called “Cancellation (b)” and is a very limited

- 4 -

exception to the rule that if you entered illegally your cannot become
documented. There are three requirements for Cancellation (b):
o You must have been continuously present in the United States for the
ten (10) years immediately preceding the date of your application.
o You must have “good moral character,” a term which is explained
elsewhere in this guide, and must not have been convicted of certain
o You must be able to establish that removal would result in exceptional
and extremely unusual hardship to your U.S. citizen/LPR husband/wife,
parent or child.
There are other very narrow programs for certain people (such as unaccompanied
minors and victims of trafficking) but an extraordinarily small number of people qualify
for these programs. If you think you may qualify, you should speak with an experienced
immigration lawyer.

*** If you entered the country illegally, be very careful of any lawyer or other person
who says that they can help fix your immigration status if you pay them. Unless you fit
into one of the narrow exceptions above, no lawyer can help you get a green card or
become a citizen if you entered the country illegally. These people may be trying to
take your money even though there is nothing they can do to help you!!! ***

If the arrival/departure card (also called an I-94 card) you received when you last
entered the United States, or the I-94 you received when you last received an extension
or change of status, has expired, it is very important that you take appropriate steps.
If the I-94 card has been expired for less than 120 days you can sometimes
get an extension without a penalty.
If the I-94 card has been expired for between 120 and 180 days, you may
have to leave the United States and then re-enter with the appropriate visa
and should have no difficulty. However, you cannot get an extension from
within the United States and you will have to go to the U.S. embassy or
consulate in your home country.
If the I-94 card has been expired for more than 180 days and you leave the
United States and then seek to re-enter, you may be barred from re-entering
for 3 years.

- 5 -

In addition, if you are out-of-status for 365 days or more, and you leave and
then seek to re-enter, you may be barred from re-entering for 10 years.
These very strict laws have few exceptions. Therefore, it is extremely important that you
monitor the expiration date on your current I-94 card.

2. Applying for Your Green Card (Lawful Permanent Resident or LPR)
A sponsor is a person who helps an immigrant become a lawful permanent resident
(green card holder) by signing an “affidavit of support” (Form I-864). An affidavit of
support shows that the immigrant applying for a green card is not likely to become
dependent on government benefits, like welfare, because the sponsor is financially
able to support the applicant. There are income requirements for sponsors who sign
the affidavits.
Sponsors who sign affidavits must show that they earn enough to support a
household that includes the immigrant, family members joining the immigrant,
and the sponsor’s family. In order to prove that the sponsor can afford to
support the person they’re sponsoring, they must show that their household
income is at least 125% of the federal poverty level (currently $27,537 for a
household of five people).
Sponsors who can’t meet these requirements may find a joint sponsor who also
must sign an affidavit of support promising to support the immigrant. The total of
the two sponsors must be at least 125% of the federal poverty level.
If the sponsor’s own income doesn’t meet the required level, he or she can also
count the income and assets of members of their household who are related by
birth, marriage, or adoption. If the immigrant to be sponsored is already living in
the United States, his or her own income can also count towards the total.
Sponsors who cannot meet these requirements can also use their assets to help
meet the income requirements. Assets are things like property, a house, cars,
money in savings accounts, and stocks. The total of the sponsor’s assets must be
at least five (5) times the difference between your household income and the
required income level based on the federal poverty guidelines. Here is an
o If you wish to be a sponsor and the guidelines say that your household
income has to be at least $25,537 to sponsor a family member, and
you only earn $24,537, you would be $1,000 short.
o But the guidelines allow you to make up the difference between your
income (in this example, $24,537) and how much you have to earn to
be a sponsor (in this example, $25,537), with your assets. Your assets

- 6 -

have to be worth at least 5 times the difference between your income
and the amount required by the guidelines.
o So, in this example, if you own a car worth $5,000, the value of that car
would be equal to 5 times the difference between your actual income
and the required level ($1,000), so you would meet the requirements
and could sponsor your family member.
Sponsors who sign affidavits (I-864 forms) are not responsible for government
benefits (like welfare) used after the immigrant: (1) becomes a U.S. citizen; (2)
earns credit for about 10 years of work history in the United States, according to
the Social Security Administration, either through his/her own work or the work of
a spouse or parent; (3) leaves the United States permanently; or (4) dies.

No. But whether you can bring a family member to the United States depends on two
factors: (1) your own citizenship or residency status, and (2) how that family member is
related to you. Someone who wants to bring a family member to the United States is
called a petitioner, because they are submitting a petition for their relative to become
a permanent resident.
A petitioner can bring family members to the United States only if the
petitioner is already a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder).
A permanent resident can petition for: (1) unmarried children (of any age), or
(2) a spouse (husband or wife).
A U.S. citizen can petition for: (1) parents, (2) spouse, (3) unmarried children
under 21, and (3) siblings (brothers and sisters). In addition, although it is more
difficult and can take a lot more time, U.S. citizens also can petition for
children who are married or older than 21.
Notice who is not on this list: grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, parents-in-
law and other extended family members. Neither citizens nor green card
holders can normally submit petitions for these family members.
You should know, however, that the rules are different if you are applying for asylum,
VAWA petitions or for U-Visas. You can find more information on those procedures
elsewhere in this guide.

- 7 -

Unfortunately, no one can say exactly how long each applicant will wait, but it can be
a very long time. Even for an immediate family member, such as the spouse of a U.S.
citizen, the whole process is likely to take a minimum of one year. For other groups, it
can take many, many years. To give you an idea, the average wait from most
countries is as fol ows:
• 2 Years: for family members such as spouses of U.S. citizens
• 5 Years: for spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents under 21
• 5 Years: for married children of U.S. citizens
• 11 Years: for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens
Remember that these are just estimates, and the actual time could be longer or shorter.
Also, the wait will probably be longer if the immigrant is from a country from which there
are many applications, such as Mexico or the Philippines.

Yes. There are some steps you can take to speed up your family member’s progress
toward a green card, or to make sure that the process goes smoothly.
Apply for U.S. Citizenship: If you are a lawful permanent resident, but not yet a
citizen, you can help your family member by applying for citizenship as soon as you
are eligible. As soon as you become a citizen, you can move your family members
to a speedier immigration category.
Explain to Your Unmarried Children the Effects of Marriage: Married children have
it tough when it comes to immigrating. If you have children who have not yet
married, and they want to immigrate through you, make sure they know that getting
married to a non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident will probably add years to their
wait time. Of course, the decision to marry is a highly personal one, but if their
priority is to immigrate to the United States, they might consider waiting to marry until
after they have received their green card. It won’t matter that they were unmarried
when you started the immigration process for them; they have to be unmarried
when they pick up their immigrant visa or green card, or they won’t qualify for it.
Have Different U.S. Citizen Family Members Sponsor the Same Immigrant: You’ve
heard the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” There is no harm in having
more than one family member file visa petitions for the waiting immigrant. For
instance, both parents could file for a child, to insure against the death of one of
them. Or a person whose parent is a U.S. citizen and is married to a permanent
resident could have both their spouse and their parent file a visa petition for them.

- 8 -

That way they would be on two waiting lists and can benefit from whichever moves
most quickly.

It is very important that you don’t miss your immigration hearing, because it is very, very
difficult to fix. If you do miss the hearing, the judge will probably order you deported,
even though you weren’t there. You will need to speak with a lawyer about making a
motion to open up your case. In order to open up the case you wil need to prove a
very good reason for missing the hearing.
Weather delays, traffic problems, and minor health problems are examples of
reasons that will probably not be enough to get the judge to open your case.
A very severe health problem is an example of a reason that might make the
judge open up the case.
A person who is ordered deported at a hearing is barred from re-entering the
United States for at least ten years.

Once you receive a green card, there are only two conditions required to keep it for
life. First, you must not become “removable” or “inadmissible.” The most common way
of doing this is to be convicted of a crime. Second, you can’t abandon the United
States as your permanent residence. As long as you are not planning to make your
home somewhere else, then legally you are still a permanent resident of the United
As a general rule, if you have a green card and leave the United States for more
than one year, you may have a difficult time reentering the country. That is because
the U.S. government believes that an absence of longer than one year indicates
that you may have intended to abandon your U.S. residence. To avoid any trouble,
if you go abroad, you should return to the United States within six months.
Many people think that to keep your green card all you need to do is enter the
United States at least once-a-year. Actually, the truth is that if you ever leave with
the intention of making another country your permanent home, you give up your
U.S. residency when you leave.
On the other hand, remaining outside the United States for more than one year
does not mean you have automatically given up your green card. If your absence
was intended from the start to be only temporary, you may stil keep your
permanent resident status. However, you may no longer use your green card as a

- 9 -

Document Outline
  • Immigration_english_12_01.pdf
    • ??
      • ??
      • ???C
      • ???C
      • ???C
    • ??
      • ??
    • ??

A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions



Your download will begin in a moment.
If it doesn't, click here to try again.

Share A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions to:

Insert your wordpress URL:


Share A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions as:



Share A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions.

Enter two words as shown below. If you cannot read the words, click the refresh icon.


Share A Legal Guide for Non-Citizens: Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions as:

Copy html code above and paste to your web page.