Extending Your U.S. Green Card is Easy!

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Extending Your United States Green Card

Your U.S. Green Card can expire even if your lawful permanent status is still valid.  The physical card will be good for 10 years, but you will need to renew it within six months of its expiration.  The process is not difficult, but you need to make certain that you submit your green card extension paperwork in a timely manner!  You will need to submit the correct fee as well as a fee for biometrics processing.  Your fingerprints, photo and signature will be recorded for your file with USCIS.  You can even renew your U.S. Green Card if you are planning on going abroad, as long as you file from within the U.S.

Did You Know that Your Lawful Permanent Resident Status Does NOT Expire?

That’s Right!  Your Lawful Permanent Resident status will not expire!

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Once you have your U.S. Green Card, you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States.  Your status will not expire as long as you maintain certain ties to the U.S.   However, your rights to remain in the U.S. can be jeopardized and taken away under certain conditions.  Losing this right to reside in the United States means that you can be removed or deported.  If you are convicted of a crime, you are at risk of losing your right to reside in the U.S.  If you live outside of the U.S. while you are a LPR, you may also lose your status.  In the latter situation, USCIS may consider your LPR status “abandoned.”  There are a number of factors that contribute to a judge determining that you have abandoned your LPR status.  It is important to make sure that you don’t risk losing your status if you intend to live, travel or work abroad while you are a LPR of the United States.  For assistance in assessing your particular circumstances, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel today!

Temporary Protected Status for El Salvador Extended

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador Extended for Another 18 Months!

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) period for eligible nationals of El Salvador.  The extension will increase the protected status for an additional 18 months.  The extension goes into effect on March 10, 2015 through September 9, 2016.

How To Apply:

Current Salvadoran beneficiaries of TPS seeking to extend their TPS status must re-register during the 60 day period that runs from January 7, 2015 – March 9, 2015.

El Salvadoran nationals applying for TPS for the first time may only apply if he or she has resided in the United States since January 7, 2015 and have been continuously physically present since April 1, 2015.

Syrian Nationals and Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

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Re-designation and 18 Month Extension for Syrian TPS Holders

The Secretary of Homeland Security has re-designated Syria for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This means that the existing TPS designation for Syria now covers April 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.  Eligible nationals of Syria may register or re-register for TPS and remain temporarily living and working in the United States.

How to Apply

Current Syrian beneficiaries of TPS seeking extension of status must re-register during the 60 day period starting on January 5, 2015 and ending on March 6, 2015.

Syrian nationals applying for the first time may apply starting April 1, 2015.  To be eligible, you need to have resided in the United States since January 5, 2015 and have had continuous physical presence in the United States since April 1, 2015.

What is Temporary Protected Status?

What is Temporary Protected Status?

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status that may be granted to eligible nationals from certain designated countries.

Who Is Eligible for TPS?

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for TPS when it is determined that:

  • There is an ongoing armed conflict within the state and, due to that conflict, return of nationals to that state would pose a serious threat to their personal safety;
  • The state has suffered an environmental disaster resulting in a substantial, temporary disruption of living conditions, the state is temporarily unable to handle adequately the return of its nationals, and the state has requested TPS designation; or
  • There exist other extraordinary and temporary conditions in the state that prevent nationals from returning in safety, unless the Secretary finds that permitting nationals of the state to remain temporarily is contrary to the national interest of the United States.

What does TPS mean to you?

If you are a TPS beneficiary, you will not be required to leave the United States.  You may obtain work authorization during the initial time period of your stay in the U.S. under TPS, as well as for any TPS extensions.  It is important to note that TPS does not lead to permanent resident status.

A TPS designation is effective for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 18 months. Before the end of the TPS designation period, the Secretary will review the conditions in the designated state and determine whether the conditions that led to the TPS designation continue to be met. TPS designations can be terminated or extended for 6, 12, or 18 months.  If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that the TPS for individuals from your country of origin is not necessary any longer and the status is terminated, you will return to the same immigration status that you held before entering into TPS.

It is important that you apply correctly for TPS if you are eligible and seek qualified legal counsel to ensure that you are taking the correct steps in your immigration journey.

What Does President Obama’s Immigration Reform Mean to YOU?

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President Obama’s immigration reform has created more immigration options for millions of undocumented individuals in the U.S. while promising to keep Americans safer.

  • Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since 1/1/10, and who pass background checks and pay taxes, will be eligible to apply for deferred action, which will be granted for a 3-year period.
  • Parents of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are not eligible for the above relief, however the DACA program itself will be expanded.  The program guidelines will be revised to eliminate the age cap, and to change the date that continuous presence must have started to 1/1/10.
  • Individuals with an approved employment-based immigrant petition who are caught in the quota backlogs to file for adjustment of status will be advanced to permit them to obtain the benefits of a pending adjustment.
  • New reforms also promise to aid job-creating entrepreneurs gain access legal means to enter and operate in the U.S
  • To make the best use of limited ICE resources, newly outlined enforcement priorities will focus on security measures to keep suspected terrorists, convicted felons (including aggravated felonies), convicted gang members, out of the United States.  Additionally, close attention will be paid to people apprehended at the border, people convicted of serious or multiple misdemeanors, and very recent entrants.

Stay Tuned! President Obama to Address the Nation on Immigration Reform!

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Two years ago, President Obama set forth the guiding principles that should lead immigration reform.  Although the Senate passed a bipartisan bill more than 500 days ago, the country has been waiting, and waiting… and waiting…  for House Republicans to vote.  The time has come for the President to issue executive actions and address some of the problems plaguing the immigration system.

Tomorrow night, President Obama will present new immigration law reforms instituted by his executive actions.  There are high hopes that these executive actions will finally help fix our broken immigration system.

You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at WhiteHouse.gov/Live.

Do you have a Biometric Appointment Notice?  Please check yours; some notices were issued in error!

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Your Biometric Appointment is a very important part of your Green Card and Immigration Application Process.  Recently, USCIS erroneously scheduled some people for redundant Application Support Center (ASC) biometric appointment.  If you have received more than one biometric appointment notices, you should check yours.  The document is called “Form I-797C.”

You may have already attended an ASC biometric appointment, and then later received a second appointment notice for the same application type.  If so,  please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to confirm that you do not need to return to the ASC to have your biometrics collected again.  Please note that if you have not yet attended your ASC appointment and received more than one ASC appointment notice, you should attend just one appointment but take both ASC notices to that appointment.

Afghan Special Visa Program Benefits Are Still Available to Eligible Immigrants Until the End of 2014

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A new immigration law extended the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program through the end of calendar year 2014. The Afghan Allies Protection Act was initially enacted in 2009 to permit Afghan nationals, most of whom served as translators for the U.S. military, to be granted United States immigrant visas. After being plagued by extensive backlogs, the program has resulted in the issuance of thousands of visas over the past year. The new immigration law authorizes an additional 1,000 visas to supplement the 3,000 visas already issued in 2014.  The deadline to file is December 31, 2014.