For immigration benefits adjudicated by USCIS, whether a person is likely to become a public charge is often considered when someone is trying to become a permanent resident and obtain a U.S. green card. It is also considered when someone applies for certain non-immigrant or other temporary benefits, for example by extending non-immigrant status within the United States.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if you are seeking admission to the United States or seeking to adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident, you are inadmissible if “at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, you are likely at any time to become a public charge.” If an individual is inadmissible, admission to the United States or adjustment of status is not granted. Public charge does not apply in naturalization proceedings.
Every hopeful immigrant knows that there are constraints on the availability and issuance of United States Green Cards. The limited availability of U.S. visa creates the main backlog on green card applications. Employment-based green cards for foreign workers and their families are also limited by the United States government, and the 2015 cap has been set at 144,000 per year, world-wide. Family-sponsored preference categories for 2015 are limited to 226,000 visas per year. USCIS also places a total annual cap on the amount of visas that can be issued to foreign nationals from any particular country. For 2015, no country can receive more than 7 percent of the total annual number of family-sponsored and employment-based visas or approximately 25,600 visas.
If you entered the United States “legally,” you probably came to this country with a valid nonimmigrant visa, such as a student visa, tourist visa, or temporary work visa. Some people are even allowed into the U.S. on a visa waiver or with a special pass at one of the U.S. borders. In either event, you would have been inspected by an immigration official at your point of entry and allowed into the United States. This method of entering the U.S. makes it easier for you to file for an Adjustment of Status in the U.S. Your U.S. citizen spouse can file a Petition for Alien Relative to apply for your green card.
However, did you know that even if you are now staying in the U.S. past the date of your authorized stay, , you are still eligible for a marriage based green card? A green card is still available to you even if you are “out of status” or are staying here illegally. If you have overstayed by six months or more since April 1, 1997 you may still apply but would need a waiver. It is very important to note that if you leave the country, you would be barred from returning for three or ten years, depending on the length of your unauthorized stay. Immigration law is a complicated field. Your personal immigration path may have twists and turns that you did not expect! We can help you to make your journey as smooth as possible. Contact Your Immigration Angel today for your free consultation!
There are two paths to apply for a marriage based green card. Which path is right for you depends on your individual circumstances. The two methods are:
1.) If you are outside of the United States, then you can apply through a consular process and have your interview at the U.S. consulate in your county.
2.) If you are currently in the United States, then you can apply to adjust status from within the U.S. and you will have the interview in the U.S.
If you are in the U.S., the USCIS will review your application based on if you came into the U.S. with an inspection or entered the U.S. without an inspection. If you have fallen out of lawful status but you entered the U.S. legally, and had an inspection by an immigration official, you can generally obtain your green card from within the U.S. If you are in the U.S. without lawful status, then you cannot change your status from within the U.S. You will have to return to your home country to proceed through a consular process unless you qualify for an exception to this general rule as the spouse of a U.S. citizen. Immigration law is very complicated and errors or problems with your petition for a green card can ruin the chances for success now and in the future. For assistance with your marriage based green card, please contact Your Immigration Angel today!
The marriage based green card is an excellent choice for immigrants who are married or are planning on marrying a U.S. citizen or a U.S. lawful permanent resident. Under U.S. immigration law, there are a few requirements to be eligible for the marriage green card. Foremost, you need to be married! You and your spouse must show that you are:
- legally married
- in a bona fide marriage that is not solely for the purposes of obtaining a green card
- married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and
- that neither you nor your spouse are married to anyone else
And there you have it! These are the basic requirements for a marriage based green card. While it may sound simple, there are other factors that USCIS considers, such as financial ability and your background history. USCIS wants to ensure the safety of all U.S. citizens, and does not want to encourage illegal immigration. It is important to make sure you meet every last requirement and that your green card application is properly completed so that USCIS has all of the information needed. For questions, concerns or for assistance regarding your eligibility for a marriage based green card, please don’t hesitate to contact Your Immigration Angel. We are here to help you!
One of the most popular means for becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States is through obtaining a marriage based green card. If you are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can apply through him or her for your own lawful permanent resident status. A spouse who is a U.S. citizen is considered an “immediate relative” by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), conferring you with the highest immigration priority. This means that if you apply for your green card through your U.S. citizen spouse, you will not have to wait for a green card slot to become available. Spousal green cards are available all the time. Your Immigration Angel helps immigrants navigate the U.S. immigration system. Our special focus is helping people stay in the U.S. immediately. If you have any questions on becoming a U.S. citizen through a marriage based green card, call or email us for a free initial consultation.