Tag: green card application

WORKING DURING GREEN CARD APPLICATION PROCESSING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

WORKING DURING GREEN CARD APPLICATION PROCESSING: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Are you navigating the process of applying for a green card in the United States and wondering about your eligibility to work during this period? The journey to obtaining permanent residency can be complex, especially when it comes to employment authorization. In this detailed guide, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of working legally in the U.S. while your green card application is pending and explore the steps involved in obtaining employment authorization.

Applying for Employment Authorization:

Individuals with a pending green card application can work legally in the U.S. by obtaining employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To apply for employment authorization, you’ll need to submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, along with the required filing fee and supporting documents. These documents typically include a government-issued identity document, passport or travel document, and two passport-style photographs.

Understanding Processing Times:

The processing time for employment authorization varies, but USCIS typically processes these requests before other applications to reduce wait times for applicants. If you’re simultaneously applying for a green card and employment authorization, you may also consider applying for a travel document (Form I-131, known as advance parole) to facilitate travel outside the U.S. while your application is pending.

Receiving Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD):

Upon approval of your employment authorization application, you’ll receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit. This card serves as physical proof of your authorization to work in the U.S. and contains essential information, including your photograph and fingerprint. It’s crucial to present your EAD to potential employers to demonstrate your eligibility for employment.

Renewing Your EAD:

EADs typically remain valid for two years and can be renewed in two-year intervals. To prevent a disruption in your employment authorization, it’s essential to file for renewal within 180 days of the expiration date of your current EAD. USCIS recommends using the USCIS Case Status Online System to track the status of your EAD and ensure timely renewal.

Transitioning After Green Card Approval:

Once your green card application is approved, you’ll no longer need an EAD to work legally in the U.S. As a lawful permanent resident, you’ll have unrestricted authorization to work for any employer in the country. However, it’s crucial to maintain compliance with all applicable immigration laws and regulations throughout the process.

Understanding the Consequences of Unlawful Employment:

Working without proper employment authorization can have serious consequences, including ineligibility for adjustment of status (green card), removal proceedings, and inadmissibility for future entry into the United States. It’s essential to avoid unlawful employment and seek legal guidance to navigate the complexities of immigration law effectively.

Exploring Legal Income Options:

While awaiting employment authorization, individuals can explore passive income opportunities, such as financial investments in savings accounts, stocks, or bonds. Consulting with an immigration attorney can provide valuable guidance on lawful income generation and ensure compliance with immigration laws and regulations.

Navigating employment authorization while your green card application is pending requires careful attention to detail and adherence to USCIS guidelines. By understanding the application process, processing times, and legal implications of employment authorization, you can navigate this aspect of the immigration journey with confidence. Seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney can provide invaluable support and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

APPLYING FOR A GREEN CARD THROUGH MARRIAGE DESPITE VISA OVERSTAY: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

APPLYING FOR A GREEN CARD THROUGH MARRIAGE DESPITE VISA OVERSTAY: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Are you considering the possibility of obtaining a green card through marriage despite overstaying your visa? Navigating the immigration landscape can be daunting, especially when faced with the complexities of visa overstays. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the implications of visa overstays and how marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident can provide a potential pathway to adjusting your status and obtaining a green card.

Understanding Visa Overstays:

A visa overstay occurs when an individual remains in the United States beyond the expiration date of their visa without proper authorization. The consequences of overstaying vary depending on the duration of the overstay. Short-term overstays, typically under 180 days, may have less severe repercussions compared to medium-term or long-term overstays.

Navigating Overstay Scenarios:

For individuals who have overstayed their visa, the process of obtaining a green card through marriage can vary depending on the duration of the overstay. Short-term overstays, those under 180 days, may still allow for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (i.e. green card holder) without leaving the U.S. However, it’s essential to address the overstay adequately as it can impact future visa applications.

Medium-term overstays, ranging from 180 to 365 days, result in a three-year bar from re-entry into the U.S. if the individual leaves the country. In such cases, it’s advisable for individuals married to U.S. citizens to remain in the U.S. and pursue an adjustment of status through marriage. Leaving the country during this period can complicate the green card application process and re-entry into the U.S.

Long-term overstays, exceeding 365 days, trigger a ten-year bar from re-entering the U.S. if the individual departs. Despite the overstay, marriage to a U.S. citizen may provide a pathway to apply for a green card. However, it’s crucial to avoid unauthorized departures from the U.S. until proper travel authorization is obtained or the green card application is approved.

Navigating Green Card Pathways Through Marriage:

Marriage to a U.S. citizen is considered one of the most direct routes to obtaining a green card, even with a visa overstay. Exceptions exist for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including spouses, allowing for adjustment of status within the U.S. This process involves filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), among other required documents.

Marrying a U.S. permanent resident offers a similar pathway to obtaining a green card, although additional challenges may arise for individuals with visa overstays. Depending on the specific circumstances, consular processing abroad might be recommended, especially for short-term overstays.

Understanding the implications of your overstay, exploring your options, and seeking professional legal advice are crucial steps in this process. With expert guidance, you can navigate the complexities of immigration law and work towards achieving your goal of lawful permanent residency in the United States.

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