IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

By Immigration attorney Caroly Pedersen

Immigration questions and answers

Immigration Questions and Answers

Question: My wife has been a US resident for almost two years now and we will be filing our application to make her green card permanent through your office. I have a few questions 1) You said it may take up to 8 months or more for the immigration authority to approve her case, so we are wondering if she will be issued another temporary green card during this process until she gets her final permanent one and 2) we are planning a vacation to Italy next spring  and we are afraid that she will not be allowed back in the country without her actual Green Card, thanks.

Answer: I understand your concerns. Once the petition is filed, the USCIS issues a formal receipt in about 10 – 14 days called an “I-797 Notice of Action” for the I-751, which will extend your wife’s Green Card, Work & Travel authorization for a full year. This receipt takes the place of her actual Green Card while her removal of condition petition is processing. She will use this original receipt to travel. So when you go abroad, the I-751 Receipt is in fact her Green Card for the purposes of entering the U.S.. Once we file your petition and receive the extension receipt, we will make an Infopass Appointment for your wife at your local USCIS office so that they can put a residency extension stamp in her passport which is easier to use for travel. See you soon.

 Question: I just passed my Naturalization exam at my interview last week and I am waiting for my appointment date to get sworn in as a U.S. Citizen. Once I become a Citizen, I want to apply for both my parents who came here as tourists and have been in the U.S. for the last 12 years. I want to know if you file for my parents’ residency, how long will it take for them to get permission to work, their driving license and their green cards?

 Answer: Once their residency cases are filed, it will take about 3 months to receive their Work Authorization cards and then another week or so to be issued their Social Security cards. At that point they can apply for their Driver’s License. Currently, it is taking between 6 to 9 months for residency interviews, then another week or so to receive their Green Cards.

Question: I have a question about petitioning a green card holder’s children over age of 21. It says they can file a petition for unmarried/single children over 21. Does that mean the person being single at the time of the application or the person must be single throughout the whole process? Regards 

 Answer: That is a very critical question and the answer is one that many immigrants simply do not know. The law requires that the adult children of U.S. Residents sponsored in the F2B category remain single. If a child marries after the I-130 petition is filed but before a U.S. Resident parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the I-130 is automatically cancelled, even if the adult child later divorces. The reason is that immigration regulations do not have a Family category for married children of U.S. Residents, only single ones. I hope this is helpful to you.

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