If you are considering applying for a green card within the United States, it is important to understand the process, so you can ensure you are eligible and prepared to move forward with meeting the necessary requirements. Of course, it can be difficult to know where to start and oftentimes many individuals have questions or are unsure of what steps to take first. To shed some clarity on how you might be able to obtain a green card, we have compiled a list of 5 of the most commonly asked questions and some informative accompanying answers that will help you begin.
Continue reading for answers to the 5 most commonly asked questions about green cards:
- How much does it cost to get a green card? The answer to this depends on a variety of factors. If you are under 14 and filing with the I-485 application of at least one parent, the total cost of a green card is $750. If the applicant is under the age of 14 and not filing with the I-485 of at least one parent, however, the cost goes up to $1,140. Total costs for those between the ages of 14 and 78 is $1,225. For individuals 79 and older, the cost is $1,225. Individuals filing as a refugee or who have been admitted to the country as a refugee will not owe any fees. Additionally, renewing a green card will also cost $540.
- How long does it take to get a green card? The length of time it takes to get approved for a green card will largely depend on the information and evidence you provide while applying for it. In some cases, it can take a few years, while it others it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. Once you are approved, however, the card itself arrives within a matter of weeks.
- What do I need to get a green card? First, to obtain a green card, you need to be eligible for it. If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident through a qualified family member, job offer, or other special category, you will be given some preference. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are given the highest priority. If none of these apply to you, you can still be eligible if: you qualify for one of the immigrant categories in the Immigration and Nationality Act, have an eligible immigrant petition filed and approved, have an immigrant visa available, and can be admitted to the United States. Depending on what your situation is, who is sponsoring you for a green card, and whether or not you are living inside or outside of the United States at the time of your application, the forms you need to file and evidence you need to provide will differ. If you are applying for a green card while living in the United States, you will have to file Form I-486 and provide supporting documentation, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, permanent resident cards, etc.
- How do I get green cards for my family? If you are attempting to get green cards for immediate relatives, you can file Form I-485 and Form I-130 concurrently. Immediate relatives are spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21 of a U.S. citizen, and parents of U.S. citizens who are 21 or older. You will also need to submit several supporting documents and forms, including two passport-style photos, a copy of your government-issued ID with photograph, a copy of your certificate of birth, certified police and court records of all criminal charges or arrests (if applicable), etc.
- What will my immigration lawyer need? To accurately analyze your immigration situation and recommend an effective plan of action, you will need to provide your immigration attorney some basic information that will help him or her have a better understanding of your case. Bring any and every document that is related to your immigration matter. The more you have, the better. Some of the documents your attorney will want to examine include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, driver’s licenses or state IDs, passports, travel documents, work permits, letters to and from the USCIS, and anything else you believe to be pertinent to your case.
Green Card Attorney in Houston
If you are interested in applying for a personal green card, renewal, or replacement, The Law Office of Mana Yegani helps individuals throughout Houston and the surrounding areas secure lawful permanent residency in the United States. Attorney Mana Yegani has dedicated her legal practice exclusively to immigration law and will assist you to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Contact our office today at (832) 981-2170 to schedule a consultation.