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If you are a green card holder, you have permanent residence in the United States. Not only does your card enable you to work in the country, it is proof that you have completed the process and can live in the U.S. without worry.

It is important to understand the renewal process, as well as the requirements for obtaining and maintaining your green card.

When is it time to renew your card?

Depending on the type of green card you have, you must renew your permanent resident card periodically. While most cards are valid for 10 years, those with conditional permanent resident status must be renewed every two years.


The process of becoming a U.S. citizen encompasses several steps including naturalization. This portion includes a test to assess your understanding of the language, history and civic responsibility of being a citizen of the United States of America.

Before you receive approval to take the naturalization test, you must first pass a list of requirements. Knowing these requirements can help you to complete each task with confidence.

Preparing for success

The more prepared you are for taking the naturalization test the higher your chances of receiving approval. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, some of the requirements you must complete include the following:


If you have the goal of becoming a U.S. citizen, then you likely know the many complexities inherent with the naturalization process. The last thing you want to have to worry about is how your actions in Texas may impact the potential of reaching your goal. A criminal conviction in particular may call that all into question.

Many facing such a dilemma come to us here at the Law Office of Jae Lee wondering whether having a criminal conviction on their records bars them from securing citizenship. If you share the same question, then understanding exactly which actions disqualify you from gaining citizenship may help you avoid any unnecessary stress and grief.

What actions bar one from becoming a citizen?

Per the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are certain types of crime that may permanently bar you from becoming a citizen. These include murder, offenses that amount to aggravated felonies, or incidents of severe violations of religious freedoms (such as persecuting and/or torturing one due to their beliefs, or participating in acts of genocide).


Preserving family bonds is one of the guiding principles of U.S. immigration policy. For this reason, legal immigrants may be able to petition for visas or Green Cards that allow family members to reside in the states legally.

Immigrants who already have citizen status may sponsor an immediate relative, such as a spouse/fiancé, child or parent. However, extended relatives may also be able to come to the U.S. under the family preference system.

Immediate relatives

Parents, spouses and children (under age 21) of U.S. citizens have the highest preference for gaining legal permanent residency. However, to petition for a parent, the citizen applying must be at least age 21.


Once you settle in the United States and have everything in order to legally set up your life here, you will probably want to find out how to bring your family to the country. The U.S. does offer some options for family-based immigration because it believes family unification is important.

However, the American Immigration Council explains there are quite a few restrictions in place, and the process is not always easy.

The family preference system limit

As a legal permanent resident, you can bring family members to the U.S. through the family preference system. The system has a limit on the number of visas issued each year, so there is no guarantee that it will be a quick process.


Seeking asylum in the United States is a stressful affair. After all, you have a lot riding on the decision. Seeing a denial on your asylum application can feel like the end of the world because of this.

Fortunately, that is not the case. Even if your asylum application gets denied, you still have avenues to pursue an appeal.

Appealing in stages

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services discusses what you can do if your application got an unfavorable decision. You must approach your appeal in stages depending on the responses you get. For example, at the start, you will get a grant or denial from the asylum office. If eligible for an appeal after a denial, you will get a reference to an immigration court. Here, the Immigration Judge hears your case.


In the majority of cases, green cards are valid for 10 years before you must renew the document. However, there are some specific instances where you or a loved one may have what the U.S. government calls “conditional permanent residency.”

Conditional permanent residents have the same rights as a regular permanent resident. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, persons who hold conditional permanent residencemust petition to removethe conditions.

Why does conditional permanent residency exist?

The majority of conditional permanent residents in the United States are spouses of U.S. citizens. If you have the rights to live in the U.S. through marriage, your first green card will be temporary. You will be eligible for permanent residency after the first two years.


What is a joint sponsor?

Posted on in fiancé visas

One of the most important requirements for the K-1 fiance visa is to meet the income requirements. In the case of the K-1 fiance visa, the “sponsor” for the visa is the American citizen spouse. In order for the U.S. government to give the non-American spouse a K-1 visa, the sponsor must prove that he or she has sufficient income.

In the event that the American sponsor does not have sufficient income for a K-1 fiance visa on his or her salary alone, he or she can either use additional assets (if available) or a joint sponsor. According to Rapid Visa, a joint sponsor is a third-party individual who agrees to sign an affidavit of support to help the sponsor qualify for a K-1 fiance visa.

Who can be our joint sponsor?

In order for a person to act as your joint sponsor, he or she must meet specific requirements. Your joint sponsor must be no younger than 18 years old. This person also needs to either be a US citizen or a permanent resident. This individual must also have a domicile in the United States and meet the minimum income requirement for the K-1 visa on his or her own.


You are no doubt excited about your coming marriage and bringing your fiancée to the U.S.

A K-1 nonimmigrant visa will allow your fiancée to travel to the United States, but what happens then?

Filing Form I-129F

As a U.S. citizen, you are the petitioner who must file Form I-129F, the Petition for Alien Fiancée, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. You must show that you and your intended are free to marry and that the marriage will take place within 90 days of her admission to the U.S. as a K-1 nonimmigrant. As part of the Form I-129F process, the USCIS will perform background checks on both you and your fiancée. The Department of State will notify you when she may apply for the K-1 visa.


Refugees are people that have been displaced from their countries of origin out of fear for their personal safety. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, refugees must seek out their Green Cards after being in the country for one year.

The process for seeking your Green Card as a refugee is complex. There are a lot of factors to consider, including the following. Having the right information ensures you are prepared and have the best chance of being approved for your Green Card.

How to determine eligibility

Green Cards render you a lawful permanent resident of this country. To be eligible, you must meet certain criteria. Along with being in the country for at least one year, you must also not have previously received a Green Card. Additionally, you must not have had a previous admission terminated, and you must be present in the country when you are filing the Green Card form, which is Form I-485.


Hopeful US citizens in Texas can jeopardize the immigration process by unlawfully entering or residing within US borders. Many residents who would be otherwise eligible for family-based immigration can disqualify themselves by remaining in the US without a visa.

Thankfully, getting a provisional unlawful presence waiver from US Customs and Immigration Services may reinstate your eligibility if you are an undocumented immigrant with immediate relatives who are US citizens.


Provisional unlawful presence waivers are not permanent, and the government may revoke your waiver in some cases. But if you are facing a waiver revocation, you may have recourse to get the waiver reinstated.


A green card is a document that grants you lawful permanent residence status in the United States. It gives you the right to live here on an ongoing basis. It also gives you the authorization you need to find and keep a job in the U.S.

There are several different categories of green cards. Based on your situation, there are also different processes involved in obtaining them. The process you go through depends partly on whether you are already in the United States or if you wish to come to the U.S. but are currently still in your own country.

Adjustment of status

If you are already present in the United States, you may be able to obtain a green card through an adjustment of status. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this saves you the inconvenience of having to return to your home country to complete the processing of your visa. However, you have to meet the eligibility requirements. Adjustment of status may be available to you if you belong to a certain immigration category, such as an international student or a temporary visitor.


If gaining U.S. citizenship is your goal, then you likely understand the time and extensive effort required to secure such a benefit. Thus, you probably look forward to being able to relax somewhat in Plano once the process ends. After all, once you are a naturalized citizen, it is impossible to take your citizenship away, right?

That may not necessarily be true. Indeed, according to information shared byU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are grounds for having your citizenship revoked. You may think this only occurs in extreme scenarios, yet that is not the case.

Securing citizenship illegally

Some of the grounds for revocation may seem fairly obvious. For example, if you failed to meet the eligibility requirements for citizenship in the first place (yet failed to disclose this fact), you may have your citizenship revoked. Indeed, a failure to share pertinent information in your application for citizenship can merit revocation if the following occurs:


U.S. immigration policy generally expects immigrants not to become public charges when they arrive in the country. Therefore, before approving an individual’s green card application, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services often requires the sponsor to submitan affidavit of support.

The affidavit of support is a legally binding contract that requires the sponsor to provide adequate financial support to the green card recipient. If you are thinking about executing an affidavit of support, you should understand your legal responsibilities.

Do you qualify?

If you intend to sponsor a family member for legal permanent residency, you likely must execute an affidavit of support. To do so, though, your income must be at least 125% ofthe federal poverty guidelines. If you do not meet this threshold, you may need to find a joint sponsor who can file a separate affidavit of support on your immigrant relative’s behalf.


Once you have been a lawful permanent resident of the United States for at least five years, you may be eligible to take the next step to become a citizen of the United States through the process of naturalization. Applying for citizenship is a significant step that carries with it certain responsibilities. Your application indicates that you are willing to commit to fulfilling your obligations to the best of your ability.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, obtaining citizenship allows you to do things that you would not be able to do as an LPR. To aid in decision-making about your status, here are some of the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen.

1. Residency

If you are a citizen of the United States, no one can force you to leave. You have the right to remain in the U.S. under any circumstances.


Anyone in Plano who has had to try and navigate the waters of the immigration process may know exactly how complicated that process can be. Fortunately, when one has a family member that is either a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident, they often have a leg up on attaining legal immigration status.

That may not always be the case, however. Alleged immigration law violations committed by those with family members in the U.S. might still make them subject to deportation. It is in such a scenario where they may have to rely on other provisions that support their residency status.

Father fights to stay in the country

The legal team for a New Jersey resident currently facing deportation hopes just such a provision will allow him to stay in the country. According to reports, the man sought asylum after arriving from his native India, yet did not gain approval. He remained in the U.S., however, with his wife and two daughters (all of whom are U.S. citizens) up until federal immigration authorities recently detained him. Yet one of his daughters suffers from permanent disabilities and requires around-the-clock care. This has prompted his attorney to point out that his deportation would cause an undue hardship on his wife by leaving her to care for the girl alone. He currently sits in an immigration detention facility awaiting a ruling on his case.


Applying for U.S. citizenship is both exciting and time-consuming. Your effort to be vigilant may prevent the disappointment that comes when you overlook critical details throughout the application process.

One portion of the application process requires you to fill out and submit an N-400 form. Once received by the USCIS, you will receive correspondence notifying you of their decision.

The purpose of an N-400 form


On one hand, it could be a good idea to contact multiple people when deciding how to proceed with your immigration case. On the other hand, this could open you up to being the victim of a scam.

It is not always easy to identify whether someone who offers to help you with your immigration process is legitimate. To make matters worse, the American Bar Association has observed that notario fraud —immigration scams, in other words —is on the rise.

Be skeptical

Perhaps the best thing you could do to avoid scams would be to maintain skepticism about any claims of future success. Of course, you should maintain hope — but it would typically be unwise to let it distract you from the reality of the situation.


The United States provides many types of visas to foreign nationals. Some of these visas allow non-U.S. citizens to live and work legally in America.

When a person from another country wishes to have a family member from their home country join them in the U.S., the family member may also wish to work in the U.S.

H-1B visas for select occupations

As explained by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, people who have at least an undergraduate degree in specific fields may apply for and receive an H-1B visa, granting them the right to live and work in the U.S. Some of the recipients of H-1B visas may work in research or defense fields.


What is a spouse visa?

Posted on in Spouse Visas

A spouse visa, also known as a K-3 visa, allows a person who has married a U.S. citizen to enter the United States while awaiting immigration approval. If you are a U.S. citizen married someone in another country who is not an American citizen, he or she can apply for the K-3 visa to shorten the time you must live apart.

Explore the steps toget a K-3 nonimmigrant visafor your spouse.

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