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You may need to travel to another country as an immigrant or while you await the processing of your application. In this case, you must ensure you have the necessary travel documents to legally return to this country.

In general, there are four documents travelers need, including advance parole, refugee travel document, re-entry permit, and carrier documentation. It is important to get these documents organized before your trip, as it can prevent any delays when or issues when re-entering the country.

Advance parole

Advance parole documents take the place of a visa, as airlines will accept them when it comes to re-entry into the U.S. However, you will also need to have a passport. Advance parole doanother re-entry documentcuments are necessary for people with pending applications when registering as a permanent resident or awaiting adjustment of status. It is also required for asylum seekers to await a decision on their applications.


In December, the House passed a version of the Build Back Better act that reforms family-based immigration waivers. The act will now go to the Senate for final approval.

Learn how Build Back Better could improve the waiver process for your family if it becomes law.

New adjustment of status requirements

Under the new law, family-based applications for adjustment of status could apply right away. You must pay a fee of $1,500 along with $250 for each additional dependent. Currently, you must wait for a visa to become available in your category before applying for an adjustment of status.


It is no secret that immigration laws have a high level of complexity. This rings true if you hope to get a green card for any of the valid reasons available to you.

Even after you have successfully applied, you still need to follow certain steps to make sure your application remains active.

Stay engaged

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services emphasizes the importance of keeping a current address on file with the agency. While this seems like a simple task, failure to do so could result in missed information that is crucial to your application.


Your green card and your career

Posted on in green cards

Wanting to gain U.S. citizenship can motivate you to get a job and learn more about your new home. Having a green card can facilitate your effort to pass the naturalization requirements.

The advantage of having a green card is that you do not have to wait until you have citizenship to start working in the United States.

Participate in your community

The process of obtaining a green card is easiest when you have another family member who already has U.S. citizenship. With their help, you can petition for legal residency of your own. Once granted, you can apply for your own social security card, as well as follow the requirements to get a driver’s license. Both of these privileges allow you to actively participate in your community.


Completing the naturalization test is one of the final steps in your journey to becoming a citizen of the United States of America. As with any test, the more you prepare, the higher your probability of passing.

Knowing some preparation strategies can optimize your studying efforts. With a confident understanding of the testing materials, you can have a winning chance at a satisfactory outcome.

Testing components

The naturalization test will assess your understanding of critical aspects of citizenship. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you will complete the test in two parts. The English portion of the test will give you an opportunity to show your ability to read, write, speak and comprehend the language. The civics portion of the test will determine your understanding of basic governmental principles, as well as the history of the U.S.


What are joint sponsors?

Posted on in fiancé visas

If you opt for a K-1 fiancé visa, then one of the most important parts is the ability to meet the corresponding income requirement. The sponsor – in this case, the fiancé – must have the financial means to support their spouse.

If you cannot support your significant other in this case, what can you do? You can turn to a joint sponsor. This person is a third party that agrees to sign an affidavit, stating they will support the sponsor.

What is joint sponsorship?

RapidVisa discusses your options when aiming for joint sponsorship, along with discussing what goal this option serves. You can pick certain people to serve as your joint sponsor, but they must meet certain requirements first. They must be at least 18 years old and either have permanent residency or be a citizen of the United States. On top of that, they need a domicile in the country and also meet the minimum income requirements of the K-1 visa.


For those who are not born in the United States, obtaining permanent residence may seem overwhelming. Whether you have a close family member who has already achieved permanent residence, or your family member is a U.S. citizen, there are steps you must follow in order to complete the immigration process.

Not only is it helpful to understand these steps and the green card application process, it helps to know just how long the entire process will take.

What is the timeline?

The process of achieving a family-based green card varies depending on the circumstances of your situation. According to Boundless, the following are general timelines for more common situations:


We hope all goes well with your immigration, but unforeseen circumstances could bring your plans to a standstill. For instance, what happens if your U.S. sponsor/spouse dies before you receive your visa?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains how to navigate a principal beneficiary or petitioners’ death. This turn of events does not have to bar you from fulfilling your desires for citizenship.

Widowers and widows

Widows and widowers of U.S. citizens may apply for a green card within two years of their petitioning spouse’s or principal beneficiary’s death. This only applies if the two of you had a legitimate marriage rather than one arranged for a green card. If you and your petitioner or beneficiary separated when she or he died, or if you remarried, you do not qualify to apply for a green card. If you have children younger than 21, they may join you as derivatives.


If you are a U.S. citizen and plan to sponsor a non-citizen for legal permanent residency, your marriage is likely to be relevant. After all, U.S. immigration law streamlines the process for those who marry U.S. citizens, often allowing them to apply for immigrant visas and green cards simultaneously.

You want the sponsorship of your husband or wife to go as smoothly as possible. Still, if officers with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services question the legitimacy of your marriage, you may receive a request for evidence or even an outright denial.

Your initial application

When filing your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, you may want to provide comprehensive documentation to prove your marriage is bona fide. That is, your marriage is for a legitimate reason and not only to help someone obtain a green card.


As of 2018, 1,096,611 people have received permanent lawful status in America. Many more, including yourself, aspire to join those numbers in lawful residency so you can gain the many benefits that come along with it.

Because of this, an application denial can hit like a sack of bricks. Fortunately, there are ways for you to continue onward in your application process even with a denial due to an error, but the first thing you want to know is how to avoid these errors when moving forward.

Common reasons for rejection

The Department of Homeland Security outlines steps you must take to achieve your green card. This can include a green card through marriage, relatives, work and so on. However, most errors will look the same no matter what type of green card you applied for. The top common ones include:


When your loved ones are not lawful residents of the U.S., you may want to help them gain citizenship. One of the steps you can take is to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver.

A provisional waiver is one path to the legal presence in the U.S. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that people have to meet certain requirements and fill out all of the paperwork to receive a waiver. A waiver does not guarantee that your loved one will be able to remain in the country. Instead, it allows you to decrease the amount of time that you and your family members may have to spend apart.


The USCIS only allows you to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver if your family member meets all the guidelines. He or she has to be at least 17 years old. Additionally, this person needs to be in the U.S. when you fill out the paperwork. You may also have to show that you will experience extreme hardship if your loved one is not allowed to become a legal resident. Additionally, your family member may already need to have a pending case for an immigrant visa.


The process that you must go through to obtain a U.S. visa is constantly undergoing revision and changes. The most recent changes involve a new requirement: for you to provide your social media accounts. This can include profile handles and online names as requested.

The officials of the U.S. Border Control can then review any information that you have posted online as a means of further vetting visa applicants. But what does this requirement mean for you?

Reasons for collection

CNN discusses the collection of social media names on your application for a visa. The official reviewing your application can then use this information to look up information that you have posted online, including opinions, conversations, criticisms, photographs and anything else visible to the public. They use this information to determine whether or not you may pose a threat to national security, or if you seem likely to commit a crime or otherwise cause disturbances. They can refuse to accept your application based on this alone.


As a green card holder or U.S. citizen living in Texas, you may wish to secure another green card for a husband, wife, child, parent or sibling. A green card grants you and others permanent resident status, meaning it paves the way for you and others to live and work permanently within the United States. When you pursue a green card for a family member, you may want to educate the individual about the actions he or she might take that could put that green card in jeopardy.

Per the Miami Herald, the process involved in obtaining a green card is often long and arduous. Thus, it is important that green card recipients avoid making the following mistakes that could potentially cost them their permanent resident status.

1. Neglecting to report income

Anyone who lives and works in the United States and makes a specific amount must pay taxes on their earnings. If you help your family member secure a green card so he or she may work in the U.S. and then the green cardholder does not pay taxes, it may impact that party’s ability to live in the United States permanently.


You might dream of bringing your child from another country into the United States in the near future. If so, you may have reason to be optimistic about your chances. Even if you did not conceive your child within the boundaries of a married relationship, United States immigration law still allows children born out of wedlock to attain permanent legal status.

There may be a few additional steps to take depending on the nature of your relationship with your offspring. The USCIS explains what to expect in different familial situations.

When to legitimate a child

According to U.S. immigration law, you may have to legitimate your child before the law will allow your child to come to the U.S. If you are the mother of a child, you do not have to provide legitimation. It is different, however, if you are the father. In this case, you must legitimate your child according to the laws of your place of residence or your child’s.


The State Department recently released a major policy clarification related to international adoption and citizenship. According to the release, the State Department will now approve US citizenship to children born in other countries via surrogacy or in vitro fertilization.

The clarification represents a major change in policy stance under the Biden Administration. According to NPR, previously the government considered a child born outside of the US to a surrogate to be “out of wedlock” even if the American parents held married status.

Mounting lawsuits

Over the past few years, the government has fielded several lawsuits on this issue, particularly from same-sex parents who rely on surrogacy or in vitro fertilization to reproduce. There were two major cases that the Trump Administration lost regarding this.


Are you eligible for a green card?

Posted on in green cards

When seeking to apply for a green card, you must first have eligibility in one of several categories. Even after that, you must still put in an application before getting approval. But the first step is seeing whether you can apply at all.

Thus, you must know which of the categories you may be eligible for and what the categories are.

Green card eligibility

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services look at eligibility categories for green cards. The categories of eligibility include:


If you have a relative who wants to immigrate to the U.S., you may be ready to file a family-based immigrant visa petition. This may be especially true if your loved one is your spouse or fiancé, as you may not have to wait for a visa number to become available.

Unfortunately, intending immigrants are sometimes inadmissible. This means even if the individual otherwise qualifies to immigrate, he or she is legally unable to do so. While some grounds of inadmissibility are waivable, a false claim of U.S. citizenship typically is not.

What is a false claim of U.S. citizenship?

Simply telling a friend or acquaintance that a person is a U.S. citizen probably does not meet the definition of a false claim to U.S. citizenship. For a claim to qualify, the person must claim to be a citizen for purposes of obtaining an immigration-related benefit or another benefit under state or federal law.


In the event that you are a non-US citizen married to a US citizen, your initial Green Card will have conditions on it. This essentially means that the Green Card is only valid for a period of two years. Once this two-year period is over, you will need to apply to the US government in order to have the conditions removed.

Once the US government removes the conditions on your Green Card, you are a full permanent resident. According to US Citizen and Immigration Services, you can remove conditions by either filing jointly with your spouse or filing alone under certain conditions.

Filing jointly

This is the more traditional method of the two. Assuming 2 years have passed in your marriage and everything is going well, you merely need to file form I-751 with your spouse. Essentially, this proves to the US government that you did indeed enter the marriage in good faith, rather than simply trying to get a Green Card. Once you do this, the US government will remove the conditions.


Being someone of good moral character is one of the requirements for citizenship in the United States. Knowing what this means can help you prepare for the naturalization process.

Having moral attributes can benefit your life in many ways. You may be more successful at maintaining meaningful relationships, winning the trust of others and establishing credibility in your personal and professional interactions.

Courage and loyalty

Courage means you willingly step outside of your comfort zone to do something that causes angst and uncertainty. You can show courage when you stand up for someone else or when you use your voice to promote an idea that others may disagree with. Another characteristic of good moral character is loyalty. You can show loyalty when you commit to something and make sacrifices to protect what you value.


Can you extend a K-1 visa?

Posted on in fiancé visas

If you are currently engaged to a foreign fiance(e), you could have a number of options when it comes to your marriage and immigration. For example, if you want to bring them to the U.S. in order to get married in the states, you should look into the K-1 visa for fiance(e)s of U.S. citizens.

There are various factors to review with respect to K-1 visas. For example, you need to go over different requirements and recognize that there are time limits in place. After your fiance(e) comes to the U.S., you must marry within 90 days in order for them to continue living in the country.

Do K-1 visas expire?

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, K-1 visas expire after 90 days. If you marry your fiance(e) within this timeframe, they can apply for a green card in order to continue living in the U.S. However, if you fail to get married within 90 days, the K-1 visa expires and your fiance(e) will likely need to leave the country.

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