What’s going on in Sacramento?
Well first of all processing time for the marriage-based greencard has slowed down. Greencards were once taking about four months to see approval, now they take almost a year. Another big change that has happened is around work authorization: previously work permit approvals were taking 90 days but then the laws changed: the U.S. government does not need to process the work authorization within 90 days and now the procedure takes up to five months.
You need to keep in mind these processing times do change, so it’s important to check with the USCIS website or you can contact us and we’ll let you know what the latest and greatest processing times are if you have a case filed with us. These are the processing times for a marriage-based greencard as of today, June 2018.
If you’re married to a U.S. citizen, you can file an application for greencard. Some of the forms that you need to include are form I-485 and form I-130. Form G-325 is no longer in use and that is a big change. Also an Affidavit of Support is required, travel documents… you can submit all supporting documents at one time. Right now USCIS is evaluating whether or not you have a real relationship with the person you’re sponsoring. The standards of the inquiries that I’ve seen to establish whether or not you have a real relationship are higher than in the past. Today, they are known to ask people with a child more questions about whether they have a real relationship – it’s important to produce supporting evidence with your application.
At the interview, the U.S. citizen spouse needs to demonstrate that they are making above 125% of the poverty guidelines: documents such as your latest income tax returns with the Affidavit of Support as part of the greencard application should also be included. You are also required to produce passport photos, proof of U.S. Citizenship for the U.S. citizen spouse and proof of lawful entry into the United States.
These are some of the documentary requirements. I’ve just mentioned a few but it’s important that you know all of those requirements. When you file your application for a greencard, you can contact us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Sacramento or Santa Clara. We can discuss this in further detail, or you can access the forms on the USCIS website in order to comprehensively provide all the necessary documentation.
Now the first thing that you need to do is submit all these applications together at one time with the appropriate filing fees. You will then be scheduled for a biometrics appointment, generally within about one or two months. What that means is that they’re going to fingerprint you to make sure that you don’t have a criminal record. If you do have a criminal record you definitely need to talk to an immigration attorney because a criminal record could make you deportable: you should not apply unless you know how your criminal record is going to affect you.
After approximately one year you’ll be scheduled for an interview. Both of you need to attend and that’s where the evaluation of whether or not you have a real relationship is going to happen. They will ask you questions such as how did you meet or when was the last time you went out to dinner: questions like that are used to evaluate whether or not you have a real relationship.
So I hope this video served to help you understand what the process is like and what needs to be done in the marriage greencard process.
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Thank you and have an awesome day!