Some of the most common questions are:
- What exactly is the form I-130 what does it prove?
- What does it mean when someone files for an form I-130?
So that’s a great question! form I-130 is establishing the relationship between:
- the U.S. citizen (the person that’s filing) or permanent resident (the person which is filing and that’s called the petitioner);
- the beneficiary (the person who’s receiving the benefit).
All it’s doing is establishing the relationship, so it’s generally only the first step in the process. We get a lot of questions – people think that they’re getting a legal status just from the form I-130 but that’s not the case.
Now another question:
- Which is the validity of the form I-130 approval?
Having form form I-130 approved doesn’t mean that you have the right to obtain a green card. Form form I-130 is only the first step in the process. Many people come to our offices in Sacramento and Stockton and have retained a notario who helped them with form form I-130. They are under the impression they’ll be granted a green card – this is just the first step in the immigration process.
So for instance, in order to obtain a green card, there are other forms such as form form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), the Affidavit of Support demonstrating other eligibility requirements that you are eligible (demonstrate to be admissible to get a green card and demonstrate that you meet the poverty guidelines for the affidavit of support).
So form form I-130 in a way is like the baby step to the other steps.
- If someone has a pending form I-130 or an form I-130 approved, you what do you recommend to do?
- Do you recommend they go with an immigration attorney?
- What do you suggest to do if they’ve already filed for an form I-130 with a notario?
My recommendation is to have an immigration lawyer review the form I-130 application before moving forward because it may not be in your best interest to move forward: you may need a waiver for certain types of grounds that would make you an inadmissibility. It’s really important to have someone who’s knowledgeable to be able to analyze whether or not you actually qualify or you’re just putting yourself into a bad situation.
Other questions we get from people that have criminal issues
- Do criminal issues make them inadmissible?
- Do criminal issues preclude application for any type of benefit?
In general criminal immigration is a very complicated area and especially with the Trump administration they’re scrutinizing anyone who has a criminal violation.
For instance a very common issue is a DUI that needs to be analyzed before you file for your specific type of case. Same thing with domestic violence – if you have a domestic violence conviction it needs to be analyzed by an immigration attorney before you apply for an immigration benefit.
Questions on obtaining criminal records
- How do people obtain their criminal record?
- If someone was arrested, they may have the police report but they don’t have the court record – how should they proceed?
- How should someone proceed if they have been arrested but do not have anything to prove that criminal incident?
So we can do an FBI background check, we can request the records from the court if there has been a criminal conviction – these are some of the things that we can do in order to get that information.
Obtainable immigration documents
- Which are the immigration documents you can obtain?
- Let’s say I was petitioned way back and I don’t have any documents to prove it: is there any way that you can obtain those documents for me?
Yes. In that situation what we do is the Freedom of Information Act request and we can obtain those records that way and that’s really important. We do a lot of those to go back and review all of the information to see what happened so we know how to prepare your current application.
Also if you’ve ever had an interaction with USCIS or at the border, it’s also really important to get your records to see what happened as well.
Form Processing Times – Another frequent question
- Why are form processing times so long?
It depends on the specific case. In general we’ve seen processing times slowing down significantly across the board. For instance a green card renewal or an I-90 is taking anywhere from four and a half to 11 and a half months.
It’s important to note that the processing times are dependent upon the government: no attorney can speed up the processing time so if anyone tells you that, then just be a little bit wary because it’s up to the government on how long it takes them to process the case.
The form I-130 originally was taking around four to six months now it is taking five to twelve months to process.
The I601 has also slowed down significantly so now it’s taking 12 to 16 months.
The I601 is different from the I-601a. The I601 is the one where you’re outside of the United States and you need to apply for a waiver and that is currently taking 12 to 16 months. The I-601a is taking about five to seven and a half months and citizenship is taking about 8 to 14 months.
At the top of the list is the U Visa which is taking now an average four years. That’s if you’ve submitted your application like four years ago – we expect it to continue to slow down as time goes on.
Alright well we want to thank you for joining for our weekly show. Tune in next week we’re gonna have some more great information for you.
Thanks and have an awesome day