Articles Posted in Special Categories of Green Card Applicants

In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: I have a minor US Citizen child. Can I get a green card?

Overview:

This is a very common question. This question comes to us from a Chinese national who is currently in the United States on an H-1B Visa. This person asks: Can I get a green card based on the fact that I have a minor US Citizen child that was just born in the US?

In this situation because the child is under the age of 21, your child cannot file a petition for permanent residence on your behalf based on the fact that you have a minor child born in the United States. This is a very common misconception. Your child can only file for your immigration benefits once they reach the age of 21. A child must be at least 18 years old in order to petition for immigration benefits for their siblings, and then the sibling must wait for a visa number to become available based on the visa bulletin. You cannot obtain a green card just by having a US Citizen child. If you are in the United States on a visa you must find another way to remain legally in the United States until the US Citizen child reaches the minimum age or find another way to obtain a green card through employment. Parents of US Citizen children, residing in the United States unlawfully, can obtain cancelation of removal for their parents to shield them from deportation/removal proceedings. In this case the child does not need to be 21 years or older.

For more information about this topic please contact our office.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your frequently asked questions: I stayed overseas after my green card expired. Can I renew my green card?

Overview: 

This is a very important question that we often receive from our followers. Although the green card is a permanent resident card, there are certain rules you must follow to maintain your permanent resident status. If you leave the United States for more than one year, without obtaining a re-entry permit (a document that would preserve your residency), you may risk losing your green card.

In this particular situation, a person who has been out of the country for three and a half years is now at risk of losing their permanent resident status. There are two issues that arise with this situation. The first issue is that it is not going to be possible to renew the green card from overseas. Secondly, even if the green card had not expired, trying to re-enter the United States after such a long period of absence could be a problem. This is because the presumption is that you have abandoned your permanent residency, having been out of the country for so long.

Generally, persons who have stayed overseas for more than a year, but who maintain a valid unexpired green card, may apply for re-entry to the United States by applying for a returning resident visa called SB-1 at a U.S. Consulate overseas. To be successful, you must prove that you had circumstances that were beyond your control requiring you to stay overseas. This may be difficult to prove if you have stayed overseas for a prolonged period of time. The less time you spend abroad after the year, the easier it will be to obtain the SB-1 visa. You must also show that you are not abandoning your permanent residency.

If your green card has already expired and you are overseas, it will be very difficult to re-enter the United States, especially if you have stayed overseas for a prolonged period of time. In this situation you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options based on your situation.

Recap:

  • If you leave the US for more than a year without getting, for example, a reentry permit you may lose your green card.
  • Two issues: not possible to renew it overseas and it could mean you abandoned your residency.
  • Three years is considered a long time; card now is deemed abandoned. Best thing to do is to consult an attorney.
  • If your green card has not yet expired and you have stayed overseas for more than one year, you may be able to apply for the SB-1 Returning Resident Visa.

For more information about the SB-1, please contact our office.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., explains why we do what we do at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. For more information about our office and the services we provide please click here.

Overview: 

Since 2004, we have efficiently and conveniently served our clients located across the United States and around the world through the use of cutting-edge technology and other innovations, always maintaining the personal connection you have come to expect from us.

You can express your interest, or schedule an appointment by emailing us at info@h1b.biz. We are excited to expand our ability to help many more of you, as you seek to achieve your American dream of living and working in this great country, a nation of immigrants.

Looking back, it is hard to narrow the reasons for our firm’s success. So much goes into that, but the main three ingredients have to be the lawyers, staff and clients. I am amazed at the enduring relationships we have with our clients.

Our office has been blessed with a staff that is motivated, efficient and very capable. I also think it important that they are compassionate for our clients’ issues – this is more than a job for us all – it is a calling.

To learn more about our dedicated staff members please click here.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: Am I eligible to file for adjustment of status inside the United States? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about adjustment of status, please click here.

Overview: 

Am I eligible to file for adjustment of status inside the United States?

In order to file for adjustment of status from a non-immigrant visa classification to legal permanent resident, several conditions must be met. If you do not meet any of the following conditions you cannot file for adjustment of status from inside the United States.

  1. First, in order to apply for permanent residence, you must be physically inside of the United States. If you are not physically present in the US you must obtain an immigrant visa at a United States Consular post abroad.
  2. Your Immigration petition must have already been approved (I-130 or I-140 Petition) before filing of the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (green card application).
  3. If your priority date is not current then you cannot file a petition for adjustment of status.

What does this mean?

A priority date is the date when your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS. Immediate Relatives of US Citizens are generally not subject to numerical visa limitations. You can check the status of a visa number by checking your priority date on the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin published every month. The Visa Bulletin estimates immigrant visa availability for prospective immigrants.

4. If your priority date is not current then you cannot file a petition for adjustment of status until it becomes current.

5. You must have entered the US illegally and be able to prove that you entered legally (inspection documents such as I-94). There are exceptions to this rule such as section 245i

6. You must not have any changes in your circumstances (ex. change in employment; divorce before green card)

7. You must not be barred from the United States. If you have been subject to a bar because you attempted to enter the US illegally, departed the US voluntarily, are guilty of immigration fraud, willful misrepresentation, or other criminal issues you are likely inadmissible and cannot file for adjustment of status. A waiver may be available to individuals in these situations that will allow the immigrant to seek adjustment of status.

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses common reasons for green card denials. To read more about family-based green cards please click here. For information about employment-based green cards click here.

Overview:

There are generally two ways to apply for a permanent resident green card 1. through a qualifying family relationship and 2. through employment. Please note that special categories of green card applicants exist beyond these two options including obtaining a green card through 245i, the diversity immigrant visa program , the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Asylum, and based on a U visa.

There are several reasons a green card application may be denied which may include, but is not limited to the following: health, criminal, and security related issues, failure to demonstrate that the applicant will not become a public charge, failure to respond to a request for evidence by the required deadline, prior immigration violations, inability to meet the requirements for a green card, and not showing up to required immigration appointments.

If your green card application has been denied, you may be able to rescue your application by filing a motion to reopen. To assess your specific case please contact us for a free consultation.

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