Immigration, Your Path to a Green Card

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A presentation on the steps needed to get your green card.

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  • Immigration, Your Path to a Green Card

    1. 1. Immigration Your Path to a Green Card
    2. 2. This Slideshow is an excerpt taken from the Immigration Navigator: From Foreign Immigrant to American Citizen Visit comingtoamerica.org to purchase this simplified roadma towards American Citizenship. Get Social With US!
    3. 3. How to go about getting a green card from a country that issues very few each year? Start Planning Early!
    4. 4. A. Selecting the Right Path Employment-based Immigration Marriage Family Luck Four general types: • Employment with a U.S. employer • Investment • Self-petition • Specialized jobs or waivers
    5. 5. A. Selecting the Right Path Corporation Partnership Sole Proprietor Individual Permanent Employment 1. Employment-Based Green Card
    6. 6. You do not have to be in the U.S., or working for the employer, for them to petition for you! You can be living abroad, or working for another employer. The labor certification is a “future job offer,” therefore, the process can be started before you begin employment, or come to the U.S. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card
    7. 7. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card LIMITED Preference Categories
    8. 8. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card Priority Workers EB-1 Receive visa numbers before other categories, and are always “current,” i.e., these visas are always available. This includes workers with extraordinary ability in; • The Sciences • Arts • Education • Business • Athletics • Outstanding Professors and Researchers • Multinational Executives and Managers
    9. 9. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card Advanced Degree Professionals, and Persons with Exceptional Ability EB-2 An advanced degree is a U.S. Master’s degree, or equivalent, or higher. This preference category also includes persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business.
    10. 10. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card Professional, Skilled and Other Workers EB-3 This is the most used preference category, and includes; • Professional workers (those with a U.S. bachelor’s degree or equivalent) • Skilled workers with two years of training or experience • Unskilled labor, which requires less than two years experience.
    11. 11. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card Require Sponsoring Employer EB-2 & EB-3 It is important to note that the job offered to you is what will determine whether you are in EB-2 or EB-3, in combination with your own qualifications. The job offered to you must require qualifications (i.e., a master’s degree for EB-2) and you must possess the qualification (you received a master’s degree before applying).
    12. 12. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card Steps Required EB-2 & EB-3 • Highly regulated • Multiple regulatory proscribed deadlines • Labor market test • Prevailing wage (Department of Labor) • Labor Certification • Employer must file an I-140 Petition with USCIS, within 180 days of the labor certification’s approval
    13. 13. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card EB-2 & EB-3 The labor certification must be started during the prevailing wage validity period. Once approved, the labor certification expires after 180 days from approval, therefore, filing the I-140 petition during that 180-window is critical. There are no exceptions to the 180 validity period.
    14. 14. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card I-485 If your visa category is not current, then you must file the I-140 during the 180 validity period and then file your I-485 once your visa category becomes current. I-140
    15. 15. A. Selecting the Right Path 1. Employment-Based Green Card Immigration Flow Chart EB-2/EB-3 Conduct Recruitment Obtain Prevailing Wage (PW) from DOL File Labor Clarification during PW validity File I-140 Petition within 180 day File I-485 for Green card when Priority Date is current Permanent Residence (5 years) U.S. Citizenship
    16. 16. • Safest, fastest, and most direct method • Available to: ‐ Primary Applicant ‐ Spouse ‐ Children • 10,000 investor visas annually ‐ Spouse and children count towards that number ‐ Available to both simple investors and the more involved entrepreneur A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5
    17. 17. A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5 Cash, equipment, inventory, and other tangible property Entrepreneur • $500,000 US, if it is invested in a targeted employment area (an area of high unemployment or a rural area) – Create or preserve at least 10 full-time-equivalent jobs – Within two years of the investor’s admission to the U.S – Jobs may be directly employed by the investment vehicle
    18. 18. A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5 Typically, the investor will pay significantly more than the investment amount, as there are administrative fees associated with the program, especially with investment centers. There are many costs associated with this route, including economist reports and financial evaluations. Immigration attorney fees also tend to be higher due to the complexity of this route.
    19. 19. A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5 Regional Centers (Pre-approved investment vehicles) Benefits • Often in TEAs, allowing for the lower investment amount of $500,000 • Permit the creation of indirectly created jobs www.uscis.gov/eb-5centers
    20. 20. A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5 After the Investment is Made I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur Once approved, you can apply for an immigrant visa abroad, or if you are already in the U.S., you can apply for adjustment with - I-485
    21. 21. A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5 • When approved, the investor and family members receive “conditional permanent residence” • The immigrant investor’s conditional residence is two years only, after which the conditions may be removed, and permanent residence granted • They are all eligible for work and travel authorization during this period
    22. 22. A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card EB-5 • Ninety days before the two-year conditional period is up, the EB-5 investor files an I-829 to remove the conditions on permanent residence, allowing the investor to live and work permanently in the U.S. • That application removes the conditions for family members as well I-829
    23. 23. Investor Immigration Flow Chart I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur Apply for Immigrant Visa Abroad Adjustment with I-485 Conditional 2-year Residence Conds. Removed Permanent Residence Granted Investor, Spouse & Children Eligible for Work A. Selecting the Right Path 2. Investment-Based Green Card 90 Days Before 2-year Conditional Period is up I-829 Live and work Permanently in the U.S.
    24. 24. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card Categories • Individuals of extraordinary ability in  The Sciences  Arts  Education  Business  Athletics (an employment-based, first preference, or EB-1, green card) • Individuals granted a National Interest Waiver (employment-based, second preference, or EB-2, green card)
    25. 25. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card EXTRAORDINARY ABILITY • Individuals deemed to be the "best of the best" in their field • USCIS will accept proof of significant one-time achievements
    26. 26. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card These applications are extremely subjective and therefore difficult to “predict” how USCIS will react. USCIS gives the example of Nobel Prize winners as its primary example of someone with extraordinary ability!
    27. 27. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card Criteria for Selection (3 of 10)  Lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards  Membership in associations which demand outstanding achievement  Published material about you in professional or major publications  Judging the work of others, individually or on a panel  Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business- related contributions of major significance to your field  Authoring scholarly articles in professional or major publications  Major artistic exhibitions or showcases  Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations  High salary or other significantly high remuneration  Commercial successes in the performing arts
    28. 28. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card Criteria for Selection  Lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards  Membership in associations which demand outstanding achievement  Published material about you in professional or major publications  Judging the work of others, individually or on a panel  Original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business- related contributions of major significance to your field  Authoring scholarly articles in professional or major publications  Major artistic exhibitions or showcases  Performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations  High salary or other significantly high remuneration  Commercial successes in the performing arts Again, these applications are judged harshly, therefore having more than just three of the criteria, and multiple items for each, should increase the chances that you will be considered to be “extraordinary.”
    29. 29. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card National Interest Waiver (NIW) EB-2 Someone seeking a NIW is asking USCIS to waive that the labor certification because it is in the interest of the United States. “National Interest” Test …the person is going to be providing a great benefit to the U.S.
    30. 30. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card National Interest Waiver (NIW) EB-2 You must meet at least three of the following criteria:  Degree, or similar award, relating to your area of exceptional ability  At least 10 years of full-time experience in your occupation  License to practice your profession  Certification for your profession or occupation  Salary that demonstrates your exceptional ability  Membership in a professional association(s)  Recognition of your achievements and significant contributions to your field by your peers, professional, or business organizations
    31. 31. A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card National Interest Waiver (NIW) EB-2 In addition, you must demonstrate that your work is of national interest. • Your field or work have substantial intrinsic merit • Benefit of your work will be national in scope ‐ Prospective national benefit ‐ Future benefit
    32. 32. Self-Petition Immigration Flow Chart I-140 Petition I-485 Green Card Permanent Residence for 5 years U.S. Citizenship A. Selecting the Right Path 3. Self-Petition Green Card
    33. 33. A. Selecting the Right Path 4. Specialized Job Categories Green card There are specialized jobs that may allow you to get a green card based on a past or current job. • Afghan/Iraqi Translator • Broadcaster • International Organization Employee • Iraqi Who Assisted the U.S. Government • NATO-6 Nonimmigrant • Religious Worker
    34. 34. B. Multiple Paths: Can I Try More than One? Yes! The U.S. system is not “mutually exclusive” and you may be seeking multiple pathways at the same time.
    35. 35. B. Multiple Paths: Can I Try More than One? Example: • Multinational executive • Transferred to U.S. branch in Jan. 2012 • EB-1 green card • Company is considering a merger • His job is secure • Pursue an investor green card • Continue process until one is approved • Once approved, other process will stop EB-1
    36. 36. B. Multiple Paths: Can I Try More than One? EB-1This is especially common for workers who are sponsored by one employer, and then later transfer to another employer who agrees to start their own green card process. Both employers may have a green card in process for the same worker, however, the worker will ultimately have to choose which process to complete.
    37. 37. C. Applying for Permanent Residence For each of the different types of immigrant visas – • You must initially establish your eligibility – File I-140 petition (I-360 for Special Immigrants} • You may file for permanent residence concurrently with your I-140 if your priority date is current (Visa Bulletin) or once the I-140 is approved and your priority date is current
    38. 38. C. Applying for Permanent Residence The Two Paths to Permanent Resident Status • Adjustment of status – Someone already in the U.S. – Receive green card without returning home • Consular processing – Obtain a visa abroad through a U.S. embassy – Then enter the United States as a permanent resident
    39. 39. C. Applying for Permanent Residence Persons physically in the U.S. may elect to “consular process” both when filing their I-140 petition, or afterwards. Consular processing is not limited to people physically outside the U.S.
    40. 40. C. Applying for Permanent Residence Adjustment of Status (AOS) I-485 G-325 I-765 I-131 Application Work Permits Travel Permit Fees
    41. 41. C. Applying for Permanent Residence Adjustment of Status (AOS) The essential steps are: • I-485 should be filed with ‐ Appropriate fees (using separate checks can be helpful) ‐ Supporting documents (including original medical exams) • After filing ‐ You will begin receiving multiple receipts and notices ‐ Biometrics appointment (picture, signature, fingerprinting) • Work permits and travel documents ‐ Will arrive by mail within about 90 days ‐ If they are not issued within 90 days, you can make an INFOPASS appointment to follow up on any issues
    42. 42. C. Applying for Permanent Residence You should never travel outside the U.S. after applying for permanent residence without a travel document approved before you depart the U.S.! Leaving the U.S. without a pre-approved travel document may constitute abandoning your application, resulting in the loss of all fees and the time already spent on the application.
    43. 43. C. Applying for Permanent Residence After some processing (weeks to several months), you may be scheduled for an interview at a local USCIS office. Employment-based cases are scheduled for interviews less frequently than family-based cases; however, it is common for an interview to be scheduled.
    44. 44. If you are scheduled for an interview, take it very seriously. Dress appropriately for an official government inspection. Be respectful. Be prepared: bring all documents requested in your interview notice, and if you like to be prepared, bring along copies of your past immigration filings and updated information such as employment letters, recent travel records, and tax filings. C. Applying for Permanent Residence
    45. 45. You will want to bring original ID documents (passport, driver’s license) as well as other originals of any other documents in the I-485 filing. Birth certificates, I-94 card, travel documents, etc. C. Applying for Permanent Residence
    46. 46. C. Applying for Permanent Residence After Your Interview
    47. 47. C. Applying for Permanent Residence Consular Processing To obtain your immigrant visa, you may also elect to Consular Process instead of applying in the U.S. This is especially beneficial for persons who are not currently in the U.S. Consular processing is significantly different from adjusting status.
    48. 48. C. Applying for Permanent Residence The essential steps are: • Upon approval of your immigrant petition (I-140, etc.), USCIS will notify the National Visa Center (NVC) operated by the Department of State. NVC will log your approved petition, and schedule it for a visa interview. If your priority date is not current, it will be held until your date becomes current • The NVC will begin sending you “packets.” These will be requests for fees and supporting documents. You will mail these back to the NVC • When all of your documents and fees have been received, your priority date is current, and a visa is available, the NVC will schedule you for an interview at the consulate • If your interview is successful, you will receive a visa packet to give to the CBP agent when you enter the U.S. • After your inspection by CBP, you will be admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident • After admission, USCIS will mail you a green card, typically within about 30 days
    49. 49. D. What Now? Maintaining your LPR Status. As a permanent resident, you have the freedom to: • Be employed • Study • Travel freely For most permanent residents, you will need to: • Maintain your LPR status for five years • Act as a good “citizen” • Never hold yourself out as a citizen! • Do not register to vote, or claim other benefits of citizenship
    50. 50. D. What Now? Maintaining your LPR Status. • If you, your spouse, or child is a male aged 18 to 25, you will need to register with the Selective Service • Travel should be greatly simplified • Carry a valid passport and your valid, unexpired green card • You’ll no longer need a visa or travel document • If you intend to stay out of the U.S. for a year, you should immediately consult an immigration attorney to issue your permanent residence is protected
    51. 51. Keep detailed records of all your international travel. When you apply for citizenship in five years, you must list all your travel abroad. Keep copies of itineraries, plane tickets, etc., to document your travel dates. D. What Now? Maintaining your LPR Status.
    52. 52. This Slideshow is an excerpt taken from the Immigration Navigator: From Foreign Immigrant to American Citizen Visit comingtoamerica.org For the purchase of this comprehensive immigration e-book and multiple free bonuses! Get Social With US!

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