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Guide On The Green Card Process For Asylees In The United States

Guide On The Green Card Process For Asylees In The United States

After a lengthy process, you have finally achieved your status as an asylee in the United States. You now have the protection you were denied in your home country for political or religious reasons, etc. Now that you legally live in the United States, have you considered becoming a permanent resident through asylee status?

You can do so easily with the assistance of an immigration lawyer. If you have been living in the United States for at least one year after your asylum is granted, you can file a green card application and change your status to become a permanent resident.

If you were the main applicant and your spouse or children obtained a “derivative grant of asylum” through you, you can file for green cards now—or even the first time—without waiting for you. When you file to become a US permanent resident through asylee status, you can also apply for a green card for your spouse or children if they have received “derivative” asylum from you.

You and your family can only adjust your status to an asylum green card if you have resided in the United States for at least one year after you were granted asylum. Once you have completed becoming a US permanent resident through asylee status, you will be eligible for many benefits as a green card holder.

You may even be able to apply for immediate relatives living overseas in the future. If you want to become a US permanent resident through asylee status, read on to learn more about the process.

Why should Asylees seek to get a green card?

While asylees do not have to apply for a green card to live and work in the United States, it is in their best interests to do so once eligible. By applying for a green card, they will be eligible for benefits unavailable to asylees. If you plan to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, you will first need to apply for a green card.

In addition, your status as an asylee (and therefore your right to stay in the US) is not 100% secure. Your status may be revoked (suspended) by the US government if:

  1. The circumstances of your home country change so that it is safe for you to return there (e.g., a change in the governing political party or law of that country or the cessation of civil war);
  2. You no longer meet the criteria to be considered an asylee. Your religious or political views have changed so that you would not be subject to persecution if you were to return to the country you had claimed to be afraid of returning to.

Becoming a permanent resident through asylee status will also give you access to Advance Parole to travel to and from the United States. You can also sponsor certain family members for green cards, allowing them to live and work peacefully with you.

Eligible asylees

If you are an asylee and would like to know if you qualify for a green card in the United States, make sure that you meet the criteria set by USCIS to start the process and qualify for the green card benefit. The main criteria are:

  1. Physically present in the US for one year or more.

The physical presence of an asylee in the United States begins to count as soon as their asylum application is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Under US immigration law, an asylum seeker is eligible to apply to become a permanent resident through asylee status one year after the USCIS grants their application.

A year of physical presence includes only the time spent inside the United States. If an asylum seeker leaves the United States while in asylum status, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services will not count the day they leave and return to the United States as part of their physical presence.

Any time spent outside the United States will not be counted as a physical presence. The USCIS policy manual explains in detail how USCIS considers physical presence when assessing an asylum green card application. If you are an asylee, you will want to be very careful about leaving your country.

This could affect your ability to become a permanent resident through asylee status.

1. You must be a refugee.

To qualify to become a permanent resident through asylee status, you must remain a “refugee” under US immigration law. Under US law, “refugees” are “persons outside the territory of the United States who are unable, or unwilling, to return to their country of nationality on the ground that they fear serious harm.”

When you apply, the immigration officer must have no reason to believe you are no longer a refugee. If, for example, you travel back to your home country, you will lose your refugee status. If you were granted derivative asylum, you must prove that you remain the primary asylum applicant’s spouse or child.

For example, if you are a child of a primary asylee and get married, you are no longer eligible for derivative asylum.

2. You must not be fully settled in another country.

For an asylum seeker to maintain their asylum status, they must not be fully settled in another country. This means you must not have received permanent residence or citizenship in a country that is not your home country or the United States.

If an asylum seeker leaves the United States and receives a permanent residence or citizenship offer in another country after an asylum application is made, they will be considered fully settled in that country. An asylum seeker seeking to become a US permanent resident through asylee status is not allowed to be a resident of, or a citizen of, a third country.

If an asylum seeker is fully settled in a foreign country, they will lose their US asylum status and cannot apply for a green card.

3. You must not be inadmissible.

You must be admissible to apply to become a US permanent resident through asylee status. This means that no “inadmissible grounds” listed by USCIS apply to you. These grounds include health, criminal records, national security issues, etc.

The application process

To become a US permanent resident through asylee status, you must go through the following steps:

1. Adjustment of status.

Form I-485 is the first form to fill out when applying for an asylum green card. It is the official application form for adjustment of status. This form is 20 pages long and includes questions about your personal information, your immigration history, your immigration status, your marriage status, and much more.

It will also determine whether you meet the criteria for being inadmissible. An immigration lawyer can help you with the most up-to-date version of this form.

2. Include supporting documents.

To apply to become a US permanent resident through asylee status, you must have the following documents:

  • Your asylum approval notice.
  • A birth certificate.
  • Your passport pages show any trips you have made outside the United States since receiving asylum.
  • Proof that you have been physically present in the United States for at least one year.
  • Two recent passport-sized photos.
  • Form I-94 (arrival and departure record).
  • Form I-693 (report of medical examination and vaccine record).
  • Form I-765 (application for employment authorization).
  • Form I-131 (application for travel document), etc.

Ensure that every foreign document contains a full translation into English.

3. Payment of filing fees.

You must pay the accompanying filing fees for filing Form I-485 and the biometric services. The filing fees payable is subject to changes by USCIS. You can pay these fees by check or by credit card. For credit card transactions, you must complete form G-1450.

A fee waiver may be available if you can’t afford these fees. A fee waiver request does not affect the processing of your green card application because you do not have to pass the public charge test as an applicant. You can file a request for a fee waiver by completing form I-912.

4. Submit your application.

Now that you have filled out your application forms, collected your paperwork, and made sure you have paid your filing fees, you are ready to put everything together in your immigration filing packet and send it to USCIS.

Gather all your forms and paperwork into one neat package. Include a cover letter listing all the forms and fees you submit and the documents in your application at the top of your immigration filing packet. Keep a copy of everything you are sending in. You might need them later!

After you have put together your packet, you must send it to USCIS. As an asylee, your application packet will be sent to one of USCIS’ lockboxes. The address you use to send your application packet will vary depending on your location and the postal service you use to submit your application. It is best to use a tracking service to track your application.

5. The biometrics appointment.

Once you have submitted your packet, the USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment at your nearest USCIS office. You will receive a notice with your biometrics appointment date, time, and location. Your fingerprint, photograph, and signature will be taken during the biometrics appointment.

The USCIS will use this information to check with the FBI and DHS criminal databases to ensure you haven’t done anything illegal. You should talk with an immigration lawyer for more information on how to prepare for your biometrics.

6. A possible interview.

Not all who apply for US permanent residency through asylee status must attend an interview. The USCIS may sometimes waive your green card interview because you have already undergone an asylum interview. If you are required to attend an interview, the USCIS will notify you by mail.

A green card interview is typically held three months after submitting your application. It is an important part of asylum green card applications for many asylum applicants. During the interview, an officer of the USCIS will ask you a series of questions related to your application.

This is to determine if there is anything in your background or current circumstances that would prevent you from being eligible for a green card. Your interview may result in your application being approved. If your application is approved, you will receive the decision in your mail shortly after your interview is completed.

7. Issuing the green card.

The USCIS will mail your green card to you within 120 days of your green card being approved. You can keep track of your case status online by using the USCIS case tracker. Congratulations! You are now a legal permanent resident of the United States. You should always carry your valid green card with you.

A green card gives you the right to live and work in the United States and enjoy the privileges of being a legal permanent resident. As a legal permanent resident, you can obtain a Social Security Card and driver’s license. After 5 years of permanent resident status, you can apply for US citizenship.

If USCIS doesn’t approve your case or you don’t receive your green card during the 120-day period, speak to an immigration lawyer to discuss your options.

Get help!

Are you an asylee who wants to achieve the dream of becoming a green card holder? Do you need assistance in getting your green card? Gehi and Associates can help you with all of your immigration needs. Over the years, we have assisted people with their immigration needs with sterling results. We have a proven track record of successful immigration solutions. Contact us today for an initial FREE consultation!

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