FirstAmericanImmigrationCenter

Frequently asked questions

FORM G-639

Form G-639 is a freedom of information form typically submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to find out what USCIS knows about the applicant. The applicant will be provided with all information USCIS has pertaining to the individual and their immigration journey. Form G-639 is typically used by an attorney to get information about their client in order to prepare and case for the applicant. Form G-639 can also be used to help gain information about family genealogy or to help gather records filed by a family member that immigrated to the US. This form cannot be used to check status of any current applications, for consular notification of a visa petition approval, to request the return of original documents, or to obtain proof of status.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has no filing fee for form, but there are costs associated with the amount of time needed and materials used to process each request. After the Form G-639 request is reviewed and evaluated, USCIS will contact the applicant informing them of the fees associated with the request.

Currently U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) does not have an estimation as to how long the processing of Form G-639 may take because there will be varied amounts of information on every applicant.

EB-5 INVESTOR VISA

After completing Form I-90 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of renewing or getting a replacement green card usually takes approximately 5-6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-90 form or will send you a request for more information. If a request is sent, the process can be substantially delayed, causing the process to take much longer than 6 months.

 

On July 24, 2019, USCIS updated rules for the EB-5 investment visa. In the past, someone immigrating under the EB-5 investment visa would need to invest either $500,000 or $1 million into a United States business. The investment amount varies depending on the demographics of the location of the business. However, the July policy update made several changes affecting the cost of the EB-5 visa, TEA and the processing times of the EB-5 investment visa.

On July 24, 2019, USCIS updated rules for the EB-5 investment visa. In the past, someone immigrating under the EB-5 investment visa would need to invest either $500,000 or $1 million into a United States business. The investment amount varies depending on the demographics of the location of the business. However, the July policy update made several changes affecting the cost of the EB-5 visa, TEA and the processing times of the EB-5 investment visa.

As a review, TEA, also known as Targeted Employment Area is a standing given to regions based on their demographics. This standing is typically given to rural locations or areas of high unemployment. In the past, an EB-5 investor could theoretically a large metropolis as being eligible for TEA and pay the lower investment amount of $500,000. Under the new policy, the rules for TEA became more strict. In November only rural areas and areas of very high unemployment are eligible for TEA standing and the updated lower amount of $1 million. This policy defines rural as locations with a population that is less than 20,000 and high unemployment as being 150% above the national average

Although the new policy makes changes to investment minimums and TEA, the main requirements to be granted the EB-5 investment visa ultimately remain the same. This means the EB-5 applicant’s investment must directly or indirectly create 10 new jobs within the first 2 years of their investment. And these 10 new jobs must be maintained for the following 3 years.

In the past, if the investor had an error on their paperwork or if something went wrong with the business their invested was in, the EB-5 applicant’s process would be canceled. Once their process waa canceled the EB-5 applicant would need to get back in line for an EB-5 investment visa and start over using the correct documentation or with a new business. This resulted in a long backlog of applicants waiting to process their EB-5 investment visas.

The new policy now protects the EB-5 applicant by holding their process rather than canceling it if they need to correct their documentation or if they need to find a different business. By protecting the EB-5 applicant’s procedure, the wait time in a backlog will decrease.

ASYLUM

Asylum is when an individual faces persecution in their own country, they may flee to another sovereign nation and request protection. In the United States, asylum is available to those who have suffered harm or fear they will suffer harm upon return to their home country as a political refugee.

Individuals who demonstrate they suffered harm or will suffer harm due to persecution in their home country are eligible for asylum immigration. In order to be accepted into the United States under asylum, the harm and persecution must be based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Asylum begins when an immigrant leaves their country of origin to move to another country. Asylum-seekers must file all their documentation within one year of their arrival to the U.S. or of the expiration of their permitted stay in the United States. There are two options for asylum, the affirmative process, and the defensive process. Asylum seekers will need to submit documentation proving they are escaping persecution regardless of the asylum process they take. Based on the submitted evidence, USCIS will determine if the individual qualifies to remain in the United States under asylum.

Individuals who are not in the process of being deported from the U.S. apply for affirmative asylum. Asylum seekers must submit evidence proving they meet the criteria of being a refugee. If your asylum process is not approved, you will receive a Notice to Appear in court for a hearing. In the hearing, an immigration judge from the Executive Office of Immigration Review will issue a decision that is independent of the USCIS decision.

Defensive asylum is applied to those who file for asylum after they are in the deportation process. Under this process, the asylum seeker will have the opportunity to appear before an immigration judge in the Department of Justice. Just like those following affirmative asylum system, someone in defensive asylum must provide evidence that they faced persecution. If the immigration judge feels there is substantial evidence, the judge can reverse the deportation orders.

As per the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A) 208(d)(5), an interview for asylum should take place within 45 days of submission of a completed application. The decision regarding the applicant’s requested asylum should be reached within 180 days of the submission of the completed application unless there are exceptional circumstances.

FORM I-90 & GREEN CARD

Form I-90 is a form submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request a renewal or replacement of a green card. Form I-90 can be used to replace a card that is expiring, damaged, lost or stolen.

After completing Form I-90 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of renewing or getting a replacement green card usually takes approximately 5-6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-90 form or will send you a request for more information. If a request is sent, the process can be substantially delayed, causing the process to take much longer than 6 months.

 

To answer question 15 on part one of the I-90 form, you must find the date that USCIS granted you permanent resident or conditional permanent resident status. This may not be the same date you entered the United States. The date can be found toward the bottom of your resident green card, it will say “Resident since” and the date following will be that date of admission.

You should not be deported because of an expired green card. You will not lose your permanent resident status because of an expired green card, and you will not face any penalties or extra charges when you go to renew your green card. You will experience other difficulties when it comes to having an expired green card, it no longer serves as a valid ID and will not be accepted by any entity. As a temporary solution you may use a foreign passport with an I-551 stamp, but the stamp is only valid for 1 year.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-90 is $445. An $85 biometric services fee may also be required.  The fees associated with form I-90 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

FORM DS-260 & G-325

Form DS-260 is an Immigrant Visa Application and Registration form used to submit the required information about persons seeking immigration visas. The form is only to be completed and submitted online to the Department of State through the Consular Electronic Applications Center (CEAC)

This process requires three submissions to the National Visa Center (NVC) that must be completed before NVC will schedule an interview appointment. You must first pay the sponsorship fee (currently $88) and the visa fee (currently $230) in order to be able to make your three document submissions.

  1. Form DS-260 is an Immigrant Visa Application and Registration form used to submit the required information about persons seeking immigration visas. The form is only to be completed and submitted online to the Department of State through the Consular Electronic Applications Center (CEAC). The form is not available until the visa fee is paid.
  2. After paying the sponsorship fee, the sponsorship package will be able to be submitted. Once completed the package is to be mailed to the NVC, unless you are from a country where scans are required. A completed package will contain the barcoded cover page, employment verification, w2 and/or 1099 copies, I-864 form, and a copy of the most recent federal income tax return.
  3. After paying the visa fee the civil documents package is available for submission. A completed package will include the barcoded cover page, original police clearances, birth certificate, two passport-style photos, copy of the ID page of the passport, and marriage and divorce/annulment/death certificates of a spouse.

Once all steps have been completed the NVC will review and revise all packages, and then contact the applicant with an interview appointment package.

The form DS-260 is an Immigration visa under the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program.  The program requires applicants to have a high school education, or its equivalent, or two years of qualifying work experience as defined under provisions of U.S. Law. CLICK HERE for more information about qualification for ds-260. For more on the application process for ds-260 CLICK HERE.

Form G-325A is a biographical information form typically submitted with green card applications to provide U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the biographical information needed to make a decision on the applicant’s case. Some of the information submitted in this application include residence history, work history, and former spouse information.

Biographical information is information containing, consisting of, or relating to the facts or events in a person’s life. This information includes residence history, work history, and former spouse information. It is used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to help verify each applicant, and to help processes the applicant’s paperwork.

Currently U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) does not have an estimation as to how long the processing of Form G-325 may take because there will be varied amounts of information on every applicant.

FORM I-102

Form I-102 is a form submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to get a replacement or amendment to Form I-94. Form I-94 is a form of travel ledger for nonimmigrant arrival/departures. It lets the government know when an individual enters the United States and informs the nonimmigrant on their rights and time allowance for remaining in the United States.

After completing Form I-102 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of replacing or amending Form I-94 takes approximately 2-5 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-102 form.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-102 is $445. The fees associated with form I-102 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form I-129f and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the processing of the fiancé visa Form I-129f takes approximately 5-13 months. A majority of USCIS facilities process Form I-129f between 5-7 months, with the chance that approval could be granted in as few as 3 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-102 form.

Two major documents U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) require that you submit include:

  • A copy of the Form I-797C, Notice of Action, showing they have filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their spouse listed on the form
  • A marriage certificate, providing the legal marriage between the U.S. citizen and the foreign national

CLICK HERE for a full USCIS list of required materials

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-129F is $535. The fees associated with form I-129f may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form I-130 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the processing time for a parent, child or spouse of a petitioner is approximately 5-12 months. For all other relatives the approval time is between 6 months and 6 years. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-130 form.

Yes, they can petition a relative by filing Form I-130 with to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS). Depending on relationship to the petitioner there are different approval wait times.

Any lawful permanent resident, or us citizen, may file form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Form I-130 is submitted to U.S. Citizenship and immigration Services (USCIS) to verify the existence of a relationship to an alien relative who would like to immigrate to the United States.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-130 is $445. The fees associated with form I-130 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

TRAVEL VISAS & FORMS

Form I-131 is a form submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain travel documents before traveling abroad. The form is used by non-U.S. citizens who have been granted resident status. There are three types of travel documents that can be obtained by using form I-131.

  1. A reentry permit for permanent residents
  2. A refugee travel document for asylees and refugees
  3. Advance Parole for most other aliens

After completing Form I-131 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process obtaining a reentry permit takes approximately 2-5 months. USCIS cautions applicants to apply well in advance of a planned trip to avoid any complications when traveling. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-102 form.

This depends on which form you are submitting to obtain travel documents. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) warns that if you are submitting form i-131 it can take up to 5 months to receive a reentry permit. In certain cases, it can take as few as 60 days, but USCIS cautions applicants to apply well in advance of a planned trip to avoid any complications.

Form I-485 is an immigration form submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Center (USCIS) to adjust status or register permanent residence. The form is used by a person living inside the U.S. attempting to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

No, but it can be a portion of the green card process. If the applicant has already been granted permanent residence, form I-485 can be used to apply for a change of status. If the applicants immigration began with a form I-130 petition, then yes, the form I485 will grant a green card.

Form I-539 is a Change/Extend Nonimmigrant status form submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Center (USCIS) by F-1 or M-1 visa students. Uses include: Certain nonimmigrants extending their stay or changing to another nonimmigrant status: CNMI residents applying for an initial grant of status; F and M nonimmigrants applying for reinstatement; and, persons seeking V nonimmigrant status or an extension of stay as a V nonimmigrant.

After completing form I-539 it takes between 3 – 5 months to get an interview appointment. Once the biometrics appointment is completed, the applicant will receive the notice from U.S. Citizenship and immigration center (USCIS) about a naturalization interview

Depending the filing type the applicant falls under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires Form I-539 to be delivered to different locations. For the full list of USCIS locations CLICK HERE.

immigration services (USCIS), the process of extending a stay or changing a status takes approximately 6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-539 form.

FORM I-601

Form I-601 is submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by foreign citizens who are ineligible to immigrate to the Unites States because they are “inadmissible.” The form is to request a waiver or pardon from USCIS from the applicant’s inadmissibility.

After completing Form I-601 and submitting it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the approximated processing time is between 12 – 18 months. Additionally, U.S. Department of State (DOS) estimates scheduling its immigrant visa interview within 2 -3 months after form I-601 is processed.

Form I-601 is to be filed for an applicant that is outside of the U.S., while Form I-601A is to be filed by an applicant who is inside the U.S. Form I-601 is a waiver of inadmissibility and is submitted to USCIS to pardon the applicants inadmissibility and allow the individual to immigrate to the U.S. Form I-601A is a provisional waiver submitted to USCIS by an applicant that is inside of the U.S. seeking to have their unlawful presence waived.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-601 is $930. The fees associated with form I-601 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

Form I-601A is a provisional waiver submitted to USCIS by an applicant that is inside of the U.S. seeking to have their unlawful presence waived. The form acknowledges the person his in the U.S. unlawfully but explains it is for reasons beyond the applicants control.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-601 is $630 for individuals 79 and older and is $85 more expensive than those younger than 79. The fee may be paid for by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form I-601a and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of getting your inadmissibility waived takes approximately 3-6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-601a form.

FORM I-751

Form I-751 is petition used by conditional residents who obtained their status through marriage. By submitting this form to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the petitioner is requesting the all conditions are removed from their residential status.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-751 is $595 plus an $85 biometric service fee for everyone that is listed on the same application to remove conditions. The fees associated with form I-751 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form I-751 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of removing conditions on a green card takes approximately 12-17 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-751 form.

Form I-765 is an employment authorization document (EAD), otherwise known as a work permit. This permit is authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCSIS) to provide temporary employment authorization to non-citizens in the United States.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-765 is $410 unless you fall under one of the following categories, in which case you must pay an extra $85 biometric services fee.

  • (c)(33) Requesting consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • (c)(35) A beneficiary of an approved employment-based immigrant petition and facing compelling circumstances
  • (c)(36)A spouse or unmarried dependent child of a beneficiary of an employment-based immigrant petition who is facing compelling circumstances
  • Fee payment ($410)
  • A completed application for employment authorization, Form I-765
  • A front and back copy of your last EAD

If one was never issued, in its place bring a copy of a government issued identification document such as

  • A Passport
  • A birth certificate with a photo ID
  • A visa issued by a foreign government
  • A national ID document with photo and/or fingerprint
  • A front and back copy of nonimmigrant arrival/departure records Form I-94
  • 2 identical photographs (2×2)
  • Proof of legal status
    • Form I-94 showing admission under H-4 visa category
    • Approval notice, Form I-797, for the extension of stay, Form I-539, in H-4 visa category
  • Proof of a relationship with the principal H-1B
    • Copy of the Marriage Certificate
  • Work Authorization Basis (may differ based on eligibility criteria)
    • An approved Form I-140
    • H-1b beyond 6 years under AC21 106(a) and (b)

After completing Form I-765 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of obtaining an employment authorization document (EAD)/work permit takes approximately 2-5 months, with a great majority of the applications being processed in under 3 months because of the new processing procedure. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-765 form.

TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS (TPS)

An individual who has received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) through form I-821 may become a permanent resident, but not through their TPS or DACA status. TPS and DACA are designated for individuals to be in the U.S. for a short period of time. Thus, these individuals must apply separately for a visa or green card in order to gain a permanent resident status.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-821 is $50 plus an $85 biometric service fee for all individuals age 14 and older. The fees associated with form I-821 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is indeed a status, not a visa. Form I-821 is intended to allow a noncitizen to reside inside the US for a certain amount of time while their nation of origin struggles with hardships from natural disasters or major conflicts

Yes, Temporary Protected Status TPS is a legal status, it means the individual has the right to be in the United States for a predetermined amount of time, while their nation of origin is rebuilding or recovering from a disaster.

FORM I-824

Form I-824 is an Application for Action on an Approved Application and is typically used to request a duplicate of a form I-797 or to request to Follow to Join a family member. The Follow to Join purpose is designed to reunite a family in the united states after one family member has successfully immigrated to the US and received a green card.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-824 is $465. The fees associated with form I-824 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form I-824 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of obtaining an action on a previously approved application takes approximately 1-6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-824 form.

Form I-864 is an affidavit of support typically submitted with a petition to provide U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with confirmation of financial responsibility of the petitioned party. Along with this form financial documents must be submitted to prove that the applicant has the financial means to sponsor the individual along with a complete understanding of the extent to which they will be responsible for the person that is being petitioned.

FORM I-864

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires an applicant to show proof, via form I-864, of income AND/OR assets equivalent to more than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines in order to be able to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the U.S. For more information CLICK HERE.

When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) refers to “country of domicile” on form I-864, they are inquiring about the permanent residence of the individual attempting to sponsor a family member. USCIS is asking if the petitioner has resided within the continental U.S. and if the petitioner will continue to reside within the continental U.S.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not have a filing fee for form I-864 as long as the sponsored immigrant files the form while outside of the U.S. If Form I-864 is filed inside the U.S. the Department of State (DOS) charges a fee of $120 to review the application.

Form I-912 is a fee waiver form submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with green card or other applications. The form is used to show USCIS that your household income falls beneath the national poverty line, and to request to be excused from paying the fees associated with the form being filed. It is cautioned to pay close attention when attempting to receive a fee waiver, as having a household income beneath the national poverty line may disqualify an applicant from applying for certain visas. CLICK HERE to see conditions of disqualification when filling Form I-912.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has no filing fee for submitting the fee waiver form, form I-912.

After completing Form I-912 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) along with a green card or other application, the process of determining if the waiver will be granted takes approximately 6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed I-912 form, and will contact the applicant again after a decision is made in regards to the fee waiver.

FORM N-400 (Naturalization)

Form N-400 is an Application for naturalization submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request to become a naturalized citizen after certain circumstances. Most often an individual will use form N-400 after meeting the requirements of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) as outlined HERE, by USCIS.

After completing Form N-400 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of becoming a naturalized citizen takes approximately 6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed N-400 form.

The entire length of the process after submitting the N-400 and receiving a certificate of naturalization is estimated by U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services to take up to 8 months. After the applicant’s application is processed, they will have to interview, and pass a civics and English test before receiving their certificate of naturalization.

Yes, Currently U.S Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) offer the option to fill out and file the N-400 online. CLICK HERE or more information about filing the N-400 online.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form N-400 is $640 plus an $85 biometric service fee for all individuals that need to add it. The fees associated with form N-400 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

Yes, Form N-565 is an Application for Replacement submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request a replacement naturalization or citizenship document for one that was damaged, lost or stolen.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form I-565 is $555. The fees associated with form I-565 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form N-565 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the process of replacing a naturalization certificate takes approximately 1-6 months. USCIS will send you a receipt within 1-3 weeks of receiving a completed N-565 form.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cautions that the location of the naturalization number changes depending on the year that a certificate was printed. Typically, the number is found toward the top of the certificate and printed in red. For the USCIS diagram for all the different possible location CLICK HERE.

FORM N-600

Form N-600 is an application for a certificate of citizenship commonly submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of a born abroad to U.S. citizens, or for individuals born to noncitizens in the U.S. Another use for form N-600 includes a situation where U.S. citizens are attempting to adopt a child from another nation, in which this form would be submitted with the adoption paperwork to allow the child to immigrate to the U.S.

As of early 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filing fee for form N-600 is $1170. The fees associated with form N-600 may be paid to USCIS by money order, credit card, cashier’s check, or personal check.

After completing Form N-600 and submitting it to U.S. citizenship and immigration services (USCIS), the processing of the document takes between 5-15 months. After Form N-600 is processed USCIS will contact the applicant and schedule an interview, which can take as long as 6 months. After the successfully completing the interview with USCIS the applicant will receive their citizenship.

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