Guide to Applying for a US Green Card

USA - United States of America

Do you want to live permanently in the US?

If so, a green card is your way in, but how easy is it to acquire a US green card? Are the rumors right? Is it really that frustrating of a process? Well, to be honest, it really is… especially when you do not have enough preparation and knowledge about the processes involved.

To help you out improve your chances of grabbing that US green card, here’s a detailed guide that can soften the bumps along the way:

Check Your Eligibility

First things first, make sure that you are eligible to visit/live/work in the US. Otherwise, you’re going to get lost along the way only ending up with wasted efforts and money.

Who is not eligible to live in the US?

  • Someone with a communicable disease. (with availability of waiver)
  • Someone with physical or mental conditions that can affect the public (with availability of waiver)
  • Drug abuse/addiction (without availability of waiver)
  • Someone with history of drug trafficking (without availability of waiver)
  • Someone who has  committed grave crimes (with availability of waiver)
  • Someone who has been criminally convicted  (with availability of waiver)
  • Someone who violated US Immigration Laws (with availability of waiver)
  • Someone who is incapable of supporting himself financially (without availability of waiver)
  • Someone who participated in Nazi crimes (without availability of waiver)

Being the first step of the process, you should make sure you don’t leave gaps hanging. Check every possibility of being ineligible. Take every test you can take. You can start with a medical check-up that can ensure you’re not carrying any communicable diseases. Then, you can request for a copy of your criminal records. To save time, you can take the tests that will require a longer wait for the release of results.

Don’t forget about making copies of the documents that would prove your eligibility for immigration in the country.

Transform Your Non-Immigrant Visa to a Green Card

A non-immigrant visa can be a temporary pass given to a person for special reasons. For one, a non-immigrant visa can be given to someone who has extraordinary abilities, an investor, a world-renowned personality, etc.

An L1 Visa is a common type of non-immigrant visas given to people who work for a US Company in their own country.

Now, if you currently work for a US company in your country, you are one step closer to a US green card. This is because you can transform an L1 Visa to permanent residency in only two steps…

  1. Apply for an immigrant visa classification
  2. Adjust your status by filing an l-485 with USCIS or apply for an immigrant visa by filing a DS-260 with the Department of State

With the benefit of a non-immigrant visa, you will be able to skip the extra steps other people take. To learn more, see this page.

Take Every Step with Precaution

Every step in acquiring a green card is important to you and to the United States of America. It’s important for them to filter out those who are liabilities to the country, and it is important that you show them you’re the contrary every step of the way.

Double checking the papers you submit will ensure you won’t be rejected for completely avoidable mistakes, such as:

  1. A missed signature
  2. Wrongly spelled vital information
  3. Skipped question
  4. Wrongly answered question
  5. Invalid data
  6. Illegible data

Every mistake you make will make a difference to the results you’re going to receive. These mistakes can be small, but for them, they are enough to reject your application.

Prepare for the Interview

The interview is an important part of the process. This is where the USCIS agent judges you by your background, your demeanor during the interview and how you present yourself physically. Passing the interview is a determining factor you should be prepared for.

FIrst of all, you must remember that the USCIS agent’s job is to judge you without personal intentions. All questions are given to come up to a reasonable conclusion. Therefore:

  1. Do not take the questions personally
  2. Do not get aggressive with the interviewer
  3. Dress appropriately for the interview
  4. Answer questions honestly. Expect the interviewer to fact check your answers.
  5. Arrive on time

Ask for Help

Better be sure than sorry.

If it’s your first time applying for a US green card, surely you’re going to meet new processes along the way.

If you feel unaccustomed to anything concerning your application, don’t hesitate to ask for help. This will definitely save you from making wrong decisions that will cost you your approval.

For the best results, consult an immigration lawyer or someone with the same level of expertise.

Simply taking advice from friends who have made it through the process is going to help enormously.

Put effort in every step

Acquiring a US green card can take 6 months up to a decade, depending on how privileged you are. Regardless, it’s still a long and demanding process. Surely, you’ll be spending a lot of your money, time and energy. To avoid big disappointments, just go all in. Failing because you fell short on effort when you’ve spent countless hours and a large sum of cash is going to be a bummer – guaranteed.