Estimating Green Card Holders During Different Periods

November 3, 2011 § 2 Comments

LPR Entrants before 1980

Earlier, it was considered that all non-citizen residents of the US in 2010 who entered prior to 1980 were legal permanent residents (LPRs). Per certain provisions in the immigration law, foreign nationals of good moral character who are eligible for Naturalization are not removable on terrorism grounds and have lived in the US continuously since January 1, 1972 are eligible for green card status. In addition to this, some persons living in the US before 1982 as unauthorized residents were allowed to adjust their status to LPR. DHS estimates of the unauthorized immigrant population assume that the foreign-born population entering the US before 1980 is legally resident. Estimates of the LPR population in 2010 that entered before 1980 were from data from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) of the US Census Bureau on non-citizen residents with a year of entry before 1980.

LPR Entrants from 1980 through 2009

Estimates on LPRs who entered the US between January 1980 and December 2009 were got from application case tracking systems of USCIS. Information on persons obtaining LPR status is through two applications. Foreign nationals living outside the US use the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration of the U.S. Department of State. Such applicants who subsequently become LPRs are known as “new arrivals.” Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Residence is filed by foreign nationals already living in the US. Any information about the naturalization of LPRs if obtained from the Application for Naturalization (N-400). The citizenship form, N-400 is used by applicants aged 18 years and over. The general information maintained in the USCIS case tracking systems are alien identification number (A-number), date of birth, country of birth, gender, US address, date, LPR status or naturalization was obtained, and class of admission for LPR status.

Estimates were done in such a way that records for LPR entrants from January 1980 through December 2009 were matched by the Alien Registration Number (A number) with naturalization records for the same time period to exclude LPRs who later got naturalized. Then, many adjustments were then made to reduce the total of 1980-2009 LPRs to a 2010 LPR population of 1980-2009 entrants. The methods for adjustments and mortality are the same as those used in DHS unauthorized immigrant population estimates. An adjustment for derivative citizenship is unique to the LPR population calculation. LPRs who entered the US before 1980 were excluded from the estimates as such persons were counted in the pre-1980 entrant population from the ACS.

Remember that the date of entry for “new arrival” LPRs is the date of approval for permanent resident status. However, for “adjustment of status”, the entry date is usually not recorded directly so the year of last entry prior to adjustment of status is generally taken as an approximation. Year of last entry was imputed where missing (approximately 40 percent of adjustment of status records during 1998-2005) using category of admission, year of LPR adjustment, and known last entry date. Additional adjustments were made for LPR children who had derived citizenship, mortality, and emigration.

Asylees becoming US citizens

June 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

As an asylee, you can adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident ( green card holder) of the United States one year after being granted asylum. Apart from this, you can also petition for your family members (spouse, minor children, and unmarried adult sons and daughters) for legal permanent resident status in the US. To apply to adjust status, you have to file Form I-485 with the USCIS.

You should prove that you have been physically present in the US for one year after having been granted asylum status and that you remain a refugee (with a “well-founded fear of persecution,” etc.). You should also have to prove that you have not resettled in any foreign country and also that you are not “inadmissible” or warrant a waiver of applicable grounds of “inadmissibility.”

While adjusting status, you have to file the following documents with the USCIS:

  • Form I-485 and appropriate fee
  • Form G-325
  • 2 passport size photographs
  • Fee for Fingerprinting
  • Evidence of asylee status (copy of I-94 and letter granting asylum or any decision by an Immigration Judge)
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof that you have been living in the US for the last year
  • Valid proof for change of name (if you have legally changed your name since getting asylee status.

Asylees need not prove that they are not “likely to become a public charge”. Even if you are receiving means-tested benefits such as public assistance or SSI, it will not prevent you from applying for legal permanent residence. You can also request a waiver of the filing fee while adjusting status if you can prove that paying the fee would result in financial hardship.

Once you have filed the I-485 form, you will receive an interview notice from the USCIS along with a medical examination form that you are required to complete per the instructions. If you had entered the US with fraudulent documents (such as a passport purchased on the black market), you should submit an application for a waiver of inadmissibility through Form I-602.

You will then have an interview that will primarily focus on eligibility for adjustment to permanent residence and not on the underlying asylum claim. However, not all asylees who file to adjust status will have interviews.

Citizenship :

As a lawful permanent resident, you can submit Form N-400, application for citizenship to become a US citizen after five years of becoming a permanent resident. Once Form I-485 is approved, the date of admission is one year before the date of approval of the adjustment of status application. It means the wait to apply for american citizenship is reduced to four years (generally is five years for other permanent residents). Citizenship is the highest immigration status in the US and it has many advantages when compared to being a permanent resident

Travel Document

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Form I-131 has to be filed while applying for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document or advance parole travel document, to include parole into the US for humanitarian reasons.

Advance Parole :

Is for applicants who have a pending Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident, and who want to travel before the Application is approved.

Refugee Travel Document :

Is for applicants who hold Refugee or Asylee status and who want to travel outside the US.

Re-entry Permit :

Is for Lawful Permanent Residents who will be outside of the US for an extended period of time, generally for one year or more. Applicants filing Form I-131 based on his/her pending or approved Form I-821 have to file your form I-131 with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility. It should also include a copy of the I-797 C, Notice of Action that shows if the application was accepted or approved.

If you are applying to renew the advance parole document, USCIS will accept and adjudicate Form I-131 filed up to 120 days before the date your current Advance Parole document expires.

All Refugee Travel Document applicants or one for a Reentry Permit should get fingerprinted at an Application Support Center (ASC) or if applying for a Refugee Travel Document (while outside of the US) at an USCIS facility overseas. Applicants aged between 14 and 79 years and applying for a Refugee Travel Document or Re-entry Permit should also be fingerprinted as part of USCIS biometric services requirements.

After you have filed the application, USCIS will inform in writing of the time/location of the biometrics appointment. Should you fail to appear to be fingerprinted or for other biometric services, it might result in a denial of the application.

All applicants for Re-entry Permit and/or Refugee Travel Documents aged between 14 and 79 years are required to pay the additional $85 biometric fee. The fee for advance parole or re-entry permit is $360 and for a Refugee Travel Document for an applicant age 16 or older is $135. For a child under the age of 16 years, it is $105. For applicants aged between 14 and 79, a biometric fee of $85 is required for a Reentry Permit and a Refugee Travel Document , unless the applicant resides outside of the U.S at the time of filing their form. However, biometric fee is not required for advance parole applicants.

The submission fee and biometrics services fee may be paid with a single check for $445 and it must be made payable to Department of Homeland Security.

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