Navigating the path to obtaining a Green Card through refugee or asylum status can be a complex process, but it’s an important step toward securing a stable future in the United States. In general, both refugees and asylees must be physically present in the U.S. for at least one year before being eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, also known as obtaining a Green Card. This process allows individuals with this status to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis, and it is ultimately the first step toward applying for U.S. citizenship.
There are several key steps in the Green Card application process, including determining eligibility, submitting the necessary documentation, and attending any required appointments or interviews. It’s essential to understand the specific requirements and steps involved for refugees and asylees, as the details may differ slightly between these two categories. Overall, it’s important to be well-prepared and thorough throughout the application process, as this will increase your chances of successfully obtaining a Green Card and ultimately achieving the stability and security you deserve.
- Eligibility to apply for a Green Card depends on physical presence in the U.S. for at least one year as a refugee or asylee.
- The application process requires careful attention to detail and submission of appropriate supporting documents.
- Refugees and asylees may have slightly different requirements and steps to follow in their journey toward permanent residence.
When looking to obtain a Green Card through refugee or asylum status, it’s essential to understand the eligibility requirements for each situation. In this section, we’ll explore the specific criteria for refugees and asylees, and how they relate to factors such as nationality, race, religion, and membership in a particular social group.
To qualify as a refugee and be eligible for a Green Card, you must fulfil certain conditions. Make sure you meet the following requirements:
- Be located outside the United States: As a refugee, you must be outside the U.S. during the application process.
- Have a well-founded fear of persecution: This fear should be related to one or more of these five factors: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
- Not be already resettled in another country: You must not have established a permanent residence in another nation after fleeing your home country.
- Humanitarian concern: The United States should have a particular humanitarian concern for your situation based on the reasons for your persecution.
As an asylee looking to obtain a Green Card, you need to meet a slightly different set of eligibility requirements. Ensure that you can satisfy these criteria:
- Be physically present in the United States: You must be already in the U.S. at the time of applying for asylee status.
- Have a well-founded fear of persecution: Like refugees, this fear should be based on your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
- Have been granted asylum: Before applying for a Green Card, you must be officially granted asylum by U.S. authorities.
Understanding these eligibility requirements will help you determine whether you can pursue a Green Card through refugee or asylum status. Remember to carefully review all the criteria and consult professional guidance if needed.
When applying for a Green Card through refugee or asylum status, the process involves several steps. In this section, you’ll find an overview of the application process, divided into two sub-sections: Refugee Applications and Asylum Applications.
As a refugee, you need to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status after being physically present in the U.S. for at least one year. The main form to submit is Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. When completing this form, be sure to follow the USCIS instructions and include all required supporting documents.
During the application process, you may also need to attend a biometrics appointment and an interview with USCIS. Be prepared to answer questions about your refugee status and your desire to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
If you’ve been granted asylum, you can apply for LPR status after being physically present in the U.S. for at least one year as well. Start by completing Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. Then, gather the necessary supporting documents and submit them with your application.
You might also want to consider filing Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition if you have relatives that you would like to join you in the United States.
Similar to refugee applications, you will likely need to attend a biometrics appointment and an interview with USCIS. Remember, it’s essential to be honest and consistent throughout the process.
As you proceed with your application for a Green Card through refugee or asylum status, keep in mind that this journey can be complex and time-consuming. Approach the process with a friendly attitude, and always be open to seeking help from an experienced immigration attorney or a reputable organization if needed. Good luck!
Supporting Evidence and Documents
When applying for a green card through refugee or asylum status, it’s important to gather and submit the appropriate supporting evidence and documents. This will help ensure a smoother application process. In this section, we’ll discuss the necessary documents for both refugees and asylees.
As a refugee seeking a green card, you will need to provide the following documentation:
- A valid passport, if available.
- Your birth certificate or other proof of your identity and nationality.
- Evidence of your refugee status, such as your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which should indicate your classification as a refugee.
- An Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if you have one. If not, you can apply for one by filing Form I-765.
Make sure to gather any additional evidence that supports your case, such as documentation of your resettlement in the United States or any hardships you faced in your home country.
For asylees seeking a green card, you’ll need to submit the following documents:
- Your valid passport, if available.
- A birth certificate or other proof of your identity and nationality.
- Evidence of your asylum status, such as your Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which should indicate your classification as an asylee.
- Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if you have one. If not, you can apply for one by filing Form I-765.
In addition to these items, be prepared to provide any other documentation that could strengthen your case, such as proof of your presence in the United States for at least one year or any persecution you experienced in your home country.
Remember, providing accurate and complete documentation is crucial for a successful green card application. Take your time to thoroughly gather your supporting evidence and documents, so you’re well-prepared for this important step in your immigration journey. Keep a friendly and positive attitude throughout the process, and stay focused on your goal of obtaining permanent residency in the United States.
Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr
Adjustment of Status and Permanent Residence
Great news for refugees and asylees looking forward to becoming lawful permanent residents in the United States!
You can now attain permanent resident status without leaving the country by applying for an adjustment of status (AOS) which allows you to stay in the U.S. and change your nonimmigrant status (e.g., student, tourist) to permanent residence (green card holder). Let’s go through the steps you need to follow in order to accomplish this.
Step 1: Filing your Immigrant Petition
Before jumping into the AOS process, you or someone else (like a family member or employer) must first file an immigrant petition to determine your eligibility for a green card. This could be a Form I-130 for family-based petitions or a Form I-140 for employment-based petitions.
Step 2: Check visa availability
Next, make sure that there is a visa number available in your category. The U.S. government limits the number of visas issued every year, so checking visa availability is crucial. This process may vary based on your status as a refugee or asylee, and the Visa Bulletin is a helpful resource for tracking this information.
Step 3: Application for Adjustment of Status
Now that you’ve filed your immigrant petition and confirmed visa availability, it’s time to submit your AOS application through Form I-485. This form will ask you for personal information, as well as details about your entry into the U.S., your immigration history, and any accompanying family members that also need their status adjusted.
Step 4: Gather supporting documents
Along with your AOS application, you’ll need to collect a number of supporting documents including:
- A copy of your approved immigrant petition
- A copy of your birth certificate
- Passport-size photos
- A copy of your current visa
- Proof of entry into the U.S. (e.g., I-94 arrival/departure record)
- Medical examination results
Step 5: Attend your interview
Once your AOS application and supporting documents have been submitted and reviewed, you’ll be scheduled for an interview with USCIS. During the interview, an officer will confirm your identity, review your documents, and assess your eligibility for permanent residency.
Step 6: Receive a decision
After your interview, USCIS will mail you the decision on your application. With a positive outcome, congratulations! You are now a Green Card holder and a lawful permanent resident (LPR).
Remember that applying for an adjustment of status is a friendly and doable process if you follow the steps and provide the necessary documentation. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy your newfound permanent residence in the United States, along with all the privileges it holds. Good luck!
Waivers and Exceptions
When applying for a green card through refugee or asylum status, you may encounter certain barriers due to inadmissibility grounds. Thankfully, there are waivers and exceptions that can help you overcome these hurdles.
As a refugee or asylee, you might be subject to INA 212(a) grounds of inadmissibility. However, to bypass these barriers, you can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility using Form I-602 titled “Application by Refugee for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability.” This form allows you to request a waiver for certain exclusions that may apply to your case.
Understanding the various grounds of inadmissibility is crucial, as they can impact your eligibility for obtaining a green card. Luckily, the USCIS Volume 7, Part M of their policy manual provides guidance on admissibility and waiver requirements which can give you a better understanding of the process.
When you submit Form I-602, it’s essential to demonstrate that the waiver is in the public interest and that your admission to the United States won’t be a threat to national security. It’s crucial to provide the necessary evidence and justification to support your waiver request. This can improve your chances of obtaining a positive outcome.
Keep in mind that not all grounds of inadmissibility can be waived. In some cases, there may be no available waiver, and you’ll need to consider other options or seek legal advice for further assistance.
Following this guidance and understanding the waivers and exceptions available to you can make your journey of obtaining a green card through refugee or asylum status smoother. Please remember to review the necessary resources and forms carefully, and seek professional help when in doubt to ensure the success of your application.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does asylum green card processing take in 2023?
In 2023, asylum green card processing times can vary. Generally, you should expect the process to take several months to over a year, depending on your individual case and the workload of the immigration office handling your application. For more accurate information, it’s always best to check the USCIS processing times for your specific form and service center.
What is the process for obtaining a green card as a refugee?
If you’re a refugee, you’re required to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status after being physically present in the U.S. for at least one year. To do so, you must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, along with supporting documents. To learn more about the process and required forms, visit the USCIS Green Card for Refugees page.
What are common green card interview questions for asylees?
During your green card interview, the immigration officer may ask questions regarding your asylum claim, background, family, and immigration history. They may also inquire about your current situation and ties to the U.S. It’s best to be prepared for a variety of topics to ensure you can confidently answer questions during your interview.
What is the waiting period to apply for a green card after asylum approval in 2023?
As an asylee, you’re allowed to apply for a green card after you’ve been physically present in the U.S. for at least one year since being granted asylum. For a detailed explanation on eligibility and the application process, visit the USCIS Green Card for Asylees page.
How can an asylee’s spouse obtain a green card?
If you are an asylee and want to obtain a green card for your spouse, you should include them in your application for adjustment of status as a dependent. Your spouse must also meet the eligibility and admissibility requirements for asylee LPR status. Their application process will be similar to yours, and you must submit the necessary documentation to support both your applications.
Is there a different green card category for asylum?
Yes, there is a specific green card category for individuals granted asylum. The process and eligibility criteria differ from those for other green card applicants, as it acknowledges the unique circumstances that led to asylum status. For more information, visit the USCIS Green Card for Asylees page.