Friday, February 17, 2012

Green Card for an Asylee: Part I

If USCIS granted you asylum status, you are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) 1 year after receiving your grant of asylum. Your spouse and children are also eligible to apply for a green card if they were admitted to the United States as asylees or were included in your grant of asylum.

You are not required to apply for a green card; however, it may be in your best interest to do so. You may no longer qualify for asylum status with the right to remain permanently in the United States if:
  • country conditions change in your home country or
  • you no longer meet the definition of an asylee due to changed circumstances.
Eligibility Criteria

If you are an asylee, you may apply for a green card 1 year after being granted asylum if you:

Have been physically present in the United States for at least 1 year after being granted asylum

*               Continue to meet the definition of a asylee (or continue to be the spouse or child of such asylee)

*               Have not abandoned your asylee status

*               Are not firmly resettled in any foreign country

*               Continue to be admissible to the United States (A waiver may be available to you if you are now inadmissible)

Application Process
To apply for a green card, you must file the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status.

Note: When your green card is granted, you (and your derivative family members) will have your date of adjustment of status rolled back 1 year from the date your green card is granted.

Supporting Evidence For Form I-485
If your asylum status is granted, you should file a Form I-485 with the following supporting documentation (in this order):

*               Completed and signed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

*               Completed and signed Form I-693, Report of Medical Exam and Vaccination Record, if required.

*               Applicable fees

*                       Asylees must pay the Form I-485 application fee and the fingerprint fee

*                       Applicants under the age of 14 do not need to submit a fingerprint fee

*               Completed and signed Form I-602, Application by Refugee for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (if applicable)

*               Copy of your I-94 card

*             Asylees may also submit a copy of their approval notice granting asylum or a copy of the immigration judge’s orders showing that you were granted asylum

*               A completed Form G-325A, Biographic Information Sheet, if you are between 14 and 79 years of age

*               Certified copies of court records (if you have been arrested)

*               Two passport-style photos

Note: You must submit any foreign language documents with a certified English translation. The translator must certify that he/she is competent to perform the translation and that the translation is accurate. Note that translations submitted without a legible copy of the foreign document are not sufficient.

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