Family Law, Criminal Defense & Immigration Attorneys

Smith Law Offices, LLC Answers the Most Common Immigration Questions

Immigration is an extremely complicated process and the rules are always changing. To assist you with your immigration journey, we have created a frequently asked questions sheet with common immigration questions and answers so you can proceed with confidence.

Q: What Is the USCIS?

A: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is a government agency under the Department of Homeland Security that oversees the approval and processing of immigration applications. USCIS consular offices perform interviews and collect biometric data.

Q: What Is a Lawful Permanent Resident?

A: A person with lawful permanent residency in the United States is the same as a green card holder. They have the freedom to live within the country and apply for jobs and educational opportunities. In many ways, lawful permanante residency is a stepping stone toward citizenship.

Q: What Does Conditional Permanent Residence Mean?

A: A green card designated as “conditional” is only valid for two years. Those who have conditional permanent residents may not qualify for full status and must instead follow conditions that could lead to legal residence in the future.

Q: Can I Work In the U.S. Without a Green Card?

A: Any immigrant with a work visa or student visa can work and live within the United States as long as they do not violate the terms of their visa.

Q: What Is Biometric Screening?

A: Biometric screening is a test that immigrations go through when entering the country and applying for status. This involves taking DNA samples and fingerprints which are entered into a national database. The screening helps the USCIS to identify those who enter the country legally.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card?

A: There are many ways to get a green card, and the timeline for each pathway is different. Depending on the situation, the marriage-based green card process can last as little as 10 months or over 3 years.

Q: How Much Does a Green Card Cost?

A: Green card costs are different depending on the immigrant’s circumstances. Marriage green cards can be as expensive as $1,000 while other types of green cards cost significantly less. Fees also impact the cost.

Q: How Do I Prep for the Green Card Interview?

A: For those seeking a marriage-based green card, they must attend a formal interview. During the interview, a USCIS representative will ask questions about their relationship to determine whether the marriage is legitimate or fraudulent.

To prepare, it’s important that you consult with a legal professional. Some questions could be misleading and might be especially confusing for people who do not speak English. Translators may be available, but communication can break down easily during the interview. Be honest and answer the questions to the best of your ability.

If you are in the immigration system and need legal assistance, contact Smith Law Offices, LLC.

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