Florida Immigration

Immigration Information for Floridians

Florida Immigration: Forms, Instructions, Free Information. One of the most common scenarios for immigration to the United States is sponsorship by an immediate relative. This article is limited to a marriage between a U.S. citizen, and a foreign national who entered the United States legally.

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There are two ways to apply for Resident Alien Status, a green card, under these circumstances -- either stay in the United States and apply to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); or leave the United States, before your visa has expired, and apply for a green card from your home country at an overseas U.S. consulate.

The correct way to go about acquiring Resident Alien Status is first and foremost, to be completely honest in your application and interviews with a USCIS officer. For the purposes of this article, we are assuming that a U.S. citizen, living in the U.S., meets a foreign national while in the U.S. legally; and they fall in love and marry.

Immigration in Florida

Florida Immigration - Resident Alien Status

One typical scenario that fits, is a foreign national in the U.S. on a student visa, enrolled in a U.S. school, meets a U.S. citizen in the United States.

If the two had previously met online or outside the U.S., and planned to marry, the steps to legal immigration are likely different than those outlined in this article.

As soon as the couple marry they may apply to USCIS for a green card for the foreign spouse.

The main form that must be filed is “I-130, Petition for Alien Relative”; the U.S. citizen is the Petitioner, requesting that their spouse be granted Resident Alien Status; and adjust visa status while in the United States.

The spouse who is not the U.S. citizen is referred to on the forms as the Beneficiary. Along with the I-130, Form G-325A, Biographic Information must be filed -- one for each spouse.

Other documents that must be included with the I-130 are: proof of the petitioner’s U.S. citizenship; marriage license; proof of divorce or termination of all previous marriages for both spouses; and passport style photos of both spouses. The filing fee to accompany the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is currently $355.

Filing the I-130 Petition and accompanying documents is only the first step. There are other documents that must be filed to complete the process: I-485, Application to Adjust Status; I-693, Medical Exam; I-864, Affidavit of Support; and I- 765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Immigration Forms

The forms can all be downloaded from the USCIS website. Fees change frequently, so check the website for the current fees for each form. In late 2007, the total cost for all fees was approximately $1500.; fees have gone up since.

Providing all fees have been properly paid and all documents are in order, a temporary green card will be issued in a few months. There is a two year waiting period for a permanent green card for new marriages.

USCIS wants to make sure that the marriage, is, in fact, a bona fide marriage, and not simply an arrangement so that the alien can be allowed to remain the United States.

For more information go to the USCIS website - www.uscis.gov

USCIS

USCIS offers a variety of resources for immigrants and the organizations that serve them.

For immigrants, USCIS focuses on two key points on the immigrant’s journey towards civic integration: when they first become permanent residents and when they are ready to begin the formal naturalization process.

Newly arrived immigrants will find important settlement information under the Resources for New Immigrants link.

Immigration Downloads

Here, immigrants can download the comprehensive orientation guide, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants available in 13 languages.

Welcome to the United States provides practical information to help immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, as well as basic civics information that introduces new immigrants to the U.S. system of government.

Those already on the path to naturalization can find important civic learning materials under Civics and Citizenship Study Materials. These educational resources are designed to help immigrants prepare for the naturalization test while also inspiring further civic learning.

Permanent residents can use the materials as study tools and educators can adapt each of the materials for use in the classroom. Some of these products include:

  • Civics Flash Cards: The Civics Flash Cards contain sample U.S. history and government questions and answers. Immigrants applying for naturalization can use these flash cards as a study tool to prepare for the naturalization test and teachers and volunteers can use these flash cards in the classroom.
  • Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lessons: This booklet provides short lessons, based on each of the civics questions on the naturalization test. This additional information is intended to help naturalization applicants gain a deeper understanding of U.S. history and government as they prepare to become citizens. The booklet is available in both English and Spanish.
  • Sample U.S. History and Government Questions: A list of sample U.S. history and government questions for naturalization test preparation. This document is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

USCIS is also committed to supporting the resource needs of public libraries, as they are often a gateway to information for the immigrant community.

In 2006, USCIS and the Office of Citizenship released its first nationwide report on the important resources public libraries provide to immigrants.

The report, entitled Library Services for Immigrants: A Report on Current Practices, identified best practices and provided additional suggestions for public libraries interested in improving services to immigrants.



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