Refugees and asylees seeking shelter and sanctuary in the United States seem to be at the top of every headline in recent weeks as the conflict in Syria rages on. While many citizens wonder if the refugees will be forced to leave, the refugees themselves need to start thinking about how they can legally stay. Although it might not be common knowledge, people who have been refugees or held asylum status for a year or longer can actually file for a green card that will make them a legal permanent resident, or LPR.
How Refugees Can Gain LPR Status
In order for a refugee or asylee to become a legal permanent resident, he or she must follow a series of steps that revolve around the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjust Status form. Keep in mind that before you begin this process, you must have been in the United States with known asylee status for at least one year. Attempting to obtain or file an I-485 Form before one year has passed will most likely result in your residence denial and could potentially trigger immigration removal if you did not gain asylee status.
In addition to filing a signed I-485 Form, the petitioner will also need to file or provide:
- Fingerprinting fee for any applicant 14 years old or more.
- Filing fee for the I-485 Form itself.
- Form G-28 if attorney is necessary or authorized.
- Two photographs of applicant, including name and A-number, if possible.
- Signed G-325 Forms for non-minor applicants.
- Form I-94 or any other evidence proving official asylee status.
- Form I-602 application, if necessary.
- Additional physical evidence of your year in the country; should be kept to bare minimum.
- Birth certificate if one was provided or can be located.
- Information regarding name or title changes pertinent to residency.
You should also prepare a Form I-693, Medical with Vaccination Supplement. This is usually not necessary in initial I-485 Form filings, and can be rejected if it is provided but is not requested. However, many filings will eventually call for a Form I-693.
As it can be seen just in the paperwork required to finish an I-485 Form, the process can be complex, especially if you are not familiar with all immigration laws and practices. In order to make things easier for yourself and increase your chances of success, speak with a San Jose immigration lawyer from Verma Law Firm. We have nearly 20 years of legal experience and focus our practice entirely on immigration, visa, and citizenship cases and concerns.