Obtaining lawful permanent residence status, or a green card, is a necessary step on the way to becoming a U.S. Citizen. As a green card holder, in addition to the right to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis, you gain an important new set of rights. Significantly, you can now sponsor relatives applying for their own green cards. You are also allowed to travel from and return to the U.S. without disrupting your status. Green card holders can make campaign contributions, receive Social Security benefits after ten years of work in the country, and are eligible to get in-state tuition. If you are interested in applying for a green card, this guide will help you understand the avenues for obtaining a green card, specifically detailing the process for those eligible through an immediate family member.
If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and meet all of the green card eligibility requirements (find out if you are eligible here), you can file for a green card. If you are living inside of the United States, you may apply with Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) at the same time your sponsoring family member files Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). You may also want to fill out and attach a few other forms depending on your situation; for example, if you want to travel and work while your green card is processing you will need to attach a few more USCIS forms. Once you have all the forms filled out, you need to put them together with your supporting documents, sign the forms, then send your application to USCIS. After USCIS recieves your application, there are several other things you need to do like go to your biometrics appointment and your final interview. Below, you can see the complete timeline of the applciation process.
Preparing an entire adjustment of status application takes quite a bit of work. Several forms and supporting documents need to be included in the final application. You have the option to fill out the paperwork yourself, hire an immigration attorney, or use SimpleCitizen to prepare your packet. After you have completed all the forms and prepared your packet, you need to send it to USCIS. Here is an overview of the average timeline for getting a green card:
Approximately 2 to 3 weeks after you file
You receive your application receipt from the USCIS.
Approximately 3 to 5 weeks after you file
You receive your appointment notice for biometrics.
Approximately 5 to 8 weeks after you file
Go to your biometrics appointment.
Approximately 12 to 16 weeks after you file
You receive your EAD card (travel and work authorization - if you included it in your application)
Approximately 4 to 10 months after you file
You receive notice for your USCIS interview.
Approximately 6 to 12 months after you file
Go to your USCIS interview!
Approximately 8 to 14 months after you file
You recieve your Green Card!
If you need to apply for a green card, you basically have the 3 options. You can hire an immigration attorney, fill out the paperwork yourself, or use SimpleCitizen. SimpleCitizen is an online tool that helps you fill out your entire application (All USCIS forms and supporting documents). We'll walk you through every step of the process so that everything is filled out correctly and ready to file.
After you complete the application process, SimpleCitizen will even print, assemble, and ship your application to your address. Once you receive your application, all you have to do is sign the forms and mail it to USCIS. We even attach detailed instructions explaining where and how to send it.
Ready to get started? Click here to begin your application.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should use SimpleCitizen:
• No Errors - Immigration Attorney Review
Have your entire application reviewed by a licensed immigration attorney for only an additional $99.
• 100% Money Back Guarantee
If you prepare your application with SimpleCitizen and it gets denied by USCIS, we will refund you 100% of all government fees and SimpleCitizen service fees (this has not happened to a SimpleCitizen customer yet).
• Take Your Time - Automatically Save your Progress
At anytime while preparing your application, you can save your progress and come back and finish later.
• Prepare Quickly - Easily Upload Supporting Documents
You can add all your supporting documents to your application by taking pictures of them with your phone.
• USCIS Certified - Includes Document Translation
All supporting documents must to be translated into English. SimpleCitizen will have your documents translated by certified translators at no extra cost.
• Automatic Updates - Free USCIS Status Updates
Know instantly when your immigration status changes. SimpleCitizen will automatically send you a text message or email update everytime your USCIS status changes.
The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about green cards and applying with SimpleCitizen. For more help, visit SimpleCitizen's Immigration Forum to post your question about how to become a Legal Permanent Resident.
Click here to take the eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible to apply for a green card.
If you have any questions about the application process or how to get started, click on the little chat icon in the bottom right hand of the screen to chat with SimpleCitizen support. If you would like to have a consultation with an immigration attorney let us know, and we will connect you with a licensed immigration attorney. You can also email us anytime with your question to: [email protected]
It costs $249 to prepare a completed Green Card application online with SimpleCitizen. This service fee includes the printing and shipping of every USCIS form and supporting document you need in your application and automatic text message or email updates of your status until your new Green Card arrives. You also have the option to pay an additional $99 to have your entire application reviewed by a licensed immigration attorney to make sure you did not make any mistakes in your application. Click here to start your application with SimpleCitizen.
Most SimpleCitizen users finish their application within a week. It is possible to finish in a few hours if you have all your supporting documents ready to be uploaded. Download the checklist to get a jump start on your application.
Of course! As always, every USCIS form is available to download from USCIS's website. Warning: Do not pay any other website to download the forms. There are several scams online that try to sell these forms. Only download them directly from USCIS if you are going to prepare your application yourself. Note: Preparing yourself does not include any of the benefits of applying with SimpleCitizen listed above (attorney review, document translation, printing, etc.).
Our mission is to help our customers through the entire immigration process. We'll be there for you every step of the way, from getting your green card, to eventually becoming a United States Citizen. If you have any questions at any time, you can chat directly with SimpleCitzien support or schedule a consultation with a licensed immigration attorney. Learn more about SimpleCitizen's track record of helping immigrants on our success stories page here.