Your Questions, Answered

This page is a collection of the most common questions we get from our users. It is a work in progress, and will be updated over time.

The information on this page is not legal advice. We do not intend for it to replace the expertise of an immigration attorney. Its purpose is to help you learn more about the ImmigrationHelp.org's form preparation process and provide a summary of publicly available immigration information.  Please consult with an attorney if  you need legal assistance.

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Financial Sponsorship
Financial Sponsorship

What is an affidavit of support?

An affidavit of support, or Form I-864, is a contract agreement to use their financial resources to support the immigrant applying for status in the United States.

DACA
DACA

How can I apply for a DACA fee waiver?

For help with your application fees, take a look at these resources. Most states have some form of help available. Best of luck!

Form Preparation
Form Preparation

What should I put on my forms if I was self-employed?

For periods of self-employment, you should put the company as self-employed, and include your home address information.


Green Card
Green Card

If I am a U.S. citizen, who can I sponsor for a Green Card?

As a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor your foreign spouse or fiancé, your foreign children, and certain relatives such as parents and siblings.


Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents

Do I need to translate my birth certificate to English?

Any document that the U.S. government requires for a green card application must be translated into English — this includes birth certificates.


Other FAQs
Other FAQs

What is an I94 number?

The Form I-94 number is also known as the Departure Number or Admission Record Number. DHS issues an I-94 to those who are admitted to the US, adjusting status while in the US, or those extending their stay.


Other FAQs
Other FAQs

What is a “bona fide” marriage?

A bona fide marriage means that you intend to build a future with your spouse and that your marriage was not for immigration purposes


Form Preparation
Form Preparation

What if I don’t know the answer to a question on a form?

Answer as many questions as you can before submitting your forms to us for review. It is okay if you don’t know the answer to every question, when we review your forms, we will make sure to mention any questions you did not answer that you need to answer. At that point, if you don’t know the answer, we can help you find one.


Green Card
Green Card

How long does it take to get a Green Card?

Different Green Card applications have very different timelines. Your application could take anywhere form 10 months to 3 years - it all depends on your your specific application type. You can find more information about the timelines for Family Green Cards in our detailed filing guides.


ImmigrationHelp.org
ImmigrationHelp.org

Can I complete your app on my phone or tablet?

You can, but we highly recommend you complete your application on a computer. While it is possible to complete the forms on a phone or laptop, the computer will provide a much easier experience.  


Green Card
Green Card

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card, also known as a “permanent resident card,” is a card issued by USCIS to prove your legal permanent resident status. A Green Card allows you to live and work in the United States.


Other FAQs
Other FAQs

Where can I find my I94 number?

You can visit this CBP website to access your electronic Form I-94.


Other FAQs
Other FAQs

Can I stay and get married if I am in the US on a vistor visa?

It is possible for you to adjust status and stay, just make sure you follow the “90-day rules”. You will likely have to explain this in your interview as well.

Citizenship
Citizenship

When can I apply for citizenship?

General requirements for naturalization include: 18 years of age at time of filing, being a permanent resident for at least 5 years, proof you have lived in the state/USCIS district you intend to apply for at least 3 months, Demonstrate continuous residence in the United States for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing, proof you have been physically present for 30 months of the 5 years before filing.


Green Card
Green Card

If I am a Lawful Permanent Resident, who can I sponsor to for a Green Card?

As a permanent resident (Green Card holder), you may petition for your spouse, unmarried children under 21, or unmarried son or daughter of any age.


Public Charge
Public Charge

How much income do I need?

Generally, you should evidence an annual gross income at least 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. You will need an income at or above 250% of the federal poverty level for your household size in order for your income to be a positive factor.

Filing
Filing

How do I mail in my forms?

Different applications should be sent to different addresses. For the address and filing instructions for your application, take a look at our detailed filing instructions.


Financial Sponsorship
Financial Sponsorship

What is the minimum income required of the sponsor?

Generally, you want them to be at or above 250% of the federal poverty level for their household size. I typically suggest that sponsors below 250% get to 250% for a combined household size by pairing up with a joint sponsor.

Public Charge
Public Charge

How can I supplement a low income?

You may also use assets to boost your income, so it is important to provide as much financial information as possible when filling out your application.

Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents

What if my most recent passport has expired?

If you are applying for a first time status like a Marriage Green Card, then you would need to get a new passport before applying


ImmigrationHelp.org
ImmigrationHelp.org

How long do ImmigrationHelp.org's services take?

It usually takes a few days for us to complete our initial review of your submitted forms. Most forms go through 2-3 reviews, which take about two weeks in total.


Green Card
Green Card

What is the difference between an immigrant and nonimmigrant visa?

Immigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals who intend to live permanently in the US. Nonimmigrant visas are for foreign naturals wishing to enter the US on a temporary basis.


Other FAQs
Other FAQs

How do I prove my family relationship to a half sibling?

The definition of sibling in the U.S. immigration law includes people who are the children of at least one common parent; this includes half-siblings. If you are “paternal half-siblings” you will need to provide documentation showing that your father was once married to your mother, that their marriage has legally ended, and that he has married your half-siblings’ mother.


DACA
DACA

Is USCIS accepting new applications for DACA?

Not at this time. Until USCIS makes an official statement saying otherwise, they are not currently accepting new DACA applications.


Public Charge
Public Charge

What is “Public Charge?”

“Public Charge” is a tool that allows the government to deny applications because the applicant is seen as “likely at any time to become a public charge.” The public charge is an evaluation of how likely you are to receive government benefits in the future. Learn more by reading our article!

Green Card
Green Card

Can I work in the U.S. while waiting for my green card?

If you don’t already have a valid work visa, such as an H-1B or L-1 visa, then you must obtain a work permit, known as an Employment Authorization Document” before you can start working in the US.


DACA
DACA

My DACA expired, can I still apply?

As long as your DACA status has been expired for less than a year at the time that you apply for renewal, you can still apply. If your status has been expired for a year or more, it would be best for you to speak with an attorney.

Form Preparation
Form Preparation

What if I can’t remember my previous addresses?

You should do your best to give a complete and accurate address history. However, some times a gap does occur. Large or frequent gaps can lead to your application being denied. Make sure you provide all the address history information that you can. If you need help remembering old addresses, try a free credit report, old income tax returns, or even just old online shopping orders you may have made.


Financial Sponsorship
Financial Sponsorship

Do I need a joint sponsor if the person filing the I-864 is living abroad and will not have a job here at the time of filing?

You will likely need a sponsor with US income in this situation.

Other FAQs
Other FAQs

What is an Alien registration Number (A-Number)?

The A-Number is a nine-digit identification number assigned by USCIS that is used to track your profile across different documents and applications.

Financial Sponsorship
Financial Sponsorship

Do I have to have a US based sponsor for a consular green card?

The spouse that is the US citizen can be the sponsor, even if the two of you are currently living abroad together.

DACA
DACA

Is USCIS accepting Advance Parole applications from DACA recipients?

Not at this time. Until USCIS makes an official statement saying otherwise, they are not currently accepting Advance Parole.

Citizenship
Citizenship

How much does it cost to apply for citizenship?

The cost is $725 ($640 for the N400, $85 for the biometrics appointment).


Green Card
Green Card

What is the difference between a fiancé visa and a Marriage Green card?

The K-1 fiancé visa allows future spouses of US citizens to come to the U.S. to get married in the US within 90 days. A marriage green card is for those who first get married outside the United States and then the US citizen spouse sponsors the foreign spouse for a green card. The Fiancé Visa also costs more ($2,025) than the marriage Green Card (~$1,200).


Public Charge
Public Charge

How is public charge affected when you have no US-Based income?

Having no US-based income will hurt your risk level, but having a job ready for you in the US could help offset this. If you have no US income, and no job lined up, then you may have to rely on sponsorships.

Financial Sponsorship
Financial Sponsorship

What is a joint sponsor?

A joint sponsor is someone who is helps the primary sponsor satisfy the financial requirements of sponsorship.

Filing
Filing

Which forms do I mail in?

When you receive your reviewed forms from us, you will also receive detailed instructions about which forms to send in when.


Form Preparation
Form Preparation

What should I put on my forms if I was unemployed for a period of time?

For gaps in employment greater than 3 months, you should put “self-employed” or “unemployed,” whichever is accurate for your situation. Then you should put the address where you lived at the time for the address information.


Form Preparation
Form Preparation

Should I fill in employment gaps with school information on immigration forms?

Yes, include schooling or "unemployed" with address details either for the school or for where this person was living at the time of their unemployment to fill in any gaps.


Other FAQs
Other FAQs

Who is considered an “immediate relative?”

Immediate relatives of a US citizen include: their spouse, their unmarried child under 21, and their parents.

Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents

What is my “controlling document” for identification purposes?

Your controlling form of identification is usually some sort of document or ID card that required multiple pieces for verification. It is your “highest” level of identification. If you have a passport, it is likely your controlling document.



DACA
DACA

How early can I apply to renew my DACA?

You can apply for your DACA renewal up to 1 year before the date that it expires. Want to renew your DACA? Start your application here! Or just read more in our most recent DACA article!

Filing
Filing

How do I figure our what is going on with my application?

The best way to track your application is to use the receipt number you received from USCIS to look it up in the USCIS or NVC case tracking tools.

How to find your receipt number

How to track your case with USCIS

How to track your case with the National Visa Center

If you are unable to find your receipt number, your best option would be to call USCIS at 1 (800) 375-5283.

Public Charge
Public Charge

What medical insurances are considered valid for Public Charge?

Private insurance and medicare will help your public charge the most. Public insurance will help as well. But Medicaid for adults over the age of 21 will hurt your application.

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