Getting your Green Card is the most important part of being able to live and work in the United States. There are several programs that can help you through this process, and finding the right one is crucial if you want the whole thing to be done fast and with ease. We all know that this process is not the easiest one you will go through, and many people are wondering what they can do while their case is not processed yet. In this article, we are going to talk about the things you should do while your Green Card application is pending with USCIS and we will give you more information on the documents and the whole process.
Are all of your documents submitted?
The first thing you need to do is make sure all of your documents are submitted and the whole process has begun. The first thing you need to do is check if you have submitted Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence, or Adjust Status and see if your case is pending.
In case you have already done that, and if you just need to wait, there are some things that you should know about your status in the United States.
In addition to this form, there are other documents that you need to make sure are submitted. You are going to need form I-94, Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Record, or if you don’t have this form, you should submit a printed copy of your passport or another travel document. You should also prepare two identical pictures that are in the type and size of a passport one. If possible, you should have a copy of your EAD. Know that in case you were never issued this type of document, you will need to provide a government-issued document with all the necessary information. Last, but not least, in case you are represented by an attorney, you will need to show the G-28 form.
Make sure you update your address
In case you move while your case is pending, or if you do that right before you need to apply for your Green Card, you will need to update your address. Many people tend to forget about this, and they end up waiting for an update on their case without realizing they will not get the notice unless their residency is updated.
It is said that you need to update your current address with USCIS in a maximum of 10 days after you change your location and that you should know that when you change your address with the postal service that does not mean that it is updated with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The good thing is that you can do that online, so you don’t have to physically wait in lines or spend days looking for the right place to do the whole process. You can find out more about the whole process on the official website, and you can also ask for help from the services.
How long do I have to wait?
This is something that most people wonder about, and there is no one right answer. Nowadays, because of the pandemic, the processing times might be extended, so the best thing you can do is check online for your specific case. You can also check the official website and check the time depending on the type of form and the service center.
Know that for your I-485 form you will need to select it on the website, and make sure you know in which field office it is being processed. You can easily find that on the list, and you just need to check it. Note that you can get an estimate based on the form and location, and you can get details when you submit your case number.
Depending on the state and the form, the whole process may take between a few months and a few years. It also depends on when you submitted the form, and if you are applying for a family-based adjustment Green Card, or if you’ve submitted an employment-based adjustment application. If you are interested in knowing more about the different types of Green Card you can get, and more about each process, you can check this article.
Am I legally allowed to have a job?
When you need to renew your Green Card, or when you are waiting for the processing time to be over, you might be wondering if you are allowed to work. Know that this is a complex question, but in any case, you will need a work permit even before you start working in the United States. This is a must even if you already have your Green Card, or if you are married to a United States citizen.
Know that during this time, while your case is still pending is not recommended for you to switch jobs. If possible, stay with your current employer while your case is being processed, and if you lose your job, it is better to wait until the process is complete, than to jeopardize your application.
During the waiting period, you can stay in the United States, but if you want to work, you will need to get your permit. However, these things can easily change depending on your specific case and previous experience. It is best if you collaborate with a service that will help you out throughout the whole process, no matter if you are applying for a Green Card for the first time, or if you just need to renew it.
I-Immigrate.org is a service that can help you throughout the whole process of getting your permits for US residency. They will help you identify the best solutions depending on your individual needs, and they will review your status and evaluate your position to provide the best expert advice.
Even though waiting for your application to be approved is a stressful period, you still have a lot of choices, and you can easily check the progress of your case. Consult with the right services beforehand to avoid any unnecessary complications and stress.