In accordance with U.S. Immigration law, asylees are allowed to apply for lawful permanent residency (LPR), commonly known as a Green Card, after being physically present in the US for at least a year since being granted asylum.
In order to apply for a green card as an asylee, the following documents must be submitted to USCIS:
• Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
• Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record;
• 2 passport style photographs
• Copy of a government-issued ID with photograph
• Evidence of asylee status (Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record that shows the date you were granted asylum, grant letter, decision of immigration judge)
• Birth Certificate
• Proof that the asylee has been physically present in the U.S. for at least a year (lease, bills, pay stubs)
An immigration attorney can help you with your paperwork and makes sure that the documents are meeting the current USCIS requirements. In some cases, additional documents may be needed and an immigration lawyer can assist in determining such documents.
Applying for Family Members
Your spouse and children are also eligible to apply for a green card after living in the U.S for one year as derivative asylees. Meaning, if your asylum status was granted January of 2017, and your family arrived in the country as derivative asylees in January 2018, you can apply in January 2018 but your family will only be eligible to apply for green cards in January 2019. An immigration attorney can help you determine exactly when to file.
Each family member is required to submit a separate form I-485, separate filing fees, and separate supporting documents pertaining to each individual. In addition, the following documents will need to be submitted:
• Copy of marriage certificate (for your spouse)
• Birth Certificate (for your children)
• Copy of your green card or evidence that you have filed your adjustment of status application
What to Expect After Filing
Once you have filed your paperwork, the USCIS will send you a receipt notice acknowledging that your paperwork has been received and is in good order. The receipt letter is known as form I-797C, Notice of Action. If your form I-485 is not received in good order, i.e. it was not filled out correctly, USCIS will send you a Notice of Action to Reject or a Request for Evidence, requesting additional information.
Following the receipt letter is an Appointment Notice for Biometrics. This letter informs you of your biometrics appointment date, time and location. The purpose of the Biometrics appointment is for USCIS to take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. This information is then used to conduct a background check and issue security clearance. On the day of your appointment, you will be required to present a government-issued photo ID such as:
• Drivers license
• State Issued ID card
If you have any doubts about passing the background check, perhaps you have a criminal record or a DUI, an immigration lawyer can request a background check before your appointment and deal with it as necessary.
USCIS then makes a decision based on the information and evidence that you provide, along with the results of the background check. Most applications do not require an interview and will receive their green card by mail once approved. However, some individuals may be called in for an interview if there are any questions regarding their application.
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