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Los Angeles Immigration Law Blog

Your rights and responsibilities as a permanent resident

Becoming a green card holder, or a permanent resident, means many things for an immigrant. Most people focus on the fact that becoming a permanent resident means that a person can no longer be deported from the country back to their homeland, but there is much more to obtaining this status.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services report that permanent residency in the U.S. has its benefits, but that there are also responsibilities that must be fulfilled. In regard to responsibilities, a permanent resident is held to most of the standards that a naturalized citizen is held to. This means that men of ages 18 through 25 have to register with the Selective Service and that the IRS (U.S. Internal Revenue Service) will be requiring taxes. State taxes are also a requirement. All laws of both states and localities must be obeyed, and the democratic government must be supported. Attempting to change it through illegal means is disallowed.

Available options for avoiding deportation

Your country may have become too dangerous for you to continue living in safely, which may be your reason for migrating to the U.S. Here at Ronzio & Associates, we would like to help you reach your goal of avoiding being deported to a place that you feel unsafe in. We will provide you with information that can be used to stay in the country.

The first step is for you to be aware of the fact that there are many different ways that you can avoid being deported, and you may be able to fight for the path that you believe is best suited for your circumstances. Your available options can include seeking asylum or refugee protection or applying for Temporary Protected Status. The Convention Against Torture may also protect you against being deported if there’s a threat of torture upon returning to your country, or you may be able to obtain a withholding of removal. All of these options will allow you to continue living in the U.S. as an exception due to the fact that you would face harm upon returning to your country.

When should you replace your green card?

A green card is a vital item for any immigrant that is temporarily living in the United States. Without it, they may find themselves at risk for deportation. They may benefit from keeping an eye on their green card so that they will know when to renew or replace it.

By keeping a green card in good condition and up to date, an immigrant avoids deportation risk. As stated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, there are many different reasons that a person may end up needing to replace their green card. If the card was lost, destroyed or stolen, the holder will need a replacement. This also applies to cards that have been damaged without being destroyed. Commuters who intend to move will need a new card, as will immigrants who were permanent residents but are switching to commuter status. Replacement also becomes necessary if an immigrant holds an earlier version of the green card such as USCIS Form AR-3, Form I-151, or another invalid card.

Refusal to cooperate with federal detainers only first step

Immigrants of Los Angeles may be aware of federal detainers, which is essentially a government request for local authorities to hold an immigrant for deportation.  While California no longer cooperates with those requests, a strong deportation defense was often required to deal with these situations. This is especially important for some immigrants who may not know their rights and eligibilities.

This can be seen with a recent case involving a 27-year-old Dominican man who was working in New York City as a chef. The man lived with his wife and daughter for years, but a trespassing charge landed him in an 8 month court battle in which he fiercely struggled against deportation. While the man was eligible for a green card due to his wife being a citizen of the United States, the man was not aware that he could apply for one until an advocacy group got involved in his case. He was eventually freed from the court battle and able to remain in the country, but the lengthy fight cost him his job and apartment.

Applying for a green card replacement or renewal

When a green card expires, it is important to replace it quickly. If it is not renewed, a person can be removed from the country due to there being no way to identify them as a legal immigrant, which can cause unnecessary stress to the card holder.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the steps that are necessary to replace a green card are not very involved or complex. First, a form must be filed. Either the paper Form 1-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card can be submitted through mail, or the E-Filing Form 1-90 can be filed online instead. This is for conditional residents who need to replace a two-year green card, or for permanent residents that need to replace their green card. For anyone outside of the U.S., a U.S. consulate or a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office should be contacted before a form is filed.

What can threaten your permanent resident status?

As many immigrants already know, permanent resident status or green cards can be threatened in certain situations. Permanent residency does not mean that a person will never be able to be deported or evicted from the country, which is a fact that some people may not be aware of.

As stated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a green card or permanent resident status can be lost in several different ways. A person may also end up abandoning their permanent resident status either accidentally or intentionally. Ways to abandon this status may include failing to file income tax returns when not living in the U.S., declaring nonimmigrant status on tax returns, or permanently moving to another country. It may also include staying outside of the U.S. for 2 years after getting a reentry permit but not getting a returning resident visa, or staying outside for 1 year without getting either a returning resident visa or a reentry permit.

How do I apply to remove the conditions on my green card?

Conditional residency is granted to immigrants who move into the U.S. by marrying a U.S. citizen. This is considered a period in which it must be proven that the marriage was not solely made to gain an immigrant U.S. citizenship. However, the conditions must be removed after a certain period of time or the immigrant with conditional residency could end up being evicted from the country.

In accordance with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an immigrant may apply to remove the conditions on their green card up to 90 days before their green card will expire. The expiration date for an immigrant’s conditional residency green card will be their second anniversary date, allowing easy tracking for both the government and for the couple in question. If an immigrant is still together with their spouse, they will need to do a joint filing of form I-751 to apply for removal of the conditions. 

Miramonte victims subjected to scrutiny over immigration status

The struggle for immigrants can include suffering from a lack of certain benefits that other people may not even realize they have. Citizenship ensures that a person will experience all of the up sides of being a registered part of the U.S. body, which is a hot button topic after certain cases in Los Angeles.

The Miramonte case has been unfolding for quite a while now, in which several victims of sexual abuse have gained the attention of the immigration community due to the fact that the opposition brought immigration status into the equation several times. They have reversed their position now, stating that unless the plaintiff’s counsel mentions their status first, they will not bring it to light. However, this follows on the heels of at least two requests for the immigration status of the victims to be made known.

Are you eligible to remove your permanent residency conditions?

Conditional residency status is given to married couples if their marriage is less than two years old when they gain permanent residency. This is because immigrants must first prove that their marriage was not solely made to gain U.S. citizenship. However, these conditions can eventually be removed.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in order for conditional permanent residency to lose its restrictions, an immigrant must first meet one of several different eligibility requirements. One possible requirement is for the immigrant to still be married to the same person from when they first applied for their green card. Children from this marriage can also be entered in this application if they fall under conditional residency status along with their parent.

What to anticipate when adjusting your status

If you are already in the U.S. by the time you apply for a green card, your application will be referred to as an adjustment of status. Here at Ronzio & Associates, we know that you would like to obtain your green card quickly and easily. We will work to provide you with information you can use to reach that goal.

There are several different considerations that you should keep in mind while you are attempting to adjust your status. One of them is to be prepared for a thorough history search which will be done by the government. Your immigration and criminal histories will both be held under scrutiny, which is par for the course when it comes to applying for a green card. This is to ensure that you are a good choice for citizenship and that you will not be a danger to the public if you are allowed to stay within the U.S. as a resident.

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