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Applying for a green card? 4 tips to increase the odds of approval.

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Citizenship |

The journey toward citizenship within the United States can be daunting. A green card, which grants lawful permanent residency, is often the goal for many immigrants. Achieving this milestone requires attention to detail and adherence to the legal process — not every application is approved. According to a recent report by the CATO Institute, a public policy research organization, the United States currently faces a “historic level” of requests for green cards. Experts with the report estimate only a 3% approval rate for those who apply for a green card in 2024.

There are steps that can help to better ensure approval. Four tips that can help include the following.

#1: Understand eligibility requirements

Before starting on the application journey, ensure that you are eligible. Various categories exist for green card applicants, including:

  • Family relationships with U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Employment opportunities
  • Special immigrant status
  • Refugee or asylum status
  • Victims of abuse, human trafficking, or other crimes

There are different requirements within each category. Review these requirements to better ensure eligibility.

#2: Prepare paperwork

A well-prepared application is critical for success. Gather necessary documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and proof of eligibility. Complete all forms accurately and ensure no blanks remain unless instructed.

#3: Follow filing instructions carefully

Adhere strictly to USCIS instructions. Submit the application to the correct address and include the appropriate filing fee. Attend all appointments. A failure to attend scheduled appointments can lead to application delays or denials. These appointments can include biometrics appointments and interviews.

#4: Maintain legal status

For those already in the U.S., maintaining legal status throughout the application process is imperative. Overstaying a visa or violating status can have severe consequences.

Immigration policies can change. It is important to stay up-to-date with the latest information. Use reputable sources like the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for current updates. Every step in the green card process is significant. From understanding eligibility to attending appointments, each action can influence the final decision. Approach the process with care, and do not hesitate to seek expert advice when needed.