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Are You An Immigrant?

Aug 17, 2007
You may be an immigrant and not even realize it. If you are living or working in a country you are not born in, you are a resident! So be sure to fill out the proper paperwork. All it takes is a few minutes to fill out the form and mail it in to the right place, but many people are too lazy to do even this and end up being deported as a result. Take your resident status seriously and don't keep putting it off.

1. Avoid Being Deported - Get Permanant Resident Status

While you can apply for citizenship without becoming a permanant resident, having permanant resident status means you can apply much earlier. If you are in the US, you will need to get in touch with the USCIS and obtain the I- 485 form. Filling out this form will be your first step in getting a green card. Although you are not quite a citizen, you are now fully protected against deportation.

There is a three-step process to getting a green card. It may take years for you to receive your green card depending on the type of application and the country of origin.

Step #1: USCIS approves your petition

Step #2: You will usually be placed in a long waiting list for your immigrant visa number. If you already have family in the US, you may be able to skip the waiting list.

Step #3: Once you receive your visa number you must apply with USCIS to adjust your status to permanent resident status.

2. Your Rights As A Green Card Holder

- You have the right to live in the country and not be deported
- If you leave the country, you can come back in simply by presenting your identification
- You may now be employed as long as it is legal work
- You may make a formal application for Citizenship, but there are no guarantees

3. The Road To Citizenship

While some say being a fully fledged citizen is its own reward, you do get many benefits from acquiring full citizenship. Unfortunately, you must be a permanant resident within the borders of the country for five years in order to be elidgeable to apply for citizenship. Although 5 years may sound like a long time, it truly does fly by. So it's important that you plan ahead and apply as soon as you are able to.

4. Your Legal Status

You might have heard stories about people marrying to avoid deportation. While it is generally true that being married prevents deportation, the person you are marrying must be a green card holder or full citizen themselves.
About the Author
For more great immigration related articles and resources check out http://onlyimmigration.info
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