Despite US President Donald Trump's highly controversial views on immigration laws, America still has the most significant number of immigrants moving in among anywhere else in the world. More than 40 million people living in the US were born in another country, about a fifth of the world's total number of immigrants. The reasons for migration vary from looking for job opportunities to personal preferences. One of the most common personal reasons for migrating to the states is marriage. This kind of union is one of the primary reasons behind the blooming diversity in the country. They are the source of cultural hybrids. But marriage alone does not automatically equate to being granted citizenship. It is not an auto green light (to be a US citizen), or in this case, a green card. To get your spouse legally granted citizenship, you must apply or petition for a green card. And, to get that green card, one must file a form i-30a.
A green card (or the Permanent Resident Card) allows the person to live and work permanently in the United States without worrying about a ton of paperwork and legal documents that non-holders have to deal with.
Some of the benefits of a green card are:
- Easier international and domestic travels,
- Social security qualification,
- Better career opportunities, and
- Ability to sponsor immediate relatives.
Who is eligible for a Green Card?
Aside from being married to a legal citizen, there are also other ways to qualify for a green card. Some of these are:
- Through Family - Relatives of US citizens or lawful permanent residents with the citizen acting as a sponsor for the migrants.
- Employment - Immigrant workers who have been exemplary in their fields of duty.
- As a Special Immigrant - People who have particular tasks approved by entities inside the United States.
- As a Refugee or for Asylum - Political Asylees and Refugees
- Human Trafficking and Crime Victims and many others.
All these are petitions under Form i-130, but for specific spousal petitions, there is i-130a - an additional document required by the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). If everything was accomplished, your spouse could finally be granted a green card, American citizenship.
The United States is one of, most ethnically diverse countries there is. All that because of its multicultural heritage. People from all over the world have been moving in since even before immigration laws were established, and it looks like it would not be slowing down any time soon.
But now, in modern times, there are rules in check to regulate the comings and goings of foreign entities, especially those who decided to settle in. These immigration laws aim to balance the rights of local citizens and upcoming migrants. Laws like these are designed for the benefit of everyone. For example, the green cards. But, the green card has limits. The green card has to be renewed every ten years. Aside from the obligation to renew the physical card, holders are also expected to live as law-abiding citizens because breaking it can be grounds for revoking a green card.
Some of these conditions are:
- Fraud - When proven that the applicant faked or omitted relevant information during the application process.
- Faux Marriage - When proven that the marital union was only used as a front to get a green card and apply for citizenship.
- Committing a crime - While natural-born citizens might serve their sentences in jails or through fines, green card holders are at risk of revocation.
Since the beginning, immigrants have been a part of US history; they fought with the founding fathers to build a great nation. And it would be unfair to demonize their presence. They not only give additional workforce to the community, but they also help build a more dynamic economy: add a plethora of ideas in nation-building, invest in long term economic plans, and many more. These angles are only seen in the eyes of migrants. Immigrants are important. But, being granted citizenship and permanent residency is more of a luxurious privilege. One that should be taken with high regards and seek the help of professional hands for a smooth legal process.
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