A Detailed Guide To Immigration Benefits Application Requirements

Tadeo & Silva Immigration Attorneys have provided their clients with a comprehensive guide to Immigration Benefits Application Requirements. Get help here.

Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva

Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Updated on: January 09, 2024.

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What Is the Application for Immigration Benefits?

As a lawful legal resident in the U.S., you can enjoy various benefits that U.S. citizens enjoy. Additionally, if you are eligible, you will enjoy immigrant benefits, which are any rights or abilities foreign nationals request from the United States through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS).

Therefore whether you want to stay in the USA temporarily or relocate permanently the benefits, you apply for fall under immigration benefits. How do you apply for immigration benefits? How long does it take, and can immigration lawyers help you?

Read on because we answer your questions about immigration benefits applications. We also tell you how our attorneys can help you as you apply for various immigration benefits.

Who Can Apply for Immigration Benefits?

An immigration benefit application refers to an application or petition that you file to adjust, change or extend the status USCIS granted you. Immigration benefits enable you to travel, live, and work legally in the U.S. There are various immigration benefits, and each has its requirements. We discuss them below but first, who cannot apply for immigration benefits?

It is important to understand why USCIS denied your immigration benefits application so you can avoid those mistakes in the future. This list contains reasons why USCIS rejected your application or why you should not apply:

  • If you have a criminal record

  • Health-related issues, such as  communicable diseases that can be dangerous to the public

  • In case you are suspected of involvement in terrorist activities or groups that are a threat to the U.S

  • If you fail to attend the immigration appointments or interview

  • If consular officers deny your visa petition

  • Errors in your documents

  • People who come to the U.S. using a nonimmigrant visa

  • In case you overstay your visa,  ICE may direct their officials to stop you from entering the US for years until USCIS uplifts the ban

How Long Does it Take to Apply for Immigration Benefits?

The period it takes for your immigration benefits request to be processed depends on various issues. The first one is if the USCIS is dealing with a significant workload. However, if your application has any errors, it can take longer.

That said, it can usually take up to three years for you to receive the notice of approval. If  USCIS rejects your request,  you can appeal because it may be due to errors by the officials.

 

What Are the Immigration Benefits?

As long as you do not fall into any categories we discussed above, you can apply for immigration benefits. You can check your application status occasionally, although you will receive a notification if your application is approved.

Here are some immigration benefits you can apply for:

Green Card

    If you are under one of these categories, you can apply for a green card to work and live in the US.

    • If you are a victim of human trafficking or other crimes
    • If you are married or engaged to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • If you have immediate family members in the USA
    • If you receive an employment opportunity in the U.S
    • Victims of abuse
    • As a special immigrant, such as a religious worker
    • Refugees or those seeking asylum

    Citizenship Through Naturalization

    As a permanent U.S. resident, you can apply for U.S. citizenship. You need to establish a residency in the state or district you intend to apply. You need to be 18 years or older and have continuously lived in the U.S. as a green card holder for the required years.

    You should also be proficient in written and spoken English and understand U.S. history and government. Lastly, be ready to swear allegiance to the US.

    Visa

    There are two types of Visas you can apply for when you want to enter the U.S.: nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas.

    Nonimmigrant visas allow you to travel to the U.S. on a temporary basis. You can apply for a nonimmigrant visa if you want to visit the U.S. as a tourist.

    Immigrant visas allow you to travel to the USA and live there permanently. That means if you have an immigrant visa, you can live and work in any state in the U.S.!

    Adjustment of Status

    If you are already in the U.S. (except if you came through a nonimmigrant visa), you can apply for adjustment of status. This is the process of applying for your green card to be updated from a conditional residence to permanent residency.

    It is essential to submit your request on time and provide all the necessary documents to reduce the chances of rejection.

    Benefits of Applying for a Green Card

    If you apply for a green card and your request is approved, you become a permanent legal resident of the U.S.  That means you can live and work in the U.S. and easily travel in and out of the country. Here are other benefits that green card holders enjoy:

    • You can participate in the election process
    • You can sponsor your family to get green cards. However, you need to be earning an annual income of $22,887 to sponsor one family member
    • You get to enjoy dual citizenship
    • As long as you don’t commit any crimes or break the law, the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency(ICE) cannot deport you to your country
    • If your green card is not conditional, you can renew it after 10 years
    • You can enjoy federal benefits such as Social Security or education support
    • You enjoy traveling in and out of the U.S. more easily than other visas
    • You can switch from TPS to a Green card.

      What happens if an applicant fails to meet a requirement in their immigration benefits application?

      If an applicant fails to meet a requirement in their immigration benefits application, the consequences can vary based on the specific circumstances and the type of application submitted. This situation is particularly critical for those seeking lawful permanent resident status or other types of immigrant visas.

      If any drawbacks are identified by an immigration officer during the initial review process, the applicant may receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). These notices work as a door to opportunity to let you supply additional information or correct errors within a specified timeframe. Failure to provide appropriate responses to those notices can lead to the denial of the application.

      If a lawful permanent resident or a family member applies for permanent residence or an immigrant visa, not meeting a requirement could mean the inability to establish eligibility for the desired immigration benefit. This could result in the application being denied, leading to the applicant losing their chance to obtain permanent resident status.

      Special considerations are often made for the military members of their families under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Active duty members of the U.S. armed forces, as well as certain family members, may remain eligible for immigration benefits even if they fail to meet some standard requirements. However, it is still important to meet some standard requirements.

      However, failure to meet a requirement doesn’t always mean an immediate denial. Immigration officers have some discretion, and each case is assessed on its individual merits. Applicants are encouraged to provide as much supporting information as possible to justify their eligibility.

      How Can Our Immigration Attorneys Help With Your Immigration Benefits Application?

      Applying and receiving the notification that your application is successful is good news. However, the journey to get there is not easy; sometimes, you can feel frustrated and want to give up.

      You know what? You don’t have to go on this stressful journey alone! Our immigration attorneys are at your service to give you the legal representation you need. We can help you fill in all the documents correctly. We also ensure that you submit current supportive documents and provide all the evidence needed to approve your request.

      Our attorneys understand immigration laws well. That means we are the right people to help you apply for immigration benefits.

      If your benefits application is requested, we can go over your immigration status and advise you on other courses of action.

      Contact us today or visit our offices for more assistance.

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