Immigration FAQs

  1. 1
    What can I do as an undocumented victim of domestic violence and/or a violent crime?
    • There may be a way to obtain legal status. Please visit our VAWA or U Visa sections to find out more.
  2. 2
    What can I do if someone is threatening to call immigration on me?
    • You may qualify to apply for a green card if your spouse is threatening you. Please visit our VAWA or U Visa sections to find out more.
  3. 3
    I entered the US with a visa. Can I apply for a green card?
    • If you entered the US with a visa or on the visa waiver program, you may qualify to apply for permanent resident status while remaining inside the US. Please visit our Adjustment of Status section to find out more.
  4. 4
    I came to the US without a visa. Is there a way for me to become legal?
    • If you are present in the US without authorization, you may still have avenues available to apply for legal status. Please visit our 245(i) and Visa Processing sections to find out more.
  5. 5
    I am from Mexico and afraid of the violence. Can I apply for asylum or refugee status?
    • Under limited circumstances, people fleeing violence in their home countries may get permanent resident status through Asylum or Refugee applications.
  6. 6
    I filed for my brother ten years ago. Why does he still not have a green card?
    • The process of becoming a permanent resident through a family member is often a multi-step process that involves years of waiting. The first step of the process is to file an application called an I-130 Petition. And approval of this application means that immigration recognizes your family relationship. However, depending on the type of relationship (i.e. brother, sister, son, daughter), your family member will have to wait until a visa number becomes available to him or her before moving on to the second step of the process, which is applying for permanent resident status. Your family member may have to wait more than ten years before proceeding to the next step due to the large number of family members who want to immigrate to the US through Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing.
  7. 7
    Am I eligible to apply for a work permit?
    • Depending on your circumstances in the US, it may be possible to obtain authorization to work. Please visit our Adjustment of Status, TPS, Asylum, and Family Unitysections to find out more.
  8. 8
    Do I need to get a physical if I am applying for a green card?
    • Applicants for permanent residence, either within the US or in a Consular post abroad, must have a medical exam performed to ensure that their health status meets the requirements of admissibility to the US. If you are adjusting status within the US, please visit the USCIS Civil Surgeon Locator to find the authorized physician nearest you.
  9. 9
    What does it mean to be inadmissible?
    • Inadmissibility means that an applicant may not be eligible for permanent resident status under current immigration law, due to reasons that may involve health complications, criminal history or immigration history, among other factors.
  10. 10
    What is a waiver?
    • A waiver is an application that allows an applicant to request that their inadmissibility be overcome. There are different types of waivers, for employment, family and non-immigrant based applications. In family immigration, waivers of inadmissibility must often prove hardship to qualifying US citizen and/or permanent resident family members. Not all applicants for permanent residence will be eligible to submit a waiver. However, please visit our I-601 and I-212 sections to find out more about waivers for eligible applicants.
  11. 11
    What if I lost my green card or want to change information that appears on my card?
    • To replace a lost or stolen permanent resident card, or to change information on the card, or to renew a green card that is about to expire, you must file an I-90 application with USCIS. Please note that this application should not be used by conditional permanent resident and your status is expiring. If you lose your permanent resident card while traveling abroad, it is advisable to file a police report and/or contact the nearest US Consular post to alert officials of the missing card.
  12. 12
    I am a permanent resident. What documents do I need to travel?
    • To travel outside the US by air, you will need both your permanent resident card and your valid passport from your country of origin. If you travel by land to Mexico, you only need your permanent resident card.
  13. 13
    Can my permanent resident status and green card be taken away from me?
    • When permanent residents violate certain codes of law in the United States, they may become deportable and lose their permanent resident status.
  14. 14
    Can I have dual citizenship?
    • The US does not recognize dual citizenship. However, many other countries do permit their citizens to hold dual or multiple citizenship. Please contact appropriate government authority.