Green Cardby Debbie McGoldrick
- A ten year old green card, where do my family and I stand?
- Advice on the fast approaching 2015 U.S. visa lottery
- Sponsoring offspring to come to the United States, the V visa
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services warns of phone scam
- How can I reclaim my expired Green Card that I received as a child?
There's no denying that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has come a long way when it comes to efficiency and the overall ease of applying for benefits.
The bad old days of the agency’s previous incarnations – including the awful INS – are for the most part gone, replaced by greatly shortened processing times and an informative website with many interactive features.
Remember when it took years to acquire U.S. citizenship? Now the average wait time from start to finish is only a few months. And when you needed application forms you’d have to call a toll free number to have them mailed out; now they’re downloadable on the website, and many forms can be instantly filed online as well.
“Please do not print my name or location. I am from Ireland and have lived in the U.S. for eight years without a visa. I traveled home three years ago for a funeral, tried to return and was denied entry. I was told that I would be barred from returning to the U.S. for 10 years because I was living here illegally, which is true. I couldn’t bear the thought of staying in Ireland, so I traveled to Canada and made it over the border.
“I’ve been here ever since, and I’m in a serious relationship with a great American woman. We are going to get married and I’m hopeful that this will lead to me eventually becoming an American citizen, my dream for so long. But I’m petrified about the fact that I’m not actually supposed to be here, and how this will affect my chances for getting legal. What do you suggest I do?”