Immigration Program

Center for New Americans offers help with immigration applications.

Some ways Center for New Americans can help:

  • Renew your green card
  • Bring family members to live in the US
  • Change from non-immigrant to immigrant status
  • Remove conditions on your status based on marriage
  • Change your address with USCIS
  • Guidance
  • Application Review
  • Legal Consultations and Referrals (Attorney Scott Clark holds information sessions at Center for New Americans in Northampton and works with Center for New Americans staff)​

For more information, contact Maureen at citizen@cnam.org

Center for New Americans is recognized by the Bureau of Immigration Affairs.  Maureen McMahon, Citizenship & Immigration Program Coordinator,  is accredited by the Office of Legal Access Programs.

 Information for New Legal Permanent Residents

When you become a legal permanent resident there are some things you should know and do.

If you are a Center for New Americans client, please tell us when you get your card.

Expired Card - When your card expires it does not mean that your status has expired.  Your card will expire and need to be renewed every ten years.  An expired card may be a problem if you travel, want to get a new job, get or renew a driver’s license, or apply for benefits.

Change of address -You must notify USCIS of your new address within ten days every time you move.  You may use form AR-11 and do it online or mail it in.

Removal of Conditions - If you got your green card through your spouse and you had been married fewer than two years, you will have a conditional status for two years.  In the 90-day period immediately before the conditional residence expires, you and your spouse will need to file a petition to remove the conditions.  Please, pay attention to this.  You could lose your permanent resident status if you do not file on time.

Keep Copies - Keep your green card in a safe place where you will be able to find it.  Carry a photocopy of your card with you at all times.  It might be a good idea to also keep a photocopy in a different safe place.

Important Travel Restrictions - You are allowed to travel out of the United States for up to six months at a time.  If you stay out of the U.S. longer than six months without first getting permission from USCIS you could be stopped at the border and possibly not permitted to enter.

Important Rules about Travel for Refugees & Asylees - If you came to the U.S. as a refugee or got asylum after you arrived here, do not travel to your home country.  The basis of your claim was that it was unsafe for you to be there.  Immigration may question your honesty on your application about the danger you were in if you go back.  If they believe that you lied, you may be deported.

Becoming a citizen

Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) may apply to become citizens of the U.S. after five years (three years if married to a U.S. citizen for those three years).

If you want to become a citizen of the U.S. there are things you might need. It is a good idea to keep all of the following in a safe place:

  • Copies of all immigration applications/petitions (I-485, refugee/asylum forms) you have submitted with the supporting documents;
  • Tax returns;
  • Birth certificates of all children (with English translations);
  • Certificates of marriage and final divorce decrees, if any (with English translations);
  • All your passports - current and expired;
  • Record of all travel outside the U.S., the countries visited, the dates left and returned (passports aren’t always stamped or easy to read);
  • List of all groups (political, professional, religious, etc.) to which you have belonged – purpose, dates, location;
  • Addresses where you have lived - the dates you moved in and moved out;
  • Employment  and schools– the name and addresses of the companies where you have worked or the schools attended, the dates you started and finished, and occupation at each job;
  • Certificates of marriage and final divorce decrees, if any;
  • Record of all traffic tickets, police encounters, date, location, outcome, copies of any reports; and
  • Certified court documents if you had to appear in court.

 

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