H1B to Green Card Tips

Last Thursday, I shared my green card application checklist after finally mailing the application package. If you are getting ready to apply, you will notice that as you read instructions and fill out forms, you come up with more and more questions. Here are a couple of tips that will hopefully help provide some answers during this process.

  • As an H1B worker living in the US, recently married to a US citizen, you need to fill out the following forms: I-130, I-485, and I-765. These forms will ask for additional forms.
  • Look for the most recent forms on the USCIS site.
  • Fill out the forms using your married name (even if you have not officially changed your name or  your passport has your maiden name.)
  • If you are planning on travelling outside the country during the paperwork processing, you need to fill out additional forms.
  • Different forms have different guidelines regarding using “N/A” and “none” or just leaving blank.
  • For the Medical Examination form I-693: Make the appointment using your married name. Read all instructions including those for the physician. They don’t take insurance and they did not accept my foreign vaccination records. It took them a week to provide me with the completed sealed form.
  • Different forms will ask for the same content, my word of advice: it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Include a copy of your marriage certificate with each application even if it doesn’t ask for it.
  • Add a cover letter describing the content in the application package.
  • “ORIGINAL SUBMISSION” should be included in both the cover letter and the envelope.
  • Besides the form instructions,  I also used these other resources: Form Filing TipsGeneral Tips for Mailing, and Paying Immigration Fees.

[Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. Please read ALL instructions. Every case is different. If you have any questions please contact a lawyer, I’m not an expert in the field… I’m just sharing my experience.]

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