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How Can DACA Recipients Adjust Status Through Marriage?

Question from Francesca, How Can DACA Recipients Adjust Status Through Marriage?

Answer from AI:

If you’re a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient married to a U.S. citizen and looking to adjust your status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), it’s important to understand the process and the forms you’ll need to complete. While this guide provides a general overview, it’s crucial to consult with an immigration attorney for personalized advice, as immigration law is complex and constantly changing.

Understanding the Process

Adjusting your status to a lawful permanent resident involves several steps and forms. As a DACA recipient, having re-entered the U.S. with advance parole and having no criminal background simplifies the process somewhat, but careful attention to detail is still required.

Key Forms and Documents

The primary form you’ll need to file is the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. However, the process involves more than just this form. Here’s a breakdown of the steps and forms involved:

  1. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: Your U.S. citizen spouse must file this form on your behalf to prove your marital relationship to USCIS.
  2. Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary: This form provides additional information about you, the beneficiary, and must be submitted along with Form I-130.
  3. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the main form you will file to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
  4. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (Optional): If you wish to work in the U.S. while your application is being processed, you can file this form to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  5. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Optional): If you need to travel outside the U.S. during the application process, this form can be filed to request advance parole.

Supporting Documents

In addition to the forms, you’ll need to gather various supporting documents, including but not limited to:

  • Proof of your U.S. citizen spouse’s status (e.g., birth certificate, passport).
  • Your marriage certificate.
  • Proof of the termination of any previous marriages for you and your spouse.
  • Two passport-style photos of yourself.
  • Documentation of your lawful entry into the U.S., such as your advance parole document.
  • Medical examination results using Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

Filing and Fees

You can file the forms online or by mail. To file online, you’ll need to create an account on the USCIS website. Be sure to carefully review the instructions for each form to ensure you include all required information and documents. There are filing fees associated with each form, which are listed on the USCIS website. Fee waivers are available for certain forms under specific conditions.

After Filing

After filing, you’ll receive receipts for your applications, and USCIS may request additional evidence or schedule an interview. It’s important to respond promptly to any requests from USCIS.

Remember: This guide provides a general overview, but immigration cases can vary widely based on individual circumstances. It’s highly recommended to consult with an immigration attorney to navigate the process effectively and address any potential complications in your case.

For more detailed information on forms and filing fees, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official website.

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