Welcome Guest, please login or register.


Join the community at IndianTies forums! Visit the IndianTies Shop! All you wanted to know about yours truly... Who doesn't like free stuff? Some useful links and fun blogs! How to get in touch with me! Add IndianTies to your RSS reader!
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Green Card?  (Read 11110 times)
pale_desi
Newbie
*

Karma: +2/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 32



View Profile
« on: March 10, 2009, 04:58:19 PM »

I'm just curious see what everyone's opinion is on spouse Green Card sponsorship?  I realize that going that route is by far easier than going through one's company.   However, I think some people think going that route carries a stigma (i.e. marriage for wrong reasons, taking easy way out).

Was/Is anyone's spouse opposed to them sponsoring their Green Card?  Any situations when Company Green Card sponsorship would be more favorable? I've heard of at least a few cases each scenario.... My personal opinion is spouse sponsorship just makes more sense and is more convenient.  However, I am not very knowledgeable AT ALL on the whole process and  I might be missing something key.  Please let me know what you think...
Logged
IndianTies
Administrator
Full Member
*****

Karma: +6/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 132



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 01:24:49 AM »

Spouse sponsorship in most cases would be easier - but there can be drawbacks.  For instance, you have to be able to prove that you can support your spouse - providing tax returns, etc.  If you don't meet the requirements for financial support, you would have to have someone else (like a close family member) provide the sponsorship.

Another drawback is that if you are married for less than two years at the time the green card is issued, you will only receive a 2 year, conditional green card.  You must then re-apply for the 10 year green card.  (This is where we are right now!)  The fee for the 10 year green card is not cheap - especially when you've just paid all of the other fees so recently!

There is also the stigma that you mentioned (marrying for the wrong reasons) - as long as you can prove to the immigration officials that you haven't married for the wrong reasons (show proof of your relationship), then you shouldn't worry about what others might think. 

I would imagine that a company sponsorship would be more favorable if the company does this all the time (knows what they are doing), and they can move things along quickly.  It would also be more favorable if they handle all of the paperwork!  That can be one big headache (even if you have an immigration lawyer)

But I have not had much personal experience with a company sponsorship.  Maybe someone else knows more?
Logged
Djvjain
Full Member
***

Karma: +10/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 107


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2009, 07:07:28 AM »

We did the spouse-sponsored green card.  It just makes more sense to do it, if you're already committed to each other.  The employment-based one basically ties you to an employer, and it takes longer.  It's also harder to find an employer who is willing to sponsor one--it's not cheap!

For a little while my husband said he didn't want to get the spousal green card because he didn't want anyone to think he was getting it for the wrong reasons.  But it really just didn't make sense to stand on a principle like that when it would be so much harder for him to get a job without a green card (and that was even before this economic meltdown--employers are even more strict about wanting only permanent residents or citizens to apply).  Plus, having a hard time finding a job/getting a much lower-paying job wouldn't just have affected him, it would have affected me too!  So it was an easy decision to make.

It was no problem actually getting the green card--we were obviously in love and had built our lives together, and hadn't just married for convenience, so the green card interview was no big deal at all.  We had plenty of pictures and cards and so forth.  My husband just got the 10-year green card recently.  He'll be applying for citizenship in the next year or two, and again, that's much quicker and easier for him to do it as my spouse.
Logged
LinZi
Jr. Member
**

Karma: +4/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 97



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2009, 12:08:45 PM »

I haven't delved into these issues at all so far... I have a few basic questions maybe someone can answer for me. If anyone wants to tackle these.. I would appreciate it.. I haven;t begun researching anything so far (as you can see by my questions!) but I thought maybe you guys will have some insights or answers that would be more useful and realistic.  Smiley

1.) If you are applying for jobs in the U.S. as an Indian citizen without a green card (yet) will it be incredibly difficult to get a job. (i.e., Vivek applying for Hindi lecturer positions)

2.) What is the process of becoming a citizen through marriage? I was always under the impression that that is pretty easy.. but sounds like maybe I am wrong? How many years does it take? How does it work?

3.) If an Indian becomes an American citizen, do they have to give up their Indian citizenship? How does that work?

4.) How much DOES it cost to apply for a green card?

5.) Is it easier to transition from a graduate program to a job in the U.S. as an Indian, or is it just as difficult as applying coming straight from India?

Logged
pale_desi
Newbie
*

Karma: +2/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 32



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2009, 02:13:09 PM »

thanks for all replies so far!

Indian Ties- You mentioned that if you are married for less than two years at the time the Green Card is received that you only get a 2 year Green Card.    Is that two years from Spouse Green Card application?  Or two years from when its complete and green card is received?  Did anyone do the 2 Green Card followed by the 10 year green card?  Seems like a bigger hassle but maybe still less of a hassle than Sponsorship through a company...

Djvjain  - how long after being married did you apply?

I would love to hear the answers from LinZi's questions as well! Smiley 
Logged
IndianTies
Administrator
Full Member
*****

Karma: +6/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 132



View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2009, 11:19:56 PM »

Here's my 2

@LinZi
1. Applying for jobs in the US might be more difficult if Vivek does not have his green card yet - but it's not impossible!  I would think that a company who doesn't necessarily want to sponsor his green card might be interested in him if they know he will get a spousal green card (only a matter of time). 

You can look into the different visas available - the K1 is a fiance visa, which means you apply before you are married (while your "fiance" is still in their home country).  They eventually get the visa and can travel to the USA - once they arrive, you have 90 days to get married and apply to "adjust their status"  which means they get a work permit and then a green card.  The other option is to marry first and then apply for the spousal visa (to travel to the USA) a K3 visa.  This is similar to the process of the K1 - except you are already married and you have a set amount of time to apply for your adjustment of status/green card.

2.  Becoming a citizen: "Live in the U.S. for at least 5 years as a permanent resident (or 3 years if married to and living with a U.S.citizen). Be present in the U.S. for at least 30 months out of the past 5 years (or 18 months out of the past 3 years if married to and living with a U.S. citizen). Live within a state or district for at
least 3 months before you apply." (taken from here: http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/M-618.pdf I have a copy of this saved on my computer!) You'll want to refer to this website a lot: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

3. Yes, and Indian who becomes a US citizen has to give up their citizenship - but there are options which are **not quite** but similar to dual citizenship (PIO & OCI) - check out my blog post: http://indianties.blogspot.com/2008/09/making-sense-of-indian-visas-for.html

4.  Um... I've tried to block out the fees!  Cry  lol  Actually, I'm not sure anymore because they keep changing them!   And it depends on which route you go.  But just about every form that you have to file has a substantial fee attached to it.  We are applying soon for a new (10 year) green card (the original 2-year one is expiring soon) - and I think it's around 500-600 dollars. Check the USCIS website (above) for exact amounts.

5.  I've known several Indian grad students who have applied for jobs after finishing school - but I also heard that there is a certain length of time that they have to find a job before their status expires.  So I guess it could be a bit of a risk to go that route...

@Pale_desi
We went for a K3 visa - a spousal visa.  We were already married at the time we wanted to both live and work in the US (we lived out of the US for our first year of marriage).  So my husband entered the USA on the K3 visa and had a few months to apply for the green card.  You can live and work in the US until your green card is granted (or denied!).  Our green-card interview was only a couple of weeks before our 2nd anniversary. So because we hadn't been married for 2 yrs at the time of the interview - we have to now re-apply for the 10 year green card (and prove that we are still married!).  The original green card was good for 2 years from the date of issue.

Hope I've answered a few of your questions - the thing that helped us the most was getting a consultation with an immigration lawyer.  They usually give you a free consultation and help you know what forms/visas you should apply for.  Then you can choose to use their services to proceed or go for it alone - we used the lawyer the first time - but I think we'll file the new green card papers on our own this time around.

I'm sure some others have experiences/advice they can add as well....


Logged
Djvjain
Full Member
***

Karma: +10/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 107


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2009, 06:25:14 AM »

From what we've seen, it is much more difficult to get a job without a green card.  Many places just don't want to deal with sponsoring a visa or a green card.  It's easier for them to hire someone who is already ready to work in the US.  Companies that will sponsor a visa or green card will usually pay less, and you'll be tied to that company until the visa/green card comes through.  This can take a lot longer than it would take to get a spousal green card.  Really, if you're married it doesn't make any sense to do it through an employer.  However, I think it is probably easier to get a job if you're transitioning from grad school here rather than coming from India.  You would have built up contacts and references here in the US that would help.

We applied for the green card about 2 months after we got married.  We had already been living together for one year.  So we already had lots of stuff to show that we had a "good-faith" marriage.  Yes, we did the 2-year green card, and now my husband has the 10-year one.  He'll apply for citizenship as soon as he's eligible.  As a chemical engineer there are a lot of jobs that don't even hire green cards, but require citizenship, so it will be really good for both of us.  He'll get an OCI card because I don't want us to lose those ties to India.

I wrote about it in the other thread, but we got an immigration lawyer through the Catholic charity Refugee and Immigration Services.  It was 500 dollars and worth every penny to have everything organized for us and the process was very smooth.
Logged
emm_and_emm
Guest
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2009, 01:51:41 PM »

I'll try and answer some of LinZi's questions here through our own experience.
As a recent "international student" and (2004) graduate of a US university, I went through the route of an F1-OPT-H1B. (F1 = student visa, OPT = Optional Practical training: the 1 year period after graduation that every international student gets to legally work in the US, H1B=the work visa).

In my case, after graduation, I took up a full time job as a researcher at a university. The jump from OPT to H1 is easier in a university setting because universities (and any non profit orgs) are exempt from the H1B quota (the USCIS only grants a set amount of H1B visas every year, I forget what the current number is) which always runs out in the first few days every year. Universities are usually quite adept in visa issues and most have international student/faculty/staff offices to handle the visa issues for students and faculty/staff. So LinZi, if Vivek is looking for a university position, it may not be such a big deal for a university to initially bring him on board through an H1B visa, which they usuaully do all the time for international faculty/staff. Now sponsoring a green card is a different matter and I suppose university policies vary quite a bit there. The university I am sponsors green cards only for faculty.

We ended up filing a marriage based green card application for me last April and had the temporary 2 year card by February this year. My university sponsored H1B is still valid for the next couple of years but the green card just makes travel easier but even more importantly I am not "stuck" to the university if I want to go look for another job. The whole process was rather smooth and is easy enough to do on your own if you are the meticulous type and can handle filling out a bunch of forms. Immigration Portal is a great forum for finding information on this topic.  The application fee was around $1400 if I remember correctly.
Logged
LinZi
Jr. Member
**

Karma: +4/-0
Offline Offline

Posts: 97



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 08:29:11 AM »

Thanks everyone for all your feedback!   Grin
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to: