People said that the U.S. is the land of dreams, the land where everything you can imagine can be fulfilled. So, it’s not surprising, if you also have a thought to move and pursue your goal in this country. If you plan to do that, you need the Form I-551.
What is Form I-551?
Form I-551 is well-known as Green Card. Even though the current official name for this card is Form I-551, people still call it a Green Card. In short, this is a document that allows you to immigrate, move, and live in the U.S. You will also become a permanent resident, once you get this card.
Who is Eligible for Form I-551?
Applying for this right is easy. However, you need to be one of the eligible groups, to apply for Form I-551. And, here are those who are eligible for this card.
✓ An immediate relative of U.S. citizens – If you are married to U.S. citizens, you are eligible for getting this card. It is also applied to your children under the age of 21 years old.
✓ Refugees or asylum seekers – there is only 70,000-90,000 card issued for this category.
✓ Employee – if you are working in the U.S., you also can apply for this with your employer as the sponsor. Every year, there is only 140,000 card issued for this category.
✓ Green Card lottery – you also can apply for the Green Card lottery. There are only 50,000 cards issued, and if you get one of those, you are eligible to get the card.
Required Documents for the Form I-551
Similar to other applications for citizenship or working right in the U.S., you also need to attach required documents when you submit the Form I-551. Here are some documents you need to prepare.
✓ A valid passport at least 6 months before the expiration date,
✓ Birth certificate,
✓ Marriage certificate,
✓ Financial documents,
✓ Sponsor statement, if you take the employee category,
✓ Form I-94,
✓ Police clearance certificate (to ensure you have no problematic/criminal background that can harm the U.S.),
✓ Immigration violation records,
✓ Written employment confirmation from your employer/sponsor in the U.S.
✓ If you are married before, you also need to attach prior-marriage termination papers.
Form I-551 Application Process
To apply for the Form I-551, you need to follow this application process. As we mentioned above, it’s quite an easy process. So, if you follow it correctly, you won’t have any problem.
• Eligibility – it shows the proof that you are eligible for Green Card,
• Form I-551 approval – your application needs to be approved. You might not get it if the category you applied has been running out of its availability.
• Additional documents – additional documents might be needed to add later, if necessary. You will be notified if that happens.
• Get the immigrant visa number – you can get it from the U.S. State Department’s National Visa Center.
• Adjustment of status – this process is for people who are already staying in the US and apply from there.
How Much Does I-551 Form Cost?
The cost for the entire process is $985. You might also have to pay for the additional fee, for the biometric screening appointment, which is $85.
Form I-551 Processing Time?
It depends on the category you applied for. However, in most cases, you need to wait between 7 to 33 months from the point where you apply, approved, and then received your Green Card.
As you can see, applying for Form I-551 or Green Card is not that complicated. Once you get it, you will be able to live in the U.S. and start to build your career there. Read also How to immigrate to USA