There are a variety of laws and regulations surrounding immigration and naturalization in the United States. Here are some key things you need to know; however, check with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for additional information.
Maintenance of lawful Permanent Residence Card requires replacement with a new card every 10 years.
U.S. Permanent Residents — If your children were under the age of 14 at the time you received permanent residency, you are required to have children registered and fingerprinted within 30 days of the child's 14th birthday.
Prior to your dependent child's 21st birthday, he or she needs to obtain his or her own visa status.
Aliens are required to notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) using form AR-11 within 10 days of each address change.
If you travel abroad, a lawful permanent resident may return to an unrelinquished residence in the United States. If less than one year, entrance will be granted using the Permanent Resident Card ("green card").
If travel is abroad for up to two years, an application must be submitted for re-entry.
Each year, the U.S. government will issue 55,000 immigrant visas ("green cards") based on a lottery. For questions or information on eligibility and the application process, you may call the Visa Lottery Hotline number at 202-331-7199 or visit Visa Lottery online.
National Security Entry-Exit Registration System
The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) is now both active and being enforced. Special Registration is a system that lets the U.S. government track certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who enter the United States.
Nonimmigrant alien visitors subject to NSEERS registration at the Port of Entry:
Certain citizens or nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria, as designated by the DHA Secretary in the Federal Register.
Nonimmigrants who have been designated by the State Department.
Any other nonimmigrant, male or female regardless of nationality, identified by immigration officers at airports, seaports, and land ports of entry in accordance with 8 CFR 264.1(f)(2).
Changes at U.S. Consulates and Embassies
The U.S. Department of State has substantially revised the Federal Regulations about when personal appearance and interviews can be waived for nonimmigrant visa applicants.
This change affects individuals coming into the United States in a nonimmigrant category. U.S. nonimmigrant visas are for people with permanent residence outside the United States but who wish to be in the United States on a temporary basis—for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study. The change also affects nonimmigrant visa holders who must renew their visa stamp outside of the United States.
These revisions have been made in accordance with the Department of State's continuing efforts to improve the security of the visa process and the security of the United States.
Please be sure to check the consulate or embassy Web site that pertains to you for the latest information. Visit the U.S. Department of State's links to United States embassies and consulates worldwide for a complete list.
Tax Laws That May Affect You
The filing of U.S. income tax returns as a resident, rather than a nonresident, is critical for a U.S. permanent resident.
You may be subject to an estate tax if the United States is considered your domicile at the time of death.
For detailed information regarding your taxes, check out the Internal Revenue Service site.
Federal tax forms, including Publication 519, Tax Guide for Aliens; Publication 597, U.S. and Canada Tax Treaty; Publication 901, Tax Treaties are available at the Internal Revenue Service's Forms and Publications page.
Coordination of Social Security Programs
Treaties on Social Security called "Totalization Agreements" exist between the United States and numerous other countries. In addition to establishing contribution rules, these agreements establish eligibility rules for retirement and disability benefits when someone has worked and paid into the U.S. Social Security system and one or more others.
H1B visa holders may want to become familiar with this and continue to maintain the plan in their home country as well.
Who to Contact
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — Denver Office
12484 E. Weaver Pl., Centennial, CO 80111
You must make an appointment to visit this office using InfoPass.