1. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: This foundational form serves as the initial step for U.S. citizens and permanent residents looking to bring their foreign relatives to the United States. By filing the I-130, petitioners initiate the immigration process for family members, establishing the relationship's validity to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
2. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: Often utilized by individuals already within the U.S., the I-485 form allows eligible applicants to adjust their current status to that of a permanent resident (green card holder). This is especially relevant for those who've entered the U.S. on a temporary visa and seek to remain permanently.
3. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization: This form is crucial for foreign nationals in the U.S. who need permission to work. Upon approval, they receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which acts as proof of their eligibility to work in the U.S.
4. Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker: Employers use this form to petition for foreign professionals to become permanent U.S. residents based on their employment status. It's an essential component of the employment-based immigration category, especially for skilled workers and professionals.
5. Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal: Persons in the U.S. or at a border who fear persecution in their native country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion can use this form to seek asylum, allowing them refuge in the U.S.
6. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA: To ensure immigrants don't become public charges, sponsors need to demonstrate their financial ability to support the intending immigrant. The I-864 form acts as a legally binding pledge to financially support the immigrant if necessary.
7. Form N-400, Application for Naturalization: Permanent residents (green card holders) who've met certain criteria regarding duration of stay, moral character, and knowledge of the U.S. government use the N-400 to apply for U.S. citizenship.
8. Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card: If a green card gets lost, stolen, damaged, or becomes outdated, holders use this form to apply for a replacement or renewal.
9. Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor: Relevant for foreign investors willing to invest substantial amounts in the U.S. to create jobs, this form is pivotal for the EB-5 visa category, which can lead to green card eligibility.
10. Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility: Certain applicants deemed inadmissible to the U.S. (due to health, criminal, security, or other grounds) use this form to request a waiver of such inadmissibility.
11. Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status: When conditions in certain countries (such as ongoing armed conflict or natural disasters) make it unsafe for nationals to return, they can seek Temporary Protected Status (TPS) using this form, which allows them to stay and work in the U.S. temporarily.
12. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document: Individuals under specific immigration statuses may need a travel document to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. This form is used to request such a document.
13. Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application: This online form is utilized by individuals outside the U.S. to apply for an immigrant visa, which, upon approval, allows them to enter the U.S. and then become permanent residents.
14. Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker: U.S. employers seeking to employ foreign nationals in a temporary capacity, such as H-1B or L-1 visas, use this form to initiate the process.
15. Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal: Individuals previously deported or removed from the U.S. must seek permission to reapply for entry. This form serves that purpose, ensuring they can legally re-enter without facing penalties.
California, with its diverse population and significant immigrant community, often sees these forms in use, helping countless individuals and families navigate the intricate landscape of U.S. immigration.
16. Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e): This form is for U.S. citizens who want to bring their foreign fiancé(e) to the country with the intention of getting married. Upon arrival, the fiancé(e) must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days.
17. Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant: Used by a diverse group of applicants, including abused spouses or children of U.S. citizens, religious workers, and others, to self-petition or be petitioned for an immigrant visa.
18. Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence: For those who received conditional permanent residency through marriage to a U.S. citizen, this form is used to request removal of conditions after two years.
19. Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status: If someone wishes to extend their stay or change their nonimmigrant status (e.g., from a tourist visa to a student visa), this form is required.
20. Form N-600, Application for Certificate of Citizenship: Used by individuals claiming U.S. citizenship by birth to a U.S. citizen parent or by being born in the U.S. to apply for a certificate proving their citizenship.
21. Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status: For those wishing to voluntarily relinquish their green card status, this form is necessary.
22. Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition: Used by those granted asylum or refugee status in the U.S. to petition for specific family members to join them.
23. Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document: If someone loses their I-94 arrival/departure record, this form can help them obtain a replacement.
24. Form I-508, Waiver of Rights, Privileges, Exemptions, and Immunities: Typically used by certain nonimmigrant visa holders to waive diplomatic rights, privileges, and immunities.
25. Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document: For those who've lost their naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship, this form helps obtain a replacement.
26. Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions: Used by naturalization applicants who seek an exception to the English language and civics testing requirements due to a medical disability.
27. Form I-914, Application for T Nonimmigrant Status: This is for victims of severe human trafficking to gain temporary immigration benefits.
28. Form I-918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status: Intended for victims of certain crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity.
29. Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application: Used by individuals outside the U.S. seeking a nonimmigrant visa, such as a tourist or business visa.
30. Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition: Used when someone wishes to duplicate an approved petition or application or to notify a U.S. consulate of an approved petition.