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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 08:29 AM
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Thanks InTheMoment and seahawks - your points have been added to the list.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 11:09 AM
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One more point:

Know when your GC and passport expires so that you can renew it.

Getting a GC does not mean you can ignore all your immigration issues.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappu View Post
One more point:

Know when your GC and passport expires so that you can renew it.

Getting a GC does not mean you can ignore all your immigration issues.
Abso-lute-ly Thanks pappu, your point is added.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 12:32 PM
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Stuck(no more)intheMuck,
Nice compilation, thanks for doing this for all of us here.
Just a note( i am not trying to deter anybody or argue against your compilation) that by law all foreigners are required to carry their passport, how many of us follow that, on that note, I will not carry original with me at all. just my 0.02 cents.

Thanks again.

GCCovet
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 01:01 PM
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Thanks for the info.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by gccovet View Post
Just a note( i am not trying to deter anybody or argue against your compilation) that by law all foreigners are required to carry their passport, how many of us follow that, on that note, I will not carry original with me at all. just my 0.02 cents.
GCCovet
True, we do not carry passports every time we step out of our house (for example, when going to pick up Bud Lite from my neighboring grocery store). But I would think that passports, unlike the PR card, are not designed to be tucked into your wallet for carrying around. Also, for PR cards the always-carry-it-on-your-person law is explicitly stated, whereas, stray cases notwithstanding (Carrying Passport and Immigration docs is mandatory at all times - US Law), I am not aware of a similar law for passports (except maybe when you do not have your usual ID, such as DL).
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheMuck View Post
With my very best wishes to those of you waiting for your GC, this thread is created for the lucky among us who received it recently. I am putting together a list of things to do, and not do, to maintain our freshly minted PR status, which should also help during future citizenship application. The list is mostly about little things that others have learned from experience (and I am learning from their experience, by reading in immigration-related forums such as IV). The more obvious things that can be found for example in USCIS handbook are not included here. Below is a snapshot of what I have gleaned from Internet so far, and please add your own input(s):

LIST of DO's :

1. Carry the original PR card on your person at all times (e.g. in your wallet), keep photocopies in different places, and also store A# on your computers. Note: This is a contentious issue (do a google on "carry green card" and see for yourself), despite being required by law. Some people are naturally worried about losing wallet and the eventual hassle of replacing the lost card, whereas others, including me, prefer to follow the law, in case I am suddenly asked to produce evidence of my legal status (e.g. in some border states, or unforeseen events, such as being involved in an out-of-state car accident where showing my DL might just not be enough). Failure to comply may result in, at best a fine, and at worst detention for breaking a law. (See comments by InTheMoment below for additional perspectives.)

2. Retain all original copies of USCIS documents related to your legal status during the entire period of stay in USA, and shred all photocopies (except when you have a photocopy but not its original).

3. Retain all employment-related documents, particularly original copies of appointment letters.

4. Retain copies of all tax return forms from the year of your first entry, or (at least) previous 10 years (you can request IRS, or your professional tax preparer, for any missing copy).

5. Maintain a detailed log of USA exit/entry, including dates, POE and countries traveled, beginning with the day of first entry.

6. Maintain a detailed list of all legal troubles, including minor traffic infractions such as speeding violations (ignore parking violations, because they do not constitute legal "detention"), going as far back as possible. Keep copies of all relevant court papers, traffic tickets, proof of any payment (e.g. scanned copies of personal checks used, credit card statements), and so on.

7. Update your social security card to remove any restrictive clause about work authorization printed on it. Note: AFAIK, the procedure changes nothing as far as your privileges go, and some of you may not even have such a clause on your SS card (I don't have it either).

8. Return your I-94 cards to POE on your next trip outside USA, to "close the open files" on your past travels (I do not know what it means though). Note: AFAIK, this is also not required, and besides, you should have the chance to do this while applying for citizenship.

9. Renew DL to get rid of the annoying "Temporary" word (in case you are in one of those states that do this).

10. Update your status with your employer by filing new I-9 form (thanks to InTheMoment for this point).

11. Continue to inform USCIS about change of address within 10 days of moving, as before (thanks to seahawks for this point).

12. Keep a list of current and past residential addresses, including dates of stay. Retain all leases/ownership documents.

13. Remember the basics: Initiate your GC/passport renewal process at least 6 months before expiry/Intl travel (Thanks to pappu for this point.)

14. And yes, move the family first commitment at the top of your must-do list, now that you have less worry about re-entry, and make that long-delayed trip home to see your old folks one more time. (I am visiting my 83-yr old Dad, who still has more hair than I do, and less gray too, in June.)

LIST of DONOT's :

1. Do not sign up for voter registration card. In particular, never vote in national/state/local elections that are open only to citizens, because this is also a law. Even an accidental mistake (e.g. voting out of ignorance) is a serious offense, which would not only derail your future citizenship plan, but may even result in deportation.

2. Do not develop a pattern of frequent and/or long absences from USA, unless you have taken prior permission for valid reasons (e.g., studying abroad, medical emergencies etc). Otherwise you may face trouble at POE on your next re-entry attempt, because DHS has become stricter in recent times about possible misuse of PR status, and POE folks are now trained to spot such patterns.

3. Do not switch job soon after getting GC. This is one of the most discussed, but least understood, issues because no one seems to agree on "how soon is soon". The rule of thumb appears to be "6 months", and a safer bet is "1 year" (here is a thread on another forum). This again relates to USCIS being increasingly sensitive to possible misuse of PR status, and this question will come up during your citizenship application process. (But, as InTheMoment points out below, the issue becomes moot if you invoke AC21.)

4. Those of us who self-sponsored our GC via NIW or EB1A route are not bound by such employer-employee commitment, but you should continue working in "similar areas of expertise" that you claimed in your NIW/EB1A petition, and preferably on a longer time scale.

Thanks to the folks below whose inputs keep the list growing.

Cheers,
Stuck(no more)InTheMuck

Just One more in DOs.

File AR-11 whenever you move.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2009, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by number30 View Post
Just One more in DOs.
File AR-11 whenever you move.
Thanks, number30 - someone else beat you for the credit though (point #11)
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:03 PM
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Talking Thanks for the info

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheMuck View Post

2. Retain all original copies of USCIS documents related to your legal status during the entire period of stay in USA, and shred all photocopies (except when you have a photocopy but not its original).
Thanks for this info, but I am a million miles away from ever thinking about these.

Just out of curiosity, why "shred" photocopies, except maybe for better document management and not drowning in paper?

Is there some ramification towards citizenship?

btw, Congrats on GC.

LT
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuckInTheMuck View Post
As I said in the preface of the list, the bigger objective here is to take certain steps, including proper documentation (e.g. points 2, 3, 4 and 5), in order to maintain PR status. Besides, you never know what documents you would be asked to produce, given that the citizenship process involves more extensive background checks than the GC process. Also, having a log of exit/entry details (point #5) should help quickly fill out Part 7 of the citizenship form.
almost 1735 days away from N400.the form looks very long. is there again a long line for it?

Last edited by a1b2c3; 04-29-2009 at 10:06 PM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looneytunezez View Post
Thanks for this info, but I am a million miles away from ever thinking about these.

Just out of curiosity, why "shred" photocopies, except maybe for better document management and not drowning in paper?

Is there some ramification towards citizenship?

btw, Congrats on GC.

LT
what do you mean by ramification? you mean advantages? if yes, there are several. that you can be assured of. you can sponsor your parents as fast as you can sponsor your wife. there are many others.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:17 PM
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Default Insane....

Insane list ...I lost 50% of my head hair staying in US since last 10 yrs and now loose the rest doing the book keeping...no wonder stone age was fun ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by looneytunezez View Post
Thanks for this info, but I am a million miles away from ever thinking about these.

Just out of curiosity, why "shred" photocopies, except maybe for better document management and not drowning in paper?

Is there some ramification towards citizenship?

btw, Congrats on GC.

LT
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by looneytunezez
Just out of curiosity, why "shred" photocopies, except maybe for better document management and not drowning in paper?
Is there some ramification towards citizenship?
Better documentation is the reason why I got rid of those photocopies (I had crate-loads of them piled up over time). I guess you can just throw this junk in your recycle bin too. But because these are immigration-related papers, and all sorts of shady ID thieves are snooping around these days, I permitted myself a little paranoia and shoved them down my office shredder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by permfiling
Insane list ...I lost 50% of my head hair staying in US since last 10 yrs and now loose the rest doing the book keeping...no wonder stone age was fun ;-)
Thank your stars - I already lost almost all my hair over the last 10 years of stay here. This is the curse of progress - another million years later, if the human race survives guns and germs, our descendants would likewise wish they were back in our stone age
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Last edited by StuckInTheMuck; 04-30-2009 at 08:23 AM.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1b2c3 View Post
almost 1735 days away from N400.the form looks very long. is there again a long line for it?
My wait time is as long as yours, so I am not thinking about getting ready for citizenship just yet (lot can happen in 5 years). If the USCIS processing times are to be believed, they are supposed to take between 12 and 15 months to decide on a currently filed application (the server seems to be down now, so couldn't verify the latest status). There may be additional time differences depending on where you are located. And knowing how USCIS operates, backlogs are not unheard of.

Here is a comforting thought - and someone correct me if I am wrong - but unlike the hectic GC process with all the "inequalities" among various EB categories, naturalization process is a level-playing field where your specific skills do not matter. Everyone is considered equal here, whether you have got your GC via EB, FB or even amnesty route. This makes sense too, considering that your value (to this country) as a citizen rests primarily in your voting right, and someone who can cook is just as good to vote as another who writes smart computer codes (no knock on the cook, my wife is a fantastic cook herself). This is why the "priority date" for your citizenship application is set at 5 years (of continuous residency) from the date printed on your PR card, irrespective of your GC category (the wait is 3 years for those with USC spouse). The only condition that permits some arbitrariness in the evaluation process is in establishing a "good moral character", which makes point #6 in my original list important.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2009, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by StuckInTheMuck View Post
My wait time is as long as yours, so I am not thinking about getting ready for citizenship just yet (lot can happen in 5 years). If the USCIS processing times are to be believed, they are supposed to take between 12 and 15 months to decide on a currently filed application (the server seems to be down now, so couldn't verify the latest status). There may be additional time differences depending on where you are located. And knowing how USCIS operates, backlogs are not unheard of.

Here is a comforting thought - and someone correct me if I am wrong - but unlike the hectic GC process with all the "inequalities" among various EB categories, naturalization process is a level-playing field where your specific skills do not matter. Everyone is considered equal here, whether you have got your GC via EB, FB or even amnesty route. This makes sense too, considering that your value (to this country) as a citizen rests primarily in your voting right, and someone who can cook is just as good to vote as another who writes smart computer codes (no knock on the cook, my wife is a fantastic cook herself). This is why the "priority date" for your citizenship application is set at 5 years (of continuous residency) from the date printed on your PR card, irrespective of your GC category (the wait is 3 years for those with USC spouse). The only condition that permits some arbitrariness in the evaluation process is in establishing a "good moral character", which makes point #6 in my original list important.
This is of 01/09. It takes about 6 months after N-400 is filed and you can apply after 4 years and 9 months.
http://www.uscis.gov/files/article/M-476.pdf
Yes, there will be backlogs but most likely there won't be long waiting lines. It really depends on the number of people filing. There won't be another July 2007.
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