Immigrating to a new country alone can be challenging. Many immigrants to the United States do not speak English as their primary language, and their loved ones often must wait for them to obtain the correct documentation before they can be reunited as a family on U.S. soil. However, this process might have been exhilarated by a recent workflow digitization.
“Helping a relative immigrate to the United States can be a challenging and stressful process,” immigration attorney James Hacking of Hacking Law Practice, LLC explained. “There are several in-depth forms that can be disorienting to people who are not familiar with the process. Any mistake on the forms or process can result in significant delays for an individual attempting to gain permanent resident status.”
The first step to sponsor a relative that one must complete is called Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative. Petitioners must be U.S. citizens and can file a petition for only a select number of family members, such as a spouse, their child or children (subject to certain age restrictions), or parents or siblings (subject to certain age restrictions).
An individual hoping to obtain their permanent resident status, also known as a “green card,” must first wait for the U.S. government to approve this petition. Previously, this process had to be completed on paper forms and mailed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Now, however, this process has been made electronic for the first time in history. As the immigration process transitions from a hardcopy form to an electronic one, petitioners are afforded the convenience of electronic filing.
Now, the first step for an individual to obtain a green card for a qualifying relative is to create an account online through the USCIS website. Although online filing is not yet available for all forms, it has been made available for eight different forms, including the Petition for Alien Relative Form I-130, which will potentially provide an expedient alternative to paper filing. Additionally, petitioners will also be able to pay the necessary fees online, track the status of their case, communicate with USCIS officials, and respond to requests for evidence.
5 Things to do in Maryland
The East Coast of the US has a lot to offer, and although might not be top of the list for everyone, there are so many reasons why you should visit Maryland. Head to Maryland’s largest city, Baltimore – explore the harbour, or visit the beach to experience the excitement of the amusements. Immerse yourself in history with the range of museums and monuments that Maryland has to offer. Here are the top 5 things that you can do when visiting Maryland.
1. Oriole Park at Camden Yards
If you’re a sports fan heading to Maryland, visiting Camden Yards is a must. Home to the Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards was opened in 1992, it’s a retro-style park and it has been from the day it was built! If you’re planning on visiting this old-school stadium, you’ll be headed right into the heart of Baltimore’s inner harbour, with a huge variety of things to see and do, experiencing an Oriole’s game means you can experience this quaint park, as well the stunning harbour surroundings. Soon, you’ll be able to place moneyline bets online in Maryland, so you can add a whole new level of excitement to your favourite baseball games.
2. Ocean City Boardwalk
Baltimore’s boardwalk is one of the best in the country, so if you’re looking for things to do in Maryland, this should be top of your list! The boardwalk itself dates to 1902, but it is still one of the most exciting places to visit this day. Situated right on the beach, there’s an abundance of fun to be had here, and a lot of the time, the activities are free!
Morning or night, you can guarantee there is always something to see and do. You can head to the amusements, with arcades that are fun for the whole family, or if you’re more of a thrill-seeker, ride the rollercoaster or take in the stunning views from the top of the Ferris wheel. If you’re hungry, you’ll want to try Maryland’s famous crab cakes or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, the saltwater taffy or hot funnel cakes might be more your style. The boardwalk has something for everyone, shops, amusements, and food – not to mention the beach!
3. Maryland Science centre
A trip to Maryland wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Maryland science centre. Fun for both kids and adults, you can immerse yourselves in all things science. With three levels of exhibits, you can delve into learning more about astrology, palaeontology, physics and how the human body works. One of the most stunning attractions at the science centre is the rooftop observatory that allows you to explore the night sky. The planetarium is also not to be missed – an Imax theatre which features films on all things from space to butterflies.
4. Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry is well worth a visit for history experts and novices alike. This fort was built to defend Baltimore Harbour from a British attack in 1814. It has since then been named a ‘National Monument and Historic Shrine’. The Fort is open to visitors and is a must-see. When visiting you can choose one of the many tours to ensure you get the most from your time here, you can choose to pay for entry, or just take it all from a walk along the path near the bay.
The visitor centre itself has artefacts and information, as well as a 10-minute film on the fort’s history that is not to be missed. Make sure you walk around the fort before you enter the grounds, and you’ll get to see canons that were used in World War 2.
5. Baltimore National Aquarium
The National Aquarium is considered one of the best in the Nation – so when planning your trip to Maryland, set aside some time to explore the thousands of animals it has to offer. The aquarium is situated in the Inner Harbour, so is easily accessible. Here, you can explore the depths of the ocean, the rainforest and more! This aquarium has it all – watch the sharks circle, the various species of birds take flight and watch the crocodiles snap. When visiting, you can choose a guided tour or just take your time, soaking up all that this attraction has to offer.
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