Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Immigration Forms for U.S. Citizenship, Naturalization, and Admission/ How to File Form I-360
USCIS Form I-360 is a petition many immigrants can file to apply for a green card. Form I-360 covers a multitude of immigration groups and visa types. Read on to find information about what Form I-360 is, how to file the petition, and Form I-360 filing fee and processing times.
The USCIS I-360 form is for Amerasians, widow(er)s, or special immigrants to petition for a green card. Form I-360 grants you a classification that leads to one of the following visas through the adjustment of status process:
Form I-360 can be filed by many groups of people even though there are only three types of green cards. The expanse of the qualified applicants makes the 19-page form so complicated. Each classification has its own set of requirements and evidence to submit.
Depending on your classification, Form I-360 does not guarantee lawful permanent residency. In some cases, like for the VAWA and widow(er) visas, the I-360 form is used for USCIS to classify the applicant correctly. After completing your classification, you can begin your adjustment of status process using Form I-485 to gain Lawful Permanent Residency.
The I-360 petition is formally called the “Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.” These classifications include a broad spectrum of people with specific requirements for filing Form I-360. Below is an overview of qualified applicant categories. Contact us with questions about these classifications or if you do not see your specification below. We can further clarify each category and the evidence you must submit with your Form I-360.
The Amerasian category includes those born in Asia to an Asian mother and United States service member. Also known as the Amerasian Act, the category was created for births that happened during the Korean and Vietnam wars. The act makes it possible for people born to a U.S. military serviceman to come to the United States and adjust their status to a Lawful Permanent Resident.
An Amerasian applicant needs to have been born after December 31, 1950, and before October 23, 1982. People from the following countries are eligible to apply for Form I-360:
The Amerasian classification is rarely used anymore because of the constraints on date of birth and military relation. However, the Amerasian Act is still a pertinent congressional decision in U.S. and global history.
The applicant must be a widow(er) of a U.S. citizen to file Form I-360. Unlike most Form I-360 applications, the widow(er) category allows the applicant to self-petition. You can file the form yourself instead of having a beneficiary file on your behalf.
You will need to provide evidence of marriage and death of your spouse to qualify for the Widow(er) visa. Evidence includes a copy of your marriage and spouse’s death You also need to prove that your spouse was a United States citizen.
You do not need to file Form I-360 if your spouse filed Form I-130, Petition for Relatives before they died. USCIS will automatically convert the already submitted Form I-130 into a Form I-360.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) applicants are included in the “Special Immigrant” category for Form I-360. However, they differ from other “special immigrant” sub-categories because VAWA applicants can self-petition.
You need to be one of the following to be a VAWA self-petitioner:
You are not alone in your abuse if you are experiencing violence from a family member. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.” Domestic violence takes many forms including physical and emotional abuse, sexual assault, economic control, isolation, and intimidation. If you are a victim of abuse, do not lose hope. We can help you petition for a VAWA green card with Form I-360 immigration.
Your abuser may be threatening or holding power over you. Many immigrants experience domestic abuse and do not report it since their abuser uses the possibility of having or losing U.S. residency against them. This is not true. With a VAWA visa, you can become an LPR without your abusive family member.
The I-360 application process for VAWA immigration visas is confidential. We will work with you to ensure you can get your VAWA green card safely without your abuser finding out. We are dedicated to providing you with support and legal representation. Contact us right away if you are eligible for a VAWA immigration visa.
Those with Special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) are children who need protection through state juvenile courts because they have been abused, abandoned, or neglected. Child abuse can include any form of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, as well as neglect. Even threatening harm is abusive behavior. The SIJS visa allows an abused child to seek permanent residency.
If you are a child, or if you know a child, experiencing abuse and need protection, contact an immigration attorney at our law firm immediately. The child may be eligible to become an SIJS immigrant. Even if you are unsure whether you qualify, please contact us. Child abuse comes in many forms, so each case looks different. We can provide legal representation and support to navigate the juvenile court system and Special Immigrant Juvenile status.
The list of other special immigrants is expansive. USCIS includes the following people in the list of special immigrants:
USCIS will grant you the visa correlated with your special immigrant status. Again, this is a highly complicated USCIS form because it covers the expanse of immigrant categories. Contact the immigration attorneys at our office with any questions about your classification and specific application process.
There are three subsections for Afghan or Iraqi special immigrants:
As of July 20, 2022, if you are an Afghan national applying for Chief of Mission visa approval, you must file DS-157, Petition for Special Immigrant Classification for Afghan SIV Applicants.
Form I-360 is a 19- page form that consists of 15 sections. Below you will find step-by-step instructions for filing your I-360 application. Make sure you fill out each section legibly and with black ink. The very top of the form is for USCIS use only. Avoid the top section when filling out your form, and begin at Part 1.
Part 1 is “Information about a Person or Organization.” You will record your personal information here, including your:
Part 2 is where you state which classification you are petitioning for. There are 16 options, the last one being “other.” contact your immigration attorney if you need help specifying which classification you are eligible for, especially if you are filing under “other.”
Some applicants need a beneficiary to petition on their behalf. Others may self-petition. Part 3 is information about the person for whom Form I-360 is being filed, either the beneficiary or self-petitioner. Included in this section are the visa applicant’s:
This part differs from Part 1 because the first section concerns the person who is filing the form.
Part 4 is entitled “Processing Information.” You will include additional information about which consulate you need your petition processed with.
Fill out part 5 if you are eligible and want to file for your spouse and children. You will include information about your family members, such as their relationship to you, their full name, and their country of birth.
As the most lengthy part of the form, Parts 6-10 are separated into each classification. You only need to fill out the section that you are applying for. For example, Part 7 is for widow(er)s, so you will only fill out Part 7 if you are filing as a widow(er), and so on for each classification.
You will include your statement, contact information, declaration, and signature here. It’s crucial to sign your form. USCIS will reject any unsigned form.
You will fill out Part 12 if you are filing this form on behalf of someone. Include your statement, contact information, declaration, and signature.
Part 13 includes the same information as Parts 11 and 12 but is reserved for an interpreter. Part 14 is also the same and is reserved for any other person involved with preparing the form.
Part 15 can be used if you run out of room on other sections of the form. Fill out the overflow information in the last section.
The filing fee for Form I-360 is $435. However, many applicants do not have to pay the filing fee, including:
Talk with your immigration attorney about whether or not you qualify for fee exemption.
Form I-360 processing time depends on the form category and which field office or service center processes your application. Check the estimated processing time for your I-360 classification on the USCIS Case Processing Times webpage.
The immigration and naturalization attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. have over 30 years of experience helping clients file for green cards. Form I-360 is one of the most complex USCIS forms that involves extremely personal information. We are here to ensure that your petition is thorough and includes all necessary evidence.
Contact us today at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today! We look forward to working with you on Form I-360 approval!