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Fake Immigration Attorney In Florida Sentenced to 20 years in Prison for Filing Fraudulent Immigration Applications
Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
POSTING DATE: May 3, 2021
Question: I have a question about sponsoring my wife for her papers. I got my residency back in 2013 through my daughter who has her citizenship. I applied for my citizenship some time back last year and got notice that my interview is coming up in a few weeks. I have studied well and my wife is testing me everyday with civics questions, so I feel very confident about the exam. My question is about how I go about getting my citizenship certificate. I want to file my wife’s papers as soon as possible so we want to know whether they will give me the certificate once I pass the test, or do I have to wait to get it in the mail? I heard there are long delays in getting papers from the immigration office. If I get it the same day, can I file my wife’s application that day as well?
2645 Executive Park Drive
Weston, Florida 33331
A Federal Judge recently sentenced a Florida man, posing as an immigration attorney, to over twenty years in federal prison for immigration fraud. Elvis Harold Reyes of Brandon, Florida defrauded hundreds of immigrants by pretending to be a licensed immigration attorney and filing fraudulent asylum and other immigration applications on their behalf.
Reyes operated EHR Ministries Inc. and took thousands of dollars from unsuspecting immigrants, promising them work permits, social security card, drivers licenses and legal status, which never materialized. Once victims became aware of the fraud and confronted him, Reyes threatened to have them deported.
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USCIS Advisory About Phone Scams and Tax Identity Theft
Now that Tax season is in full swing, the IRS reminds Immigrants to beware of tax phone scams. Immigrants are advised not to fall victim to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)!
There has been an increase in aggressive phone scams where people call and threaten Immigrants with police arrest or deportation if they don’t pay a fine over the phone by credit, debit card or other means.
Answer: As long as you successfully pass your Naturalization test and otherwise meet the qualifications, the officer will recommend you for approval. In the past, once you passed the test, the officer would normally put you in the queue to be scheduled for your Swearing-In Ceremony, where you take the Oath of Allegiance. That used to take weeks or more to be scheduled for your ceremony, depending upon where you live. However, these days, if you request it, you may be able to be sworn in the same day of your interview, if they have slots available. If not, they will usually schedule you to return within a week or so, not much longer. You will receive your Naturalization Certificate at your ceremony and can use it the same day to apply for your wife’s residency and to apply for your new U.S. passport. You're a citizen from the moment you take the oath. You can pick up a U.S. passport application at your upcoming swearing in ceremony, or download it from the U.S. Passport website. Let us know if you would like us to handle her Residency case.
The USCIS recently issued new guidance to officers, instructing them to follow the long-standing policy issued in 2004, which directs those who are adjudicating visa extension cases to give deference to prior determinations made in such cases, when the extension request involves the same parties and facts (unless there was a material error, material change, or new material facts).
This simply means that as long as the same employer is sponsoring the same employee for the same job with the same job description, the officer should approve the case. This was the standard policy for many years until Trump took office and terminated it, instead requiring officers to readjudicate all cases as if they were new, whether or not virtually the same case had been approved in the past. This resulted in much higher numbers of Requests For Evidence being issued and increased denials.
Understanding Selective Service Requirements And Naturalization
Many Immigrants are not aware that the U.S. requires men to register for military conscription in case of war. Under U.S. law, men who live in the U.S. or who get a green card at any time between the ages of 18 and 26, are required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, to be called up in a military draft if ever needed. Those exempt include men between 18 and 26 who were only here in a nonimmigrant visa status, like tourists, students, etc. Strangely, undocumented or illegal aliens are now required to register, although many do not.
Update: USCIS Returns To Long Standing Pre-Trump Policy Making It Easier To Get Approval Of Some Visa Extension Cases
The USCIS has announced that F-1 students who are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT) can now file Form I-765 online. This includes 24 month extensions for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students.
Online filing allows students to submit forms electronically, to check the status of their case anytime , and to receive notices from USCIS online, rather than waiting for the paper receipt to arrive in the mail. Students may also submit the regular paper application by mail if desired.
In order to file the Form I-765 online, students must visit my.uscis.gov, to create a free USCIS online account and then proceed to file the work authorization request.
International Students Eligible For OPT
Can Now File for Work Authorization Online
The change is part of President Biden’s executive order, Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans. As time goes on, officials in the new administration will eventually dismantle all the bureaucratic obstacles enacted to impede legal immigration during the Trump administration.
Question: My husband is American and we got married in December, then filed for my green card right away. We got the receipts in March saying my case was received and is processing. But yesterday I got a letter back from immigration saying that the papers we sent were not legible and we have to send them again. The problem is the letter does not say which ones they want, it just says one or more of the documents. We tried calling immigration but could not get through. We had a copy machine that had a scanner but it broke, so when we were preparing the papers for my application, by daughter used her cell phone and she printed them out at the library at school. We sent pictures of our marriage certificate, my husbands divorce, his tax returns and work letter, which were all easy to see. Can we bring you the letter so you can see if you know what documents we need to scan and resend? Can your office scan them for us so we can send a good copy?
Answer: Yes! We can scan all your documents and make very clear copies to provide the USCIS. To be safe, we will scan and resend all your supporting documents, since the officer can deny the case if he or she finds that any document provided is not legible. For future reference, when sending documents to the USCIS always make a very clear copy on a copy machine of every single document you originally included in your application. That way, if you receive a request from the USCIS, you know exactly what documents you originally sent. Immigrants should NEVER send a copy of documents taken as an image on a cell phone, since they do not qualify under USCIS requirements. To respond to the USCIS request, we will also need the original RFE letter, which should be on yellow paper.
Question: I am a Resident and had a foreclosure last year on a rental property since I could not make the payments to the bank because the tenant could not pay rent due to the pandemic. I need to travel back home for my mother’s 85th birthday next month, but I am afraid to travel due to the foreclosure judgment against me. I also read somewhere that when I apply for citizenship they will ask about lawsuits and my credit. Can you please tell me if I can travel internationally with the court order against me? Would I be detained at the border? I really need to get this answered so I can make plans, bless you.
Answer: Not to worry, there are no negative immigration consequences from having a foreclosure judgment, or owing a debt to a bank or any other creditor, (with the exception of certain large debts owed to the IRS). You can safely travel freely without worrying about any problem returning to the U.S.. Debts owed to creditors are Civil, not Criminal. Civil debts do not carry any criminal penalty whatsoever and a debtor cannot be arrested or charged simply for owing debts. Further, there are no negative immigration consequences for debtors with judgments against them or those whose debts have been eliminated through bankruptcy, when applying for Naturalization to obtain Citizenship, again, unless certain debts are owed to the IRS which remain unpaid. You can travel to mommy’s 85th birthday party without any worries, have fun!
The USCIS and IRS wants Immigrants to know that a real IRS agent will:
NEVER call and demand immediate payment over the phone
NEVER try to threaten or intimidate, NEVER demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or ask for your credit card or debit card number over the phone and
NEVER threaten to call the police or immigration agents if you don’t pay.
If you get a call like this, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484.
Visit the IRS Tax Scam Website:
The issue of Selective Service Registration generally comes up for male Immigrants who apply for Naturalization and are required to list their Selective Service Registration information. And since failing to register for Selective Service can result in Naturalization denial for failure to show good moral character, it’s a very important issue for those to whom it applies. For some, it’s not too late to register: Men preparing to apply for Naturalization (U.S. Citizenship) who failed to register for the Selective Service in the past, but who are not yet age 26, can still register online.
However, those who have passed age 26, are not eligible to register and must face the potentially negative immigration consequences of passing the required registration date. For those who failed to register, the easiest thing to do may be to wait until you are age 31 to apply for Naturalization so that five years of good moral character have passed (or 29 years of age to show three years of “good moral character” for those who have been married to and living with a U.S. citizen).
Immigrants who failed to register, but don’t want to wait for the “good moral character” period to expire, need to provide the USCIS officer with documentation to demonstrate for instance that the Resident did not know he was supposed to register and did not “willfully” fail to do so. To do this, an Immigrant can submit the following along with his naturalization application:
1) Status Information Letter from the Selective Service System (obtained from the Selective Service System website or by calling 847-688-6888.)
2) Sworn Declaration, and sworn declarations from people who know the Immigrant, attesting to their knowledge of the reasons why he failed to learn about and did not know about the requirement to register or believed he was automatically registered.
USCIS officers have discretion whether or not to approve such cases, so it’s best to provide as much evidence as possible to ensure the most positive result.