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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378

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Questions & Answers

House Republican Leaders Begin Working On Plan for 2014 Immigration Overhaul
House Republicans are already busy behind closed doors planning strategy for the Republican version of Immigration Reform they hope to pass in early 2014. House Speaker John Boehner announced that he and his leadership team are preparing to release a list of “principles” for immigration reform later this month before President Obama’s State of the Union address.

These Immigration Reform "principles" are aimed at beginning the introduction and passage of a series Immigration Bills dealing with the most pressing Immigration-related issues including the Dream Act and “legalization”. Boehner told reporters that the “standards and principles” would “guide us in a common-sense, step-by-step approach to dealing with immigration.”
Experts say that Speaker Boehner’s quick action in moving on the Immigration issue in just the first weeks of 2014 is a strong message to reluctant fellow House Republicans that Reform is a top priority which needs to get done in 2014. As part of the House leadership strategy, Boehner plans to delay voting on any Immigration Bills until April, to avoid any backlash against Republican members supporting Immigration Reform who are up for re-election in very conservative districts in which the majority of conservative voters oppose any form of legalization, even for Dreamers.
House Republicans are drafting Immigration Bills which establish a pathway to legal status for current undocumented immigrants and to combine border-security and interior-enforcement.

Florida Republican Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, a strong supporter of Immigration Reform and legalization has been working with other House Republicans to draft Immigration Bills which are expected to be introduced shortly. The draft Bill is said to establish a pathway to legal status for current undocumented immigrants and to combine border-security and interior-enforcement triggers with a legalization track, as well as a probationary period for immigrants on the path. "I think we have a very realistic opportunity to get this done," Rep Diaz-Balart told reporters that Speaker Boehner’s "methodical" approach is a strategy to get the majority of House Republicans on board to get Immigration Reform passed in 2014.
Question: I have been married to my husband since Feruary 2011. I have received my two years green card which will be expired in August 2015. How soon will I be able to apply for my USA citizenship.
Answer: ​You must apply for your Removal of Condition 90 days before expiration of your Green Card, then once your permanent Residency is approved and you have been a U.S. Resident for 2 years and 9 months and as long as you and your husband are living together as a real married couple and have extensive documentation to prove your continuing marital relationship, you can apply for Early Naturalization in May of 2016.
Helpful Immigration Hints
Making An Online Inquiry For Cases Pending 
With the USCIS
You can make an online inquiry for a case pending with the USCIS by filing an “e-Request”. To make an inquiry, be sure to have your case number handy. 

For more information, visit the USCIS E-Request webpage

Go online to:  E-Request

Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte seems to be pushing for an immigration solution as well, telling Politico that he sees “no reason” why current undocumented immigrants shouldn’t gain legal status as long as Congress enacts tougher border-security and enforcement measures. In a Telemundo interview this past Sunday, Goodlatte discussed the set of immigration principles which Speaker Boehner is expected to release in the “coming weeks”, saying that the principles are guidelines meant to show House Republicans how all the pieces of immigration reform would fit together and ultimately “galvanize” support among lawmakers.

Goodlatte outlined three “pillars” of the planned overhaul strategy: border security & enforcement, overhauling the broken immigration system and providing for a legal status for immigrants already in the country illegally. “If we can have a way to get [enforcement] up and operating, I see no reason why we can’t also have an agreement that shows how people who are not lawfully here can be able to be lawfully here – able to live here, work here, travel to and from their home country, be able to own a business, pay their taxes,” 
So with all the excitement focused on Immigration Reform by Republicans so early in this new year, there is good cause for optimism. Stay tuned…
Question: I came to visit my sister here in Florida for the holidays and I want to stay and attend college if possible. Can you please tell me if I an do that and how long I have to wait after I enter the U.S. on my Visitor visa to be able to apply for a student visa while I’m here in America, thanks.
A great benefit of the F-1 student visa is that once a student graduates with a degree, the student is eligible for a year or more of work authorization in the U.S., depending upon the degree program pursued. Finally, if the F-1 student travels outside the U.S., he or she must obtain the actual F-1 Visa in his or her passport from the U.S. Consulate abroad, in order to re-enter the U.S. in student visa status. I hope this was helpful to you.

You can find out more about Early Naturalization and changing status to a Student Visa inside the U.S.
 by visiting our website at:
Answer: ​Yes, foreign nationals who are in the U.S. in legal immigration status with valid I-94 cards are eligible to apply for an F-1 Student Visa status while inside the U.S. However, USCIS policy requires that visitors wait for at least 60 days after arriving in the U.S. before applying to change to F-1 status, to show that they did not intend to study here when they entered the U.S. on the tourist/visitor visa. Applicants for F-1 status must also qualify by demonstrating through financial documentation that they have the full amount of tuition and living expense funds available during their studies. 

Once the F-1 visa status is approved, the student receives a new I-94 card with no expiration date, instead, the designation “D/S” meaning “duration of status”. This indicates that as long as the student maintains fulltime studies at the college or university, he or she is authorized to stay in the U.S.. 
Read More About the Republican Moves Towards Immigration Reform in 2014:
New York Times
LA Times