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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2017 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Questions & Answers
Question: I am a woman and live in Jamaica and my long time girlfriend just got her U.S. citizenship. We want to get married, but same sex relationships and marriage in Jamaica is illegal. I applied for a visitor visa to the U.S. last year and was denied. We are not sure what to do now. Can my girlfriend apply for a fiancée visa for me, even though it’s illegal in my country. Please help us, thanks.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

Advisory: Dreamers Should Submit DACA Requests & 
Renewals before Trump Takes Office!
If Trump is true to his campaign promise to cancel the DACA program which provides Immigration status and work authorization to Dreamers “on day one”, those who are eligible to apply for first time DACA or renewals should have their applications submitted in the first several weeks of January 2017, in order to ensure that they receive receipts from the USCIS prior to the Presidential Inauguration on January 20th.  

This may be the last and only chance for Dreamers to obtain a work permit under the program before it is cancelled. 
Avoid Filing For Immigration Benefits You Are Not Eligible For – Since You May Find Yourself Getting Deported Very Quickly Under New Trump Immigration Policies!
Answer: That is a great question. Since same sex marriage is now legal in every state in the U.S., fiancé(e) visas are available to nationals of every country, regardless of the foreign country’s “same sex marriage” laws. Under fiancé(e) visa regulations, the sponsoring spouse must be a U.S. Citizen. Once the foreign fiancé(e) enters the U.S. on the K-1 fiancé(e) visa, the couple must get married within 90 days and apply for the foreign spouses Residency. Let us know if you would like our assistance in obtaining your Fiancée visa. Give me a call at 954-382-5378 for a free consultation.
Now more than ever, its vitally important that Immigrants fully understand their eligibility under immigration regulations before filing an immigration petition, since denied applications may now lead to swift removal from the U.S.. 

Under Obama’s lenient Immigration policies, only criminal aliens are given priority for deportation and most other Immigrants are largely left alone. However, under a Trump administration, Immigrants who are denied for Immigration benefits may be automatically targeted for deportation. 
Tips on filing include: stop procrastinating, don’t wait until the last minute- file early!, submit all required supporting documents to prove eligibility, make a copy of every page of your of your application, including every single supporting document, to expedite submission, send by USPS 2-day Priority Mail ($6.45).Never, ever send any Immigration application by Certified Mail!

No one knows for certain what the effect of cancellation of the DACA program will mean for DREAMERS. Many experts believe that those who are pending or who have been granted status, will remain eligible and retain benefits, since a cancellation would only terminate the program for future applicants. Any effort to take away benefits from those who had already legally applied for the program or those already protected by DACA would likely result in a Court battle on behalf of DREAMERS. Stay tuned…
Immigration Tips You Can Use...
On December 23, 2016, new USCIS Filing Fees went into effect. So before filing your application, make sure that you check the USCIS Website to confirm what the new filing fees are. Visit our webpage about the Filing Fees increase and see the new USCIS Filing Fees:

New USCIS Filing Fees
December 23, 2016, new USCIS Filing Fees 
Reminder: New USCIS Filing Fees Are Now In Effect 
Never Send Your Immigration Application 
Using Certified Mail
Immigration applications and any follow-up correspondence with the USCIS are very important matters. That is why you should take the additional step of sending these documents to the USCIS by a safe, quick method, which allows you to verify the date and time of delivery to the USCIS. This is especially critical when you have received a Request For Additional Evidence from the USCIS and must provide the requested documentation by a specified deadline. 
Certified Mail is not the best route and can take a long, long time to be delivered, much longer than many other delivery options. Many applicants do not know that if their response sent to the USCIS is postmarked before the deadline date, but is actually delivered and received by the USCIS after that date, the case is likely to be denied. 

Not only is this a tragedy for the beneficiary of the immigration application, but in such instances, all the USCIS filing fees are lost, which in some cases can be thousands of dollars. Certified Mail is not delivered quickly and cannot be tracked online and other private courier services like Fed-ex cannot be delivered to the regular USCIS P.O. box address. 

So, since the USCIS is a government agency, like the U.S. Express Mail (U.S. Postal Service) The safest way to send applications/documents and to safeguard against the unfortunate situation above is to use the U.S. Express Mail next day service. The cost is about $16.00 and well worth it. You will receive a tracking# so you can go online and confirm delivery. Be sure to send any responses requested by the USCIS at least one week or more before the deadline. Also, make a copy of everything you send to the USCIS including the initial application, supporting documents, Money Order and all follow-up responses before sending to the USCIS and never send originals! Good luck!
Immigration How To:
How Do I Send My Papers To Immigration?
This may be especially harsh for those who engage in fake marriages and are denied for marriage fraud, as well as many Immigrants sponsored by family members who file for Residency in the U.S. after their I-94 stay has expired and are no longer eligible to adjust status in the U.S..It’s very important to understand that most adult family members sponsored by parents or siblings, who’s legal status in the U.S. has expired, are not eligible to file for residency in the U.S. without a Waiver, even after waiting for many years in the Family Immigrant Visa line. Presently, making the Residency application with the USCIS nearly always results in the receipt of a work permit and social security card, whether or not the applicant is really eligible for residency. It is only once the applicant attends his or her residency interview, that they learn they are not eligible because their I-94 has expired and they receive a denial. Under current Obama policy, no removal action is normally taken against those denied for residency, even though technically, under the law, such Immigrants are deportable. However, once Trump takes office, such denials will likely result in the automatic initiation of removal proceedings against many Immigrants. 

So the best advice is to absolutely avoid entering into a fake marriage, especially out of fear of possible Trump Immigration crack downs. I can guarantee that not only will you likely be denied a Green Card, but also likely deported and lose all hope of ever returning to the U.S. again. Best to stay safe….wait for real love and only then get married and file for Residency. Similarly, no Immigrant from this day forward should ever apply for any Immigration benefit without having confirmation by an Immigration attorney of his or her eligibility. Understand that there is a big difference between simply filing for residency and actually being eligible for and receiving it. In all cases, the USCIS will accept your application fee and issue a receipt, that does not in any way mean your case will be approved. 

Most Importantly, avoid immigration services and paralegals, since they often do not understand Immigration regulations or simply want to take your money and file Immigration applications that they know the Immigrant is not eligible for. Going forward, these kinds reckless Immigration applications will likely result in tragic consequences after January 2017. There is no excuse now to remain ignorant about Immigration issues, or listen to advice from your friends or family – who have no idea what they are talking about. 

Remember, doing nothing is much safer than filing for something you are not eligible for, since as soon as you apply for something, you immediately put yourself on the USCIS “radar”, when otherwise, you would have remained safely “anonymous”. 
Be smart, educate yourself, have a free consultation with a qualified Immigration attorney before you file any application, even if you plan on filing the case yourself. We are here as a resource and most of us welcome the opportunity to review your Immigration circumstances for free and give you the best advice possible, so you don’t get yourself in an Immigration mess you won’t be able to get yourself out of. Be safe and have a wonderful 2017!

USCIS Agrees To “Grace Period” Before Requiring New Immigration Forms
Without notice to the public, on December 23, 2016, the USCIS announced that it had revised a large number of new Immigration forms, would only accept the new versions beginning December 23, 2016, and would reject all older versions of the forms.

This action led to widespread criticism from the legal community and resulted in the USCIS backtracking and agreeing to accept older versions of Immigration forms until February 21, 2017. The only exception is the new Naturalization (Form N-400) which must now be filed using the 12/23/16 edition.