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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2021 
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
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
  Immigration News & Updates              
Immigration How To:
How Do I Change My Address With Immigration?
Questions About Immigration? We have the answers!
We Are Here To Help, Call us now for a FREE consultation (954) 382-5378
Question: I am a citizen and filed for my 26 year old daughter in 2017. Against my advice, she got married in 2018 to a boy that our family does not approve of. Because of this, her immigration case also got delayed by many years. Now she is getting a divorce and we are so happy about that, since he does not have a good character and associates with the wrong sort of people. We want to know how this will affect her immigration case. Do I need to file for her again once she is single? How long will her case take now? Can you please take it over and let us know what needs to be done, thank you.
Biden Immigration Plan Provides Protection For Dreamers 
And Proposes Sweeping Amnesty Program For Immigrants!

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
 POSTING DATE: January 25, 2021
Answer: Not to worry, the Immigration Family petition (I-130) you filed for your daughter in 2017 is still valid, since she got married after you became a U.S. Citizen. When you filed the initial I-130 to sponsor your adult daughter, her case was in the F1 category for unmarried sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens (a 6 year waiting line). Once she got married, her eligibility moved down to the F3 category for married sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens, which includes spouses & minor children under age 21 (a waiting line of about 12 years). Now that your daughter will be divorced soon, she technically moves back to the F1 category where she started. The National Visa Center (NVC), the government agency which takes care of preparing cases for consular processing, is not aware that your daughter married or that she is divorcing. Once consular processing begins for her in 2023 we will provide the NVC with all the documentation required, including a copy of her certified divorce decree to prove that even though she married, she legally divorced and is eligible to immigrate in the F1 category. I hope this is helpful to you.
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As expected, soon after taking office, President Biden signed executive orders on a range of topics, including immigration measures to reverse Trump’s immigration bans, protect Dreamers and propose legislation to provide legal status to millions of immigrants in the U.S..

Even though several of the orders are broad in scope and short on details, the Biden administration message is clear: immigrants and their contributions to our country are vital and the President is directing his agencies to make policy changes which reflect that. In keeping with these sentiments, Biden’s proposal seeks to recognize that America is a nation of immigrants by changing the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in our immigration laws. 
Trump Issues DED Instead of TPS Status To Venezuelans 
To Prevent Them From Getting Green Cards
American Immigration 
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U.S. Consulates Slowly Reopen Operations, 
Based Upon Local Covid-19 Conditions 
Most U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide have been on reduced staffing and operations since the pandemic began last March. And while some have begun to slowly reopen in a phased resumption of routine visa services, many still remain very limited, processing only emergency cases. The speed of reopening and level of services offered by Consulates and Embassies depends upon Covid-19 conditions in each country. Posts which have reopened are giving priority to U.S. citizen services and immigrant visas for their spouses and children. Visa processing gives priority to nonimmigrant travelers with emergency travel needs, foreign diplomats, and others, including healthcare workers coming to the U.S. to assist with the pandemic response. 
In a wimpy move, Trump issued DED (Deferred Enforced Departure) status to Venezuelans on his way out the door, rather than granting them the full benefits of TPS (Temporary Protected Status), which had long been sought. Trump had refused to issue TPS status to Venezuelans during the four years of his administration and only provided this half measure just before leaving office as a small “token”, since many Venezuelans in Florida voted for Trump. Biden will likely provide full TPS status to Venezuelans which would make them eligible for green cards under any comprehensive immigration plan that makes it through congress.

The new government policy going forward will be kinder and gentler, emphasizing protections for immigrants, rather than enforcement. As a start, most immigrants with final order of deportation will be given at least a 100-day reprieve while cases and policies are reviewed.

Here’s a quick review of a few Executive Orders and Immigration proposals issued last week:

Executive Orders: These measures are immediate and do not require Congressional approval.

Protection for “Dreamers” Directing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take action to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides immigration protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. The Order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, to “ take all actions he deems appropriate, consistent with applicable law, to preserve and fortify DACA” . This mandate appears broad in scope and may seek to expand the DACA program to include children who were brought to the U.S. after the effective date of Obama’s original program. We expect details to be provided in the coming weeks, so just hold on a little bit longer.

Reversal of the “Muslim Ban”. Immediately reversing the travel ban ordered by Trump against primarily to various Muslim majority countries. Meaning that nationals of countries on the previous banned list may now travel legally to the U.S., subject to covid-19 restrictions

New Immigration Enforcement Priorities: Directing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to set new priorities for enforcement efforts which do not focus on law abiding immigrants and only apply to those with serious criminal convictions. This means that immigrants without legal status in the U.S. will no longer be targeted by ICE and other agencies. A person’s Immigration status should no longer be an issue in any official proceeding other than those involving criminal convictions. 
The next priority for services are foreign national students and nonimmigrant workers , followed by routine nonimmigrant and immigrant visa cases, once post resources are available and local conditions are safe. Visit the Embassy website in your country to determine the current level of operations.

State Department Announcement about phased resumption of services
Question: I am American born so I don’t know much about immigration. I have been dating my girlfriend for a few years and until recently she was on a student visa attending the local community college. Once she graduated and her visa ended, she applied for some kind of work document and last month she got a denial and it said that she had to leave the U.S. in 30 days. We had been planning to marry this summer, but obviously due to this development, I don’t want to wait and jeopardize her immigration status here. We have an appointment to get married next week at the courthouse. What we need to know is whether she will have to leave the U.S. as the Department of Homeland Security says and the consequences for her if she does, meaning how will she get back in the U.S.. Alternatively, if she stays, what would the penalties be? Is it possible for you to get this cleared up for her so that she can stay in the country and we can do her immigration process here? We really appreciate your help.
Answer: Since your soon-to-be new wife entered the U.S. legally, even though her case was denied by the USCIS, she is not required to leave the U.S., as long as you marry and her residency case is filed. Most USCIS denial letters state that the applicant must leave the U.S., but that does not apply in her case. There is no penalty if she stays and goes through her residency process in the U.S.. Once her residency case is filed, it can take 4-6 weeks to receive the residency receipts. At that point, she has legal proof that she is processing for her residency and may stay in the U.S. until she receives her green card. From there, it is currently taking about 3-4+ months to receive her biometrics appointment to do her fingerprints and another several months to receive her work and travel permit. Hopefully processing delays will soon be reduced by the Biden administration. Depending upon where you live, it can take another 4-6 months to receive her residency interview, then another 15-30 days to get her green card. I’ve attached a questionnaire and document list for you. Please let me know when you have everything together and we will start her process.
Question: I have a question for you about filing for my mom. She has been visiting me several months and I just had my first baby and want her to stay here with me. I have my green card and filed for my citizenship last month. She does not want to stay without some kind of immigration status so I was wondering if I can file immigration papers for her now showing that I filed for my citizenship and its being processed, since I will have my citizenship by the time her green card case is complete? Will immigration give her some kind of work permit and will she get a social security number? Sorry for so many questions.
Answer: That is a good question. It is very important to understand that all eligibility requirements must be met by both the sponsor and beneficiary, at the time of filing the petition. That means that you must prove at the time you submit the case for your mother, that you are a U.S. citizen, not that you will be soon. If you were to file the I-130 to sponsor your mother, the case would be rejected, or denied and you would lose your filing fees. However, once you are a U.S. citizen, even if your mother has overstayed her authorized period in the U.S., she is considered as an “immediate relative” and is forgiven for the violation and still eligible to obtain her green card. So for now, just wait until you have her Naturalization Certificate and then file to sponsor your mom and she can file for her adjustment of status at the same time.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Be Sure To Update Your Social Security Immigration Records 
Once You Become a U.S. Resident And Then Citizen

Immigrants often receive a Social Security Card for many reasons, for instance while working on OPT after college graduation, while working on a work visa such as an H-1B, etc. However, those types of Social Security cards require USCIS authorization in order to work. Therefore, once an immigrant becomes a U.S. Resident, Social Security Administration Records need to be updated so that the Social Security records and card allow unrestricted employment, without the need for USCIS authorization. 
Similarly, once a U.S. Resident Naturalizes and becomes a U.S. Citizen, Social Security records need to be updated to reflect the new Citizenship in order to later be eligible for certain Social Security benefits.

Updating Your Immigration Status In Social Security Administration Records 

To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security card and take your current Social Security card, Naturalization Certificate, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. Due to Covid-19, you need to make an appointment, which can be very difficult to get. So once the pandemic has subsided, make it a priority to get it done.

The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions. Learn more about how to update your records: 
Tips from the Social Security Administration
Always Do An Address Change With the USCIS When You Move

Immigration regulations require that all immigrants change their address with the USCIS within 10 days of moving. This is done by changing your address on the USCIS website electronically. For those with cases pending with the USCIS, including family petitions, adjustment of status, work authorization, etc, not only must you change your address online, but as a safeguard through the USCIS 800 number as well. 
The reason is that even though your address is changed in the general USCIS database through the electronic online filing, this does not necessarily change your address in the database for any of your pending cases. So, as an additional measure, here are the instructions on changing your address with the USCIS:

** For those with pending cases, have your I-797 Notice of Action Receipt available for each case type.

1) Change Address on the USCIS Website: Go online to the USCIS Address Change page and complete and file the form for each pending case. Print out a copy of the filed form for your records and write the filing date on it. 

2) Call the USCIS 800#: Call the USCIS to notify them of the address change at 800-375-5283 and give them all your case numbers so they can confirm the change has been made in all the databases.
Immigration Proposals:  
Residency & Early Naturalization for Dreamers/TPS status holders & Farmworkers: If the law is passed, qualifying Dreamers, TPS holders and farmworkers who were in the U.S. on or before January 1, 2021 will be eligible to apply for green cards (U.S. residency) and then expedited Naturalization (U.S. Citizenship) in three years. Some Applicants who were deported on or after January 20, 2017 may qualify as well.

Amnesty for all Immigrants in the U.S.: If this becomes law, most immigrants in the U.S. who do not have legal status would be eligible to obtain temporary legal immigration status including work and travel permits. They would be able to apply for U.S. residency (a green card) after holding temporary status for five years, then eventual U.S. Citizenship (likely after five years). Those who are eligible would need to show that they have paid their taxes and have had background checks. There may also be some sort of penalty required similar to those in the past, perhaps $1,000 per person, but we have no way of knowing the details at this time. This means that nearly all immigrants without legal immigration status currently inside the U.S. would qualify, perhaps except those who are in legal visa status as of January 1, 2021. 

Reuniting Families By Eliminating Long Family Waiting Lines And Allowing Immigrating Family Members To Wait Inside the U.S. During the Residency Process: If this becomes law, the entire family immigration system would change, including reducing waiting times for family members sponsored by U.S. citizens and residents to immigrate to the U.S.. For instance, currently, adult, single children of citizens must wait for about six years to immigrate and up to 14 years or more for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens. Under the proposal, more family members would be allowed to immigrate each year, causing the waiting lines to shrink. Further, the measure would allow immigrants who have approved family-sponsorship petitions to come to the U.S. and live and work here during the residency process and to eliminate the so-called “3 and 10-year bars,” which penalize family members who have overstayed in the U.S. and then left. 

Eliminate Long Waiting Times for Employment-based Immigrants to Receive Green Cards: by putting unused visas back in the system and eliminating the per-country limit for employment-based green cards. This means that once an employer sponsors a qualifying immigrant, there will be no waiting line to file for residency.

Work Permits for Spouses of H-1B Holders and Prevent Children From Aging Out: this would allow spouses on H-4 dependent visas to with work authorization and prevent dependent children who turn age 21 from being forced to change to another visa status.

These immigration proposals all depend upon the Congress and the legislative process, which takes time and is never simple. Republican’s are already rejecting the plan and if the measure has any chance of passing, there will be much negotiation required. So, stay tuned…. 

Read the Biden Administration Fact Sheet On Immigration Reform
FACT SHEET: President Biden Sends Immigration Bill to Congress as Part of His Commitment to Modernize our Immigration System | President-Elect Joe Biden 
​DACA Protections
These measures are proposals which will be submitted to Congress in the form of a legislative Bill, to make comprehensive changes to America’s immigration system and allow immigrants in the U.S. to legalize their immigration status. However, since the Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate, the final immigration law may be less generous than Biden’s proposals: