Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: January 28,  2019
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2019 
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
Question: I was born an american, then met my husband when I was 22 and moved with him to Bahamas. We just had my son who is 7 weeks old and we want to know what we have to do to get him his status in the us. We are a little confused about how to go about that, I mean do I have to file for his residency first or citizenship and what is the process?
Answer: In your case, the process is very straightforward. You can register your son’s birth at the U.S. Embassy to be a U.S. Citizen. For a U.S. Citizen parent married to a foreign national to qualify under immigration regulations to transmit automatic U.S. Citizenship to a child born abroad, the parent must show that they were physically present in the U. S. for at least 5 years, 2 of which were after age 14, before the child was born. For children age 18 and under, parents can simply register with the embassy. For children over age 18, an application for a certificate of citizenship must be requested. Since you clearly meet these requirements and your son is only 7 weeks old, you can simply file a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), then apply for his U.S. Passport.

Application For Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States



Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Immigration How To:
How Do I   Answer The Letter I Received From Immigration?
Little-Known Immigration Rule Requires 
Green Card Renewal On Child’s 14th Birthday
Tips on Responding To A USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE) 

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter that the USCIS officer sends you to request additional information or documentation on your application. RFE requests are generally most frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility.

Responding to an RFE from the USCIS

Always read the RFE letter very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine and some are simple and easy to understand. 
Reminder – Medical Examinations Must Be Submitted 
Within 60 Days Of Issuance To Be Valid 
Ten Important Tips For Filing Immigration Applications
Immigration regulations can be obscure, seem mysterious and are often complicated. So it’s nice to come across a rule which is actually beneficial and saves you money! Under a little-known law, once a U.S. Resident child turns age 14, a Green Card renewal must be filed within 30 days. 

This special requirement exists because children under age 14 are exempt from the fingerprinting, so once a child reaches age 14, he or she must provide biometrics (fingerprints) as part of the renewal process. However in practice, most parents do not follow the rule to renew their children’s Green Cards and no penalty is applied by the USCIS for failure to do so. 
Question: Me and my wife who is from Canada recently got married and want to file for her immigration status. I am a usa citizen. My question is about her 20 years old daughter from a previous marriage. Can I file for her or will it be her mother? Thanks.
Late last year, the USCIS announced a policy change for the medical examination required for Residency cases. Since November 1, 2018, medical examinations (form I-693) are valid for two years from the date signed by the doctor. However, the new policy also added a restriction on validity of the exam prior to submission, requiring that medical exams be submitted to the USCIS within 60 days of issuance (signature date). Medical exams submitted later than 60 days from the date of issuance are rejected. As a result, these days, it’s always best to have the medical exam performed just prior to residency case submission (the last thing on your check-off list). The change in policy is due in part to extremely lengthy USCIS residency case processing, often taking from one to two years in some cases. 

Under the prior policy, medical exams were only valid for one year, which routinely required residency applicants to obtain a new medical exam to take to their scheduled residency interview. 
But what if there were a benefit to filing a renewal on your child’s 14th birthday? Well there is ….to a lucky few! The USCIS actually waives the application fee for Green Card renewal applications filed for children within 30 days of their 14th birthday, as long as the child’s Green Card will expire after the child turns age 16. Strange, but true. 

The catch is that there is only a very short 30 day period in which the renewal can be filed without paying the USCIS filing fee and those exact requirements must be met. For instance, if a child is turning age 14, but their Green Card expires when the child is 15, the filing fee would not be waived. Similarly, if the child has turned age 14 and you filed after 30 days, the fee is not waived. In all cases the biometrics fee of $85 must still be paid, but you will still be saving $455 for the regular renewal fee. Good to know! 
USCIS I-90 green card renewal Information
It’s important to note that Residency applicants who receive interview notices should always check the edition date on their previously submitted medical exam, to ensure that it has the date of 10/19/17, since as of January 2, 2018, that is the only edition the USCIS will accept. Medicals with any prior dates will have to be updated. What that means is that if an applicant attends his or her immigration interview and the medical exam previously submitted has an early edition date, the officer will require that a new medical be submitted and issue a written request. This may not seem very consequential, but in fact, it can be the difference between receiving the Green Card in a week, vs three+ months, since once the updated medical is submitted, it can then take some 30-60 days or more for the case to be approved. The way to avoid this is to have your medical updated and take the new medical with you to the interview in a sealed envelope. That way, the case can be approved the same day!

Read the new USCIS medical exam policy announcement 
To Appeal Or Not To Appeal, That Is The Question!
As most are aware, immigration application denials are much more common these days than in the past, and are often issued without even allowing an applicant the chance to provide additional evidence to prove eligibility. Even worse, most applicants receiving denials who have fallen out of legal immigration status, are now also at risk for deportation under the new NTA rule.
As a result, it’s important to understand the options available once a case is denied and whether filing for review is appropriate. Under the new NTA rule, the USCIS will hold off on issuing a deportation notice for at least 33 days, giving the applicant a chance to file a motion or appeal (for review). If the applicant files for review, the USCIS will not take any further action until the review process is complete. This provides applicants with the opportunity to file a motion or appeal and wait for a decision, which can take 3 to 12 months depending upon the case type, buying some precious time before the issuance of an NTA. 

Many types of immigration case denials can be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 33 days, and those which cannot, can still be requested for review or reconsideration. And with so much on the line, it’s important to know the difference between the options for review and what they require. An appeal is based upon the argument that the denial was based upon either an error in the application of the law or the officer’s interpretation of law to the facts of a case. A motion can either be requested to reopen a case, based upon new facts or documents not available to have been previously submitted with the original application or to reconsider the case, due to the USCIS having misapplied or misinterpreted the law and/or facts of the case or both. For practical purposes, filing an appeal or request for review or reconsideration does not mean that it will be approved and the USCIS filing fee is $675. But, given the current risks involved in USCIS denials and deportation, the risk may be well worth it, particularly in cases where an applicant is clearly eligible, but did not provide adequate documentation with the immigration application, or provided requested information after the USCIS deadline (with a reasonable explanation) which can now be provided. Ironically, when an appeal or motion is filed, it’s frequently the same USCIS officer who originally denied the case, that gets to review or reconsider the case and either affirm the original denial or reverse it and approve the case. In an appeal case, if the USCIS officer decides not to approve the case, the appeal will automatically be sent to the AAO or BIA for a final decision. For Motions, the officer’s decision not to reopen or reconsider is final. Ultimately, the filing of an appeal or motion is important and should be well prepare and properly submitted. As a result, it often best to seek immigration advice from a qualified attorney regarding eligibility for any immigration application BEFORE filing and if denied, guidance on whether or not to proceed with an appeal or motion. You can get free information about filing Appeals and Motions by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.

USCIS Cases Available for appeal and motions
USCIS Appeals and Motions Q & A
Form I-290B
USCIS Begins Issuing Deportation Notices Under New Policy October 1st

Answer: You can sponsor your wife for U.S. Residency, but unfortunately not her daughter. Immigration regulations require that the marriage between the foreign national spouse and U.S. Citizen or Resident spouse takes place before the stepchild reaches age 18, in order for the child to be sponsored. However, once your wife obtains her residency, she can sponsor her daughter, but the waiting line is about 7 years. Your wife might consider having her daughter apply for an F-1 student visa and study in the U.S. so she can be here with you. Right now, depending upon where you live, it can take from one to two years for your wife to obtain her Green Card. Let us know if you want us to handle your wife’s residency case.
Question: Hi there, I received my conditional green card late last year through my citizen husband. My son who is 22 lives in Jamaica is in medical school and is single. Can I file for him to immigrate here now or must I get my permanent green card first? I know it takes a few years so I want to start early if I can.
Answer: Immigration regulations allow conditional residents to sponsor their children as soon as they receive their initial conditional residency. In your case, you can file for your son now in the F2B category, for adult, single children of U.S. Residents, where the waiting time is about 7 years. As a conditional resident, you and your U.S. Citizen spouse will need to file the Removal of Conditions on Residency petition (form I-751) 1 year and 9 months after the date you obtained your conditional residency. You must submit extensive documentation to the USCIS to prove that you and you husband continue to be in a bona fide (real) marriage. This documentation should include joint tax returns, joint bank accounts, joint car insurance, joint utility bills, Drivers Licenses showing the same address, etc. If you are approved, your son would remain eligible to immigrate, however, if you are denied, his immigration petition would no longer be valid.
Now more than ever, you need to be extra careful about filing any immigration application with the USCIS. Before filing your Immigration application, use the following tips to ensure proper filing.

1) Eligibility: Before filing any application with the USCIS make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. This is vital now that an application denial can lead to deportation.

2) Use the correct Form: Be sure you have the most current edition of the form. Never pay for forms, they are free. To download the current edition of each form, go to and click on the Forms link, then choose your form. 
3) Supporting Documents: Make sure and include all required documents so your case is not delayed. Read the Form Instructions and enclose copies of the required supporting documents listed. Never send originals

4) Foreign Language Documents: All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation and “Certificate of Translation” signed by the translator, attesting to the fact that they are fluent in the foreign language and English. Example: I [name of translator], certify that I am fluent in the English and [type in name of foreign language, for instance, Spanish] languages, and that the above is an accurate translation of the attached document. Have the translator sign, date and type in his or her address. Note that an Applicant, family member or anyone else can be the translator, you do not need a certified translator or any other special certification.

5) Copies: Keep copies of every page of your signed application, all supporting documents and check/money order for your records.

6) Filing Fees: Make sure the USCIS filing fee is correct. Go online to and click on the Forms link to see the current filing fee for each form. Pay particular attention to applications which require biometrics fees in addition to the regular filing fees. You can pay your fees by regular personal check, Cashier’s Check, Money Orders, Credit Cards, Debit Cards and even Gift Cards. If using a card, you will need to download and complete form G-1450. However, be very careful about making sure that you have enough funds in the card for the filing fees and fill out a separate G-1450 form for the filing fee for each separate form. For instance, if your residency application is based upon marriage, you’ll need to fill out a form G-1450 for the form I-485 for $1,225 and a separate one for form I-130 $535. You can get link to the list of fees for all the forms by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.

7) Sending your application: Use Fed-ex or USCIS Priority Mail or Express Mail with tracking. Be sure to get delivery confirmation a few days after you send your application, to confirm it was received and save the confirmation for your records. 

8) Sign-up for E-Notification: Always file Form G-1145 with your application (put it on top of your forms), to receive a text message or email e-notification confirming that the application was received and accepted for processing by the USCIS along with the case receipt number(s). 

9) Sign-up for E-Mail Case Updates: Once you receive your USCIS Receipt (called I-797 Notice of Action) – usually in about 10 days, go online to and click on “Check your case status” then sign-up for email updates on your case using your case number.

10) Check USCIS Processing Times: Go to and click on “Check your case status” then scroll down and click on “USCIS Processing Times Information” and click on the Service Center or office where your case is processing to see the current processing times for your application type.  

USCIS Overview of Paying Filing Fees
Current USCIS Filing Fees

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter that the USCIS officer sends you to request additional information or documentation on your application. RFE requests are generally most frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility.

Responding to an RFE from the USCIS

Always read the RFE letter very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine and some are simple and easy to understand. For more complicated RFE letters, you may want to retain an immigration attorney to assist you. Once you have determined what the letter is requesting, be sure to provide the exact document requested. For instance, an officer may request a “long form” of a Birth Certificate. If you respond that you do not have one, your case will likely be denied. The appropriate action to take is to request one from the departmental authority in your country of birth.

How much time do I have to respond to an RFE?

Depending on the type of case, you may have from 33 days to 87 days to respond so that the USCIS receives your response before the expiration date. If you fail to respond or filed after the deadline, your case will likely be denied. To be on the safe side, you should always send your response by Express or Priority Mail and get a delivery confirmation. Never send any communications to the USCIS via Certified Mail, which takes much longer and can risk your response being received late. Finally, remember that your response to the USCIS officers request must be RECEIVED by the USCIS ON or BEFORE the deadline. Responses received even one day late result in complete case denials. 

After I respond-what happens next?

Depending upon the case, it could take up to 60 days or more. You can check the online status to see if it is stating that your RFE response has been received, or call the USCIS 800# to ask if the computer show the USCIS received it. For adjustment case (I-485) requests, the officer may wait to receive your response before continuing processing of your Work Authorization application which will cause delays in its issuance. To avoid this, send your response as soon as possible and do not wait until you get near the deadline in the letter.