Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: January 29,  2018
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2018 
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: My husband and I are Residents. Due to bad circumstances we had a foreclosure on a home we owned a few years ago and the bank sued us and got a judgment, but we don’t even own a home now and certainly don’t have any money to pay it back. The problem is that we need to go to Jamaica for our goddaughters wedding this March and we are afraid that we won’t be allowed back in the U.S. because of the judgment against us. My husband says we won’t be able to get our citizenship if we file for bankruptcy, so that is heavy on our minds as well. Can you please tell us what to do to resolve this problem so we can make sure we can go for the wedding and still be able to return home to the U.S. from our trip safely, bless you.
Answer: Not to worry, there are no negative immigration consequences from 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 get Free advice about filing for bankruptcy and getting out from under your debts in as little as 90 days by calling our office at (954) 382-5378.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Most people know that the K-1 Visa Fiance Visa is used by U.S. Citizens to bring a foreign fiance to the U.S. in order to get married within 90 days and file for Residency to get a Green Card. But many don’t know about the hidden benefits of the law, which allows certain minor children of the foreign Fiance to qualify for Residency, when they would not otherwise be eligible to under the regular Family immigration rule for “Immediate Relatives” (Spouses, Minor Children and Parents). 

Under the “Immediate Relative” law, a minor child of foreign spouse qualifies as a “Step-child” which can be sponsored by the U.S. Citizen or Resident, as long as the marriage to the child’s parent took place before the child turned age 18. One day over age 18 and the child loses the ability to obtain Residency from the Stepparent.
 Little Known Benefits of the Fiance Visa For Minor Children 18 or Older
Obtaining Residency For Parents

Current Immigration regulations allow U.S. citizens to sponsor their parents for “Green Cards”, while Permanent Resident s cannot. For parents of U.S. citizens who are inside the U.S., it does not even matter if the parent is in legal status, as long as the parent entered the U.S. legally (has an expired I-94 card) or is eligible under 245(i). 

Parents are in the special immigration category called “Immediate Relatives” (which includes Spouses and Minor children of U.S. Citizens as well), which gives them preference over other family immigration relationships. 
 Understanding Which Family Members You Can Sponsor, 
Before It’s Too Late!
Now that many Family Immigration categories will be eliminated, its important to know which family members you are eligible to sponsor, before it’s too late. 

To understand that, it important to know that there is a significant difference between which family members can be sponsored by U.S. Citizens, compared with those which can be sponsored by U.S. Residents (Green Card holders)
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Can Sponsor My Parents For A Green Card?
New Trump Immigration Plan Effectively Abolishes Family Immigration System!
The White house released Trump’s Immigration plan late last week amid criticism from his own Republican leadership for his failure to lead on the Immigration DACA debate going on in Congress. With a government “shutdown” fast approaching on February 8th, Political leaders are scrambling to find a solution to the Immigration dilemma plaguing Congress since Trump took office last January. 

Authored by Trumps “Immigration Czar” Stephen Miller, the major Immigration feature of the plan calls for the total elimination of all Family Immigration (derogatorily called “Chain Migration”), except for Spouses and Minor children, in exchange for legalization and path to Citizenship for some 1.8 million Dreamers. The Diversity Visa program will also be cancelled. White house officials have further told Political leaders that this is a “take it or leave it” deal, no negotiations.
While extreme, it’s not altogether unexpected, since even a Bi-Partisan DACA deal negotiated between Democrats and Republican which was presented to and rejected by Trump earlier this month (for being to weak on “chain migration”), is said to have reduced Family Immigration, by similarly eliminating the ability of U.S. Citizens to sponsor married children and their families (F3 Immigration category) and Siblings (F4 Immigration category). But of course, Trump’s plan goes even further by terminating sponsorship of Parents and adult single Children as well. 

Like never before in the past, this is a “wake-up-call” to all, that U.S. Immigration sponsorship as we know it will soon be gone. Counting down, there are only twelve days to go for a possible deal on DACA which could potentially include Immigration measures to effectively destroy our current Family Immigration system. 

Take Action Now! Don’t wait until it’s too late and regret it later! 1) Contact both your Democratic and Republican Congresspersons and let them know that you support a permanent DACA program which includes a pathway to Citizenship but STRONGLY OPPOSE any restriction of legal family immigration and DO NOT support changing to a merit-based immigration system and 2) Act quickly to file Immigration applications for Parents, Siblings and adult Children as soon as possible before the final Bill is passed by Congress and signed into law. It’s very important to know that all applications filed with the USCIS BEFORE any Bill is signed into law, remains valid and your loved ones will continue to be eligible to immigrate, even after the Family Immigration category is eliminated. 

Contact your Congressperson
Read Trump’s Immigration Plan
Read More About the Plan:
​New York Times
But under the K-1 Visa, minor children of the Fiance, under age 21 are eligible to be issued a K-2 Visa, which allows them to accompany their parent to the U.S. and obtain a Green Card along with the parent, up until they reach age 21. In this case, there is no requirement that their parent and step parent marry before the child reaches age 18!

Years ago, the K-1 Visa was great because it would expedite the process to bring a fiance to the U.S. in only a few months, so that the couple would not have to be separated for long periods of time. However these days, the K-1 process takes almost as long as a spousal Immigrant Visa, 8 months or so, making it less attractive. As such, the usual advice to U.S. Citizens these days is simply to get married to the foreign fiance in their home country, then file the spousal petition and once approved, the foreign spouse will become a Resident upon entering the U.S.. 

But in cases where the foreign Fiance has one or more children over age 18, but under age 21, the K-1 (Fiance) and K-2 (dependent) visas are a wonderful solution to overcome the problems caused under normal Immigration regulations in establishing the requisite Stepparent/Stepchild relationship before the child turns age 18. In this case, as long as the K-2 child enters the U.S. before age 21, he or she continues to qualify for a Green Card. This visa is only available to Fiances and their minor children under age 21 of a U.S. Citizen (not Resident Green Card holder) and is only for those who are outside the U.S. and have not overstayed previously in the U.S..

Get Free Information about the benefits of the K Fiance Visa, by calling our office at (954) 382-5378.
Here’s how it works:

Currently U.S. Citizens are eligible to sponsor:

1) Spouses, Minor Children and Parents (called "Immediate Relatives")

2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) called Family Immigration category F1

3) Adult Married Sons & Daughters (and their spouses and minor children) called Family Immigration F3

4) Brothers & Sisters (and their spouses and minor children) called Family Immigration category F4

Currently, U.S. Residents are eligible to sponsor:

1) Spouses and Minor Children called Family Immigration category F2A and 

2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) called Family Immigration category F2B

U.S. Residents cannot sponsor thier Parents, Adult Married Sons & Daughters or thier Brothers & Sisters.

You can see the Visa Bulletin released by the State Department each month which gives the approximate waiting times for each family category, or call our office at (954) 382-5378 for Free information about sponsoring your family member or about pending cases you have already filed:

Visa Bulletin

The only drawback of this category is that it is only for the individual parent and does not include any dependents, such as spouses or minor children. Therefore, if the parent has a spouse who is not considered to be your parent (for immigration purposes**see below), he or she would not be able to immigrate along with the parent. The same is true of any minor children of your parent (your brother or sister). This is a harsh rule which often causes difficult choices for parents of U.S. citizens. However, once the parent obtains a Green Card, the parent can then sponsor his or her children and if applicable, a spouse. **Step-parents are considered to qualify as “parents” for immigration purposes, as long as the step-parent relationship was established before the child (now U.S. citizen) reached the age of 18. 

Question: I am an American citizen and have a boyfriend who lives in Trinidad. We are a same sex couple and we met a few years ago when we were both on vacation in Europe on a tour. We want to get married, but same sex marriage is illegal in his country. He tried to get a visitor visa to the U.S. so he could come to visit me, but it got denied last month. We want to know what we should do in order to get married. My question is whether my boyfriend can apply for a fiancé visa so he can come here and we can get married. Is that possible?
Answer: Yes, same sex marriage is now legal in every state in the U.S., and 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 fiancé must be a U.S. Citizen and apply for a fiancé visa on the foreign national’s behalf. 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 spouse's Residency. Let us know if you would like our assistance in obtaining your boyfriend's Fiancé visa. Give me a call at 954-382-5378 for a free consultation.