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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: JANUARY 9, 2016
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2016
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Questions & Answers
Question: Dear attorney, Happy New Year! I got married to my American wife early in 2015 and we filed for my immigration papers. In July of 2015 I got my work permit and in September we went to our marriage interview. We were very disappointed at the interview because the officer said we hadn’t proved our marriage because we only brought a few of our papers like current bank statement and marriage certificate. But we didn’t know we needed more. We offered to go home and bring the other papers back but the officer told us we would hear from them in 90 days about what other documents they needed. As of now its been past 3 months already and we haven’t got anything. We are a real couple and we just want to finish this immigration process so we can start planning for our future. Can you please tell us what we need to do now? Thanks.
Answer: Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is a very common problem in marriage immigration cases when a couple attends the USCIS interview and does not have sufficient marital documentation to prove a “real marriage”. More and more the USCIS is requiring that extensive documentation be brought by the couple to the interview to prove that the marriage is real and not just for immigration purposes. In some cases, the USCIS may reschedule the couple for a second interview, often 6 months and up to a year later, thus delaying Residency approval unnecessarily. Generally, the USCIS current policy is to provide the couple with a list of additional documents requested during the initial Residency Interview, which gives instructions for the couple to send the additional documents to the officer by a certain deadline. Since you did not receive that list, you should make an INFOPASS appointment by going online to: http://infopass.uscis.gov/ at your local USCIS office to speak to an information officer about your case. You and your wife should both go and tell the officer its been more than 90 days since your interview and you never received a list of additional documents to provide in your case. Make a request that the officer in charge of your case either approves your case, or issues you a letter requesting further documents the officer might need to make a decision. If you have not received your Green Card or a letter from the USCIS within 30 days after the INFOPASS, make another appointment.
Finally, if you have not gotten your case resolved by March of this year, your wife can contact her Congressional Office for assistance in getting your case moving. And in the future, make sure that you and your wife fully understand what will be expected of you if you do receive a request for more documents or a second interview and begin creating an extensive paper trail of your relationship with a joint bank account, utilities, etc. to be fully prepared. You can contact our office for information on how to best begin preparing now for your next interview.
This Week's Immigration News
USCIS Issues Update to Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence
The USCIS has updated Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence for Conditional Resident spouses of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents. The new edition is dated 11/23/15. Beginning February 29, 2016, only the new, revised form will be accepted.
As a result, Applicants should begin using the new form as soon as possible to avoid USCIS case rejection.
Read the new form I-751and Instructions:
Update: President’s Executive Actions on Immigration -
Supreme Court Review
Over the Christmas holiday, the State of Texas filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting that the court deny the Obama Administration’s request to review the case. The Justice Department had filed a request for review with the Supreme Court recently, in order to lift the hold placed on the programs by a Texas Federal judge, so that the President’s Executive Orders on Immigration could go forward and be implemented throughout the U.S..
Executive Action Programs being blocked by the Texas judge’s Order include the expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) for Dreamers and new DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) programs, which would benefit an estimated 5 million immigrants, most of whom are the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Under these programs, DACA and DAPA immigrants would be eligible for Work Permits, Driver's Licenses, Social Security, Earned Income Tax Credit, unemployment insurance, Medicare and other benefits.
The Supreme Court may hear the case as early as April 2016 and issue its decision by June. Stay tuned….
USCIS Issues Alert To Those Recently Affected by Severe Weather
The USCIS has issued an alert to those affected by the recent severe weather and flooding in areas of the Southern and Midwestern U.S. that immigration relief measures may be available for those affected by unforeseen circumstances.
The relief may include allowing Applicants to submit Change of Status or Extension applications late (filed after the authorized period of admission has expired) if the delay was caused by the weather conditions and other allowances to those in affected areas, including:
-Re-parole of individuals previously granted parole by USCIS.
-Expedited processing of advance parole requests (Travel Permit) and employment authorization (Work Permits), where appropriate;
-Expedited adjudication of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
-Consideration of fee waivers due to an inability to pay;
-Assistance for those who received a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny but were unable to appear for an interview, submit evidence or respond in a timely manner;
-Replacement of lost or damaged immigration or travel documents issued by USCIS, such as a Permanent Resident Card (Green Card);
-Rescheduling of a biometrics appointments;
Those affected should contact the National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to specifically request consideration. Such requests must include an explanation of how the severe weather created a need for the requested relief.
View the USCIS Alert and find out how to apply:
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Take the Naturalization Self Test
Immigration How To:
How Do I Change My Social Security Immigration Records?
To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security card and take your current card, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. 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. To learn more about changing your Social Security records, click on the link below: