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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
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 have had my Dreamer status and work permit for a year now. I want to know if I can get a green card when I marry my U.S. citizen boyfriend. I get told often that I need to leave the country to gain a "valid entry" into the U.S.. I'm not sure I believe that. Thank you for reading through my case and offering me an answer to my question. Greatly appreciated.  
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
New Immigrants Report Delays In USCIS Production of Green Cards For Consular Cases
In recent months, Immigrants have been reporting delays in receiving their Green Cards after entering the U.S. with new Residency status. This can cause inconvenience and delays in the issuance of Social Security cards, Driver’s Licenses and other vital services which require proof of U.S. Residency status. And while new Immigrants do receive a stamp in their passports upon entry, as evidence of Residency status, it is not the I-551 stamp (which is official evidence of U.S. Residency). 

For background, once a new Resident enters the U.S., Department of Homeland Security officers at the airport are required to enter the Immigrant’s information in the computer systems which notify the USCIS center to produce the new Green Card. However, in recent months, new Residents are reporting delays in receiving Green Cards, often 3-4 months or more and only after repeated calls to the USCIS 800#. 
Understanding Which Family Members Can Be Sponsored By Whom 
And How Long It Will Take For Them To Immigrate To the U.S. 
I often get questions from U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents alike about which family members they are eligible to sponsor, when they are allowed to initiate the process, how many family members can be sponsored at one time and how long it will be before their loved ones can immigrate to the U.S.

Here’s how it works:

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) F1
3) Adult Married Sons & Daughters (and their spouses and minor children) called F3 and 
4) Brothers & Sisters (and their spouses and minor children) called F4.
Affidavits of Support – 
What are they and who needs them?
U.S. Residents are eligible to sponsor: 

1) Spouses and Minor Children called F2A and 

2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) called F2B. U.S. Residents cannot sponsor their Parents, Adult Married Sons & Daughters or their Brothers & Sisters. If a child who has been sponsored by a Resident marries before the parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the Immigration case is automatically cancelled, even if the child later divorces.

Waiting Times For Family Members in all Countries except Mexico/India & Philippines: 

1) Immediate Relatives (Spouses, Minor Children and Parents of U.S. Citizens), there is no waiting line, just USCIS and consular processing time (approx 8-12 months). 
2) F1 - Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 7-8 years, 
3) F3 -Adult Married Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 12-14 years, 
4) F4 -Brothers & Sisters of U.S. Citizens , the waiting line is approx 13-15 years, 
5) F2A -Spouses and Minor Children of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 1 1/2 years and 
6) F2B -Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 7-8 years.
As a safeguard, new Residents who have not received their Green Card within 30 days should not only call the USCIS 800#, but should additionally make an INFOPASS appointment to go to the local USCIS office in order to have the information officer check the computer to confirm that the order was placed for Green Card production. If it was not, which is increasingly the case, the officer should send the USCIS service center a request to do so. If the Green Card is still not received within 30 days, Residents should contact the nearest Congressional Office to request Congressional Assistance. Generally, patience is required for any case which is being processed by the USCIS, however, in these cases, it is best to be “pro-active”. 

Click on the link below to make an Infopass Appointment or contact your local Congressional Office  for assistance:

Make An INFOPASS Appointment
Contact your Congressional Office
Under current Immigration regulations, once an Immigrant receives U.S. Residency, (even Conditional 2 year Residency through marriage), and similarly when a Resident becomes Naturalized, they are eligible to sponsor any and all family members in any of the qualifying categories. There is no limit on the number of family members which can be sponsored at the same time. For instance, a U.S. Citizen can sponsor an adult, single daughter, a married son and 3 sisters and 2 brothers all at the same time. However, due to the difference in waiting times, each family member be immigrating at different times, depending upon the Family Immigration category. Congressional Immigration reforms in the future may limit the type and amount of family members allowed to immigrate to the U.S., but for now, the number is limitless, so don’t wait until it is too late… 

Learn more about Family Visa waiting lines:

Understanding Family Immigrant Visa Waiting Lines
Answer: Under the current law, a DREAMER with DA status (who did not enter the U.S. legally) is still eligible to obtain a Green Card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen (for love), as long as the DREAMER obtains a travel permit (called “Advance Parole”), leaves the U.S. and then re-enters with a valid entry. Technically once you have re-entered the U.S. you will have made a “legal entry”, then your residency petition can be filed for your Green Card. I hope this is helpful to you.

DREAMERS can get assistance in obtaining Travel Permits and filing for U.S. Residency 
through marriage to a U.S. Citizen by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
The Affidavits of Support must always be filed by the U.S. citizen or Resident for their immigrating family member(s), even if they do not meet the minimum financial guidelines. In such cases, a Joint-Sponsor who does meet the financial requirements can provide an additional Affidavits of Support and will be bound by the same obligations. Joint-Sponsors must be either a Resident or U.S. Citizen, but are not required to be a family member. The sponsor’s obligation lasts until the immigrant either becomes a U.S. citizen, has earned 40 work quarters credited toward Social Security (about ten years of work), dies, or permanently leaves the United States. If the immigrant has already been living in the U.S. and worked legally, earning work credits before applying for the green card, those count toward the 40.

Minor Children (under age 18) of U.S. Citizens who automatically obtain U.S. Citizen upon being granted Residency are not required to have an Affidavit filed on their behalf, but must file a waiver form instead.
In order to sponsor a family member to immigrate to the U.S. to become a Resident (receive a Green Card), all U.S. citizens and Residents must prove that they have the ability to support their foreign relative financially for a period of years. This is required to show the U.S. government that the family member immigrating is not someone likely to immigrate to the U.S. then go collect government assistance (often called "welfare").

 The Affidavit is a legally binding promise by the Sponsor that they will take financial responsibility if the need arises so that their relative will not collect government assistance and if that does occur, the Sponsor will be responsible to reimburse any government agencies from which their immigrant family received financial assistance. 
Immigration How To:
How To Replace A Lost I-94 Card?  
In order to change immigration status inside the U.S. to any other immigrant or non-immigrant visa status, immigration regulations require that a copy of the I-94 be included with the application to establish eligibility. Foreign nationals must prove that they entered the U.S. legally and were inspected by an immigration officer in order to qualify to file for immigration status in the U.S.. Those who did not enter the U.S. legally are generally not entitled to obtain any new immigration status in the U.S., even when married to a U.S. citizen unless a Waiver is obtained.

If your I-94 card is lost, stolen or seriously damaged, you can apply to replace it by filing Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Arrival-Departure Document. You also may file Form I-102 if you wish to receive a replacement I-94 card with corrected information on it — for example, if the immigration officer spelled your name wrong on the initial I-94 card. The nonrefundable filing fee for Form I-102 is $320. It generally takes about 60 days to receive the I-94 replacement card in the mail.

Under the new electronic I-94 system implemented in 2013, international visitors are no longer issued paper I-94 cards upon entry into the U.S.. Instead, individuals are provided with instructions on accessing their I-94 records online and printing the I-94 card out from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. You can visit the CBP site to print out your paper I-94 cards:
Get Your I-94 Printout -U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Good luck!
An I-94 is a small slip of paper which was, until recently issued to all international visitors and visa holders entering the U.S.. Officially called the Arrival/Departure card, the I-94 contained the date of entry into the U.S. as well as the date by which the individual must depart from the U.S.. Often, individuals do not understand how important this little card is until it is too late.