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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: OCTOBER 17, 2016
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2016
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Questions & Answers
Question: I had my U.S. Citizen sister file for my immigration papers in 2010. I was single when she filed for me, now I’m getting married by the end of this year. My question is whether my upcoming marriage will delay my immigration case.
This Week's Immigration News
New Department of State Photograph Requirements
Begin November 1st!
Answer: Under Immigration regulations, brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens are in a category called F4, which includes the sibling, his or her spouse and all minor children (under age 21). As a result, any spouse or child the foreign sibling acquired after the U.S. Citizen’s sibling files the immigration petition, will be automatically included and allowed to immigrate to the U.S.. Therefore, your upcoming marriage will not have any bad consequences on the Immigrant petition filed on your behalf by your U.S. Citizen sister. Once the immigration process is in the final stages, approximately 12-14 years after the case is filed, your U.S. Citizen sister can notify the National Visa Center that you have married and provide all the relevant information including Birth and Marriage Certificates for your spouse and children. I hope this is helpful.
The Department of State (DOS) recently changed it photo requirements for all visa applicants. Under the new policy, beginning November 1, 2016, the (DOS) will no longer accept photographs of applicants wearing eyeglasses.
This change is being made to enhance the quality of digital scanning and facial recognition technology. There is an exception for medical necessity, when an Applicant has undergone recent eye surgery, which is accompanied by a signed letter from the doctor. Read the DOS Notice
Naturalization Filing Reminder: No Passport Photos Required
Under a new USCIS policy, no passport photos are required to be submitted with Naturalization applications filed in the U.S. (N-400). This new policy requires that instead, all Applicants are required to have their biometric photos and fingerprints taken at a local USCIS support center.
This includes applicants 75 years or older, however they are not required to pay the biometrics fee.
While all other Immigration Applications must be paid using a Check or Money Order, USCIS regulations allow Residents to pay Naturalization filing fees using a credit card. To pay for your application using your credit card:
1) Complete and printout Form G-1450 credit card authorization from the USCIS website 2) You can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover credit cards and gift cards 3) Complete and printout Form G-1145 from the USCIS website (in order to receive either Text or Email notification from the USCIS once it receives your application) 4) Place Form G-1450, then Form G-1145 it on top of your Naturalization Form N-400 application and mail to the USCIS using USPS Priority Mail or another courier that can be tracked.
Immigration Tips: Pay Your Naturalization Application Filing Fees
Using Your Credit Card
Once the USCIS receives your application, you will receive a Text/Email notification and I-797 Receipt in 10 days or so. Once you receive your Receipt, you can sign up for case status updates on the USCIS website “My Case”.
The USCIS has provided the following dates for Naturalization Swearing-In Ceremonies scheduled at some South Florida offices in October:
Miami Field Office –October 21 and 28
Hialeah Field Office – October 29
Kendall Field Office –October 21
Oakland Park Field Office – 28
USCIS Announces Upcoming Naturalization Ceremonies South Florida Offices
Question: Good afternoon. My mom filed for me in 2012. I’m 28 years old, how much more time do I have to wait?
Answer: The time that it takes for an adult child to immigrate to the U.S. depends upon several factors. First, whether the adult is the child of a U.S. Resident or U.S. Citizen. For adult children of U.S. Citizens, it takes about 7-8 years waiting time for single children and 12-13 years or more if married. For adult children of U.S. Resident s, only those that are single are eligible, and the waiting time is approximately 6-7 years. There is no immigration category for married children of U.S. Residents. So to answer your question, you’ll need to let me know whether your mother is a Resident or Citizen and whether you are single or married.
Question: I have my Green Card through my parents and I can apply for my Citizenship in 2 more years. The problem is that I have my girlfriend who lives in Colombia and we are really suffering with me living here and she living there. She has a visa and travels back and forth, but it’s getting really expensive. My question is what is the quickest way to bring her here to immigrate? What about a fiancée visa? Or should we get married here or there? If we get married here and apply for her papers I know it`ll take longer since I`m not a citizen, but in the meantime will she be able to work legally in the US?
Answer: That is a great question. It’s really important to understand that spouses of Resident s are not allowed to stay inside or work in the U.S. (unless they are on another legal visa). If they do, they will be ineligible to adjust status in the U.S. to Residency, until the Resident spouse becomes a U.S. Citizen. There is a big difference between the rights spouses of citizens have compared to those of Residents (Green Card holders). Residents cannot petition for fiancées, whereas U.S. Citizens can. In your situation, the quickest way is for you to get married (either here or there) and have a spousal case filed on your wife’s behalf as soon as possible so that she can get his place in the “visa line”. The visa line for spouses of Resident s is now about 1 ½ years, so the sooner she is in the line, the better. There is no way for her to legally stay in the U.S. for extended periods, unless she is eligible on her own for a work, student or other visa. Let me know if you want us to handle her residency case so that it is filed and processed properly so that she does not have to wait any longer than is necessary
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Read The State Department’s Visa Bulletin
Released For November 2016
The Visa Bulletin released by the State Department each month details the current waiting times for Immigrant Visas in Family and Employment Immigrant Petition cases.
You can view the current Visa Bulletin by clicking on the link below:
Immigration How To:
How Do I know If I Need To File An Affidavit of Support?
Affidavits of Support - What Are They And Who Needs Them
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.
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.
Good to know…