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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2015 
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: Dear Caroly, based on President Obama’s New Immigrant Visa System Policy, can you please confirm, if I am eligible for the said policy. My brother who is a US citizen has filed an I-130 petition for me and my priority date is July, 28 2014. I have a B1/B2 visa. Would it be possible, if I visit United States and apply for adjustment status to U.S. Residency to expedite my case due to this new visa policy. Awaiting on your early response. Kind Regards
Answer: The new Obama program for Immigrant Visas only allows some qualifying family members to immigrate to the U.S. about one year earlier than usual and it only benefits those family members with U.S. visas that can travel to the U.S. legally. Your U.S. Citizen brother filed for in the F4 Immigration Family category for Siblings of U.S. Citizens in July 2014. Right now, there are only visas available for Siblings for February of 2003. It normally takes between 12-14 years to immigrate in the F4 category, so even subtracting one year, you still have 10+ years to wait. 
USCIS Announces Upcoming Naturalization Swearing-In Ceremonies Scheduled For Some South Florida Offices 
The USCIS has released the following dates for upcoming Naturalization Swearing-in Ceremonies scheduled in South Florida in October

Miami Field Office – October 23 and 30
Hialeah Field Office – October 24 and 31 
Oakland Park Field Office – October 21 and 23
Kendall Field Office – October 23 and 30
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launches New eFOIA 
For Freedom of Information Requests
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now has a new free mobile application called “eFOIA”, which allows users to submit and track Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests conveniently from an Android or Apple phone. You can download the free mobile application through Google Play and the App Store.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests can be made by any individual for documents from any federal government agency in the U.S.. This is especially convenient for Immigrants who may have lost copies of their Immigration application or supporting documents which are necessary in order to refile a case or have their case reviewed by an Immigration attorney. Immigrants can file a FOIA request for their USCIS "A file", which would provide copies of most immigration applications and documents submitted to the USCIS in any Immigration-related case pertaining to the Immigrant. 

For most Immigrants, the FOIA request should normally be directed to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), those who need to obtain a record of admission to the U.S., should direct the FOIA request to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and FOIA request for Immigration records relating to removal and deportation documents should be directed to the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR).
Question: Hi. We need your advice. I’m American and my girlfriend is in the U.S. on a student visa and we just got engaged. We plan to get married in April 2016. I was wondering if I can get her a work permit as my fiancée before we get married and what the timing is for the immigration process to get her legal residence status. Thanks.
Answer: Congratulations on your engagement! The K-1 fiancée visa is only available for foreign fiancées outside the U.S., and requires a couple to marry within 90 days of the foreign fiancées entry into the U.S..If you are concerned about her obtaining a work permit, you may want to consider either moving up the wedding date, or getting married civilly at the courthouse now and filing her Residency case, then having your big wedding next year. It takes 90 days for her to be issued the work permit after her Residency case is filed and another 4-6 months for  your Residency interview and her Green Card.
Its important to note that Immigration FOIA requests will not provide copies of I-797 Notice of Action receipts or approvals. Duplicates of the I-797 Notice of Action must be made on form I-824 and require a filing fee of $405.

Visit the new eFOIA Website:

Download the new eFOIA mobile applications:
Google Play    App Store
Question: Good afternoon. I am 34 years old from Colombia. My dad filed to sponsor me 4 years ago. My question is, 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 a 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+ years or more if married. For adult children of U.S. Residents, only those that are single are eligible, and the waiting time is approximately 7-8 years. There is no immigration category for married children of U.S. Residents. 
So to answer your question, it depends upon whether you are married or single, and whether your dad is a U.S. Citizen or Resident.
Question: Hi, I’m in Venezuela and I have been looking for a job in the U.S.. I just got an email from a company in the U.S. saying that they are offering me a job for $65,000 USD per year, but I have to pay $3,000 in advance for them to get me the working visa. My sister in the U.S. is a U.S. Citizen and says its not real and to ask you. Thanks.
Answer: I’m glad you contacted me before paying the fees. No, sorry, unfortunately, it is a scam, do not pay the money. This is a very common scam used to lure foreign nationals into sending money with hopes of a job and visa in the U.S.. No real company in the U.S. requests payment for a job or U.S. Visa. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Applying For U.S. Citizenship – Understanding How Long 
A U.S. Resident Must Wait

There is often a lot of confusion about when an immigrant is eligible to apply for U.S Citizenship through Naturalization. The basic rule is that a U.S. Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) can apply for U.S. citizenship once he or she has been a Resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years.
90-Day Early Application Rule

Even though the rules require a U.S. Permanent Resident hold a Green Card for five years, Residents are actually allowed to submit a Naturalization application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the 90-days before their five-year anniversary has arrived.

Here are some of the exceptions to the Five year rule: 

Exception to Five-Year Rule for Residents Who Are Married to a U.S. Citizen

For U.S. Permanent Resident who are married to a U.S. Citizen, the waiting time to apply for U.S. Citizenship is only 3 years, if, during that time, they have been a Resident married to, as well as living with, a U.S. citizen and the U.S. Citizen spouse has been a U.S. Citizen for at least 3 years.

This exception is called “Early Naturalization” and applies even for Residents who did not obtain their Green Card through marriage. So, for example, a U.S. Permanent Resident who obtained a Green Card through employment, then married a U.S. citizen soon after can apply for Naturalization once they have been a Resident and married to the U.S. Citizen for at least 3 years.

Exception to Five-Year Rule for Battered Spouses of a U.S. Citizen Granted VAWA Protection

Battered spouses and children are also eligible to apply for Early Naturalization, since the law would not want to force a Resident to have to stay in an abusive marriage for three years just to obtain the benefit of the Three-year exception when they applied for U.S. Citizenship..
Children of a Battered spouse must still reach age 18 before submitting their application for citizenship.

Partial Exception to Five-Year Rule for Refugees

Those granted Residency based upon having come to the United States as a refugee can count all the time they spent in the U.S. after being granted refugee status towards the five years necessary before they are eligible to apply for Naturalization.

Partial Exception to Five-Year Rule for People Granted Asylum (Asylees)

Those granted Residency based upon asylum in the United States can count the one year of time as an asylee towards the five years necessary before they are eligible to apply for Naturalization. 

Good to know...
Immigration How To:
This Year's Obamacare Open Enrollment Begins Soon - How Do I Know Whether I Qualify To Apply ?
This year's Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace starts on November 1st, 2015. The question for many Immigrants is - Who Qualifies for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
Many Immigrants are confused about their eligibility to qualify for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”). Here’s a list of some of the common non U.S. Citizen immigration statuses which are eligible for health coverage:

Immigrants holding the following Immigration Status:

Lawful permanent and temporary Residents (LPR/Green Card holder)
Cuban/Haitian entrant
Paroled into the U.S.
Conditional entrant granted before 1980
Battered spouse, child, or parent (VAWA)
Victim of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent
Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal
Individual with non-immigrant status (including worker visas, student visas)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Deferred Action Status (EXCEPT: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) isn’t an eligible immigration status for applying for health coverage)

Applicants for:

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Adjustment to LPR Status with an approved visa petition
Victim of trafficking visa
Asylum who has been granted employment authorization
Withholding of Deportation/Removal 

Certain individuals with employment authorization documents:

Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
Applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Granted an administrative stay of removal by the Department of Homeland Security 

Click here to see the eligibility list