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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: October 23, 2017
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2017
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: Hi there. My sister filed for me a few years ago and the Immigration has approved my case, but I was told that will have to go to Jamaica to pick my green card up eventually when the Priority Date is current. I am here in the U.S. illegally since my I-94 expired many years ago. My question is: Can I pick my green card up in America and will I be able to obtain a work permit here while waiting? thank you!
Answer: Unfortunately, under current law, unless your sister filed the I-130 Family Petition for you before April 30th of 2001 (245i eligible), you cannot obtain your Green Card in the U.S. since you are not in legal immigration status. Similarly, when the time comes that your Priority Date is current in the 4th Pref category for Siblings, if you leave the U.S., you will be denied your immigrant visa at the Consulate and “barred” from re-entering the U.S., since you were in the U.S. out of legal status. Its important to know that I-130 petitions filed by relatives do not provide any immigration or employment benefits for immigrant family members. For now, you and millions of other Immigrant currently in the U.S. without legal immigration status will need to wait for the Congress to act on Immigration Reform. I hope that was helpful to you.
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Urgent Update: Green Card Lottery Registration Period Extended Due To Temporary Website Shutdown!
This year’s Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2019) registration process was temporarily suspended and the registration website shutdown, due to “technical issues”. Consequentially, the registration period for DV-2019 has had to be restarted.
All entries made prior to October 18, 2017 were lost and the State Department system has been unable to recover them. The new registration period is from noon, (EDT) Wednesday, October 18, 2017 until noon Wednesday, November 22, 2017. As a result, Applicants who registered prior to that date must resubmit their applications. All other eligibility requirements remain the same.
USCIS Releases Data Revealing That Nearly 25% of Dreamers Failed To Renew DACA Applications By October 5th Deadline
On September 5th, 2017, the Trump administration arbitrarily issued a Memorandum terminating the DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) program effective on that date and requiring current DACA holders who’s status was set to expire on or before March 5, 2018 to file renewal applications by October 5, 2017, or lose DACA status.
Under the terms of the cancellation, the USCIS stopped accepting new “initial” applications from first time applicants for DACA, as well as renewals for those whose status expired before September 5th. The USCIS did not send out written notifications to Dreamers, but rather relied upon various social media and public awareness efforts.
Read The State Department’s Visa Bulletin Released For November 2017
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:
Make An E-Request On Your Pending Immigration Case
You can make an online inquiry for a case pending with the USCIS by filing an “e-Request”. To make an inquiry, be sure to have your case number handy.
For more information, visit the USCIS E-Request webpage:
Remember, the DV Lottery is always FREE and no paper applications are accepted. Lottery applications are required to be filed online through the official Department of State DV Lottery Website. Beware of websites claiming to be official Lottery sites and paralegals, which charge a fee for entry, since they are not affiliated with the official U.S. Department of State and may be scams. Only sites that end in .gov are government sites. Apply yourself – its FREE and easy! Applicants should also have Internet Explorer 8 browser or later in order to submit your application without technical difficulties.
As a result of the abrupt cancellation of the program and deadline to file renewals by the October 5 deadline, some 25% of all eligible Dreamers (estimated at 36,000 or more) were not able to submit their applications in time, for various reasons, including financial inability to pay the $495 filing fees and lack of notification. Further, DACA renewal application sent to the USCIS postmarked by October 5th, but received after that date have been rejected by the USCIS, and those Dreamers have now lost their eligibility to renew DACA status.
The USCIS has said that it will review requests for exceptions to filing by the deadline on an individual case-by-case basis and I therefore urge Dreamers who were not able to file renewal applications by the deadline or who’s applications were received and rejected by the USCIS for late filing, to reapply with a request for special consideration, detailing the exigent reasons for the failure to file or late filing. For instance those affected by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are likely to successfully obtain approval, based upon a well written explanation of the circumstances which prevented filing by the deadline.
ICE Escalates Worksite Raids
Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan warns that his agency is more than “quintupling” visits to U.S. worksites called “worksite enforcement actions” in order to "… detain and remove the illegal alien workers" and to go after an employer "… who knowingly hires an illegal alien”. ICE plans to significantly increase raids in the months to come "by four to five times.". While the agency previously targeted mostly large employers, it now plans to go after businesses of all sizes and to prosecute employers who hire “illegal” immigrant workers, and deport unauthorized workers.
Question: I am a resident of the U.S. and I sponsored my son when he was 19 years old, now he just turned 21 on August 25th. His I-130 has been approved and we got a notification and bills from the National Visa Center. My big fear is that since he is 21 now, he won’t qualify anymore. Some friends told me to get my Citizenship, but I really don’t know what to do, can you please help me?
Answer: The issue of children “aging out” from being a minor to an adult is very important! First, its vital to understand that the law treats children of Residents very different than children of U.S. Citizens when it comes to “ageing out”. “Aging Out” means that a child goes from a minor to an adult at age 21. When a U.S. Citizen files an I-130 for a minor child under age 21, the age of the child is “fixed” and that child remains a minor for immigration purposes, no matter how long it takes for the child to immigrate, or how old they actually are at the time of immigrating.
In contrast, when a Resident files an I-130 for a minor child, the age of the child is not fixed and there is a risk of the child “aging out” by turning age 21 or older, thereby disqualifying the child as a minor and causing the child to change from the F2A Immigration category to the F2B, which puts the child in a much longer waiting line for a visa, taking many more years to immigrate.
However, under a law called the “Child Status Protection Act”, the time that the I-130 petition was pending with the USCIS before it was approved (processing time) can be subtracted from the child’s actual age at the time the Immigrant Visa becomes available, to technically reduce the child’s age below 21, thereby allowing them to continue to be a “minor”, at least for immigration purposes. So, if an I-130 petition is filed on Jan 1, 2011 and it is not approved until Jan 1, 2012, an entire year can be subtracted from a child’s age, thus allowing them to immigrate as a minor child.
The only time this is not possible, is when a Resident “unknowingly” Naturalizes after the child turns age 21. In these cases, the USCIS processing time cannot be subtracted from the child’s age, since once a Resident becomes a U.S. Citizen, the child’s age is “fixed” as of that time. So, if a child is age 21, no time can be deducted and the child become ineligible to immigrate as a minor. Many parents make great efforts to get their U.S. Citizenship once a child is nearing age 21, fearful that their minor child will “age out”, only to find out that instead, it was their Naturalization that caused the minor child to age out. Of course it should not be so complicated, but unfortunately misunderstandings of the “ins & outs” of Immigration law can sometimes lead to heartbreaking results. With all this said, the best thing that a parent can do is get professional advice before taking action.
In this case, Naturalization is the worst thing you could do. Most likely, the I-130 was processing with the USCIS for some time before approval, so all that time can be subtracted from your son’s age and he may still be eligible to immigrate as a minor. You must pay the bills quickly and once the National Visa Center begins processing, it will only take another several months for the Consular Appointment, as long as all the required documentation is prepared and submitted properly. Let me know if you need assistance in this phase of your son’s Immigration process.