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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: I am a U.S. Resident and filed to sponsor my Jamaican wife last month in September 2015. She does not have a tourist visa and cannot visit me, I have to travel to visit her. Can you please tell me how long it will take to get approval for the case and then how long will it take for her to join me here in Florida?
Answer: Right now, the process takes about 1 ½ years. Since you filed for her in September 2015, she should be eligible to immigrate by early 2017. The USCIS should approve your I-130 by about February of 2016 and send your wife’s file to the National Visa Center to process the case for her Consular interview when the time comes. You can check the USCIS website by putting in the case number on the I-130 Receipt or call the USCIS 800# to get a status on the case. Often, the USCIS will issue a request for more evidence and if the sponsor does not receive it or answer by the deadline, the case can be denied. So its always good to check case status at least once every month or so. I hope this was helpful.
Understanding U.S. Selective Service Requirements For Immigrants 
Under U.S. law, most men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to register for U.S. military Selective Service (also called the "draft."). This requirement often comes as a shock to Immigrants who have obtained U.S. Residency and applied for Naturalization, only to be denied, due to their failure to fulfil the Selective Service registration requirement. Here is a background of the U.S. Selective Service requirement:

Registration Requirement: The Selective Service requirement applies only to men ages 18 through 25, with requires their registration within 30 days turning age 18. The Selective Service requirements applies to many categories of Immigrant men, including U.S. Residents (green card holders), refugees, asylees, special agricultural workers, and undocumented foreign nationals, like DACA (Dreamers). 
You Can Now Sign-up For USCIS E-Notification & Email Updates On Your Pending Immigration Case 
The USCIS now offers several very convenient ways for Applicants to get updates on newly filed and pending Immigration cases. Immigrants and Sponsors filing Immigration applications with the USCIS can now sign-up to receive text messages and email E-notifications confirming application receipt by the USCIS, along with the case receipt number(s). 

The receipt number allows individuals to track the status of their case online. E-notifications are issued within 24 hours after the USCIS receives the application. To request e-notification, download and complete form G-1145 and mail along with all Immigration applications.

Once you receive your case number, go to the USCIS website and sign up for Email Status updates on your case through the USCIS My Case Status program. Once you register and enter your case number(s), the USICS will automatically email you notifications and updates on any actions take on your case so that you are better informed about your case status. 
For instance, once your Immigration application is filed, the USCIS may issue you a letter requesting more evidence in order to continue processing the case. If you are registered to receive case status updates, you will receive an email notification that the USCIS has issued the request, which helps you to be aware that you should be receiving the request by mail soon. If you have not received the request, you can then make further inquiries. Similarly, once you respond to the USCIS request, you will receive an updated email notification that they have received your documentation. It’s a great way to stay informed and keep up to date on the status of your case as it is being processed.
Nonimmigrants Exempt from Selective Service Requirement: The requirement for Selective Service registration does not apply to nonimmigrants visa holders who are in the U.S. legally in a temporary visa status. This includes students (F-1), diplomats, tourists (B1/B2), H1B workers, J-1 visitors, and all others who have "lettered" visas A-T. 

Immigration Consequences For Failure to Register:In order to naturalize and become a U.S. citizen, U.S. Residents must demonstrate that they are a "person of good moral character" for five years (or three years, for applicants applying for Early Naturalization through marriage to a U.S. Citizen) immediately prior to applying for Naturalization. When a male U.S. Resident has failed to comply with the Selective Service registration requirements, his naturalization application can be denied for “lack of good moral character”. However, this is generally only when the U.S. Resident “knowingly and willfully” failed to register and his naturalization application is filed when he is 30 years old or younger. There are factors which can help the U.S. Resident obtain Naturalization by persuading the USCIS that the failure to register was not done “knowingly and willfully”. Interestingly, from the age of 31 or older, since more than five years have passed since a failure to register (by age 25), this failure alone is generally not sufficient for the USCIS to deny the Naturalization application. 

You can get a link to the Selective Service System WebSite by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.

Register For Selective Service:

Selective Service Registration 

Find out more about Selective Service registration for Immigrants:

​Selective Service System Webpage for Immigrants
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Qualify To Apply For Early Naturalization?
Eligible U.S. Residents who are spouses of U.S. Citizens can apply for Naturalization early and obtain their U.S. Citizenship in only 2 years and 9 months.

Most U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) must wait for 4 years and 9 months before being eligible to apply for Naturalization. However, qualifying U.S. Residents who are married to U.S. Citizens are eligible to apply 2 years earlier, called “Early Naturalization”. To qualify under this expedited U.S. Citizenship process, a U.S. Resident must fall under what is commonly called the “3/3/3” rule. 1) The U.S. Resident must be married to their U.S. Citizen spouse for at least 3 years and 2) their U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least 3 years and finally, the U.S. Resident must have held that status for at least 3 years (really 2 years and 9 months). So, as long as the U.S. Resident meets these requirements and is not only currently married to, but continues to reside in a real marriage with their U.S. Citizen spouse – they can apply for early naturalization… now you know ...
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Obtaining Proof of Residency While Waiting For Green Card Replacements and Renewals
U.S. Residents who have lost a Green Card or who’s Green Card requires renewal must apply for a replacement or renewed card with the USCIS (using form I-90). However, government processing times required to receive the new card can often take three months or more, which can be quite an inconvenience when a Resident needs proof of U.S. Residency to renew a Driver’s License, obtain a employment and even travel. 

As a result, Residents who have filed the request and received the USCIS Receipt Notice (called a “Notice of Action”) can obtain a temporary Residency stamp in their passport, called a “I-551” which provides proof of Residency status for up to one year.
To obtain the stamp, Residents should go online and make an Infopass Appointment at their local USCIS office. If your circumstances are urgent, for instance your Driver’s License is expiring, and an Infopass Appointment is not available online, some USCIS offices will also serve walk-in customers. Generally, walk-in customers should go to their local office as early as 7am as possible to ensure acceptance.

Residents should bring the following documents to the USCIS when making the request: 

1) InfoPass appointment notice (if appointment was scheduled); 
2) Valid passport; 
3) USCIS Receipt Notice (called a “Notice of Action”) to prove that Form I-90 was filed and is pending;
4) Copy of your lost or expired Green Card, if available; 
5) Copy of your date-stamped Biometric appointment notice showing you had your biometrics taken if that is the case;
6) Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the USCIS office, for instance, utility bill, valid driver’s license, etc.;
7) If you have an urgent situation and you plan to apply as a walk-in, you’ll need to bring documents to prove why you need the I-551 stamp on an emergency basis (i.e. airline ticket, flight itinerary, expired driver’s license, for travel: doctor’s letter or death certificate, along with evidence of the relationship to an ill or deceased relative; company letter if emergency travel is work-related, etc.).