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Question: I came to the USA when I was age 5 with my parents and I guess they overstayed the tourist visa and we never left. When DACA came out I applied and have been on it ever since. My question is about getting my green card. My girlfriend and I have been dating since high school and now that I graduated college, we want to get married. She is American and I am wondering if we are eligible to file for my residency even though I am on DACA. Do I need to get off the program to qualify or what do we need to do? Thanks for your advice.
The Trump Administration recently revived the Public Charge rule again, after a federal court agreed to allow the USCIS to go forward with the controversial policy. According to recent guidelines, the USCIS accepted residency cases filed without the Public Charge form I-944 until October 13th, reserving the right to issue applicants a request for submission at a later date.
However, beginning October 14th, all residency cases filed without form I-944 will be automatically rejected.
Don’t Get Rejected! Public Charge Form Now Required
To Be Filed With All Residency Applications
Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
POSTING DATE: October 26, 2020
Answer: Yes, DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) applicants are eligible to apply for Green Cards just like any other immigrant. As long as you entered the U.S. legally and were inspected by an Immigration officer, you are eligible to apply for U.S. Residency inside the U.S.. Since you came with your parents on a tourist visa, even though you overstayed, you still qualify for residency. You will need to have your I-94 card in order to prove to the USCIS that you entered the country legally. If you have lost your I-94 card, we can apply on your behalf for a replacement card before filing your Residency application. Once you get married, we can file your residency adjustment of status application and you can use your current DACA work authorization until your new work authorization is approved. Once your residency case is filed, it generally takes about 6 months to get your residency work and travel permit and perhaps another 4-6 months for your Green Card.
Immigration regulations require that all immigrants change their address with the USCIS within 10 days of moving. This is done by changing your address on the USCIS website electronically. For those with cases pending with the USCIS, including family petitions, adjustment of status, work authorization, etc, not only must you change your address online, but as a safeguard through the USCIS 800 number as well. The reason is that even though your address is changed in the general USCIS database through the electronic online filing, this does not necessarily change your address in the database for any of your pending cases.
Understanding The Importance of An Arrival/Departure I-94 Card
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.
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.
This Year’s Visa (Green Card) Lottery Began On October 7th, 2020!
Despite Trump’s continuing vow to end the Visa Lottery, this year’s lottery (called DV-2022) began on October 7, 2020, and will continue through November 10, 2020, ending at noon Eastern time. According to the Department of State instructions nationals of all countries can apply, except: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible. Note that if you were born in one of these ineligible countries, you can use your spouse’s country or if neither of your parents was born there, and they were not legal residents of that country at the time of your birth, you can still qualify by using the country of birth of either of your parents to apply.
Reminder: Premium Processing Fees Now Increased To $2,500!
Effective October 19, 2020, the USCIS increased the premium processing fee (form I-907) from $1,440 to $2,500! For background, premium processing, is a 15-business day expedited processing service currently offered by the USCIS for only very limited types of cases, which include certain employment-based petitions (does not include family based cases).
As a result, make sure that you prepare, sign and submit for I-944 with all I-485 residency applications until further notice. You can get links to download Public Charge form I-944 by visiting our enewsletter site at: www.americanimmigrationcentral.com
To qualify, applicants must generally:
1) Be born in a qualifying country or qualify by claiming a parent or spouse’s eligible country, and
2) Meet the education/work experience requirement by having either: at least a high school education or equivalent, or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years of qualifying training or experience. Only one entry is allowed for each person and those with more than one entry will be disqualified. Note that a new qualification has been added for the DV-2022, which requires that the principal immigrant have a valid unexpired passport at the time of entering the DV lottery.
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, https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/. Once the online entry is made, applicants receive a Confirmation Number, which allows them to return to the official government website and check the status of their entry through the “Entrant Status Check” at: dvlottery.state.gov beginning on May 8, 2021. There will be no other official notification. The program does not send notification emails or letters and never directs applicants or winners to wire money under any circumstances. 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!
Until recently, the fee was $1,440. Under the new rule the USCIS increased the expedite fee to $2,500. The USCIS plans to expand services to include other application types, including all employment-based nonimmigrant petitions, all I-140 petitions, Form I-539 applications to change or extension of status and apply for student visas, as well as Form I-765, to request employment authorization (work permit). However no date for the expanded services has been announced.
Question: I have a question about my green card. My mom was sponsored by my grandmother and she and I came up and got our green cards in 2012 when I was 16. I had a hard time adjusting because all my friends were back home and me and my mom had a lot of arguments and finally I decided to go back home to Jamaica and live with my dad. Now I have graduated college and am looking at future options and me and my mom have decided that I have more opportunities in the states so I want to move back there. The problem is that I have not been back to the US since 2012 and I cant even find my green card, so I need to know what are the steps I need to take now to get back there and get my residency. Thanks.
Answer: That is a great question. Once a U.S. Resident loses their Residency status by “abandonment”, which includes not returning to the U.S. for many years, all U.S. Residency status is lost and any desire to obtain Residency again requires a whole new application process. However, in order to qualify for U.S. Residency again, an immigrant must have a legal basis for eligibility, for instance, being married to a U.S. Citizen, or being sponsored by a U.S. Citizen child, parent or sibling, since there is no way to apply solely on the basis of requesting the old Green Card status again. In your case, your mom can sponsor you, but now that you are over age 21, the waiting line for an Immigrant Visa as the Adult, Single child of a U.S. resident is currently about 5 years, if she is now a U.S. citizen, the wait is about 6 years. We can start the process now, because the sooner you get in the Visa waiting line, the better!
Question: I got my residency through my dad when I was 19. I was in community college and remember something about registering for the service and I filled out something and handed it in, but I don’t have anything to prove it. I am 24 and want to file for my citizenship. The problem is that on the citizenship form it asks for my registration number and I don’t have it. Does that mean I cant qualify? Can you please help me with this?
Answer: Men who live in the U.S. or who get a green card at any time between the ages of 18 and 26, are required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, to be called up in a military draft if ever needed. Those exempt include men between 18 and 26 who were only here in a nonimmigrant visa status, like tourists, students, etc. The issue of Selective Service Registration generally comes up for Immigrants who apply for Naturalization and are required to list their Selective Service Registration information. And since failing to register for Selective Service can result in Naturalization denial for failure to show good moral character, it’s a very important issue for those to whom it applies. For some, it’s not too late to register: Men preparing to apply for Naturalization (U.S. Citizenship) who failed to register for the Selective Service in the past, but who are not yet age 26, can still register online.
Men who have passed age 26, are not eligible to register and must face the potentially negative immigration consequences of passing the required registration date. For those who failed to register, the easiest thing to do may be to wait until you are age 31 to apply for Naturalization so they have five years of good moral character or 29 years of age to show three years of good moral character (for those married to a U.S. citizen). Those who do not want to wait, need to prove to the immigration officer that they did not know about the registration requirement and that they did not “willfully” fail to register. To do this, applicants can submit the following along with their naturalization application: 1) Status Information Letter from the Selective Service System (obtained from the Selective Service System website or by calling 847-688-6888.) 2) sworn declaration, and sworn declarations from people who knew the applicant, attesting to the reasons why they failed to learn about and did not know about the requirement to register or believed that he was automatically registered. In your case, if you did not properly register in the past, you can do it now, since you are only 24. However first, check to see if you are registered. Go to https://www.sss.gov/register/ and click on the verify registration link, then enter your information. If you are registered it will give you that information you need for the naturalization form. If you are not registered then go ahead and register.
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 $445. It generally takes about 90+ 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:
** For those with pending cases, have your I-797 Notice of Action Receipt available for each case type.
1) Change Address on the USCIS Website: Go online to the USCIS Address Change page and complete and file the form for each pending case. Print out a copy of the filed form for your records and write the filing date on it.
2) Call the USCIS 800#: Call the USCIS to notify them of the address change at 800-375-5283 and give them all your case numbers so they can confirm the change has been made in all the databases.