Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: October 28,  2019
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2019 
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
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Question: I have been a green card holder for over 15 years. Last year I filed for citizenship and did my fingerprints, but I never got my notice to take the test. I called the immigration last week because it has been taking so long and they said the case was denied because I did not go to the interview. I told the lady I did not ever get that notice and she said I have to file an address update. I filed the address change and called again and they said now that the case is denied I cant get a new appointment and I have to file a whole new one and pay the fee all over again! I am so angry, I cant believe they could take my $725 like that! Is there anyone that can help me?
Answer: I understand how frustrating it can be! It’s important to understand that all Immigrants are required to file an address change with the USCIS once they move. With all that said, in my experience there is one good option you might try. Go to your local congressional office and request assistance. Explain that you did everything properly and did not get your Naturalization appointment notice due to the move. Ask that they make a special request for the USCIS to make an exception in your case and reschedule you for your interview. Be sure to bring your Naturalization receipt. I cannot guarantee it will work, but with some perseverance, you may have a chance. Good luck!
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know  What The Correct Immigration Fees Are? 
Filing immigration applications with the incorrect filing fee is the leading cause of case rejections by the USCIS. This can be inconvenient and sometimes very serious for certain applications which have filing deadlines. As a result, the USCIS has an Online Fee Calculator to assist customers in calculating the correct fee amounts to include when filing their forms. 

The Online Fee Calculator asks users to select a form, or combination of forms, and then to answer a series of questions. The tool then calculates the correct fee amount that the filer must submit, based upon his or her answers and can be accessed by both computer and mobile devices. 
Always Request Text Message Notification 
When Filing Your Immigration Application

Filing an immigration application is a very important step and one which should be taken with the utmost diligence and seriousness. Applicants should first educate themselves about eligibility, qualifications, procedures and timing of the case and keep updated on every aspect of process along the way. This means filing each case properly and enclosing form G-1145 with each application separately, (by placing one form G-1145 on top of each separate form in the package), in order to receive notification by the USCIS once the case is received and being provided with a case number via text or email. 
 2020 Presidential Election Florida 
Voter Registration Deadlines Looming!
Tips On Child Support Requirements For Naturalization 
Given the current political climate and upheavals caused by Trump on nearly a daily basis, many believe that the upcoming 2020 Presidential campaign may be one of the most important elections in our lifetime. It might be said that never before has one man (other than perhaps Hitler) caused so much chaos and strife to a nation and to the world, in such a short amount of time! 

Never in history has a President sowed so much division among Americans and spewed so much hate for Immigrants, who are the foundation of what our country has been built on and the secret recipe that makes our nation so exceptional!
The Immigration journey from immigrant to U.S. Citizen can be a long one, and of course many requirements for eligibility must be met all along the way. In most aspects of life it’s never too early to plan for the future, in order to “stay ahead of the game”.

  The same holds true for Immigrants, including Residents with Green Cards. Most Residents plan on filing for Naturalization in the future in order to become a U.S. Citizen, this includes many Residents that are single or divorced, who are not living with their minor children. 

However many Resident parents do not realize that their actions today may prevent them from qualifying for naturalization in the future, based upon how they have been providing financial support to their children. 
Question: my 10 yr green card expired and I just noticed when I went to get my drivers license renewed. They said they wont renew it without proof of my green card status. i went down to the local immigration office and they said I had to file to renew my status and pay $540.00 and that I couldn’t get any proof until I did that. Now I have to drive to work with my expired license and I am desperate. How long does it take to get the new green card? What will I do until that time? Do I have wait til I get the new card to get my driver’s license?
Answer: U.S. Permanent Residents do not lose Residency status once their Green Card expires, but without filing for an extension, they will not have any legal documentation to prove their continuing Residency status. That is why it very important to file for your Green Card extension before the card expires. However, current USCIS processing times for Green Card renewal applications (Form I-90), can exceed 6+ months or more, often causing problems for Residents who require proof of legal immigration status for Driver’s License and other renewals. As a result of these long delays, local Field Offices are authorized to provide Residents with a Green Card extension sticker, affixed to their expired cards, to provide proof of their continuing legal Residency status in the U.S.. Under this policy, USCIS personnel at USCIS Field Office Application Support Centers can provide extension stickers to Residents at the time of their Biometrics appointment. The extension stickers are usually valid for nine (9) months. Residents who have already attended their Biometrics appointment and did not request or receive the extension sticker can call the USCIS 800# and request them to make an INFOPASS appointment so the resident can get the extension sticker at that time. What you need to do immediately is file your Green Card renewal application (form I-90) and either wait for the Biometrics Appointment which should be within 30 days to request the extension sticker, or call the USCIS at 1 (800) 375-5283 and give them your I-90 case number so they can make an INFOPASS appointment for you to get your extension sticker. Once you get that, take that, your expired driver’s license, green card and passport to the drivers license office and they will issue you a renewal.
Question: I saw on the internet that I can get a social security number in order to come and work in the united states. I filled out the application online and paid the fees but I did not receive it yet. I am wondering if I should call the social security department? Once I get the card does that mean I can come and work there?
Answer: There are no fees to apply for a Social Security number and any website or organization which charges you for the service is a scam! First, only certain foreign individuals are eligible for Social Security numbers, these include most immigrants with work authorization, some students as part of their work programs and certain work and exchange visa holders. Obtaining a Social Security number does not in itself authorize a foreign individual to work, rather it is required in addition to another document which specifically authorizes the individual to work, for instance a work authorization (Employment Authorization Document-EAD) card, or H, E, L or other work visa. In fact, for non residents and citizens the Social Security card itself contains the advisory "VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION." Therefore, if you want to work in the U.S., you need to first start with determining if you might qualify for a work visa, for instance and H-1B for professionals with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or higher and if so find an employer in the U.S. to sponsor you. There is no way for a foreign individual abroad to simply apply for a work visa on their own without being sponsored by a U.S. company. If you have any questions or want to know more about work visas, give me a call at: 954-382-5378.
As the months tick by we are near the end of 2019, and getting closer and closer to state voter registration deadlines for the 2020 election. In Florida, the deadline to register in order to vote in the Presidential Primary Election (to choose the Democratic candidate to run against Trump in the general election) is February 18th 2020. The deadline to register in Florida to vote in the General Election is October 5th 2020. These dates are important because USCIS processing of Naturalization applications takes time. These days, the process takes an average of about eight+ months. Residents who have not yet filed for Naturalization have already missed the deadline to register for the Primary Election next year. But eligible Residents who file for Naturalization right now will still be eligible to register by the October 5th deadline, in order to vote in the General Election on November 3rd, 2020. 

So don’t delay, this nation of immigrants needs you now more than ever to prove that this wonderful American experiment comprised of immigrants from all corners of the world come together to make an amazing melting pot of the best aspects from all of our collective cultures. Our democracy can survive one term of Trump, however, a second Trump term could doom America for decades to come. As a Resident eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship, you hold precious power in your hands to be the ultimate arbiter of the political future and history of America, so use it! 

Find out more about Voter Registration deadlines 
Register to Vote or Check your current registration status
Generally, Residents must show that they have “Good Moral Character” in order to be eligible for U.S. Citizenship. This covers the preceding five year period prior to applying for Naturalization for most Residents, and three years for those eligible to apply for early Naturalization through marriage to a U.S. Citizen. Unfortunately, failure to provide proof of child support payments is one of the most common reasons that Naturalization applications are denied every day. This often happens even when a parent has actually paid child support, but simply fails to provide evidence of payments. 

For background, immigration rules require that all parents (mothers and fathers) who do not live with their children (whether the children are inside or outside the U.S.) must provide documentation to prove that they have provided child support for all children under the age of 18, during the past five years. This is required whether or not there is a Court Order for child support payments. In most states like Florida, child supports can be paid through the state, this way there is a record of every child support payment and the applicant can get a printout showing of all support payments and provide that, along with a certified court order for child support.

The problem comes when there is no court ordered child support or when formal payments are not made through a government system. This is typical in many countries where child support is paid more casually, for instance, by paying for a child’s school, clothes other expenses, but no regular, direct payments to the child’s custodial parent each month. In such cases it’s very difficult to prove that child support was actually paid. Residents are often shocked at their Naturalization interview, to learn that they will not qualify for U.S. Citizenship unless they are able to provide proof of child support payments. Then comes the mad scramble to find money transfer receipts and other evidence requested by the officer, however in many cases, applicants often fail to come up with adequate proof in the limited time given and are simply denied.

As a result, Residents who do not live with their minor children should take steps as early as possible to begin making child support payments to children in the U.S. and abroad in an easily documentable way:

1) Have a Written Agreement: make a written agreement with the child’s other parent (dated and signed) clearly stating the child support amount agreed to be paid monthly or yearly and make sure all the payments are made as per the agreement. If child support will be paid some months for other expenses like tuition, clothes, school supplies, etc, rather than in a payment to the other parent, make sure that is mentioned in the agreement and detail the amounts and dates. The agreement should include a confirmation by the other parent that all payments up to the date of the agreement have been paid in full. Get a copy of the parent’s passport Biographic page.

2) Money Transfers: If the child lives abroad and the Resident pays child support through funds transfers, make sure and keep a copy of every money transfer receipt for every payment and try to use the same transfer company. Make a folder and assemble the receipts in date order. It is possible to order a transaction report from many transfer companies like Western Union, but it can be expensive and take several months or more. Very important note, do not wire transfer funds to any other name except the other parent’s name, otherwise, it will be difficult to prove that the funds transfers were for child support. 

3) Check Payments: If the children live in the U.S. and the Resident is not paying support through the state, then payments should be made by check in the other parent’s name, with “child support” clearly written on the memo part of the check. Print out a copy of the “cancelled” check online from your bank each month and keep them in a folder, since it can be expensive if you want to order copies from the bank later. Also, if you change banks, those records may not even be accessible to you in the future.

4) Keep Track of Payments: Make a Payment Register, with the date, amount paid and method of payment for every single month. 

Date Amount PaidType of Payment
12/1/18$300Wester Union/Money Gram

Finally, Residents should also maintain a good relationship with their child(ren)’s other parent, since prior to filing for naturalization, it’s wise to get a currently dated letter from the other parent, clearly re-stating the terms of the agreement, i.e. the amount of child support agreed on and that all child support has been paid to date. It should be signed, notarized and include a copy of the parent’s passport Biographic page or if in the U.S., Driver’s License. The best advice for Residents is to begin now, no matter how early or late and have everything in order BEFORE filing for naturalization.

We can assist you in providing the child support proof necessary to qualify for Naturalization! 
Give us a call at: (954) 382-5378

Understanding Selective Service Requirements And Immigration 
Many Immigrants are not aware that the U.S. requires men to register for military conscription in case of war. Under U.S. law, men who live in the U.S. or who get a green card at any time between the ages of 18 and 25, 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 25 who were only here in a nonimmigrant visa status, like tourists, students, etc. However, strangely enough, undocumented or “illegal aliens” are also now required to register, even though most do not. 

The issue of Selective Service Registration generally comes up for male 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 25, can still register online. 
However, those who have passed age 25, 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 that five years of good moral character have passed (or 29 years of age to show three years of “good moral character” for those who have been married to and living with a U.S. citizen).

Immigrants who failed to register, but do not want to wait for the “good moral character” period to expire, need to provide the USCIS officer with documentation to demonstrate for instance that the Resident did not know he was supposed to register and did not “willfully” fail to do so. To do this, an Immigrant can submit the following along with his 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 know the Immigrant, attesting to their knowledge of the reasons why he failed to learn about and did not know about the requirement to register or believed he was automatically registered.

USCIS officers have discretion whether or not to approve such cases, so it’s best to provide as much evidence as possible to ensure the most positive result. 

Learn more about Q & A &  Selective Service registration

For instance, when an applicant is filing for residency, generally the application package will include several separate application forms, usually including form I-485, form I-765 and form I-131, which would necessitate a separately completed form G-1145 being placed on top of each form, so three (3) in total. This is a free service provided by the USCIS and very important to have proof of receipt and the case number for each application filed in case the actual USCIS I-797 Receipts for the filing are lost in the mail or otherwise not received. Having the case numbers allows applicants to call the USCIS 800# and request a duplicate receipt by mailed once the initial receipts have not been received within 30 days of filing. Receiving the case numbers via text or email also allows applicants to sign up for Email Status updates on their cases through the USCIS My Case Status program. Once registered and the case number(s) entered into the system, the USICS will automatically email the applicant notifications and updates on any actions take to keep applicants informed about their case status.