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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: NOVEMBER 21, 2016
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2016
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: www.ImmigrateToday.com or call our office at: (954) 382-5378
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Questions & Answers
Question: I got my Green Card through my dad in 2000 and lived there in the U.S. for a few years, then I moved back to Jamaica when I was a teenager because my dad and I did not get along. I attended college and have been working here ever since and have not gone back to America. Now my mom passed away a few years ago and I am not married, so when me and my dad patched things up between us recently, I decided to move back to the U.S. as a Resident. I went to the Embassy to get my card reinstituted, but they told me I have to start the process all over again. It only took about a year when I first immigrated to the U.S. through my dad who is a U.S. Citizen, so I am wondering if I can do the same thing now. Thanks for your help.
This Week's Immigration News
Answer: Once a U.S. Resident looses 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 dad can sponsor you again, but now that you are over age 21, the waiting line for an Immigrant Visa as the Adult, Single child of a U.S. Citizen is currently about 6-7 years. We can start the process now, because the sooner you get in the Visa waiting line, the better!
More Bad News For Immigrants As Trump Picks
“Anti-Immigration” Attorney General
As if things could not get worse for the fate Immigration Reform and Immigrants rights in this new era of a Trump Presidency - they have, as the new President elect has appointed Republican Senator Jeff Sessions to our country’s top position as Attorney General.
As the country’s top lawyer, the Attorney General has, among other things, broad authority over our nation’s Immigration laws, court system and enforcement, to decide which and how much of the law is implemented against Immigrants.
Sessions is a notorious “anti-Immigrant” congressman, who favors closing down America’s Immigration system as much as possible and even eliminating birthright citizenship, which allows all children born in the U.S. to receive automatic U.S. Citizenship at birth.
Even more troubling, he supports Trump's most controversial policy to ban Muslims from traveling into the U.S.. Sessions is not only against illegal Immigration, but does not even support legal Immigration, including guest worker and H-1B work visa programs for foreign Hi-Tech workers. In an article he wrote for the Washington Post, Sessions said "Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States,"... What we need now is immigration moderation: slowing the pace of new arrivals so that wages can rise, welfare rolls can shrink and the forces of assimilation can knit us all more closely together." So, with such a clear position against Immigration, supporting a President with the same views, it seems difficult to imagine that Sessions is likely to moderate his views.
And with all of Trumps possible proposed immigration policies looming ahead, causing so much fear and anxiety among immigrants, the American Immigration Council offers suggestions to Immigrants to understand their legal rights, including the right to (remain silent) refuse to speak to immigration officers or to refuse to open the door to ICE officers (unless they have a Warrant) and the right to an attorney to represent you. The American Immigration Council also suggests having a safety plan in place in case you are involved in an enforcement action, including letting a friend know where to find your Immigration and other important documents and having a pre-arranged agreement with someone to care for your children during any detention. And importantly, to avoid “notarios” and other non attorney immigration services which may file inappropriate immigration forms on your behalf which put you on the USCIS “radar” and may result in an ICE action against you. Stay tuned……
Question: My wife and I have been married since December 2013 and I have my Green Card since June 2014. Can I apply for Citizenship once I have been married for 3 years this upcoming December 2016?
Answer: The basic guide for Early Naturalization is called the 3/3/3 rule: meaning that in order to apply for your Naturalization early based upon your marriage to a U.S. Citizen, you need to meet the following three requirements: 1) Have been a U.S. Resident for at least three years AND 2) Have been married to a U.S. Citizen for at least three years full years (continue to be in a valid marriage living together) AND 3) Your U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least three full years. However, you are allowed to apply for Naturalization 90 days before you have actually been a U.S. Resident for three years (2 years & 9 mo.). According to your date of Residency, as long as you and your wife are living together as a couple, you can apply for early Naturalization March 2017.
Immigration Tips You Can Use...
On December 23, 2016, new USCIS Filing Fees go into effect. Before filing your application, make sure that you check the USCIS Website to confirm what the current filing fees are on the day of filing. Visit our webpage to see the new USCIS Filing Fees:
Reminder That New USCIS Fee Increases Go Into Effect On December 23, 2016
Immigration How To:
Understanding Which Family Members You Can Sponsor
Which Family Members Can Be Sponsored
And How Long It Will Take For Them To Immigrate To the U.S. ?
I often get questions from U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents alike about which family members they are eligible to sponsor, when they are allowed to initiate the process, how many family members can be sponsored at one time and how long it will be before their loved ones can immigrate to the U.S.
U.S. Residents are eligible to sponsor:
1) Spouses and Minor Children called F2A and
2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) called F2B. U.S. Residents cannot sponsor their Parents, Adult Married Sons & Daughters or their Brothers & Sisters. If a child who has been sponsored by a Resident marries before the parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the Immigration case is automatically cancelled, even if the child later divorces.
Waiting Times For Family Members in all Countries except Mexico/India & Philippines:
1) Immediate Relatives (Spouses, Minor Children and Parents of U.S. Citizens), there is no waiting line, just USCIS and consular processing time (approx 8-12 months).
2) F1 - Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 7-8 years,
3) F3 -Adult Married Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 12-14 years,
4) F4 -Brothers & Sisters of U.S. Citizens , the waiting line is approx 13-15 years,
5) F2A -Spouses and Minor Children of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 1 1/2 years and
6) F2B -Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 7-8 years.
Under current Immigration regulations, once an Immigrant receives U.S. Residency, (even Conditional 2 year Residency through marriage), and similarly when a Resident becomes Naturalized, they are eligible to sponsor any and all family members in any of the qualifying categories. There is no limit on the number of family members which can be sponsored at the same time. For instance, a U.S. Citizen can sponsor an adult, single daughter, a married son and 3 sisters and 2 brothers all at the same time. However, due to the difference in waiting times, each family member be immigrating at different times, depending upon the Family Immigration category. Congressional Immigration reforms in the future may limit the type and amount of family members allowed to immigrate to the U.S., but for now, the number is limitless, so don’t wait until it is too late…
Learn more about Family Visa waiting lines:
Here’s how it works:
U.S. Citizens are eligible to sponsor:
1) Spouses, Minor Children and Parents (called "Immediate Relatives")
2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) F1,
3) Adult Married Sons & Daughters (and their spouses and minor children) called F3 and
4) Brothers & Sisters (and their spouses and minor children) called F4.