Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

Tell a friend about this page

Learn More About:

Add this page to your favorites.

Add this page to your favorites.
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 became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen in March of 2008 and I filed to sponsor my son, his wife and children a few days later. In 2014 my son and his wife divorced and my grandson just turned age 20 last month. I am very concerned that my grandson won’t be eligible to immigrate to the U.S. with my son once he turns age 21. Is there anything you can do to expedite the case?
Answer: That is a great question. When you first filed to sponsor your son and his family, since he was married, the case was in the F3 Family Immigration Visa category for adult, married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens. The waiting time is very long in this category, about 12 years. Right now, there are only immigrant visas available for I-130 petitions filed in June of 2004. However, once your son divorced, he moved from the F3 category to the F1 category for adult, unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens. This category includes all minor (single) children under age 21 as well. The waiting time in this category is much shorter, about 7-8 years. The good news is that now that your divorced son is now in the F1 category, and currently, there are visas available for immigrants who’s I-130 petitions were filed in February 2008. Since you filed for the family in March 2008, your son and his children should be able to begin the immigration process very soon. The problem is that the National Visa Center (NVC) which prepares immigrant cases for processing does not know that your son is divorced, so his case is still in the F3 queue. The way to get the case going is for us to notify the NVC of the divorce and provide a copy of the certified divorce decree. The NVC will then update the case to the F1 category and issue the Fee Bills to initiate the consular processing phase of the case. Once we receive the Fee Bills and provide payment and other required documentation, the NVC will prepare the case for your son and his children to attend their immigrant visa interviews at the U.S. Consulate abroad. Your son and grandchildren should be able to immigrate to the U.S. within the next 6 months if not sooner.
New Adjustment of Status & Work Authorization Forms Available
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know What Kind of Photos I Need For My Immigration Application
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Fearing End To Cuban Adjustment Act, Cuban Nationals Stream Into The U.S. To Claim Special Status
In a new wave of migration, Cuban Nationals are flooding through Latin America to reach U.S. borders in order to apply for special immigration status in the U.S.. This surge is believed to be a result of widespread fears that the U.S. will soon end the decades old immigration law giving special immigration benefits to Cubans who are able to make it to U.S. soil. 

The increase in Cuban migration has doubled over the past year, resulting in thousands of Cuban’s crossing from Panama into Nicaragua and up through Mexico in an aim reach the U.S. border. To stem the tide, Nicaragua recently closed its border with Cosa Rica to Cuban Nationals, causing thousands to be stranded in Costa Rica. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
The law regarding Cubans, called the Cuban Adjustment Act or CAA allows any Cuba National who makes it onto U.S. soil to immediately apply for a work permit, government aid and U.S. Residency after one year. Whether the U.S. will agree with Cuban officials to rescind the law any time soon is doubtful, since it is likely held by the U.S. as a valuable bargaining chip to use in negotiations with the Cuban government when the time is right. But for now, just the mere prospect of the law ending has caused many Cubans to use desperate means to leave Cuban and travel under very dangerous conditions to reach U.S. borders. 

Read more about the increased Cuban migration to the U.S.:

Miami Herald
The USCIS recently updated its Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The new edition is dated 10/05/15 and expires 10/31/17 
(found at the bottom of the page). 

Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization now has a new edition dated 11/04/15 and expires 2/28/18. Older editions of both forms are currently being accepted, however, to avoid rejection, applicants are advised to begin using the new forms early, before the previous editions expire.
Question: My husband and I are here in the U.S. on F-1 student visas. I just gave birth to our first child last month. My question is whether our baby’s birth in U.S. and American citizenship grants us any immigration rights? Are we entitled to stay in the U.S. until our child is old enough to take care of himself when he is 18? 
Answer: Under the constitution, a child born in the U.S. is automatically granted U.S. citizenship regardless of the immigration status of the parents. However, having a U.S. citizen child, by itself, does not grant the child’s parents any immigration benefits. Under the law, even though your child is a U.S. citizen and has the right to live in the U.S., his parents do not. You must continue to maintain your F-1 or other visa status. When your son turns 21, he can petition sponsor you both for your Residency.
USCIS Now provides Online Naturalization Practice Tests In English and Spanish 
The USCIS recently launched an online Spanish-language civics practice test, joining the English version released earlier this year, which tests basic U.S. government and history topics found on the actual Naturalization test. 

Take the practice test:
Naturalization Practice Test

Find Citizenship classes near you:
Citizenship Preparation Classes
Send USCIS Applications and Correspondence by U.S. Express Mail 
for easy tracking and delivery confirmation
Immigration applications and any follow-up correspondence with the USCIS are such important matters, that you should take the additional step of sending these documents to the USCIS by a safe, quick method, which allows you to verify the date and time of delivery to the USCIS. This is especially critical when you have received a Request For Additional Evidence from the USCIS and must provide the requested documentation by a specified deadline. Many applicants do not know that if their response sent to the USCIS is postmarked before the deadline date, but is actually delivered and received by the USCIS after that date, the case is likely to be denied. 
Not only is this a tragedy for the beneficiary of the immigration application, but in such instances, all the USCIS filing fees are lost, which in some cases can be thousands of dollars. Certified Mail is not delivered quickly and cannot be tracked online and other private courier services like Fed-ex cannot be delivered to the regular USCIS P.O. box address. 

So, since the USCIS is a government agency, like the U.S. Express Mail (U.S. Postal Service) The safest way to send applications/documents and to safeguard against the unfortunate situation above is to use the U.S. Express Mail next day service. The cost is about $15.00 and well worth it. You will receive a tracking# so you can go online and confirm delivery. Be sure to send any responses requested by the USCIS at least one week or more before the deadline. Also, make a copy of everything you send to the USCIS including the initial application, supporting documents, Money Order and all follow-up responses before sending to the USCIS and never send originals! Good luck!
Photograph Requirements For Residency Applications
More details about having Passport type photos taken:

Type and Number
Photos must be original printed photos (on special photo paper) taken within the past six months. Scanned, copied, and reprinted photos are not acceptable. They must be in full color and printed in double (two identical shots). You will need to submit both with your I-485 application.

Photos must be exactly 2-inch by 2-inch squares. The head, from the crown to the chin, must fill 1 to 1 3/8 inches of the height of the photo. Eye height from the bottom of the photo must be between 1 1/8 and 1 3/8 inches.

Backgrounds must be completely bare; no patterns, images, or textures. The color should range from bright white to slightly off-white (egg shell). Colored backgrounds are not acceptable.

Subject Appearance
The subject in the photo should be wearing casual clothing (no dress wear) and have his or her head completely bare--no hats, sunglasses, large earrings that overlap the face, scarves, or head bands. If you regularly wear prescription glasses or a hearing aid, wear them in the photo. The only exception to the head gear rule is concerning headdresses of a religious nature, granted they do not cover the face. The full face must be showing, with no exceptions. The subject must look directly at the camera, no side shots or angled views. You can either smile or maintain a neutral face; there are no regulations regarding smiling.

Back of Photo
On the back of each photo you must write your full name and your alien registration number (A-number) using either a pencil or felt pen that does not bleed through the photo.

Good luck!

As part of the Residency process, all green card applicants must submit passport-type photos along with their I-485 applications. The requirements for green card photos are no longer the side view, but instead are the same as those taken for a passport. You must follow the photo requirements exactly or the USCIS will send a request for qualifying photos and your application will likely be delayed.

This means you should not generally try to take your own photos and instead get Passport type photos  taken professionally, at most Walgreens, CVS, Pak Mail, Mailbox and other such locations.