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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: November 27, 2017
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2017
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: Hi there, I am contacting your office about getting my Green Card back. I used to live in the U.S. and was married to a citizen, then once we divorced, I moved back here to Jamaica and turned in my green card in so I could have my US Visa instead. My American born kids are all grown and I have been remarried for some 10 years now, so my wife and I were thinking to immigrate to the U.S.. I assume I can easily just get my Green Card back now that I am ready to live in the U.S., but my concern is for my wife and will she be able to immigrate along with me. My kids are ready to help, so I need to know what is our first step, thanks.
Answer: That’s a great question. Once a U.S. Resident formally “relinquishes” (gives back) a Green Card at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the officer usually requires that State Department form I-407 be signed, abandoning all rights to Residency. When this is done, 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, the immigrant must still 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.
As long as at least one of your U.S. Citizen children is age 21, they can sponsor you for your Residency (Green Card). The process takes about 8-12 months. If you and your present wife were married before the U.S. Citizen child sponsoring you turned age 18, then that child can sponsor your wife separately as well, as a “step parent”. However, if the child was age 18 or over when you and your current wife married, then you will need to wait until you receive your U.S. Residency, then you can sponsor your wife. The current waiting line for a visa as the Spouse or Minor Child of a U.S. Resident (Greencard holder) is 1 ½ to 2 years.I will email you a list of the documents and information I will need to get started on your case.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Immigration How To:
How Do I Change My Social Security Immigration Records?
Trump Turns His Back On Haitians and Cancels TPS
Never Send Original Documents To the USCIS!
Naturalization Applications Skyrocket, As Residents See
U.S. Immigration System Under Threat!
Despite his campaign promise to Haitians during the 2016 election to be their “… biggest champion.”, instead, Trump took the first opportunity possible in his Administration to strike a blow against the Haitian community, by cancelling Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Reneging on promises seems to be an ongoing theme for Trump, who is the master of talking out of both sides of his mouth, but to take away protections for such a vulnerable community, in need of compassion and assistance is unconscionable.
Under a Trumps directive, on November 20, 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate TPS designation for Haiti on July 22, 2019, providing Haitians with18 months to prepare to return to the still ravaged country. Experts predict that cancellation of TPS for Hondurans will be announced soon as well.
As the realization has set in among the Immigrant community that the Trump Administration means to dismantle our current Immigration system, more and more U.S. Residents are filing for Naturalization, to become U.S. Citizens. The decision to naturalize is motivated not only by the desire to vote in upcoming elections, but more importantly, to be able to sponsor family members in case Congress eliminates most family immigration categories.
As a result, the average processing time for Naturalization applications have shot up from six to ten or more months, with waiting times increasing daily. According to USCIS data, there is currently a backlog of 708,638 Naturalization applications pending nationwide. So don’t put it off, nothing is certain in this time of Trump, file for your Naturalization now, as your Christmas present to yourself and your family!
Question: My son lives in New York and he just became a U.S. Citizen last month. I have lived down here in Florida for many years after coming to the U.S. to visit as a tourist and then overstayed. My question is whether my son can still file immigration papers for me, even though I have overstayed for many years and if so, do I have to move up to New York in order to qualify or can I stay down here in Florida. Thanks.
Answer: Under Immigration regulations, Parents/Spouses and Minor children of U.S. Citizens are “Immediate Relatives” and as long as they entered the U.S. legally (meaning being inspected by an immigration officer), then even if the I-94 period of stay expires and they become “out of legal status”, they can still obtain U.S. Residency through their U.S. citizen child (age 21 or older). Since you live in Florida, we would be filing your Residency petition using your Florida address. Parents are not required to live at the same address as their sponsoring children. However, if you are scheduled for a residency interview, your son may have to travel to Florida to accompany you. The USCIS waives Interviews for many parents, although that trend may be reversed under Trump.
When an immigrant obtains Residency or U.S. Citizenship, the Social Security Administration needs to change its records to reflect the new status. To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security office and take your current card, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions.
Presently, options for Haitians are limited, even while immigration advocates are calling on Trump to reverse his decision and for Congress to pass legislation to allow them stay and continue to live in the U.S., after making their home here, so many years ago. But with both the House and Senate held by Republicans, the odds are slim. Haitians who entered the U.S. legally and are married to U.S. Citizens can apply for Residency, however most Haitians entered the country without inspection and would need a waiver to obtain legal status. And while many Haitians have U.S. Citizen children, under current laws, American children cannot sponsor their parents until the children reach age 21. The final option for many may be to apply for refugee status in Canada, but even that option is not guaranteed. For now, most Haitians will just wait and hope like DREAMERS, that a permanent solution can be found, stay tuned…
Applications filed with the USCIS generally require that supporting documentation be submitted in order to prove eligibility. Such documents include Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Divorce Decrees, Criminal documents, etc. The USCIS requires that all official documents be a copy of either the original, or of the certified copy of the original.
Never send original documentation to the USCIS unless specifically requested. Original or certified documents are generally only required to be provided to the USCIS officer during an interview. Therefore, if you send original document to the USCIS Service Center, you will no longer have the original document to bring with you as required to the interview at your local Field office.
Finally, always make a copy of everything that you send to the USCIS for your records, otherwise, you have no proof of what you sent. Good luck!
To learn more about changing your Social Security records, click on the link below: