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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 am 37 year old Canadian, my mother is a Resident and my sister just became an American Citizen. Since most of my family is now living in the U.S., I want to immigrate there to be with them. My question is whether both my mom and sister can sponsor me and how long it takes?
Answer: The waiting line for adult, single children of U.S. Residents is about 7-8 years or longer (called F2B Family Preference category), there is no immigration category for married children of U.S. Residents. The waiting line for siblings (brothers & sisters) of U.S. Citizens is even longer, 12+ years and includes both single and married siblings (called F4 Family Preference category). To answer your question, your U.S. Citizen sister can sponsor you and as long as you are single, your U.S. Resident mother can sponsor you as well. Just note that if you are single and your mom sponsor’s you, you have to wait until she becomes a U.S. Citizen before you marry, otherwise, the immigrant visa case will be automatically cancelled. There is no limit on the number of immigrant visa petitions that can be filed for you.
Obamacare 2015 Open Enrollment Began November 1st – 
Which Immigrants Are Eligible?
USCIS Guide For New Immigrants Is Now Available
The USCIS has released a new “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants” which provides practical tips and information for new immigrants. The guide covers various areas including finding a place to live, applying for a Social Security number and how the U.S. government works and is available in 14 languages. 

Download the new guide:

USCIS Guide for New Immigrants
This years enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”) began on November 1st. Many Immigrants are confused about their eligibility ObamaCare, so here’s a list of some of the common non U.S. Citizen immigration statuses which are eligible for health coverage.
Question: I am married with 2 kids and was sponsored by my dad who is a U.S. Citizen back in 2009 and the petition was approved. We are from Jamaica and have U.S. B1/B2 tourist visas good until 2022. I just registered a new LLC company in Florida and would like to know if it is possible to work and live in the U.S. while waiting for our appointment to immigrate? 
Answer: Unfortunately, immigration regulations don’t allow you to live or work in the U.S. until an Immigrant Visa is available for you, unless you obtain another visa which allows you to do so in the U.S. legally. Since you are from Jamaica, you might qualify for an E-2 investor visa to live and work in the U.S. while operating your LLC company, depending upon how much money you have to invest and what kind of business you are going to do. I’ve attached some information for you about E-2 visas for you to review and let me know any questions you might have.
Right now, the F3 Category for married adult children of U.S. Citizens only has visas available for cases filed in June of 2005. Since your case was filed in 2009, there is another 4 years or more to wait. If President Obama’s new Immigrant Visa policy is continued in the future, you and your family (spouse and children under age 21) may be able to adjust status inside the U.S. about one year earlier than if you processed through the U.S. Consulate, but that is still 3+ years from now.
Immigrants holding the following Immigration Status:
Permanent and temporary Residents (Green Card holders)
Cuban/Haitian entrant
Paroled into the U.S.
Conditional entrant granted before 1980
Battered spouse, child, or parent (VAWA)
Victim of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent
Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal
Individual with non-immigrant status (including worker visas, student visas)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Deferred Action Status (EXCEPT: DACA)
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Victim of trafficking visa
Asylum who has been granted employment authorization
Withholding of Deportation/Removal 
Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
Applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Granted an administrative stay of removal by the DHS 

Find out more about qualifying for Obamacare:
Question: I am from Spain and met my girlfriend who is a US citizen last year while I was on vacation in America. We have been visiting each other since then and are getting serious. But, before marrying, we would like to live together for a few years to make sure we are compatible. I was wondering if there is a visa that would let me stay in the U.S. and work before we get married?  
Answer: Your plan is very practical even if U.S. immigration laws are not. Unfortunately, the K-1 fiancée visa which would allow you to live and work here, requires that you get married in 90 days after arrival, not much time. You might want to consider applying for an F-1 student visa to study here, or finding a U.S. company to sponsor you on an H-1B work visa as other options. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Scam Reported By One of Our Readers
Beware of Surprise Gifts or Packages Requiring Postage or Shipping Fees
Here’s a new scam encountered by a friend of one of our readers, recounted to me in an email:

The Email Read:
“This is one I had never heard about, and I think it is worthy of forwarding. This one could easily slip by most anyone - beware of people bearing gifts. Especially now as the Holidays near. The following is a recounting of the incident from a victim:

Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: "Express Couriers,"(The name could have been anything) he asked if I was going to be home because there was a package delivery for me that required a signature . The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour, and sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. I was very surprised since it did not involve any special occasion or holiday, and I certainly didn't expect anything like it. Intrigued about who had sent me such a gift, I inquired as to who the sender was. The deliveryman's reply was, he was only delivering the gift package, but allegedly a card was being sent separately... (the card has never arrived!) There was also a consignment note with the gift. He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a $3.50 "delivery/ verification charge," providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult of legal drinking age, and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that everything is properly accounted for, and this would keep help in keeping a legal record of the transaction. He added couriers not needing to carry a bunch of cash, would make them less likely targets for robbery.

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled his wallet out of his pocket with the credit/debit card, and 'John,' the "delivery man," asked my husband to swipe his card on a small mobile card machine. It had a small screen and keypad where Frank was also asked to enter the card's PIN and security number. A receipt was printed out and given to us as our copy of the transaction. He then said everything was in order, and wished us good day.

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $4,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at various ATM machines. It appeared that somehow the "mobile credit card machine," which the deliveryman carried now had all the info necessary to create a "dummy" card with all our card details after my husband swiped our card and entered the requested PIN and security number. Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank which issued us a new card, and our credit/debit account was closed.

We also personally went to the Police, where it was confirmed that it is definitely a scam because several households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any "surprise gift or package," which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction ! Pass this on to your dear and near ones, as it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.”

Good advice!
Here's a rundown of common Business and Investment Visas:

The E-2 Visa: The E-2 Visa for Colombians and nationals of other E-2 Treaty countries is a great immigration Visa for foreign investors to operate their own U.S. company, while living and working in the U.S. almost perpetually. E-2 Visas are issued inside the U.S. for two years, and can be extended every two years virtually forever, as long as the U.S. company continues to operate. E-2 Visas issued abroad at U.S. Consulates can be for up to a period of five years. Dependents are also issued E-2 Visas in order to live in the U.S. and Spouses are issued Work Permits. E-2 Visas require an investment in and ownership of at least 50% of a new or existing U.S. company. A safe minimum investment, with a high likelihood for USCIS approval, would be $80,000 USD or higher. Lesser investment amounts are eligible, but can be more difficult to obtain USCIS and U.S. Consular approval. However, even with all its other great benefits, the E-2 Visa does not lead to a Green Card. Because of this, investors who are able to make a higher investment are often much better off going straight to a Green Card investment. E-2 Visas can be approved in as little as 15 days with premium processing inside the U.S. and approx 30-60 days at U.S. Consulates abroad.

L-1 Visa: L-1 visas allow foreign companies to open branches and subsidiaries in the U.S. and to transfer executives, managers and other specialized personnel to the U.S. in order to work in the company and in many cases, obtain Green Cards. Once the U.S. company has been in full operations in the U.S. for a year with income and employees, the L-1 Executive or Manager may then file for residency as a Multinational Executive. This is one of the quickest routes to getting a Green Card. L-1 regulations do not require a minimum investment, however, starting a new business can be costly. The main criteria the USCIS uses when considering eligibility for an L-1 extension is the number of employees, the higher the number of employees, the better the chance of approval. So when determining how much investment will be required for an L-1 visa and U.S. Residency process, payroll costs and other operational expenses must be calculated.L-1 Visas can be approved in as little as 15 days with premium processing. Dependents are also issued L-2 Visas in order to live in the U.S. and Spouses are issued Work Permits.

The EB-5 Visa: One of the best Immigrant Visas for a Green Card through investment is the investor visa, which allows foreign investors to invest $500,000 in a USCIS approved investment center, and receive U.S. Residency (Green Cards) for themselves, their Spouses and all minor Children in as little as 6 months. Investors receive investment income (5-7%) like other financial investments (stocks and bonds) and can obtain a return of much of their investment capital after 5 years. Since this investment visa allows investors to obtain Green Cards for themselves and all their immediate family members, it is often the most cost-efficient approach to immigrating to the U.S., being used by thousands of investors every year. The key to success in EB-5 investment is to invest in a safe, established investment center which has long record of success. There are so many investment centers competing for investor money, choosing the best one requires great care and expert advice from a qualified immigration attorney with experience in EB-5 Visas. The great benefit of this investment is that once the investment is made, the investor and his family can live, work, operate their own business, retire and do anything they desire in the U.S., while still obtaining a Green Card. For investors desiring to operate their own U.S. business, the EB-5 program also allows foreign investors to invest $500,000 in their own business, in certain economic zones and obtain a Green Card. However, this program can be more risky, since under the program, investors are required to employ 10 U.S. workers for two years in order to obtain a permanent Green Card. If the business drops down below 10 full-time employees during the two year period, the investor risks losing the Green Card. As a result, even though many investors desire to control their own business, in many cases, it is not always the safest choice, except for businesses which typically employ 10 fulltime workers or more. 

You can learn more about obtaining a Green Card through Employment Immigration by visiting our website at:

Immigration How To:
How Do I Find Out About Business And Investment Visas?
 There are several immigration visa options available for foreign entrepreneurs who desire to start their own U.S. business or to make an investment in the U.S. and obtain a Green Card. 

Understanding the difference between the various visas and determining which one is the best choice, depending upon the immigration goals and objectives, is the most important decision to make make before taking any other step. 
Priority Date Checker Helps Immigrants Determine Current 
Waiting Times For Immigrant Visas
The State Department provides a website tool which helps Immigrants check the current Priority Date for their family Immigration category, in order to compare it with their individual priority date (the date the I-130 petition was filed) to find out how much longer they must wait in the long Immigrant Visa waiting line. 

The current Priority Date, means the date that the State Department has Immigrant Visas available in each family category. For instance, if the Priority Date for single, adult children of U.S. Citizens in the F1 family category is showing as 22FEB08, that means that all single, adult children of U.S. Citizens who’s I-130 applications were filed on or before February 22, 2008 are currently eligible to immigrate. In such cases, the National Visa Center would have contacted the U.S. Sponsor and Immigrant to provide notification that final consular processing has begun.
To check the current Priority Date for your family Immigration category, click on the link below, choose the most current Visa Bulletin, enter the country of the immigrating relative and choose the appropriate family category, ie:
F1 Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
F2A Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
F2B Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents
F3 Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
F4 Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

Priority Date Checker
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Appeals Court Refuses To Allow President Obama’s Executive Action DACA & DAPA Programs To Move Forward
In a disappointing decision on Monday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Obama Administration’s request to move forward on the Executive Actions announced by the President in November 2014, to expand the current DACA program for Dreamers and create a new DAPA program for some parents of Residents and Citizens.

This Appeals court ruling is essentially a refusal to lift the “stay” issued by the lower court in Texas and is not a final decision on the validity of Obama’s Executive Actions themselves. For background, the legal controversy originally arose when the State of Texas filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration to stop the President’s Executive Actions from being implemented in February 2015.
Under the President’s Executive Actions, estimated to benefit some 5 Million Immigrants, the expanded DACA program for Dreamers would allow Immigrants who came to the U.S. on or before January 1, 2010 (before the age of 16), to apply for DACA status and a Work Permit, without a restriction on their current age and the new DAPA program would allow parents who came to the U.S. on or before January 1, 2010 and who had U.S. Resident or Citizen children (born before November 20, 2014) to apply for DAPA status and a Work Permit.

This decision clears the way for the Obama Administration to Appeal directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would rule on the case in the Spring of 2016.

Read more about the recent Appeals Court decision:

Read the Appeals Court Ruling
Huffington Post

Read more about the President's Executive Actions:

Expanded DACA