Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: December 17,  2018
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2018 
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
Question: I have a question about getting my residency. I came to florida in 2011 on vacation and my uncle has a business and offered me a job so I stayed her all these years. I don’t want to do a fake marriage so I am wanting to find out ways to get my status here. My uncle wants to sponsor me, so is there a way he can file for me as his family and I can get my green card?
Answer: Only certain family members can sponsor relatives to immigrate to the U.S.. U.S. Citizens can sponsor their Spouses, minor Children (under age 21) and Parents (called “Immediate Relatives”) and also their adult single Children (including their minor children under age 21) in the F1 Immigration Category, adult married Children (including spouse and minor children under age 21) in the F3 Immigration Category and Siblings (Brothers & Sisters and their spouse and minor children under age 21) in the F4 Immigration Category. 

U.S. Residents can sponsor their Spouses and minor Children in the F2A Immigration Category and single adult Children in the F2B Immigration Category. There is no Immigration Category for a U.S. Resident to sponsor a married adult Child or a Parent.
Similarly, under immigration laws, an Aunt/Uncle cannot directly sponsor a Niece or Nephew. A Niece or Nephew can only immigrate as a minor child (under age 21) along with a parent who was sponsored directly by the parent’s sibling (the child’s Aunt or Uncle) in the F4 Immigration Category. 

Once a child becomes an adult at age 21 or older, they no longer qualify to immigrate along with their parents in the F4 Immigration Category. They can be sponsored separately in another Immigration Category called F2B by a U.S. Resident Parent as long as they remain single. However, they must go to the back of the Immigrant Visa waiting line and it currently takes about 7-8 years before a visa becomes available so that they can immigrate to the U.S. to join their family members. In your case, you will either have to wait until the law changes or you meet the U.S. Citizen of your dreams and get your Green Card through a real marriage.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Immigration How To:
How Do I Get My Fingerprints Taken For My Immigration Application?
Citizens Can Expedite U.S. Entry At Airports  
During Busy Holiday Travel
Now that the holiday travel rush is on, its nice to know that going through the airport U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can be a breeze for U.S. Citizens returning to the U.S. from travel abroad. Miami and other major airports allow Citizens and Canadians to expedite entry and reduces wait times using a new Mobile Option for Customs Declaration, called “Mobile Passport Control (MPC)”. The mobile cell phone app allows U.S. Citizens and Canadians to submit their passport information and customs declaration forms via the smartphone and tablet app prior to CBP inspection. Android and iPhone users can download Mobile Passport for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Immigrants With No Criminal History Are Not Required 
To Have Fingerprints Taken At A Police Department 

In most cases, Immigrants who have no prior criminal history do not need to have fingerprints taken at the police depart in order to obtain a “police clearance” report prior to filing I-485 Adjustment of Status (“Green Card”) and Naturalization applications. 

These days fingerprints are done by the USCIS and are only required to be taken by the Immigration Support Center. So don’t waste time going to the local police station to obtain such reports. 
Tax Season Is Just Around The Corner – 
Beware of Phone Scams and Tax Identity Theft!
Now that Tax season is rolling around again, Immigrants should to beware of tax phone scams. Immigrants are reminded not to fall victim to scammers who call and say they are with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)! There has been an increase in aggressive phone scams where people call and threaten Immigrants with police arrest or deportation if they don’t pay a fine over the phone by credit, debit card or other means. The USCIS and IRS wants Immigrants to know that the a real IRS agent will NEVER call and demand immediate payment over the phone, NEVER try to threaten or intimidate, NEVER demand payment with a prepaid debit card, or ask for your credit card or debit card number over the phone and NEVER threaten to call the police or immigration agents if you don’t pay.
Don’t Get Stuck Without It! Renew Your Work & Travel Permits Early 
Immigrants who have filed Residency applications and received work (employment authorization) and travel permits (advance parole) know that the card expires one year from the date of issuance. That seems like a long time and in the old days, when the residency process only took 6-8 months that was fine. These days, with ever longer USCIS processing times, the residency process can take up to two years in some jurisdictions. As a result, immigrants now need to renew their work/travel permits at least once and sometimes several times in order to continue working and travelling abroad during the process. In acknowledgment of excessive processing times, the USCIS has enacted a policy which automatically extends the validity of work permits for 180 days following expiration. 
Question:I went to my citizenship interview last week and the officer said I was approved and gave me the appointment for my swearing in later this week. I have a question for you. My husband and his daughter came as tourists to Miami a few years ago, never left and live here in the U.S. with me. My question is whether once I swear in I can file for my husband even though his visa expired? Also, about my step daughter, she is 12 years old so I want to know if I have to legally adopt her so I can file her immigration papers or do we have to wait until my husband gets his status so he can get her papers? It is very confusing.
Answer: Great question. Even though your husband and step- daughter are in the U.S. with expired immigration status, since they entered the U.S. legally as tourists (with inspection by an immigration officer) they can both still adjust status inside the U.S. to that of a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder). So, once you are sworn in as a naturalized Citizen, we can file residency petitions for your husband and step-daughter at the same time. A step-child is considered as the “Child” of a step-parent for immigration purposes, as long as the U.S. Citizen and foreign national marry before a child turns age 18. Your step- daughter is only 12, so she is considered to be your child under immigration rules. Therefore, she can obtain his Green Card along with your husband. You would not need to legally adopt your step-daughter for her immigration process.
USCIS Begins Sending Out Appointment Cancellation 
& Reschedule Notices
As a result of the recent USCIS office closures on Wednesday December 5, 2018 due to the national day of mourning in remembrance of former President George H.W. Bush, the USCIS has begun sending out notices to immigrants and Residents cancelling upcoming scheduled interviews and swearing in ceremonies. These cancellations are aimed at accommodating those whose interviews, appointments and ceremonies were cancelled on December 5th due to the national day of mourning.

Those who were not able to attend scheduled interviews and appointments due to the closure have begun receiving reschedule notices. Those who have not received a reschedule notice within 30 days should contact the USCIS at: 1 (800) 375-5283 to request a reschedule or infopass appointment.
If you get a call like this, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration by calling 800-366-4484. 
However, pending immigrants do not receive any specific authorization about the policy and must rely upon an announcement on the USCIS website. This often causes disruption in employment and driver’s license renewals, as some employers and driver’s license offices do not understand the policy and instead demand to see a formal extension notice for the immigrant issued by the USCIS. Further, the travel permit is not automatically extended and once expired, the immigrant is unable to continue to travel abroad until the renewal is received. 

Now days, processing of form I-765 can take 4-6 months, immigrants should be very diligent about applying for work authorization renewal once the card is 180 days (six months) from expiration. Do not apply earlier, since the case will be rejected. Similarly, an application for renewal of the travel permit should be filed 120 days (four months) prior to expiration. It’s important to note that once the travel permit form I-131 is filed, an immigrant cannot travel outside the U.S. until the new permit is received, otherwise the pending application will be denied. This presents real problems for immigrants with valid travel permits who need to travel abroad, but are forced to remain inside the U.S. due to the pending travel permit renewal.

Remember that filing renewals is FREE! You paid for unlimited renewals when you paid your initial $1,225 USCIS Filing Fee. Just be sure to complete the forms properly, attach a copy of your current card or approval notice, copy of : biographic page of your passport and I-485 receipt and two passport photos taken at Walgreens or CVS, not from your cell phone. We can take care of properly filing your renewals, just give us a call at: 954-382-5378
Now more than ever, you need to be extra careful about filing any immigration application with the USCIS. Before filing your Immigration application, use the following tips to ensure proper filing.

1) Eligibility: Before filing any application with the USCIS make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. This is vital now that an application denial can lead to deportation.

2) Use the correct Form: Be sure you have the most current edition of the form. Never pay for forms, they are free. To download the current edition of each form, go to and click on the Forms link, then choose your form. 
3) Supporting Documents: Make sure and include all required documents so your case is not delayed. Read the Form Instructions and enclose copies of the required supporting documents listed. Never send originals

4) Foreign Language Documents: All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation and “Certificate of Translation” signed by the translator, attesting to the fact that they are fluent in the foreign language and English. Example: I [name of translator], certify that I am fluent in the English and [type in name of foreign language, for instance, Spanish] languages, and that the above is an accurate translation of the attached document. Have the translator sign, date and type in his or her address. Note that an Applicant, family member or anyone else can be the translator, you do not need a certified translator or any other special certification.

5) Copies: Keep copies of every page of your signed application, all supporting documents and check/money order for your records.

6) Filing Fees: Make sure the USCIS filing fee is correct. Go online to and click on the Forms link to see the current filing fee for each form. Pay particular attention to applications which require biometrics fees in addition to the regular filing fees. You can pay your fees by regular personal check, Cashier’s Check, Money Orders, Credit Cards, Debit Cards and even Gift Cards. If using a card, you will need to download and complete form G-1450. However, be very careful about making sure that you have enough funds in the card for the filing fees and fill out a separate G-1450 form for the filing fee for each separate form. For instance, if your residency application is based upon marriage, you’ll need to fill out a form G-1450 for the form I-485 for $1,225 and a separate one for form I-130 $535. You can get link to the list of fees for all the forms by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.

7) Sending your application: Use Fed-ex or USCIS Priority Mail or Express Mail with tracking. Be sure to get delivery confirmation a few days after you send your application, to confirm it was received and save the confirmation for your records. 

8) Sign-up for E-Notification: Always file Form G-1145 with your application (put it on top of your forms), to receive a text message or email e-notification confirming that the application was received and accepted for processing by the USCIS along with the case receipt number(s). 

9) Sign-up for E-Mail Case Updates: Once you receive your USCIS Receipt (called I-797 Notice of Action) – usually in about 10 days, go online to and click on “Check your case status” then sign-up for email updates on your case using your case number.

10) Check USCIS Processing Times: Go to and click on “Check your case status” then scroll down and click on “USCIS Processing Times Information” and click on the Service Center or office where your case is processing to see the current processing times for your application type.  

USCIS Overview of Paying Filing Fees
Current USCIS Filing Fees

Ten Important Tips For Filing Immigration Applications
Question: Good morning. I am a greencard holder and filed for my husband in jamaica a few years ago. Finally he has his interview at the Embassy next week. We have a few questions for you about the process. First, is he going to receive his Green Card at the Embassy interview or how does that work? The online immigration form we had to fill out for the Embassy asks us whether we want my husband to be issued a social security card and we said yes. Does that mean that it will automatically be issued to him at the Embassy during his interview or will he receive it by mail in jamaica? We saw that he will have to pay $220 for his residency so we want to know if he can pay that at the interview or when? Thank you for your answers. 
Answer: Your husband will not receive his Green Card or Social Security card during his Consular interview. The process goes like this: Once your husband is approved for his Immigrant visa at his consular interview, he will receive an Immigrant Visa package via courier or pickup. He must take the package with him when he enters the U.S.. At the time he enters the U.S., he presents the package to the U.S. officers at the airport and they process his paperwork and order his Green Card and have it sent to the U.S. address he gives them. The $220 Immigrant Visa fee should be paid after the consular interview once his Immigrant Visa is approved and he has to pay it online (according to the instructions sheet he will receive from the consulate) before entering the U.S. and bring his receipt with him to show that it was paid. Upon entering the U.S., the officer will stamp his passport with his immigrant entry stamp. It can take 30 -60 days or so for him to receive his Green Card after he enters the U.S and about 30 days or so for the social security administration to send him his social security card in mail.. I hope this was helpful to you.
However, in both types of cases, if you were ever arrested, even if the case was later dismissed, you need to obtain an official stamped/certified copy of both:

1) the arrest report (obtain from the police dept. which arrested you) and 
2) the court disposition (obtain from the court where your case was adjudicated). 

The originals are to be given to the USCIS officer at the time of your interview. Only send copies in your initial petition package.