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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: DECEMBER 19, 2016
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2016
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Questions & Answers
Question: My parents brought me with them to the U.S. when my dad came on a student visa 10 years ago and I was 13 yrs old. Soon after that, he dropped out of school so we all lost our immigration status. I have been on DACA status for the past few years and now me and my girlfriend want to get married. She is an American born citizen. My question is, can you apply for my Green Card once we get married even though I am on DACA? Will I lose my DACA status and work permit? How long is the process? Thanks for explaining the process to us.
This Week's Immigration News
New Senate Bill May Protect DREAMERS From Trump!
A group of Senators plan to introduce a Bi-Partisan Bill in January 2017, in an effort to prevent Trump from cancelling the DACA program for DREAMERS.
The proposed measure, which has both Democratic and Republican support, is meant to provide legal protections to young Immigrants eligible under the DACA program (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals), for children who were brought to the U.S. at an early age by their parents.
Currently, eligible DACA Immigrants are protected by President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration issued in 2012.
USCIS Reminder To Use New Naturalization Form
Beginning December 23rd
Answer: Yes, DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) applicants are eligible to apply for Green Cards just like any other immigrant. As long as you entered the U.S. legally and were inspected by an Immigration officer, you are eligible to apply for U.S. Residency inside the U.S.. Since you came with your father who was on a student visa, you likely entered the U.S. legally. You will need to have your I-94 card in order to prove to the USCIS that you entered the country legally. If you have lost your I-94 card, we can apply on your behalf for a replacement card before filing your Residency application. Once you get married, we can file your residency adjustment of status application and you can use your current DACA work authorization until your new work authorization is approved. It generally take between 4-6 months under the spousal residency process for you to receive your Green Card.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Beginning this week, on December 23, 2016, the USCIS will only accept new Naturalization applications using the 12/23/16 edition (form N-400). Also remember the increased USCIS filing fees go into effect as well.
The new filing fees for Naturalization are $725 ($640 filing fee, plus $85 Biometrics fee).
Download the new Naturalization application:
New Mobile Friendly Citizenship Resource Center
Makes Studying For Your Naturalization Test Easier
The USCIS Citizenship Resource Center which provides free citizenship preparation and study materials recently became friendlier to those using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.
Visit the Citizenship Resource Center:
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Qualify To Apply For Early Naturalization?
Eligible U.S. Residents who are spouses of U.S. Citizens can apply for Naturalization early and obtain their U.S. Citizenship in only 2 years and 9 months.
Most U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) must wait for 4 years and 9 months before being eligible to apply for Naturalization. However, qualifying U.S. Residents who are married to U.S. Citizens are eligible to apply 2 years earlier, called “Early Naturalization”.
To qualify under this expedited U.S. Citizenship process, a U.S. Resident must fall under what is commonly called the “3/3/3” rule. 1) The U.S. Resident must be married to their U.S. Citizen spouse for at least 3 years and 2) their U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at
However, an Executive Action is strictly a Presidential order, which can be immediately cancelled by an incoming president Trump. A Congressional Act on the other hand, which could be a law passed by Congress prior to Trump taking office, would prevent Trump from taking away DACA protection. The BRIDGE Act (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy), would continue to provide protection and work authorization for eligible DACA Immigrants.
President-elect Trump has promised to cancel the DACA program immediately upon taking office. Without the proposed BRIDGE Act law, over 741,000 Immigrants currently under the DACA program will lose protection once their current status expires.
Please call your Senator or Congressional representative over the December holidays and tell them you support the BRIDGE Act proposed by Senator Durbin.
Find out more:
Question: My daughter is a U.S. citizen and wants to file for her husband’s green card. They met in college as students and she has another year to go before she graduates. She has a small job on campus but does not make much money. She has asked me if I can do his Affidavit of Support for them. Am I able to file the affidavit for them?
Answer: Most U.S. Residents and Citizens who sponsor a foreign relative, including a spouse, are required to file an Affidavit of Support. If the sponsor’s income does not meet the requirements, a U.S. Resident or Citizen Joint-Sponsor can be used who does qualify. Note that your daughter must still file an I-864 Affidavit of Support and provide proof that she does not meet the minimum income requirements, and you provide a Joint-Sponsor Affidavit as well, along with the required financial supporting documentation including your most recent tax return, employer letter and paystubs to prove your income.
Question: I am in Colombia and want some information about my elder sister who has American citizenship sponsoring me for a green card in the U.S.. Can you please tell me how much time it will take? We heard a lot of contradictory things and want the truth, thanks.
Answer: As long as your sister is a U.S. Citizen, she can sponsor her siblings to immigrate to the U.S.. However, there are long lines in most family immigration categories, including siblings. For instance, a brother or sister and his or her family from Colombia (and most countries) must wait a minimum of approximately 12 years or more, while nationals of other countries like Mexico must wait 20+ plus years or so. The reason siblings have to wait so long is simple – there are only about 65,000 Immigrant Visas per year for brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens and this includes Immigrant visas not only for siblings, but for their spouses and all minor children (under age 21 at the time of immigrating).
So, if there are only 65,000 visas available each year and 780,000 brothers, sisters and their immediate family members apply each year, the line keeps getting longer and longer. However, the sooner your sister begins the process, the sooner you will be able to immigrate. It is just very important to understand from the beginning, what the timing is, so you can plan your future accordingly. You can visit the Visa Bulletin released every month by the state department which shows how long the current waiting line is for every family category and subscribe to have the monthly Bulletin emailed to you. I hope this was helpful.
least 3 years and finally, the U.S. Resident must have held that status for at least 3 years (really 2 years and 9 months). So, as long as the U.S. Resident meets these requirements and is not only currently married to, but continues to reside in a real marriage with their U.S. Citizen spouse – they can apply for early naturalization… now you know ...