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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: DECEMBER 21, 2015
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2015
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Questions & Answers
Question: Hi Caroly. My wife is becoming a us citizen (on December 18th) Can she petition her daughter (24 years old) being here as a tourist legally and do a adjustment of status to permanent resident as per the immigration information I read on the internet? I know it will still take 6 years, but I want to know if she can still be here waiting for that without having to return to her country?
Answer: Remember in life, like our mothers told us, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Your wife can petition for her daughter, but her daughter is not eligible to adjust status until an Immigrant visa is available for her in about 5-6 years. There is no way around that. If she does overstay, she will be barred from being able to immigrate to the U.S. in future, so don’t give her the wrong information!
All family Immigration categories, other than Parents, Spouses and Minor Children of U.S. Citizens have to wait in long lines. There is no way to get around the lines, even if an Immigrant has a U.S. Tourist visa. Immigration regulations simply do not allow family members being sponsored to stay inside the U.S. while waiting in the Immigrant Visa line, unless they have obtained another kind of visa like a Student visa which allows them to legally do so. Otherwise, everyone in the world who has been sponsored by a family member would be here.
It is true that President Obama has improved the Immigrant Visa program by allowing certain Immigrants who have U.S. Visas to file for adjustment of status in the U.S. about a year earlier than those who have to go through the U.S. Consulate, but that is very limited and governed by very specific technical dates provided by the State Department each month.
Readers should be very careful about the misinformation or misunderstanding of information on the internet, since an innocent mistake made in one’s Immigration case, can sometimes be the difference between being able to Immigrate to the U.S. or being “barred” from entry or becoming eligible for Residency.
This Week's Immigration News
Congress Extends Current EB-5 Green Card Investor Program
With No Changes Until September 30, 2016!
In a last minute move, Congress passed a so called “Omnibus” funding Bill to fund the U.S. government for the year 2016, which included a provision to extend the popular EB-5 Investor Visa (Green Card) program until September 30, 2016.
This Bill extends the program without any changes, including allowing investors to continue to receive Green Cards through Regional Centers and business investments in specified areas within the U.S. for $500,000. This came as a big surprise, since a bipartisan deal had already been agreed on by both Democrats and Republicans to drastically reform the program, including increasing the minimum investment to between $800,000 to $1.2 Million. However, in the end, due to the complexity of new provisions in the proposed measure, Congress opted instead to spend additional time work out the technical details before making the new program permanent.
Question: My wife and I are Colombians and here with our kids (ages 10 & 12) visiting family for the holiday. Both our kids are American citizens because they were born during the time we were attending school here on student visas. We are thinking to have our kids stay here in the U.S. since they are U.S. Citizens and enroll them in public school starting in the new year. We want to know if as parents of Americans, we can be allowed to stay here with them to take care of them while they are attending school. Is there some kind of visa we can get for that purposes? Can we extend our visitor visa to stay? What if we use our visitor visa and come back and forth, would that be a problem?
Answer: Under current immigration regulations, there is no visa which will allow the Parent of a U.S. Citizen to stay and live in the U.S.. The law only allows children age 21 or older to sponsor Parents for Residency. Although, there is a possibility that under President Obama’s Executive Action DAPA program (currently being heard by the Supreme Court), Parents of U.S. Citizens and Residents who had entered the U.S. on or before January 1st of 2010 would be eligible for a work permit and legal status.
Since you arrived in the U.S. recently you have a few options. One option is for you to apply for another F-1 student visa for yourself or wife, which would allow you to stay in the U.S. with your children for as long as you are in school. Also, if you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s from a U.S. college, you will receive a work permit for at least one year or more.
Another is that as a Colombian, you are eligible for a special visa called an E-2 treaty Investor visa, which allows you to make an investment in your own business in the U.S. and be able to live and work here, almost perpetually, as long as the business remains operating and you have hire U.S. workers. We can discuss this in more detail when we meet next week.
In your current situation, if you try to use your B1/B2 Tourist visa to keep coming back and forth between the U.S. and Colombia after having stayed in the U.S. for long periods of time, eventually the officers at the border may stop you and even cancel your tourist visa. Also, if you extend your B visa another 6 months, then you leave the U.S. after that, the officers at the border may not allow you to enter the U.S. because of that extension, which is a big risk. So it is good that you are asking the tough questions now and resolving your visa status before you get into problems at the border that you can’t easily solve. See you next week.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
This provides a unique opportunity for Investor’s worldwide to take advantage of the program before the investment amount increases and the program regulations become more stringent.
Find out more about the EB-5 Green Card Investor Program:
Read more about the EB-5 program extension:
A program implemented by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency at Miami and other major airports, expedites entry and reduces wait times using a new Mobile Option for Customs Declaration, called “Mobile Passport Control (MPC)”.
Cell Phone Application Expedites Customs Processing At Miami Airport
Visit the CBP Mobile Passport Website:
President Signs New Visa Waiver Program Restrictions Into Law
The congressional Bill tightening restrictions on the Visa Waiver Program was signed into law last week as part of the federal funding bill. Under the new law “nationals” and “dual” nationals of Syria, Iraq, and those of other countries (to be designated) as well as those who have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria within the past five years are excluded from using the “Visa Waiver” program (VWP).
Those individuals must instead apply for a U.S. visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad and go through extensive securities checks.
This new mobile cell phone application 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.
Immigration How To…
How Do I Travel Outside the U.S. While I'm Waiting For My Green Card?
Similarly, certain foreign nationals who are sponsored by a U.S. company, or through Investment or another qualifying Immigrant Visa program to adjust status to Residency inside the U.S.. In such cases, the qualifying immigrant files the form I-485 application along with evidentiary proof of eligibility with the USCIS along with a request for Employment Authorization (often called a Work Permit) and if eligible, a request for Advance Parole (often referred to as a Travel Permit). Both the Work and Travel permits are generally issued within about 90 days.
Interestingly, once the I-485 adjustment of status application has been filed and accepted by the USCIS, the foreign national is now in the “adjustment of status” process and is not authorized to re-enter the U.S. after travel abroad at any time before receiving U.S. Residency (a Green Card) without the explicit permission of the USCIS through its issuance of an Advance Parole document. This document is not an authorization to leave the U.S. as many immigrant believe, but instead an authorization to be allowed to re-enter the U.S. after foreign travel abroad.
If an immigrant who is in the “adjustment of status” process leaves the U.S. without first applying for an “Advance Parole” document, his or her pending application for U.S. Residency will be automatically cancelled. In many cases, applicants can find themselves stranded abroad and unable to re-enter the U.S..
There are a few exceptions to this rule, which include those immigrants who have valid work visas stamped in their passports for an L-1 or H-1B work visa and those for dependants. In such cases, adjustment of status applicants with these passport visa stamps are permitted to re-enter the U.S. using these entry visas and are not required to use an Advance Parole document.
Most importantly, Immigrants who's I-94 cards expired before filing for Adjustment of Status may not be eligible to travel outside the U.S. while waiting for residency and those who do, may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. and actually be "barred" from re-entering for many years. As a result, Immigrants with expired I-94 cards should always consult with a qualified Immigration Attorney BEFORE applying for a travel permit.
Good to know…
Now that the holidays are here, its important to know whether you can travel while your Immigration case is pending. Immigration regulations allow qualifying family members inside the U.S. who have been sponsored by U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents to file an application to “Adjust Status to Permanent Residency” inside the U.S. and to live and work here legally while waiting to receive a Green Card.