Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: February 19,  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 just got approved for citizenship at my interview last week. The officer said I will be getting my ceremony in a few weeks. My question is, can I file the immigration papers to sponsor my mother now, to save time, since I was approved, then send in the actual citizen certificate later. Thank you.
Answer: Unfortunately, you must wait until you are formally sworn in as a U.S. Citizen at your Swearing-In Ceremony, and receive your Naturalization Certificate, before you can file the family petition to sponsor your mother. If you file the application ahead of time, either the case will be rejected, or it will be accepted, you will lose your filing fee and the case will be denied. U.S. Residents do not formally become U.S. Citizens, until they are sworn in and take the oath to defend the U.S. Constitution. In cases where a Resident attends the Naturalization interview at the USCIS, takes the test and is approved, but fails to attend the swearing in, the case is usually administratively closed and in order to become a U.S. Citizen, the Resident must start the entire Naturalization process all over again, pay the USCIS filing fee, take the test, etc.. That is why it is very important for all Residents to either attend the scheduled ceremony or to reschedule it.
Second Federal Court Rules In Favor Of DACA, While Congress Fails To Pass Permanent Protection For Dreamers
In another big judicial win for Dreamers last week, a second federal judge ruled in favor of DACA, temporarily prohibiting the Trump Administration from cancelling the program for existing DACA holders. The first favorable ruling for Dreamers came on January 13th issued by a Federal judge in San Francisco, who temporarily blocked Trump from terminating the program for existing and renewal DACA applicants. This recent decision similarly applies to DACA renewals. 

As a result of both Federal rulings, even though Trump issued an Executive Order last year cancelling the program effective March 5th, the reality is that the DACA program continues in full force for renewals, pending final Federal court rulings in the future on pending litigation by several States against the Trump Administration for its termination of the program, which could stretch on for years. 
According to a Reuters news agency, the Trump administration has drafted new rules yet to be released, which would prevent Immigrants from receiving U.S. Residency and Citizenship, if they have received any kind of tax payer funded public assistance, including benefits to their U.S. Citizen children. Under the rules being considered, Immigration officers may be authorized to determine whether an Immigrant or their children (even U.S. Citizens) has received any kind of public benefits or aid, including food stamps, subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums under Obamacare and benefits normally provided to children, such as CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), WIC, MEDICAID, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and government funded pre-school programs such as HEADSTART.
 New Trump Administration Proposal Aims To Deny Immigration Status To Immigrants Who Have Received Public Benefits
Immigration How To:
How Do I Get My Travel History ?
Visitors to the U.S. no longer receive an I-94 card upon entry, which is necessary to change or extend status in the U.S. when making an application with the USCIS. To access and download an I-94 card and view past travel history, visitors can access the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Website which gives Non-immigrant foreign nationals travelers access to printout their I-94 record, as well as a U.S. travel history going back five years from the request date.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
However no solution has been reached for new DACA applicants or for permanent protections which would allow Dreamers to live in the U.S. permanently and obtain U.S. Citizenship. The solution to a permanent DACA fix falls on Congress, which appears to be woefully incapable of fulfilling even the simplest of tasks, that of protecting a million or so innocent young Immigrants, part of America’s future, from deportation! To this end, following a week of intense turmoil in the Senate, with multiple Immigration proposals introduced and quickly struck down, Trump and Congress are again back where they started. The Whitehouse and staunch Republicans continue to insist on abolishing nearly all family Immigration in exchange for permanent protections for Dreamers and Democrats continuing to refuse to agree to any legislation which places extreme limits on family Immigration or which does not include a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

There were four major Immigration proposals in brought up for a vote in the Senate last week and all went down in flames, failing to gain the necessary consensus on any one measure. And of course Congress has given themselves a holiday (recess) this week to relax, following yet another week of failing to do their only job, which is to negotiate in good faith, reach a consensus and legislate!

But even more turmoil lies ahead on the horizon. The government spending plan which was given a short extension recently by the Democrats, until March 23rd, in exchange for assurances that good faith Immigration negotiations would be made in February to deal with DACA is coming up again soon. And it’s highly possible that absent a final DACA deal by that date, Democrats may have no choice but to shut the government down until a DACA deal is done. In this anti-immigrant political climate, that may be the only solution. Stay tuned…

Read More:
USA Today
Washington Post
As a result, those found to have received public benefits or to have participated in any government funded programs would be denied Immigration benefits. In response to inquiries about the draft rule, Department of Homeland Security spokesman, Tyler Houlton responded that "The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer," "Any potential changes to the rule would be in keeping with the letter and spirit of the law – as well as the reasonable expectations of the American people for the government to be good stewards of taxpayer funds." According to reports, there would be exceptions for certain aid received, such as that given to Immigrants for emergency or disaster relief, public health assistance for immunizations, attending public school, receiving free or reduced-price school lunches, earned benefits such as disability insurance, Medicare, and unemployment payments.

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Under a new policy, the USCIS recently announced that most Immigration application fees can now be made using a credit card. To use the new service, applicants must download and complete form G-1450, then place the completed and signed form on the top of the application to be paid by credit card. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and prepaid cards are all accepted. 

However, note that and a credit card payment cannot be combined with a check or money order to make the required USCIS filing fee on one application. For instance, if the Naturalization application filing fee of $725 is to be paid using a credit card, the payment cannot be broken up between a combination of a credit card and a check. The entire payment must be made by either credit card or check.
 New Policy Allows Most USCIS Filing Fees To Be Paid By Credit Card
Also, USCIS filing fees and biometrics fee for each form can be paid together on one form. For instance form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, the filing fee is $ 455 and the Biometrics fee is $85, so the entire USCIS filing fee of $540 if paid by credit card, can be paid using the same form G-1450. For Immigration cases which contain multiple applications with separate filing fees, a separate Form G-1450 should be used for each application requiring a separate USCIS filing fee.

Before sending your Immigration application with a credit card payment, be sure to make certain that you have enough credit left on your account to cover the payment, otherwise, the USCIS will reject your application. 

USCIS Credit Card Payment Instructions
Form G-1450

Question: I got my green card late last year through my husband who is an American. We are happily married and feel it is now time to bring my kids over to live with us. I have 3 children, ages 16, 18 and 22. My question is about how long it will take for them to immigrate here with us, thanks ?
Answer: Since you are married to a U.S. Citizen, and likely married in 2017 or earlier, before both your younger children turned age 18, under immigration regulations, your husband can sponsor both your 16 and 18 year olds. They are in a special category called “Immediate Relatives” of a U.S. Citizen, which currently includes spouses, children and parents. As such, they will be able immigrate immediately, subject to the regular immigration processing time, which currently takes about 8-12 months. However your 22 year old child is no longer a minor, so the time it will take to immigrate depends upon the waiting line for adult, single children of U.S. Residents, called F2B. Currently, the waiting line is about 7 years, since there are only immigrant visas right now for single adult children of Residents, who filed the I-130 family petition in March of 2011. 

Learn more about Immigrant waiting lines
Visit the State Department Visa Bulletin
Get Text Message From USCIS When Your Immigration Application Is Received!
Stay Informed - Sign-up For USCIS E-Notification & Email Updates On Your Immigration Case 

The USCIS now offers several ways for Applicants to get updates on newly filed and pending Immigration cases. Immigrants and Sponsors filing Immigration applications with the USCIS can now sign-up to receive text messages and email E-notifications confirming application receipt by the USCIS, along with the case receipt number(s). The receipt number allows individuals to track the status of their case online.  
E-notifications are issued within 24 hours after the USCIS receives the application.

To request e-notification, download and complete form G-1145 and mail along with all Immigration applications. Once you receive your case number, go to the USCIS website and sign up for Email Status updates on your case through the USCIS My Case Status program. 

Once you register and enter your case number(s), the USICS will automatically email you notifications and updates on any actions take on your case so that you are better informed about your case status. 
For instance, once your Immigration application is filed, the USCIS may issue you a letter requesting more evidence in order to continue processing the case. If you are registered to receive case status updates, you will receive an email notification that the USCIS has issued the request, which helps you to be aware that you should be receiving the request by mail soon. If you have not received the request, you can then make further inquiries. Similarly, once you respond to the USCIS request, you will receive an updated email notification that they have received your documentation. It’s a great way to stay informed and keep up to date on the status of your case as it is being processed.

U.S. Government Website Provides I-94 Printout And U.S. Travel History
To access U.S. travel history for the past five years, click on “Get Travel History” and print out the report.