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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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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
Fear of U.S. Policy Change Causes Surge In Cuban Immigration
As the U.S. and Cuba move closer towards normalizing diplomatic relations, many Cubans in fear of a change in U.S. policy towards Cuban asylum seekers are heading to the U.S. by land, sea and air to ensure eligibility under the current Cuban Adjustment Act. The Washington Post reported that in the last month alone, the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted more than 481 Cubans at sea, a 117% increase from the same time last year. Similarly, Miami airport and other ports of entry along the Mexican border, have seen a 65 % increase as well. 

Significantly, the Cubans arriving in the U.S. by plane and border include many with dual nationality from Venezuela, Canada, Spain, Italy and other countries, all seeking to obtain U.S. Residency before any changes to the policy are made. 
Questions & Answers
Question: I am a U.S. Citizen. My daughter is 18 months old and lives in Canada with myself and her mother. Do I need to file for Residency for my daughter or can I get her automatic U.S. Citizenship? 
Answer: You can register your daughter’s birth at the U.S. Embassy to be a U.S. Citizen, if you meet the requirements for transmission of your U.S. Citizenship to your daughter. For a U.S. Citizen parent married to a foreign national to qualify under immigration regulations, the parent must show that they were physically present in the U. S. for at least 5 years, 2 of which were after age 14 before the child was born. If you meet these requirements, your daughter qualifies for automatic Citizenship. You can complete the form at the link below and gather the documents required to prove eligibility:

Application For Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States

Otherwise, she will require residency first, then automatically become a U.S. Citizen once she obtains her residency.
Immigrants Significantly Boost America’s Thriving Small Business Economy
According to a recent Forbes report, the rate of business creation is higher among Immigrants than for native-born Americans. Business-ownership, entrepreneurship, economic vitality and job creation are all boosted by immigration. The report says that depending upon the level of educational attainment, immigrants are more likely than other Americans to start a business with 10 or more employees and have a niche in start-ups based on technical knowledge" requiring an advanced degree. The immigrant share of the self-employed has more than doubled since 1980, with more immigrants employed as business owners, than those in the general labor force. 

According to this trend, Immigrants comprise approximately one-quarter of new entrepreneurs in the U.S., a percentage which continues to rise over time. By comparison, less than one-fifth of the labor force is comprised of immigrants. As our Immigrant population grows – so does our economy! That’s the American Dream….
You can learn more about obtaining a Green Card, Naturalization or sponsoring a family member 
by visiting our website at: or calling our office to schedule a free consultation at: (954) 382-5378.
Under U.S. law, even foreign nationals who were not born in Cuban, but instead have Cuban parents qualify, as long as they have been issued a Cuban birth certificate, passport or registered by their parents at the Cuban Embassy as a Cuban born abroad. 

Read more about the Cuban exodus:

Washington Post
Question: Long time no speak! We hope you are keeping well. We often think of you fondly and are so grateful for all your help. Another few years and we can do the Citizenship with you. In the meantime….. we have some news! We are expecting a baby. We would like the baby to have dual citizenship both UK and USA and wondered if you would be the person to help with that? 
Answer: So nice to hear from you! That is wonderful news, I'm so happy for you. In the U.S., when a baby is born here, the baby will automatically by law become a U.S. Citizen by virtue of the U.S. Birth Certificate. All you need to do is apply for a U.S. passport for the baby using his or her birth certificate. Now in order to have dual U.S./U.K. citizenship, you'll need to contact the U.K. Embassy and register your baby as a U.K. Citizen and that is all there is to it. Both countries recognize dual nationality.
Question: I got my conditional Green Card approved last week through my marriage to my U.S. Citizen wife. My question is this, can I sponsor my 37 year old divorced daughter and her 5 year old son to immigrate to America and live with me and my husband now, or do I need to wait until my Green Card is permanent? Also Ms. Pedersen, how long does it take for them to immigrate?
Answer: That’s a great question. Immigration regulations allow U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) to sponsor Spouses, minor children (under age 21) and single adult children (and their minor children). There is no requirement that U.S. Residency status be permanent before applying, however, if U.S. Residency status is not later made Permanent, any pending applications for qualifying family members will be cancelled. 

Therefore, we can file a family petition for your daughter (which will include your grandson) now. The current Immigrant Visa line in that immigration category for adult, single children of U.S. Residents (the F2B category) is approximately 7 – 8 years. It is also important to know that if your daughter gets married at any time before you become a U.S. Citizen, the I-130 Family petition we will be filing will be automatically cancelled, since there is no immigration category for married children of U.S. Residents. The good news is that since you are married to a U.S. Citizen¸ you are eligible to apply for Naturalization in 2 years and 9 months from the date you were granted your conditional Resident Card. That way, once you are a U.S. Citizen, if your daughter does get married during the time she is waiting to immigrate, she will still remain eligible.
This is particularly true of Cuban Venezuelans, who have been experiencing food shortages and other hardships, as the country becomes more economically unstable by the day.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Locating a USCIS Authorized Doctor For the Required Medical Exam
When an Immigrant applies for U.S. Residency (form I-485) a special immigration medical exam is required to be performed by a doctor authorized to administer such exams by the USCIS. 
The doctor will perform the medical exam and complete form I-693, then give the original examination report to the patient in a sealed envelope. Make sure to ask the doctor for a copy of the exam. It is your legal right to have it. 

To locate an authorized doctor, called a “designated civil surgeon” 

Immigration How To:
How Do I Change My Social Security Immigration Records?
To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security card and take your current card, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions. To learn more about changing your Social Security records, click on the link below:

Social Security Records Change
Did you know that a U.S. Citizen can sponsor a Parent to immigrate to the U.S., but not a dependant of the Parent (Spouse or Minor children)?

Yes, its true! As crazy as it sounds, Parents of U.S. Citizens are in a special immigration category called "Immediate Relatives". An Immediate Relative is not subject to any immigration quotas or visa availability and may immigrate immediately, as soon as the USCIS completes case processing. However, along with these special benefits are restrictions which prohibit any dependants from immigrating to the U.S. along with the Immediate Relative Parent. This means that spouses and children of a Parent cannot immigrate to the U.S. along with the Parent. It sounds cruel and inhumane and it is!

Under this process, a U.S. Citizen who is age 21 or older must file separately for each Parent. Of course biological or adoptive Parents are included, as are Step-parents, as long as the marriage between the biological Parent and the Step-parent took place before the U.S. Citizen child turned age 18. Parents immigrating at the same time through the U.S. Consulate abroad will have separate Embassy interviews at different times.

The tragedy of the Immediate Relative category is that minor children of the Parent cannot immigrate to the U.S. along with the Parent. In such cases, once the Parent immigrates and obtains U.S. Residency (Green Card), the Parent then sponsors the minor child. Currently, the waiting line is fairly short and may take less than once year for the child to be able to join the Parent in the U.S. However, at times, the F2A category for Spouses and minor children of U.S. Citizens can be backlogged and take several years of more for a child to immigrate. 

The Immigration Reform Bill Pending in the House of Representatives (already passed by the Senate) includes a provision which would allow Spouses and minor children of Immediate Relative to immigrate at the same time. For now, Parents should make arrangements according to the current law when beginning the immigration process, using the above guidelines. 

You can find out more about sponsoring Your Parents  by visiting our Website 
at or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.