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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2016 
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
Question: How long will it take for a 21 yr old adult unmarried son of two american citizens to gain a green card who attended an american high school? The immigration website I visited said between 1-4 years since I’m unmarried and being sponsored by american parents, is that true?
Answer: As the adult, single child or a U.S. Citizen parent, you are in the F1 Immigration category. It will take about 7-8 years for an Immigrant Visa to become available. Having two U.S. Citizen parents and attending a U.S. High School will not reduce your waiting time. The USCIS website only provides processing time for the I-130 petition approval, but you still need to wait for an immigrant visa to be available in the F1 category. You can see current visa availability by visiting the current  Visa Bulletin website and looking for F1.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
You Can Now File Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 
Requests Online & Via Mobile App
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal law which in part allows individuals to obtain copies of documentation contained in government files, including those related to Immigration matters. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now provides the option of filing a request online, or through a free mobile application called “eFOIA”, which allows users to submit and track Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests conveniently from an Android or Apple phone. You can download the free mobile application through Google Play and the App Store.

However, it is important to understand that not all documents are available under FOIA, including requests to obtain duplicate approval notices or original documents submitted to the USCIS. Typically, documents which can be obtained are copies of Immigration case filings, including supporting documents. This is particularly important when an immigrant has lost a copy of a vital document such as an I-94 which was previously submitted to the USCIS as part of an Immigration application. 
Tips On Renewing or Replacing Your Green Card
U.S. Permanent Residents receive a 10-year Green Card, which must be renewed before expiration. The renewal request should be filed with the USCIS within 6 months of expiration. 

However, contrary to popular belief, the expiration of your Green Card does not mean that you are no longer a Permanent Resident, it just means that, once the card expires, you will no longer have documentary evidence that you are a U.S. Resident. Those applying for Naturalization must either have an unexpired Green Card, or receipt showing that a renewal application has been filed.
Visit the new eFOIA Website:

Download the new eFOIA mobile applications:
Google Play    App Store
Once the Green Card is within 6 months of expiration or even when it has actually expired, in order to obtain evidence of Residency, a Permanent Resident must file a renewal request, then make an INFOPASS appointment at your local USCIS Field Office and take the Green Card renewal receipt provided to you by mail from the USCIS in order to obtain a temporary residency stamp in your passport. This temporary residency stamp is used as a temporary Green Card until the renewed Green Card is received. It can be used to work, travel, obtain Driver’s License renewal and any other purpose that an actual Green Card would serve.
Reminder That  H-1B Work Visa Application Season Starts On April 1st 
The USCIS reminds employers that it will begin accepting new H-1B work visa applications on April 1st to allow foreign nationals to begin working for a U.S. employer in 2016. The demand for H-1B Visas is expected to rise again this year, with an anticipated 150,000 applications for only 65,000 available visas. 

Because of the anticipated shortage of visas, those hoping to obtain an H-1B Visa this year, particularly students on OPT, should line up a U.S. Employer willing to support the H-1B Visa request quickly, in order to begin processing the case for filing by April 1st. 

As background, the H-1B work visa allows qualifying foreign nationals to work for a U.S. employer for up to six years and even longer when an employer sponsors the H-1B worker for a Green Card. 
To qualify, the H-1B visa requires the foreign national to possess a Bachelors degree or its equivalent and be offered a professional position in a U.S. company. After obtaining an H-1B visa, Immigrants (and their families) often obtain a Green Card through their H-1B employer in a process called Labor Certification. 

Find out more about H-1B and other Work Visas by visiting our website at: or calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
Question: Several years back, in 2005 I took the Naturalization test and passed it. I was waiting for the swearing date and had moved, so I never got the notice. I went to check on the date a few years ago and the immigration officer said the swearing in date had been mailed to me in 2005. I explained that I never received it and he said I should have done and address change, but there was nothing he could do and I should refile my application. I don’t understand why I have to pay again for a new application when I was already approved and when it was not my fault since I moved and never got the notice. Can you help me?
Answer: You should get your certificate the same day you are sworn in and you can immediately apply for a passport. You're a citizen from the moment you take the oath. You can pick up a U.S. passport application at your upcoming swearing in ceremony, or download it from the U.S. Passport website
Question: My citizenship interview is scheduled in the next few weeks. Could you please let me know if I get the naturalization certificate on the same day? If I do, can I apply for passport anyday after that? When am I officially considered as a US citizen? 
Answer: I understand how frustrating it can be! However, because it was so long ago, your case has been closed by the USCIS. We could have helped you within the first year of taking your test to get you rescheduled for your swearing-in, but unfortunately, now, it is too late. You’ll need to have your case re-filed and take the test again. The process is fairly quick, it takes about 3-4 months. Let us know if you want us to handle the re-filing of your Naturalization case. I hope this was helpful to you.
Immigration How To:
How To Stay Informed About Your Pending Immigration Case
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.
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.
 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. 
It Can Take Many Years For Family Members To Immigrate To The U.S. - Learn Why

​Many Americans and Immigrants alike believe that once a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident sponsors a family member to immigrate to the U.S., the only delay in their relative actually immigrating is the time it takes the USCIS to process the case. 

This often causes quite a bit of confusion and frustration for sponsors and family members who are unsure about how long the immigration process will actually take and how to determine how much more time they will need to wait.
Category/Family Relationship

1st Single, Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
(and their minor children under 21)

2A Spouses & Minor Children of U.S. Residents

2B Single, Adult Children of U.S. Residents
 (and their minor children under 21)

3rd Married, Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
(their Spouses & minor children under 21)

4 Siblings (Brother/Sisters) of U.S. Citizens
(their Spouses & minor children under 21)
7 -8 years

1 1/2 years

6 -7 years

10 - 12 years

12 - 14 years
Approx Wait Time
Simply put, Immigration waiting lines are based not upon processing time, but instead upon supply and demand. This means that since there are only a certain number of Immigrant Visas available each year to family members in immigration categories, if too many visa applications are filed, the long and longer the line gets. So in a way, when a family petition is filed to sponsor a relative, even though there are no immigrant visas available at the time, the application is put in a line behind all the others who applied earlier, waiting to get to the front of the line. It’s kind of like a “rain check”, when you go to the store to buy an item on sale and the store is out of stock, once the stock becomes available again, you can complete your purchase – which in this case – can take many years.  

You can read a full explanation of Family Immigrant Visa lines and processing to give yourself a fuller understanding of the issue.

The chart below gives readers an idea of the various family categories and waiting lines for all countries except China, Mexico & Philippines, which often have waiting  lines exceeding 20 years or more due to high demand: