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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
USCIS Announces Application Start Date For 
Executive Actions on Immigration
The USCIS has now released the start dates for the Executive Actions on Immigration, including the expanded DACA (for Dreamers) and DAPA for parents programs. Under the new guidelines, the USCIS will begin accepting Applications for the expanded DACA program on February 18, 2015 and for the DAPA program for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Residents in May 2015. 

In order to qualify for the new expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Immigrants must (among other requirements) have: 

1) Entered the U.S. before the age of 16; 

2) Lived in the U.S. continuously since at least January 1, 2010, (rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007); and 

3) Be out of legal status on or before November 20, 2014. 
Questions & Answers
Question: I received your information from my sister and brother in-law, you helped them with the immigration process. Here is my situation. I became citizen in 2005 and the same year I filed an I-130 for my brother to immigrate to USA. Immigration sent me a letter two years later telling me that the petition was approved and that the information has been sent to the NVC (national visa center). I have not heard from them since. After reading online I realized the wait times can be very long and its hard to know when a visa will be available. Is there anything at all you can do to speed the process or its out of your hands? thank you so much
Answer: The waiting line for siblings (the F-4 Immigration category) is between 12-14 years. Once the case is approved by the USCIS, it sends the file to the National Visa Center (NVC) to hold until a visa becomes available. Then, let’s say 12 to 14 years down the road, the NVC will send you a letter/email notifying you that consular processing is beginning. Nothing happens between now and then. If you move, please update the NVC. There is no way to expedite the process because it is not a matter of “processing”, it is a matter of too much demand for too few Immigrant visas for siblings. I hope this was helpful.
Congress Fails In Efforts To Defund President Obama’s Executive Actions
In its recent efforts to stop President Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions which are due in part to begin on February 18th, Republicans in the House added provisions to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill which would bar any DHS funds being used by the Administration for the President’s Deferred Action programs for Dreamers and Parents of U.S. Citizens and Residents. 

However, in a decisive move, the Senate refused to pass the Bill, instead directing House leadership to strip the Executive Action defunding provisions out before the measure can be passed. No doubt Conservatives may continue to devise new strategies in attempts to defund the Presidents Immigration Executive Actions, but in the end, even if a measure does made it through Congress, Obama has his Veto pen ready…..
You can learn more about obtaining a Green Card, Naturalization or sponsoring a Spouse or other Family member 
by visiting our website at: or calling our office to schedule a free consultation at: (954) 382-5378.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Immigration How To:
How Do I Apply For The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program?
To qualify for the new DAPA program for Parents (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability), Immigrant Parents must (among other requirements) have:

1) Lived in the U.S. continuously since at least January 1, 2010, 

2) A son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident born on or before November 20, 2014; and 

3) Be out of legal status on or before November 20, 2014. 

Read More Details About the DACA Program for Dreamers:
Deferred Action Dreamers (DACA)

Read More Details About the DAPA Program for Parents:
Deferred Action Parents (DAPA)

Read the USCIS Update on Executive Actions Announcement:
USCIS Announcement

Find out more about qualifying under the DACA & DAPA programs by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Question: I am a us citizen want to file for my wife in Jamaica I would like to know how long it would take?
Answer: It depends upon whether your wife has a U.S. tourist visa. If she does not, then the procedure to sponsor a spouse is called “Consular Processing”. First, a case is properly prepared and filed with the USCIS inside the U.S.. The process takes about 4-6 months for approval. Once approved, the USCIS transfers the case to the National Visa Center (NVC) to prepare your wife’s case for the U.S. Consulate in Kingston, Jamaica. The Financial Affidavit and other documents must be provided to the NVC at this point and once the case is complete, the NVC transfers the case to the U.S. Consulate to schedule your wife’s interview. She will be required to have an immigration medical exam, then personally appear for the interview with certain required original documents, including documents which prove your marital relationship so that the Consular officer is convinced that the marriage is real. As long as the interview goes well, she will be issued the Immigrant Visa and given a packet to bring with her to the U.S. to give to the Immigration authorities when she enters the U.S.. Prior to entry, an Immigrant Visa fee must be paid online and the receipt presented at the time of entry. After she enters the U.S., she should receive her Green Card within about 30 days.

If your wife has a tourist visa and is in the U.S., the process is called “Adjustment of Status”. Once the Residency case is properly prepared and filed with the USCIS (along with the request for work authorization and includes the Affidavit of Support and other required documentation), your wife will receive her Work Authorization and Travel Permit within about 90 days. It then takes approx 3-4 months for her to receive her Residency Interview at the local USCIS office which you both attend together. You’ll be required to bring extensive documentation about your marital relationship and answer questions to prove that your marriage is real. As long as all goes well, your wife should receive her Green Card within about 15 days after the interview.
Learn More About the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
In accordance with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)  announcement late last year, it will begin implementation of the special program for family members of Haitian Immigrants in the coming months. The Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program will expedite family reunification for qualifying Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and U.S. Residents.
This likely means that Parents, Spouses and Minor children of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents will be eligible to come to the U.S. immediately once the program commencement dates are announced. Other relatives including adult children and siblings will need to wait longer, depending upon when the I-130 petition was filed by their sponsoring relative. 

The Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) will soon begin contacting eligible U.S. Citizens or U.S. Residents with approved I-130 petitions for Haitian family members, to begin the application process for their Haitian relatives. Once inside the U.S. under the program, Haitian family members will be issued Work Permits while they wait for their U.S. Residency to be approved.
Under the new program, eligible Haitian family members in Haiti who are beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, will be allowed to come to the U.S. for up to approximately two years before a visa will become available to them (their Priority Date on the I-130 Approval Notice). 
Understanding What Happens At Your Naturalization Ceremony And Once You Become a U.S. Citizen
Once your Application for Naturalization is approved, the USCIS puts your case in the queue to be scheduled for your Oath of Allegiance which takes place at your naturalization ceremony. This taking of your Oath of Allegiance complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Understanding the types of Oath Ceremonies:

There are two kinds of Oath of Allegiance ceremonies, one, is a judicial ceremony, where the court administers the Oath of Allegiance for Residents who have requested a name change and the regular administrative ceremony, during which the USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance.

So what’s going to happen at your naturalization ceremony?

1. Receive Your Naturalization Ceremony Notice to Take the Oath of Allegiance

While some Immigrants who request it may be able to participate in a naturalization ceremony on the same day as their naturalization interview, many Residents must wait for the USCIS mail them a notice with the date, time, and location of their scheduled naturalization ceremony, called a Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony (Form – N-445). Those who cannot attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony must return the notice to their local USCIS office, along with a letter requesting a new date and explaining why they are not able to attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony. Residents who fail to show up for their naturalization ceremony without having requested a rescheduling may receive a denial of their naturalization case.

2. Complete Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony before checking in at the Ceremony
Residents should complete Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony before arriving at the ceremony, prior to check in with USCIS. During check-in, a USCIS officer will review your responses to the questionnaire.

3. Surrender of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) 

Residents who are becoming U.S. Citizens must surrender their Permanent Resident Cards to the USCIS at the time they check- in for the naturalization ceremony. Those who have lost their cards can receive a waiver. 

4. Taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States

A Resident is not a U.S. citizen until he/she takes the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during the naturalization ceremony. After the Oath, new U.S Citizens receive their Certificate of Naturalization.

5. Notes about the Certificate of Naturalization

New U.S Citizens should carefully review the Certificate of Naturalization for accuracy while still at the ceremony. Any inaccuracies must be brought to the attention of the USCIS before leaving the ceremony. Unless or until you apply for your U.S. Passport, your Certificate of Naturalization is your official proof of your U.S. Citizenship. Those who lose their Certificate of Naturalization must request a replacement by filing Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document and paying the $345 USCIS filing fee. The waiting time for a replacement can be lengthy.
downloading the form. 

6. Time to apply for Your U.S. Passport

Once you receive your Certificate of Naturalization, you can immediately apply for a U.S. passport. You will receive an application for a U.S. passport at your naturalization ceremony, called the “U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet” or you can go online to the U.S. Passport office  

7. Time to Register to Vote!

Now that you are a U.S. Citizen, it is your right and privilege to vote. You can register to vote at certain locations in your community, which may include post offices, motor vehicle offices, county boards of election, and offices of your state Secretary of State. You can read more about registering to vote by reading the government publication: “A Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections."

8. Final Step: Update your Social Security Record

After you become a U.S. Citizen, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your Social Security record. You can find your local Social Security office by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting: You can go to your local SSA office about ten days after your ceremony to give time for the SSA to be able to access your new status in the USCIS records. Be sure to take your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport with you. Good luck!