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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
New Scam Alert Reported By U.S. Immigration 
and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Questions & Answers
Question: My US Citizen son filed an I-130, it is approved and has been forwarded to National Visa Center. My question is, can I still at this point add my wife (I married this lady when my son was 6 years old) and my younger son who is 16.
Answer: That’s a very good question and important for you to understand. The Immigration category for Parents of U.S. Citizens, called “Immediate Relatives” does not allow for any dependant (Spouse and children) to immigrate with the Parent to the U.S.. Immediate Relatives can only immigrate as individuals, not as a family. In order for the spouse of a Parent (step-parent to the U.S. Citizen child) to be able to immigrate, the marriage between the U.S. Citizen child’s biological Parent and the step-parent must have taken place before the U.S. Citizen child reached age 18. If it did, then the step-parent can immigrate as a separate Immediate Relative, just like a biological parent would. However, children of the Parent do not qualify to accompany the immigrating parent. The only way the child, who is the sibling of the U.S. Citizen sponsor can immigrate through the U.S. Citizen, is in the F4 Immigration category for siblings, which can take 12-14 years. 

In your case, since you married your wife when your U.S. Citizen son was 6, she qualifies as his stepparent and he can file a parent petition for her, just like he did for you, his dad. However, your 16 year old son will not be eligible to immigrate along with either of you. The best strategy is likely for you to immigrate to the U.S. and immediately file to sponsor your 16 year old son. Once you do, the waiting line for a visa in the F2A Immigration category for minor children of U.S. Residents is about 1 ½ years. Also remember that you likely won’t qualify to maintain your U.S. Residency and to sponsor your son if you don’t live in the U.S., so there may be some time when you are not residing together, but it is for a good cause. Let us know if you would like for us to handle your wife and son’s immigration cases.
Reminder That USCIS Will Begin Accepting H-1B Work Petitions Beginning April 1, 2015
Question: I will be getting married in a few months to a U.S. resident (green card holder). He is not a U.S. citizen. He is 29 years old and has had his green card since 2013. He resides mostly in Jamaica but has traveled to the U.S. twice per year since receiving the green card. I have a B1/B2 tourist visa. I want to know the best, fastest and most cost-effective way to proceed with the filing process. For instance: (1) Is it better to get married outside of the U.S. and then have him do the filing from the U.S.? (2) Is it better for me to get a K3 visa and come to the U.S. to get married and stay there while the filing is taking place? (3) Should I come to the U.S. on my B1/B2 visa and then get married there and stay while the filing is taking place? In any case, I don't want us to be apart for too long after we get married before the filing comes through. I have a 2 year old son who is a U.S. citizen because he was born in the U.S. but lives in Jamaica. He will be living with us when the filing comes through. My fiancé has not yet started to pay any taxes in the U.S. What measures should he start to put in place to expedite the filing process. Your advice is greatly appreciated and will help us to decide what our immigration needs are.  
Answer: First and foremost, the most important thing you both need to know is that your husband needs to come and live in the U.S. and get a job here. If he does not accumulate enough time in the U.S., he could also lose his Green Card. So, to plan this properly, you need to keep this in mind and understand that you may be separated for a period of time – but for a good cause.

The Immigrant visa line for spouses of U.S. Residents is currently about 1 ½ years. That means that once you marry and the spousal immigration case is filed for you, you’ll need to plan to wait for about that long before being able to immigrate to the U.S.. During that time, you can visit the U.S., but you cannot stay, since if you overstay, you will not be eligible to adjust your status to Residency in the U.S.. Also, if you stay in the U.S. for long periods and then leave and try to come back in, you could encounter issues at the border.
Couples in your circumstances often fail to plan properly and some end up in nightmare scenarios because they were not thinking with their heads, only their hearts. The K-3 is not available to you, it is only available to spouses of U.S. Citizens. For spouses of Residents, there is no way to avoid the 1 ½ year wait.

The best, fastest route you can take right now is to get married asap and have the spousal petition filed for you with your husband showing. Once the case is filed and you are in the 1 ½ year line queue, your husband should make plans to begin moving permanently to the U.S. and obtain employment so that he can qualify under the financial requirements for the Affidavit of Support. Then you can begin coming to visit, not staying for long periods (otherwise you will have a problem trying to enter the U.S. the next time).

I know this is likely not the advice you want to hear, but it is the best route for you to be successful in immigrating as soon as possible. If your husband continues to live in Jamaica and is not able to show that he resides and works in the U.S., your immigrant visa case could likely be denied by the U.S. Consulate. So be safe, think smart and let me know if you want our assistance in handling your Residency case.
The USCIS just released a news release that it will begin accepting new H-1B petitions on April 1, 2015. As usual, USCIS projects that it will receive thousands more application than the 65,000 cap visas available and may only accept applications in the first week of April. 

Applicants who pay the additional 15-day “premium processing” expedite filing fees of $1,225 can expect the USCIS to begin expedited processing on or before May 11, 2015. 

Read the USCIS Announcement:
H-1B Work Visa News Release

You can learn more about applying for the H-1B work visa by visiting our Website at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.​
When making an application for Immigration benefits with the USCIS, its always important to understand how long the process will take, by first, finding out about approximately how long it will take the USCIS to make a decision on the case. Once you know which USCIS Service Center will be handling your case (by checking the appropriate USCIS address for your application form, the USCIS publishes information about the approximate processing times for different Immigration cases on its website. 

Click on the link below to check the processing times for your type of case:
USCIS Processing Times
Immigration How To:
How Can I Find Out About USCIS Processing Times For My Type of Immigration Case?
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), tasked with Immigration apprehension and enforcement, has announced that a new scam is being perpetrated on Immigrants by individuals pretending to work for ICE's Detention Reporting and Information Line (DRIL). According to the report, scammers are contacting Immigrants, claiming that there are issues with their Immigration cases and directing that fees be paid by sending money to correct the issue. 

As a result, innocent Immigrants, fearful that they will be arrested by ICE, end up sending money to the scammers, believing that it will prevent them from being detained. In response to this new scam, ICE is alerting the public and warning potential victims not to be fooled by the scheme and not to send money to any person calling or contacting them in any way who claims to be from ICE or DRIL. 
ICE is also urging Immigrants who are contacted to notify their office of any such suspicious calls or contacts by calling the Joint Intake Center at (866) 347-2423 or the DRIL at (888) 351-4024.

Read the ICE announcement:
​Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Fraud Announcement
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Read The State Department’s Visa Bulletin - Released For April 2015
The Visa Bulletin released by the State Department each month details the current waiting times for Immigrant Visas in Family and Employment Immigrant Petition cases.

You can view the current Visa Bulletin by clicking on the link below:

April 2015 Visa Bulletin