Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: March 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: Good morning I have a question. My mom who got her american citizenship years ago when I was already in my mid 20’s, filed to sponsor me and my then husband in 2009 and our two kids ages 4 and 7. Since that time I divorced and recently got remarried. I’m a little worried that my current husband won’t be able to immigrate with me since he was not included on the application at that time. Does that mean that my mom has to reapply for us all over again. If so, how many more years will it take? Thanks.
Answer: As the married daughter of a U.S. citizen, you are in the F3 immigration category, which includes your spouse and minor children under age 21. It does not matter who your spouse is at the time the family petition was filed by your mom, only who you are married to at the time the visa becomes available when it’s time to immigrate to the U.S.. Right now, there are Immigrant Visas in the F3 category for the year 2005. If your mom filed for you in 2009, you still have four or more years to wait. Once the time has come to immigrate, you, your husband and minor children under age 21 will be able to immigrate to the U.S. along with you. Your mother does not need to reapply for you. I hope this was helpful to you.
Government May Crack Down On USCIS Officers 
Believed To Be Too Lenient On Immigrants!
According to the Washington Post, internal government documents reveal that the USCIS may create an Organization of Professional Responsibility (OPR) division with one arm specifically tasked with the crack-down on USCIS officers who are determined to be too lenient in the adjudication of cases for Immigrants. 

USCIS documents reviewed by the Post reveal that this division within the OPR would be used to pursue investigations of agency personnel thought to be too sympathetic toward Immigrants seeking U.S. Residency, Citizenship and other immigration benefits in cases involving minor criminal issues, receipt of government and welfare assistance and other cases involving officer discretion in favor of the Immigrant.
Immigration How To:
How Do I  Know If I My Child Will Get Automatic Citizen Once I Am Naturalized?
Under the Child Citizenship Act, U.S. Resident children who are under age 18 automatically obtain U.S. Citizenship when a biological parent Naturalizes. Similarly, children of U.S. Citizens who immigrate to the U.S. from abroad and enter the U.S. before turning age 18, become automatic U.S. Citizens as well. Qualifying children must be under age 18 at the time their parent actually naturalizes (takes the Oath), not the date the parent files for Naturalization. 

As a result, parents should carefully plan the date of filing for Naturalization to ensure that they will complete the process before their child(ren) reach age 18. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
 With The Future Of DACA Uncertain – Dreamers Should File Renewal Applications At Least 150 Days Prior To Expiration
In September 2017, Trump abruptly announced cancellation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program beginning March 5, 2018. But as the deadline approached, several federal courts blocked the administration from ending the program for Dreamers who already had DACA status. So even as the March 5th deadline has passed, the Trump administration is currently still required by the federal courts to allow DACA renewals, but not to accept new applications. 

However, this is not a permanent solution, and a federal court could allow Trump to terminate the program in the future. As a result, Dreamers are advised not to become complacent and leave renewals until the last moment….since the program could be terminated at any time. 
This comes on the heels of the Trump Administration’s newly appointed USCIS director, Francis Cissna’s abrupt removal of the agency’s mission statement focused on our "nation of immigrants", replacing it instead with administering the "nation's lawful immigration system" and "protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values." These recent actions, coupled with Cissna’s desire to reduce overall U.S. immigration and eliminate most family sponsorship look to some like a reversal of course for the agency, seeking to further restrict lawful immigration and deny Immigrants rightful status under the law.

 USCIS spokesman Jonathan Withington issued a statement denying the crackdown, saying instead “The role of an Office of Professional Responsibility — something which many federal agencies have — is to investigate waste, fraud and abuse, ensure the agency is not vulnerable to exploitation by criminal or foreign elements, and confirm proper audits are in place,”. Stay tuned…

Washington Post
This means that DACA renewals should be filed as early as possible, meaning 150 days before the work authorization card expires. USCIS processing of DACA renewals can be slow and those who fail to file early renewals can find themselves with expired work permits, waiting for renewal. This can mean loss of a job and driver’s license in some states

Recommendations For Renewing DA Status:

The DACA renewal Fee is $495, which includes both renewed DA status and Work Authorization. Applicants who are over age 31 are still eligible, as long as they were under age 31 when the policy became effective on June 15, 2012 and currently hold DACA status. Be sure to file your renewal no earlier or later than 150 days from the date your current card expires. If you are representing yourself, fully complete the DACA renewal forms and write “Renewal Request” in large letters on the bottom of each form. 

Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival 
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
Form I-765WS
USCIS Deferred Action Webpage
 USCIS Releases New 
Affidavit of Support Form 
The USCIS recently updated the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support required by sponsors in most family immigration cases. The new form edition is dated 03/06/18. Beginning May 16, 2018, the USCIS will only accept this new edition.

New Affidavit of Support form 
Question: Me and my wife are both naturalized U.S. Citizens. We helped my mother in law get a tourist visa to come and visit us and meet her new grandchild, Ana Maria, just born over the Christmas holidays. She has been here since December 2017 staying with us. She is a widow and my wife is her only child, so we have been discussing having her stay here, get her green card and live with us, instead of going back to Colombia. We want to have you help us to find out about having her stay and get residency. We have a lot of questions that came up that I hope you can answer me by email before our visit to your office next week. First, we are concerned that her time in the U.S. expires June 2018. If we apply for her and she does not get her status by that time, will she be deported? Is it better for her to go back to Colombia and we file the case after that? How long does the process to get her papers take? How long for her to get work permission and social security number? Sorry for all the questions.
Answer: No problem, all your questions are very important. Parents of U.S Citizens are in a special category called “Immediate Relatives” which allows them to immigrate to the U.S. immediately, meaning they are not required to wait for a visa to be available like many other family categories. There are two options for Parents to obtain U.S. Residency, depending upon whether they have a U.S. Visa. The first option is called U.S. Adjustment of Status: For Parents who come to the U.S. on a Tourist or other legal visa and decide to immigrate, we can apply to adjust status to Residency inside the U.S., obtain their Work and Travel Permit within about 90 days and Green Cards within about 12 months. The second option, called Consular Processing is for Parents who either don’t have a U.S. visa or who prefer to stay in their home country while processing for an Immigrant Visa. The current processing time is about 8-12 months. 
In your case, since your mother-in-law is already here, we can adjust her status to a Green Card while she is in the U.S. and there is no need for her to return to her country. It does not matter that her authorized period of stay expires in June, since once we file for her Residency, she will be legally authorized to remain in the U.S. until she obtains residency. See you on Thursday.
A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter that the USCIS officer sends you to request additional information or documentation on your application. 

RFE requests are generally most frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility.
Tips on Answering a USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE) 
Responding to an RFE from the USCIS

Always read the RFE letter very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine and some are simple and easy to understand. For more complicated RFE letters, you may want to retain an immigration attorney to assist you. Once you have determined what the letter is requesting, be sure to provide the exact document requested. For instance, an officer may request a “long form” of a Birth Certificate. If you respond that you do not have one, your case will likely be denied. The appropriate action to take is to request one from the departmental authority in your country of birth.

How much time do I have to respond to an RFE?

Depending on the type of case, you may have from 33 days to 87 days to respond so that the USCIS receives your response before the expiration date. If you fail to respond or filed after the deadline, your case will likely be denied. To be on the safe side, you should always send your response by Express or Priority Mail and get a delivery confirmation. Never send any communications to the USCIS via Certified Mail, which takes much longer and can risk your response being received late. Finally, remember that your response to the USCIS officers request must be RECEIVED by the USCIS ON or BEFORE the deadline. Responses received even one day late result in complete case denials. 

After I respond-what happens next?

Depending upon the case, it could take up to 60 days or more. You can check the online status to see if it is stating that your RFE response has been received, or call the USCIS 800# to ask if the computer show the USCIS received it. For adjustment case (I-485) requests, the officer may wait to receive your response before continuing processing of your Work Authorization application which will cause delays in its issuance. To avoid this, send your response as soon as possible and do not wait until you get near the deadline in the letter.

If you need legal assistance responding to an  USCIS request, contact a qualified Immigration attorney or call our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Figuring about 12 months to take into account any USCIS processing delays is reasonable, under current lengthy Naturalization processing times. Importantly, even when children become U.S. Citizens through this process, the USCIS does not automatically issue a Naturalization Certificate.

However, in reality, none is required, since applying for a U.S. Passport is all that is necessary to prove the child’s new U.S. Citizenship status. To obtain the child’s U.S. Passport, in addition to other information, the U.S. Passport office requires a copy of the parents’ Naturalization Certificate and proof that the child actually resides with his or her U.S. Citizen parent in order to qualify.