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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: MARCH 6, 2017
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2017
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: www.ImmigrateToday.com or call our office at: (954) 382-5378
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Questions & Answers
Question: I applied for my American citizenship back in 2016 and got my citizenship interview later this month. I want to file to sponsor my wife and we want to do it as soon as possible. My question is, do you know if I can get my naturalization certificate issued to me on that same day if I pass my interview? Am I considered as an American citizen then and can I apply for my American Passport?
This Week's Immigration News
Answer: As long as you successfully pass your Naturalization test and otherwise meet the qualifications, the officer will recommend you for approval and you will be put in the queue to be scheduled for your Swearing-In Ceremony, where you take the Oath of Allegiance. It can take from a week to a month or more to be scheduled for your ceremony, depending upon where you live. At your ceremony, 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.
H-1B Work Visa Application Season Starts On April 1st
The USCIS 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 2017. The demand for H-1B Visas is expected to rise again this year, with an anticipated 250,000 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.
Tips For Green Card Holders With Criminal Records: Think Twice Before Travelling Outside U.S.!
With the Trump Administration promising to issue an updated version of the Executive Order “travel ban” today, Immigrants are bracing for further restrictions and are afraid to travel, fearing they may not be able to reenter the U.S..
However, even without a new Trump ban, U.S. Residents (Green Cards holders) with criminal records should now take great care before travelling abroad, since even old criminal convictions can cause difficulties in re-entering the U.S., result in a bar to readmission and in some cases, even removal from the U.S..
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Under the Department of Homeland Security’s new enforcement priorities announced in February, the government’s application of strict Immigration enforcement laws are tightening, resulting in raids and the apprehension of Immigrants with even “suspected” criminal activity. This of course also means more scrutiny of both foreign visitors and U.S. Residents seeking to enter the U.S. from abroad as well.
This is particularly a concern for U.S. Residents with certain criminal convictions who travel abroad, even for brief periods, since they will now be more fully vetted upon returning to the U.S.. Many Residents are unaware of the immigration implications of old, seemingly insignificant criminal convictions. Under the regulations, many crimes are considered Crimes of Moral Turpitude, which fall into three categories:
1) those involving fraud, larceny (i.e. theft),
2) crimes against persons or 'things', and
3) governmental authorities.
Alone, many crimes do not have negative consequences for Residents, however, if a person has two or more such offences, no matter how old, depending upon the circumstances, they run the risk of being inadmissible to the U.S. or of being deportable. And while waivers are available in some cases, there is never a guarantee of approval and new border policies may require such individuals to remain in detention until the case is resolved. Note that many crimes committed by juveniles before age 18, may be excused, and under some circumstances, a pardon will be recognized, but for immigration purposes, expunged criminal convictions remain convictions and may still have consequences.
Therefore, the best advice for Residents with a criminal background who wish to travel, is to have their particular circumstances reviewed by a criminal immigration attorney first, before making any plans to travel abroad. Better to be safe, then sorry….
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 Bachelor’s 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.
Several Bills have been introduced in Congress to restrict the visas and the Trump Administration has plans to reform the program in the future, but for now, eligibility remains the same. However, there is a troubling announcement from the USCIS that it may suspend 15-day premium processing for up to six months beginning April 3rd. You can find out more about H-1B and other Work Visas by visiting our website at: www.Immigratetoday.com or calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
New USCIS Forms Required - Beginning April 2017!
The USCIS recently updated several of its forms with new editions which will soon be required to be used. Beginning April 28, 2017, some common USCIS forms editions will be required, including:
Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card
Visit the USCIS forms update page:
Question: Good morning I have a question. I am married and my American mother applied for me in June 2007.According to visa bulletin, I think I have nearly 4 more years to wait to get my green card. In 4 years from now, when I receive that notification about my residence, will my wife and my 2 children ( 9 and 5 now), get the residence as well at the same time and we can go all together to live and work in the US?
Answer: As the married son of a U.S. citizen, you are in the F3 immigration category, which includes your spouse and minor children under age 21. Right now, there are Immigrant Visas in the F3 category for 2005. If your mom filed for you in 2007, you still have a few more years to wait. Once the time has come to immigrate, you are correct, your wife and kids will be able to immigrate to the U.S. along with you. I hope this was helpful to you.
File A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Request Using Your Mobile Device
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.
Visit the new eFOIA Website:
Download the new eFOIA mobile applications:
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.
The USCIS recently provided a scam alert to help Immigrants avoid falling victim to fake High School Diploma scammers. Some unscrupulous companies on the internet sell fake high school diplomas which are worthless and have no educational value.
The so called “diploma mills” claim that their diplomas can be used to enroll in college, apply for a job, get a promotion or enlist in the military, when in fact they are just worthless documents. Here are signs of a high school diploma scam: Common signs of fake diploma websites: Website just wants you to pay just for a diploma.
Scam Alert: Fake High School Diplomas
Read more about fake diploma scams:
Real education programs may charge for classes or testing, but they usually do not charge just for a diploma, You can earn the diploma from home immediately. If you can earn the diploma without taking any classes or tests, it’s likely a scam and They claim to be affiliated with the federal government. Individual states -- not the federal government -- regulate high school diploma programs.