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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
Update on Court Action In Lawsuit To Stop President Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions
Questions & Answers
Question: I wanted to know how do I go about gaining citizenship through my sister who was born in Florida but doesn't live there. What age would she have to be to be able to file for her siblings and how long will it take normally to have this process done and what all will be needed. Thank you in advance. 
Answer: That is a great question. Under Immigration regulations, U.S. Citizens, (whether born in the U.S. or Naturalized) can sponsor Parents and Siblings to immigrate to the U.S. and obtain U.S. Residency (a Green Card) once they reach the age of 21. The process for Parents takes about 8-12 months and the process for Siblings takes about 12-14 years. The U.S. Citizen does not need to actually reside in the U.S. until the final stages of immigration begin, when the I-864 Affidavit of Support is filed. At that time, with a few exceptions, the U.S. Citizen sponsor must prove that they reside in the U.S..

In contrast, U.S. Citizens can sponsor a Spouse or Minor children once they reach age 18. The process for Spouses and Minor children takes about 8-12 months.

As part of the immigration process, Immigrants are first granted U.S. Residency, then, once eligible, U.S. Citizenship. There is no process for most Immigrants to obtain U.S. Citizenship directly, except in very limited cases involving children who derive Citizenship through U.S. Citizen parents.
As reported in the past few months, just as the first of the President’s Executive Action Immigration programs was scheduled to start in February 2015, a Federal Judge in Texas issued an order (called a “stay”) to temporarily halt its implementation, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas and joined by numerous other states in an effort to stop the programs from ever taking effect.

Following the “stay” issued by Judge Hanen in Texas, the Justice Department (DOJ) requested that Judge Hanen reconsider his decision and lift the “stay”. At the same time, the DOJ filed an Appeal with a higher Federal Court (5th Circuit Court of Appeals) seeking to overturn the “stay” imposed by the judge in Texas and allow the programs to continue. Recently, as expected, Judge Hanen declined to change his decision. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
As expected, on April 7, 2015 the USCIS announced that the H-1B work visa cap had been reached and that it will conduct a lottery process to select the cases that will be processed.

It is expected that receipts for cases accepted for processing will begin to be issued shortly and cases in excess of the quota will begin to be returned to Petitioners within the next several weeks.

Read the USCIS Announcement:
USCIS H-1B Announcement
However, a ray of hope emerged last week after a decision issued by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in a similar case, in which the Appeals Court ruled against the state of Mississippi, rejecting its challenge to the President’s earlier 2012 Executive Actions granting Deferred Action to DREAMERS. Given this ruling, Immigration advocates are optimistic that the Court will make a similar ruling in the Texas case in the coming months. Stay tuned…
H-1B Work Visa Quotas Reached In First Week
Question: Dear Attorney, good day and thank you for the wonderful job you are doing..i just read about the USCIS new processing times. How about applications that have been filed up to 6 and more years ago, like my I 130 (citizen file for unmarried child over 21 years old ?) Thanks for your response. God bless you
Answer: The USCIS processing times are very different than the actual waiting times for an Immigrant visa.

In all family immigration cases where a family member lives abroad, the I-130 application is first made with the USCIS. Once the USCIS approves the case, it sends the file to the National Visa Center NVC) in Washington to hold the file until an Immigrant Visa becomes available to the family member being sponsored. In many family cases, the waiting time for an Immigrant Visa to become available is between 1 ½ to 14 years, depending upon what the relationship is between the sponsor and the family member abroad.

The USCIS processing times I published recently only refer to the time it takes the USCIS to process approval of the case before it is forwarded to the NVC. Once the NVC receives the file, the Visa Bulletin released by the State Dept each month controls when a visa will be available in each family Immigration category.

For adult, single children of U.S. Citizens, the F1 Immigration category, the current waiting time is approximately 8 years, (for children in all countries except Mexico and the Philippines). Right now, there are Immigrant Visas available for F1 children whose parent filed the I-130 petition on or before August 1, 2007 (the Priority Date). You can look at the I-130 approval notice your parent filed for you to see the Priority Date (the date the petition was filed) to determine whether you are getting close or not. If your parent filed for you 6 years ago, you would still need to wait another few years before an Immigrant visa will become available and you are eligible to immigrate.

You can find out more about sponsoring family members as a U.S. Citizen by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378954-382-5378.

When Approved For Residency -But Have Not Received Your Green Card
Immigrants approved for Residency through adjustment of status in the U.S. receive a “Welcome Notice” shortly after approval, then the actual Green Card a week or so later. However, in some instances, several weeks can go by after receipt of the notice – with no Green Card.
The USCIS now sends Green Cards by Priority Mail. When Immigrants have not received their Green Card after several weeks, they can contact USCIS’s Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to request tracking information for their documents. USCIS customer service representatives will provide customers with their USPS tracking number and current USPS delivery status.
Immigration How To:
How Do I Change My Social Security Immigration Records?
To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security card and take your current card, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions. To learn more about changing your Social Security records, click on the link below:

Social Security Records Change