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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378

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Questions & Answers
Question: I just got my citizenship in December and filed to sponsor my mom and dad in January. But when the Immigration sent me the receipt, it only had my dad’s name on it as the immigrant, not my mom’s. The form I filled out asked for my parents information and also about their spouse, so I thought that the one application included both my parents. I called Immigration and they said that I had only filed for my dad, not my mom. I’m confused. Can you please straighten this out for me, thanks.
Answer: ​Thats a great question! In many immigrant sponsored family petitions, a U.S. Citizen can sponsor not only their family members, but the spouse and minor children of family members as well. This is true for Adult married children and brothers & sisters of U.S. Citizens and their families. However, there is a special category of immigrants called “Immediate Relatives” (Spouses, Parents and Minor Children of U.S. Citizens) which have the benefit of being exempt from quotas (waiting lines), but the drawback is that family members sponsored in this category can only immigrate alone and cannot bring “dependants” such as a spouse or minor children. This applies to your case. When you sponsor a parent, only the parent named in the petition is sponsored and any spouse your parent has, even your own biological parent is not included. The only way to sponsor the spouse of your parent is to file a separate petition to sponsor that parent. It is true that the form I-130 requests information about your parent’s spouse and children, but not to enable them to immigrate along with your parent, rather simply for technical informational purposes. To sponsor your mom, you’ll need to file a separate petition for her, just like you did for your dad.
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Immigration How To: 
How Do I Locate a USCIS Authorized Doctor For the Required Medical Exam?
Never send original documents to the USCIS unless specifically requested by the officer! In most cases, only copies of documents are required. Originals are generally only required at Residency Interviews. When original documents are sent to the USCIS, they do not return them. 
New Poverty Guidelines Released for 2014  I-864 Affidavit of Support

You can learn more about H-1B and other Employment Visas by visiting our website or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
USCIS USCIS Completes Random Lottery For This Year’s H-1B Work Visas
3) If the sponsor does not meet the requirements, he or she must still file an I-864 showing that and include an I-864 from a Joint-sponsor who does meet the qualifications and be sure to include a copy of the Joint-sponsor’s U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, Naturalization Certificate or Green Card b) copy of the most recent tax return and W-2 c) past 3 months paystubs and d) current letter from his or her employer stating fulltime position, dates of employment and wages (which match his or her paystubs).

4) U.S. Citizen parents sponsoring minor children under age 18 are not required to file Affidavits of Support , since the immigrating child will automatically become a U.S. Citizen upon obtaining U.S. Residency. Instead, the child is required to file form I-864W requesting the exemption.
You can find out more about meeting the requirements for Affidavits of Support (I-864) and exemptions by calling our office at: 954-382-5378
The new guidelines for minimum income required under the I-864 Affidavit of Support have been released. The income requirements for 2014 have increased just slightly from 2013. 

For example, the minimum yearly income of $19,662 is now required for a single U.S. Citizen to sponsor a Spouse, compared with $19,387 for 2013. 
Here’s a few important tips for Sponsors to remember when filing Affidavits of Support:

1) Make sure that your “Net” (not Gross) income meets the minimum income requirements 

2) Always include a copy of a) your most recent tax return and W-2 b) past 3 months paystubs and c) current letter from your employer stating your fulltime position, dates of employment and wages (which match your paystubs).
On April 7th, the USCIS announced that it had received 172,500 H-1B petitions for the 65,000 available H-1B visas and over 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption. The USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process (lottery) on April 10th to determine which H-1B applications would be selected. 
The remaining applications which were not selected during the lottery process will be returned to Applicants along with the filing fees within the next week or so. Those applications which were selected will shortly be receiving Receipts and cases will begin processing.
Question: I came to the U.S. way back in 1998. In 2003 I got married, and my American wife filed for my Green Card. But we had lots of fights and never went to the immigration interview. I moved out so I never got anything more about the case. The problem is that when we filed that case, I sent in my original I-94 card, past original foreign divorce papers and original Birth certificate. Since that time I lost my passport too, so I don’t have anything to show I came legally to the U.S. Last year I tried to get another I-94 but immigration denied my application because they said I didn’t give them enough information. I am so frustrated now. I recently got married to my present wife and we want to file for my residency, but I can’t without the entry proof. Is there anything you can do to get me a copy of those documents I sent to the immigration department?
Answer: ​We can do several things. First, properly file a new request for a duplicate I-94 card with your complete information. Processing time takes several months. Second, we can file a Freedom of Information request called a “FOIA” with the Department of Homeland Security to obtain a copy of your immigration file. The processing time can take several months or more, but the results should provide us with a copy of most, if not all of your immigration-related documents, which should include a copy of your I-94 card as well. At the same time, you should apply for a replacement passport so that you have proof of identity, which you will need when filing for your adjustment of status based upon marriage to your new U.S. Citizen wife. Finally, you will need to obtain certified/officially stamped copies of your previous divorce and Birth Certificate.. When filing your Residency case, we only provide the USCIS with copies of your documents (never originals), however, you’ll need the original documents for your Residency interview.
You can learn more about sponsoring your parents and other family members by visiting our website or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Never send original documents to the USCIS! 
This is a frequent problem in cases where Naturalized U.S. citizens send their ORIGINAL Naturalization Certificates - which may never be seen again. The result is that a new certificate must be ordered at a filing fee of $345. Please note that even though the Naturalization Certificate says it cannot be reproduced, but it can!
When an Immigrant applies for U.S. Residency (form I-485) a special immigration medical exam is required to be performed by a doctor authorized to administer such exams by the USCIS. These exams are generally not covered by health insurance and can cost between $150 - $300. The doctor will perform the medical exam and complete form I-693, then give the original examination report to the patient in a sealed envelope. 
Make sure to ask the doctor for a copy of the exam. It is your legal right to have it and carefully review it to ensure that both you and the doctor have signed the form as required by the USCIS.

To locate an authorized doctor, called a “designated civil surgeon”: