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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: APRIL  27,  2015
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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
Appeals Court Hears Arguments On President Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions
Questions & Answers
Question: Hi, I received my Residency through marriage to my American wife. I know that I have to wait until I am a Citizen next year in order to sponsor my parents for their Residency, but my questions is whether or not my American wife can file for my parents (her mother and father in law)? Thanks.
Answer: Immigration regulations only allow U.S. Citizen children age 21 or older to file for their parents. A parent can be a biological parent by birth, or step-parent, as long as the step-parent relationship was established by the marriage of the step-parent the child’s biological parent before the child turned age 18. There is no category for “in-laws”, so unfortunately, your wife cannot sponsor your Parents Residency. However, as soon as you become a U.S. Citizen next year, you can sponsor both of your Parents immediately. 

On April 17th, the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in New Orleans Louisiana heard arguments presented by the Justice Department (DOJ) on behalf of President Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration and from attorneys representing the State of Texas and other plaintiff’s in their lawsuit aimed at stopping the Immigration Reform actions from taking effect. The Appeal was filed by the DOJ following the ruling by a lower Federal Court Judge in Texas, who issued a temporary “Injunction” which “stopped” (“stayed”) implementation of the Executive Actions, just one day before the program was scheduled to begin in February 2015. 

Lawyers for the DOJ called the Texas Judge’s February injunction “unprecedented” and urged the Appeals Court to allow the Obama Administration to implement the programs, while lawyers for the State of Texas requested that the Court allow the injunction to stay in place.
A new program recently implemented by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency at Miami and other major airports, expedites entry and reduces wait times using a new Mobile Option for Customs Declaration, called “Mobile Passport Control (MPC)”.

This new mobile cell phone application allows U.S. Citizens and Canadians to submit their passport information and customs declaration forms via the smartphone and tablet app prior to CBP inspection. Android and iPhone users can download Mobile Passport for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
New Cell Phone Application Expedites Customs Processing At Miami Airport
Question: Hi I am visiting my American fiancée here in Florida on my tourist visa and plan to go home at the end of May. He proposed to me last week and we are now planning to get married soon and while I’m here, we wanted to decide on dates and where we will have our ceremony, whether in the U.S. or in my country. Before we make a final plans, I want to first find out from you if it will make any difference for immigration purposes where and when we do it. Like, if we do it outside the U.S. and have a big wedding at the church with my family, can I get my residency right away and return to the U.S. with my husband after our honeymoon, or is there another process? We have our appointment with you next week and will follow your guidance. Thanks.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
The three Appeals Court judges, all of whom were appointed by different Administrations (Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Obama) have not yet provided a date by which they will announce their decision. If the Appeals Court decides to lift the injunction and allow the programs to go forward, the Obama Administration will act quickly move to begin implementation of the Executive Actions. However, the State of Texas may still seek to continue to block the President’s actions by appealing directly to the Supreme Court. Stay tuned…
Visit the CBP Mobile Passport Website:
Mobile Passport
Question: Am I eligible for US visa after leaving voluntarily while on expired student visa?

Answer: Since students are in a special class of visas which do not normally accrue unlawful presence in the U.S., technically you are eligible. However it’s going to be very difficult to obtain a U.S. Tourist visa after having overstayed any kind of visa in the U.S.. But it won’t hurt you to try. Good luck!
Answer: Great question. The immigration process is quite different, depending upon whether the spouse of a U.S. Citizen processes outside the U.S., called “Consular processing” or inside the U.S. called “adjustment of status”. Many couples are often confused about the U.S. Immigration process and assume that once they get married outside the U.S., their foreign spouse can obtain residency at the Embassy right away and just accompany them back to the U.S.. Unfortunately, the process does not work like that. However, when a foreign fiancée does not have a U.S. tourist visa, there is no choice but to marry outside the U.S. and await Immigrant visa processing through the U.S. Consulate. This process generally takes about 8+ months. 

However, in situations such as yours, where you have a U.S. tourist visa and are already inside the U.S., you have the option of getting married here and adjusting your status to U.S. Residency in a fairly quick process. The process for adjustment of status takes about 5-6 months in most cases and provides the opportunity for the foreign spouse to live and work in the U.S. while waiting for residency to be issued. Once the couple is married and the Immigration package is filed, it generally takes up to 90 days for the Work and Travel Permit to be issued, then the foreign spouse can apply for a social security card. Once the Residency Interview is scheduled at the USCIS local office, the couple attends the interview and if all goes well, the Green Card is issued within several weeks. To expedite Immigration processing and receipt of your work permit, you might want to consider getting married at the courthouse civilly and filing for your Residency earlier that you might have otherwise planned, then having your big religious wedding at a later date, either in the U.S. or your home country. See you next week.
Understanding Which Family Members Can Be Sponsored By Whom 
And How Long It Will Take For Them To Immigrate To the U.S. 
I often get questions from U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents alike about which family members they are eligible to sponsor, when they are allowed to initiate the process, how many family members can be sponsored at one time and how long it will be before their loved ones can immigrate to the U.S.
U.S. Residents are eligible to sponsor: 

1) Spouses and Minor Children called F2A and 

2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) called F2B. U.S. Residents cannot sponsor their Parents, Adult Married Sons & Daughters or their Brothers & Sisters. If a child who has been sponsored by a Resident marries before the parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the Immigration case is automatically cancelled, even if the child later divorces.

Waiting Times For Family Members in all Countries except Mexico/India & Philippines: 

1) Immediate Relatives (Spouses, Minor Children and Parents of U.S. Citizens), there is no waiting line, just USCIS and consular processing time (approx 8-12 months). 
2) F1 - Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 7-8 years, 
3) F3 -Adult Married Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 12-14 years, 
4) F4 -Brothers & Sisters of U.S. Citizens , the waiting line is approx 13-15 years, 
5) F2A -Spouses and Minor Children of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 1 1/2 years and 
6) F2B -Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 7-8 years.
Under current Immigration regulations, once an Immigrant receives U.S. Residency, (even Conditional 2 year Residency through marriage), and similarly when a Resident becomes Naturalized, they are eligible to sponsor any and all family members in any of the qualifying categories. There is no limit on the number of family members which can be sponsored at the same time. For instance, a U.S. Citizen can sponsor an adult, single daughter, a married son and 3 sisters and 2 brothers all at the same time. However, due to the difference in waiting times, each family member be immigrating at different times, depending upon the Family Immigration category. Congressional Immigration reforms in the future may limit the type and amount of family members allowed to immigrate to the U.S., but for now, the number is limitless, so don’t wait until it is too late… 

Learn more about Family Visa waiting lines:

Understanding Family Immigrant Visa Waiting Lines
Here’s how it works:

U.S. Citizens are eligible to sponsor:

1) Spouses, Minor Children and Parents (called "Immediate Relatives")  
2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) F1
3) Adult Married Sons & Daughters (and their spouses and minor children) called F3 and 
4) Brothers & Sisters (and their spouses and minor children) called F4.
DREAMERS Are Now Eligible To Join The Military & Obtain U.S. Citizenship
The U.S. Department of Defense now allows DREAMERS who have been granted Deferred Action (DA) status  to join the U.S. Military’s MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to National Interest) program. 

This program, formerly for legal immigrants, seeks to enlist individuals with health care backgrounds and those with certain language skills to fight in the War on Terror in the Army, Navy and Air Force. 
Read more about the Department of Defense September 25th announcement and the MANVI program:

Department of Defense September 25th announcement 
MANVI Program Information

Immigration How To:
How Do I Know Which Military Services Dreamers Are Eligible To Join?
Previous to the MANVI program, federal law limited enlistment in the armed forces to U.S. citizens and green card holders. The best news is that DREAMERS who are selected for enlistment in the MAVNI program will be immediately eligible for U.S. Citizenship even bypassing the normal requirement of first obtaining U.S. Residency.