Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: May 13,  2019
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2019 
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: We came here legally many years ago and fell out of status. But my son married an American a few years ago and now just got his us naturalization. He wants to sponsor his dad and me. The problem is that he is in college doing his master degree and his wife works but only part time, they live on school loans right now. I know he has to do a financial affidavit and he does not make enough. His father and I have our own small company doing home renovations. We do not have work papers or social security numbers, but we use a TIN number and file taxes. We made over $70,000 in profits last year, would that be enough to show for the affidavit?
Answer: That is a great question. For background, most U.S. Residents and Citizens who sponsor a foreign relative, including a parent, are required to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to prove that the sponsor makes enough income to support their immigrating relative. In cases where the sponsor’s income does not meet the requirements, a U.S. Resident or Citizen can be used as a “Joint-Sponsor” whose income does qualify. The income of the immigrant can be considered as long as he or she is working legally and has work authorization. Unfortunately, since you do not have a legal work permit, you are not considered as working legally, so your income cannot be considered as part of the financial affidavit. You will likely need to find a joint sponsor to do the Affidavit of Support and submit the required financial documentation. Note that your son must still complete the form I-864 and provide financial information as well.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
In an effort to turn his anti-family based “chain migration” rhetoric into law before his upcoming reelection campaign in 2020, Trump aims to release a restrictive new immigration reform plan and has assigned the task of preparing the blueprint for the proposed law to his son in law Jarred Kushner. 

Over the past months, Kushner has been working diligently on preparing an Immigration plan to overhaul the current U.S. immigration system by replacing family-based sponsorship with a merit-based systems focused more on education and investment, enhancing border security through modernization and reducing refugee and asylee migration. 
Trump Administration Preparing To Release Plan 
To Overhaul U.S. Immigration System
Why Did The Consulate Deny My Visa?

Thousands of Foreign Nationals apply for U.S. visitor visas at U.S. Consulates around the world every day. In many cases, the U.S. Visitor Visa, called a B1/B2 is approved. But, now, more than ever under Trump's new policies making it tougher to qualify, many are denied, often leading to frustration, disappointment and confusion about why the visa was denied.

One of the most common visitor visa denials is under U.S. immigration regulations section 214(b), normally based upon the Consular Officer’s belief that the applicant has the “intent to immigrate” to the U.S. 214(b) denials are usually issued when a foreign national is not able to convince the Consular Officer that he or she has “Strong Ties” to their home country which would likely compel the applicant to return home at the end of their visit and not stay in the U.S.. 
Did You Know That Renewing Your Child’s Green Card 
On Their 14th Birthday Is Free!
Tips For Filing Immigration Applications

Now more than ever, you need to be extra careful about filing any immigration application with the USCIS. Before filing your Immigration application, use the following tips to ensure proper filing.

1) Eligibility: Before filing any application with the USCIS make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. This is vital now that an application denial can lead to deportation.
Immigration rules and regulations can be obscure, seem mysterious and are often complicated. So it’s nice to come across a rule which is actually beneficial and saves you money! Under a little-known law, once a U.S. Resident child turns age 14, a Green Card renewal must be filed within 30 days.

This special requirement exists because children under age 14 are exempt from the fingerprinting, so once a child reaches age 14, he or she must provide biometrics fingerprints as part of the renewal process. However in practice, most parents do not follow the rule to renew their children’s Green Cards and no penalty is applied by the USCIS for failure to do so.  
Immigration How To:
How Do I Make Sure To File My Application Correctly?
Did you know that the children of a U.S. Citizen parent who are under age 18 at the time of immigrating, are not required to have an Affidavit of Support filed on their behalf? Its true. Eligible children under age 18 who become U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) and by operation of law, automatically become U.S. Citizens, are not required to have an Affidavit of Support filed on their behalf. 

This is true for children immigrating from abroad through a U.S. Consulate, as well as children adjusting status to U.S. Residency inside the U.S. through a U.S. Citizen biological parent. In these cases, the immigrating child must file form I-864W, Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption, instead of form I-864 Affidavit of Support. 
Tips For U.S. Citizens Sponsoring Minor Children Under Age 18, 
No Affidavit of Support Required
The administration is working with Senate Republicans to gain support prior to release of the sweeping plan to ensure that the measure gains the momentum needed to pressure Congress to act on immigration reform legislation. To that end, Trump and Kushner met with Republican leaders last week to discuss the details of a new immigration policy and to get feedback. While details of the plan remain unclear, media reports reveal that the plan would dramatically change our current system by nearly eliminating family based immigration in favor of “highly skilled workers”, gutting asylum protections and terminating the yearly Visa Lottery. The plan may be very similar to the RAISE Act of 2019, recently reintroduced in the Senate by Republican Tom Cotton, which also seeks to end most family-based “chain” immigration sponsorship by replacing it with a merit based system.

It is said that the plan in its current form does not include protections for Dreamers under DACA, and instead the administration hopes to use that as a bargaining chip with Democrats. And while the fate of the Trump plan is uncertain, most members of Congress appear to agree that our current immigration system needs a tune up, and many argue that any plan must include protections for Dreamers. The main disputes will be on proposed reductions to legal family based immigration, with Republican desires to halt almost all family sponsorship with the exception of spouses and children of U.S. Citizens and Residents and Democrats unwilling to eliminate all categories, but perhaps inclined to agree to compromise on terminating sponsorship for siblings and adult married children. Stay tuned...

The Hill
But what if there were a benefit to filing a renewal (form I-90) on your child’s 14th birthday? Well there is ….to a lucky few! The USCIS actually waives the application fee for Green Card renewal applications filed for children within 30 days of their 14th birthday, as long as the child’s Green Card will expire after the child turns age 16. Strange, but true. The catch is that there is only a very short 30 day period in which the renewal can be filed without paying the USCIS filing fee and those exact requirements must be met. For instance, if a child is turning age 14, but their Green Card expires when the child is 15, the filing fee would not be waived. Similarly, if the child has turned age 14 and you filed after 30 days, the fee is not waived. In all cases the biometrics fee of $85 must still be paid, but you will still be saving $455 for the regular renewal fee. Good to know! 
Question: My mom got her green card through my step dad a few years ago, but I was too old to immigrate with her. She filed for me in 2017 and I understand that I have to wait some years before I can immigrate to the us. I am 26 and not married. My question is whether if my mom becomes a citizen will it make my immigration process go faster?
Answer: The current waiting time for adult single sons and daughters of U.S. Residents (immigration category F2B) is about 6 years or so. Unbelievably, the waiting line for adult single children of U.S. Citizens (immigration category F1) is a bit longer, 7 years. So it will be faster for you in the F2B category. However if your mom does naturalize, you can make a request to stay in F2B and opt out of the F1 category. There is nothing that can be done to move your case faster, since you are simply in a line, waiting for a visa because there are 6 years’ worth of other adult single children of U.S. Residents waiting in the line ahead of you. I hope this was helpful to you
Question: I got married to my American husband a few months ago. We want to change my name to my husbands name. I had a social security card from my work program after I graduated college on my student visa, so I went to the social security office to change the name to my husband’s and was told that the new married name didn’t match the immigration records. Then we went to the drivers license office and after waiting for 4 hours they told me the same thing. We didn’t file my immigration papers yet, and I don’t think I can use my married name on them because all my other documents have my single name, like my passport and birth certificate. Is it true that I cant change my name on my social and drivers license because the immigration record has my single name? Please tell us what we need to do and if you can help us. Thanks.
Answer: When marrying a U.S. Citizen or Resident, you can change your last name to your spouse’s last name, or even hyphenate your last name with that of your husbands. The USCIS does not require that your Passport have your married name. Your marriage certificate is legally sufficient to request the legal name change. This can all be resolved once we file your Residency petition using your married name. After that, approximately six months later you will receive your Work Authorization card and I will send you back to the Social Security Administration office and have your Social Security card updated with your new name, then you can take your new Social Security card, along with your Work Authorization card and residency receipts to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in order to have your Driver’s License issued with your new married name. 
Demonstration of “Strong Ties” includes documents which prove that the applicant is employed, owns a home or other real estate and has close family members who reside in the home country. Most foreign nationals mistakenly believe that the fact that they have family in the U.S. will work in their favor when applying for a U.S. Visitor Visa (B1/B2). However, contrary to belief, close relatives in the U.S. such as U.S. Citizen or Resident parents, spouses or children can have a very negative impact on an application, since the mere presence of such relatives in the U.S. tends to show that an applicant might be more prone to want to stay in the U.S..

However, it’s important to know that even if an applicant is denied, they can still reapply in 6 months time. I have heard of many applicants who keep applying twice yearly and finally after the 6th or 7th time, are finally approved. 

You can visit the State Department Website for information on the most common visa denial types:
State Department Visa Denials
2) Use the correct Form: Be sure you have the most current edition of the form. Never pay for forms, they are free. To download the current edition of each form, go to and click on the Forms link, then choose your form. 

3) Supporting Documents: Make sure and include all required documents so your case is not delayed. Read the Form Instructions and enclose copies of the required supporting documents listed. Never send originals

4) Foreign Language Documents: All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation and “Certificate of Translation” signed by the translator, attesting to the fact that they are fluent in the foreign language and English. Example: I [name of translator], certify that I am fluent in the English and [type in name of foreign language, for instance, Spanish] languages, and that the above is an accurate translation of the attached document. Have the translator sign, date and type in his or her address. Note that an Applicant, family member or anyone else can be the translator, you do not need a certified translator or any other special certification.

5) Copies: Keep copies of every page of your signed application, all supporting documents and check/money order for your records.

6) Filing Fees: Make sure the USCIS filing fee is correct. Go online to and click on the Forms link to see the current filing fee for each form. Pay particular attention to applications which require biometrics fees in addition to the regular filing fees. You can pay your fees by regular personal check, Cashier’s Check, Money Orders, Credit Cards, Debit Cards and even Gift Cards. If using a card, you will need to download and complete form G-1450. However, be very careful about making sure that you have enough funds in the card for the filing fees and fill out a separate G-1450 form for the filing fee for each separate form. For instance, if your residency application is based upon marriage, you’ll need to fill out a form G-1450 for the form I-485 for $1,225 and a separate one for form I-130 $535. You can get link to the list of fees for all the forms by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.

7) Sending your application: Use Fed-ex or USPS Priority Mail or Express Mail with tracking. Be sure to get delivery confirmation a few days after you send your application, to confirm it was received and save the confirmation for your records. 

8) Sign-up for E-Notification: Always file Form G-1145 with your application (put it on top of your forms), to receive a text message or email e-notification confirming that the application was received and accepted for processing by the USCIS along with the case receipt number(s). 

9) Sign-up for E-Mail Case Updates: Once you receive your USCIS Receipt (called I-797 Notice of Action) – usually in about 10 days, go online to and click on “Check your case status” then sign-up for email updates on your case using your case number.

10) Check USCIS Processing Times: Go to and click on “Check your case status” then scroll down and click on “USCIS Processing Times Information” and click on the Service Center or office where your case is processing to see the current processing times for your application type.  

USCIS Overview of Paying Filing Fees
Current USCIS Filing Fees