Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: May 14,  2018
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2018 
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:I have a problem and don’t know what to do. I moved to a new apartment last month and now I cant find my green card and drivers license. My girlfriend says she thinks I left it in the moving truck, but I called the company and they said they don’t have it. I was left with no identification, so I went to drivers license office last week to get a duplicate and they said no, they wont give me one without my green card, which is crazy because I lost it! I am so frustrated! My girlfriend said you can help me. I need an appointment to get this thing fixed as soon as possible.
Answer: I understand your frustration. Don’t worry, this is what we will do: First, file a request with the USCIS to get you a duplicate Green Card. Second, once we get the receipt, I will make an appointment at your local USCIS office to get you a temporary residency stamp. Third, you will take your passport with the residency stamp, along with your social security card to the department of motor vehicles to have your duplicate Driver’s License issued. Issuance of your duplicate Green Card will take many months, however in the meantime, the residency stamp in your passport called an I-551, will act as your evidence of lawful residence until your new card is received. 
Government Grants 18 Month TPS Extension For Hondurans - 
Time to Find A Permanent Immigration Solution!
Immigration How To:
How Do I  Remove Conditions On My Green Card?
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Last week the Department of Homeland Security announced that as part of its termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans, it would delay ending the program for another 18 months, allowing Hondurans to stay in the U.S. until January 5, 2020. The USCIS plans to post re-registration procedures in the near future. The additional period of stay in the U.S. allows Hondurans to seek all available immigration options as a means to legalize their status in the U.S.. 
 USCIS Announces New Policy On 
Sibling-to-Sibling DNA Testing
New USCIS policy permits acceptance of DNA evidence to provide proof of brother/sister sibling relationships. Under the policy guidelines, officers may now request that U.S. Citizen and foreign siblings to undergo sibling-to-sibling DNA testing to prove the requisite sibling relationship. 

Such additional evidence is generally required when siblings share only one biological parent and in many cases where their parents were not married. For cases which involve DNA testing, only testing conducted by an AABB-accredited lab are accepted by the USCIS.
Question: I am applying for my citizenship and the form asks about all my trips in recent 5 years. I travel a lot for work and I have lots of trips and some of the US entry stamps are stamps on top of stamps and I cannot read the dates accurately. Does it matter if I make a mistake just because I cannot clearly see the dates?
Answer: As is often the case, U.S. and foreign border officers alike, simply stamp your page without even considering whether it is legible or not. In most naturalization cases, making the best guess you can for illegible dates is the best you can do and the USCIS will not fault you for it. However, fortunately, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has a website which allows travelers to access their U.S. travel history going back five years from the request date. To access the information, go to the CBP website and click on “Get Travel History” and print out the report.

Visit the CBP Travel History Webpage 
Understanding Conditional Two Year Residency For Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Did you know that a foreign spouse of U.S. Citizen who has been married for less than two years at the time of obtaining residency, only receives a two-year Conditional Resident status?

Its true. Unlike regular U.S. Residents who obtain a Green Card through family members, employment or other means, husbands and wives of U.S. Citizens who got married less than two years prior to U.S. Residency approval, only receive a two-year Green Card, rather than the full 10 year Permanent Residency. In order to qualify for removal, the foreign and U.S. Citizen spouses must file a request for removal of the conditional status within the 90 day period prior to the conditional Green Card expiration. 
And while few options exist for most Hondurans who entered the U.S. over the border illegally, there may be several alternatives available for certain Hondurans who are sponsored by immediate family members or U.S. employers. In these cases, the key element to eligibility most often involves the TPS holder obtaining an Advance Parole document in order to travel abroad, then an exiting the U.S. and a re-entering legally. Upon re-entry, most TPS holders will have been technically legally admitted to the U.S. and are then eligible to adjust status to residency through a qualifying family member or employer. However, there are many technical immigration aspects to the procedure and TPS holders who have a deportation/removal order or criminal conviction should seek the advice of a qualified immigration attorney prior to leaving the U.S. with Advance Parole.

Hondurans who qualify can be sponsored by a U.S. Citizen spouse or U.S. Citizen child age 21 or older and be allowed to adjust status to residency (Green Card ) inside the U.S.. Similarly, Hondurans who are eligible can be sponsored by a qualifying employer, through a process called Labor Certification, to obtain a Green Card and remain in the U.S. during the process. Note that the labor certification process can be quite lengthy taking a year or more and must be completed prior to the January 2020 deadline and/or the period of authorized stay issued to a TPS holder upon re-entry to the U.S. with Advance parole. So Honduran TPS holders who desire to remain legally in the U.S. after TPS expires should act quickly to determine what options they have available, before it is too late. Given the Trump anti-immigrant political climate, is likely that no further extensions to TPS will be available in the future. TPS holders can get free information about obtaining travel permits and Green Cards through family or employment sponsorship, by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.

Department of Homeland Security Announcement
TPS For Hondurans

 New Trump Administration Rule Targets Status of International Students
A new rule issued by the USCIS drastically changes existing immigration policies relating to those in the U.S. on student visas and exchange visitors. Under the new policy, beginning in August, students and exchange visitors on F, J, and M nonimmigrant status (and their dependents) who fail to maintain their status in the U.S., may be subject to re-entry “bars” of up to ten years, depending upon how long they remained in unlawful status prior to leaving the U.S.. Prior to the new policy, individuals in these visa status’ were exempt from the bars to re-entry, allowing students and exchange visitors who violated their visas and remained in the U.S., to be allowed to re-enter the U.S. without any legal impediments as a result of their previous overstay in the U.S..

Beginning August 9, 2018, F, J and M visa holders who fail to maintain status before and after that date, will begin accruing unlawful status. Failure to maintain status includes those who violate the terms of their visa, those who drop out of school or no longer pursue a fulltime course of study and those who remain inside the U.S. past the expiration of authorized employment or grace period.
Those who accrue 180 days of unlawful status and then leave the U.S. will be barred from re-entering for 3 years and those who overstay by 365 or more days will be barred for 10 years. This policy is just a part of the administration’s overall crack-down and restrictions on legal immigration visas. 

Policy Memorandum
 With The Future Of DACA Uncertain – Dreamers Should File Renewal Applications At Least 150 Days Prior To Expiration
In September 2017, Trump abruptly announced cancellation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program beginning March 5, 2018. But as the deadline approached, several federal courts blocked the administration from ending the program for Dreamers who already had DACA status. So even as the March 5th deadline has passed, the Trump administration is currently still required by the federal courts to allow DACA renewals, but not to accept new applications. 

However, this is not a permanent solution, and a federal court could allow Trump to terminate the program in the future. As a result, Dreamers are advised not to become complacent and leave renewals until the last moment….since the program could be terminated at any time. 
This means that DACA renewals should be filed as early as possible, meaning 150 days before the work authorization card expires. USCIS processing of DACA renewals can be slow and those who fail to file early renewals can find themselves with expired work permits, waiting for renewal. This can mean loss of a job and driver’s license in some states

Recommendations For Renewing DA Status:

The DACA renewal Fee is $495, which includes both renewed DA status and Work Authorization. Applicants who are over age 31 are still eligible, as long as they were under age 31 when the policy became effective on June 15, 2012 and currently hold DACA status. 
Be sure to file your renewal no earlier or later than 150 days from the date your current card expires. If you are representing yourself, fully complete the DACA renewal forms and write “Renewal Request” in large letters on the bottom of each form. 

Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival 
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
Form I-765WS
USCIS Deferred Action Webpage
Once the foreign spouse receives Permanently Residency, he or she can apply for early Naturalization once they have been a Resident for at least 2 years and 9 months.

In order to qualify for removal of the conditional status, a couple must continue to not only be married, but to live together as spouses (which includes same-sex spouses). The removal of condition request must be submitted with extensive supporting documentary evidence that the couple has and continues to live together in a real marriage. One of the biggest misconceptions that conditional residents have is the belief that as long as they remain “married” to the U.S. Citizen spouse, but not actually living together, they will still qualify resulting in tragic consequences which often leads to loss of Residency and in some instances, deportation.

Conditional Residents can file a removal request without the U.S. Citizen spouse in cases where the couple has divorced, where there is documented domestic violence and when a spouse is widowed. However, the burden of proof is on the conditional resident spouse to provide the USCIS with extensive evidence that prior to the divorce, domestic violence or death of the U.S. Citizen, the couple were living together in a real marriage.

You can get free information about removing conditions on your Green Card, 
by calling our office at: 954-382-5378