Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: MAY 30,  2016
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2016 
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
Question:I came to the U.S. with my parents as visitors in early 2003 and my mom got a good job taking care of an elderly gentlemen as a caregiver, so we stayed past our I-94 date and our visas expired. I will soon be marrying my American fiancée whom I have been dating for 4 years and we want to know how we can change the status for myself and my parents after my marriage. How soon can I file for my parents to get them their Green Cards. How long will it be for them to get their work permits and Green Card? Thanks.
Answer: Since you entered the U.S. legally, you will be eligible to adjust status to U.S. Residency through your U.S. Citizen wife. But unfortunately, only U.S. Citizens can sponsor their Parents for Residency. Since you will be obtaining your Green Card through your U.S. Citizen Spouse, you will be eligible to apply for early Naturalization in two years and nine months from the date you receive your U.S. Residency, as long as you and your husband continue to be living together as a married couple. Once you file for your Naturalization, it takes about 4-5 months to become a U.S. Citizen. After that you can sponsor both of your parents (separately). From the time of filing the Residency packages, your parents should receive their Work Permits within about 90 days and their Green Cards within 4-6 months. Let us know if we can assist you in this process.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Quick Overview Of The Immigration Process 
For Adult Children Of U.S. Citizens 
Adult children of U.S. Citizens are in immigration categories which usually take many years to wait for an Immigrant Visa in order to immigrate to the U.S.. 

The visa waiting line for adult, single children (age 21 or older) of U.S. Citizens in the F1 Immigration Category is about 7 years and the line for adult married children and their families in the F3 Immigration Category is about 11 – 12 years or more. The long process can be frustrating and not easily understood, so a run-down of the how the Immigrant Visa process generally goes as follows:
Foreign travelers to the U.S. often need to determine how many days they have spent inside the U.S. for Tax and other purposes. However, it can sometimes be difficult to determine exact dates by using one’s own passport stamps alone, since some entry stamps may be stamped over existing stamps, with exact dates almost impossible to read. Now there is a quick and easy way to get your past five-year travel history. 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency keeps automated records of entry and exit data for non-immigrants who visit the U.S.. You can now access and printout your own travel history and current I-94 Arrival/Departure card by visiting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website. You’ll need have the following information handy: your first and last name, your full date of birth, your passport number, and the country of issuance of your passport. 
Visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website to access your records:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 
CBP Instructions 
CBP FAQs for more info
Other useful information about traveling to the U.S.
Tips On Getting Your U.S. Travel History Records Quickly & Easily
1)The U.S. Citizen Parent files a Family petition Form I-130 with the USCIS 

2)The USCIS issues the U.S. Citizen Parent a Form I-797 Notice of Action (I-130 Receipt) in the mail within about 15 days

3)USCIS processing time depends upon the family relationship. For adult, single children of U.S. Citizens, the I-130 application will generally be processed in about 6 months and for adult married children, about 4 years or so. 

4)Once the USCIS approves the case, it mails out a Form I-797 Notice of Action (I-130 Approval Notice) to the U.S. Citizen Parent. It’s very important that parents who have filed I-130 petitions keep their address update with the USCIS, in order to receive the Approval Notice and to receive an requests for additional evidence while the case is processing.

5)The USCIS then transfers the case to the National Visa Center to put the case in the queue waiting for an Immigrant Visa to be available (according to the general time-frames above) as reflected in the monthly Visa Bulletin released by the State Department.

6)Once the National Visa Center (NVC) receives the case, it sends letter to U.S. Citizen Parent indicating that the case is pending visa availability

7)Then nothing happens for many years while waiting for Immigrant Visa availability.

8)Finally, after many years, when an Immigrant Visa becomes available, the NVC notifies the U.S. Citizen Parent that the case is ready for and sends out Fee bills must be paid in order to prepare the case for Consular Processing 

9)Once Immigrant Visa and Affidavit of support fees are paid, consular forms and certain required documents must be submitted to the NVC along with the Affidavit of Support and financial documentation for processing.

10)After the NVC file is complete, it sends the file to the U.S. Consulate to schedule the Immigrant Visa interview

11)The U.S. Consulate notifies the Immigrant of the Immigrant Visa appointment and provides instructions on having the required medical examination done.

12)The Immigrant (and his or her family) attend the Immigrant Visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate and if all goes well, the case is approved and the Immigrant receives a package in the mail which must be presented to the U.S. Immigration officials at the airport upon entering the U.S. . Prior to entry, the $165 per person Immigrant visa fees must be paid on the USCIS ELLIS website online and the receipt presented to prove payment.

13)The Immigrant and family receive their Green Cards at the address in the U.S. provided within about 120+0 days and then proceed to apply for Social Security numbers from the Social Security Administration.

Read More About Family Immigration Waiting Lines:
Overview of the Family Immigrant Visa Process

You can find out more about the Immigrant Visa process and obtain assistance in meeting financial and other documentation requirements by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.

Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Always Safeguard Your Vital Immigration Documents 
While in the midst of hurricane season, it’s a good time to remind Immigrants and their sponsors about taking steps to safeguard your Immigration-related documentation, cards and certificates in case of potential loss, theft (automobiles, home) and of course, natural disasters such as hurricanes and water damage.

Steps to take: 

The first step is to be sure that you always make a copy of the entire immigration petition and supporting documentation BEFORE sending to the USCIS. 
Second, make copies of all receipts, notices and correspondence to and from the USCIS. A good approach is to keep everything in a three hole punch binder in date order. People often keep such documents in the original envelope, which increases the chance of loss, since envelopes fall out of files. Also, this method makes it difficult to quickly access the documents needed. 

Third, copies should always be made of original Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Divorce Decrees, Citizenship (Naturalization) Certificates, Green Cards, Passports and I-94 cards (which should always be stapled into the passport to safeguard it from falling out and getting lost). Once copies are made, the originals should be kept safely together in a file and enclosed in a zip-lock bag or other waterproof container. Safety deposit boxes at your local bank are often free with your account and provide an additional method of protection, for original documents and copies. 

Fourth, always immediately obtain a copy of every immigration petition along with copies of all supporting documentation and money orders and receipts from your Attorney. Don’t assume that such documents will be provided later. It is your right to have a copy of everything - always. Get formal receipts (with the attorney’s name and address) for all fees paid which specifically detail what the payment was for and once a petition is filed on your behalf, make sure you request the original receipt, doing the same with the approval notice. Also, never leave original documents with your attorney, since only copies of most documents are provided to the USCIS. Some exceptions would be original certified criminal documents, etc. 

Finally, as an Immigrant, you should maintain your original immigration documents (and copies) forever, since you never know when you will need them. Don’t rely upon the USCIS immediately knowing and recognizing your status simply because you know it. The burden of proof is always on you to provide documentation, certificates, cards, passports, etc to prove to the USCIS that you have immigration status and benefits. Documentation is your strength and security.

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