Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: May 6,  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: Hi, My husband and I came to florida in Feb to visit my sister who just had an operation and is recovering. My husband had to go back home to get back to work but I am still here. My time here expires in aug. My sister has had some complications and needs me to be here to help her to go to her dr appointments and take care of things around the house. I was thinking to stay until maybe nov instead of leaving in aug. I have to return home in nov to get ready for my daughters wedding in early dec. my question is whether I can get an extension to stay from aug to nov? thank you.
Answer: Immigration regulations allow visitors to the U.S. to apply to extend their authorized periods of stay in the U.S. by up to six months by filing form I-539. However, current processing times for extension of stay can be six months or more and if an applicant’s I-94 stay has expired and he or she leaves the U.S. after filing the request but before a decision is made, the visitor’s B1/B2 visa is automatically cancelled. It’s a ridiculous situation which forces visitors to either stay in the U.S. and await a decision on their request or leave and lose their U.S. visa. In your case, it would be very unwise for you to file a request for an extension of stay, since you may not obtain a decision until after you need to leave the U.S. in November. I hope this is helpful. Read more about the risk of extending visas in the U.S. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
The immigration process to adjust status to residency in the U.S. can be long and tedious, sometimes taking nearly two years to finally receive your residency interview. So with all that waiting, it’s important to be sure that you bring the right documents with you to your interview, to ensure approval. Otherwise, the USCIS will issue you a request for missing documents, which can unnecessarily delay approval of your green card for up to three months or more after your interview! 

But understandably, determining which documents to bring with you can be difficult, since the interview notice itself is very confusing, providing a list of documents for all different kinds of cases, not specific to each individual immigrant. 
Don’t Leave Home Without It - Documents You Must Bring To Your Residency Interview In Order To Be Approved
I Applied For My Residency But Was Denied, Now I Got A Deportation Notice!

Filing Immigration Applications Can Get You Deported Under New Trump Immigration Policies!

Now more than ever, its vitally important that Immigrants fully understand their eligibility under immigration regulations before filing an immigration petition, since denied applications may now lead to swift removal from the U.S.. Under Obama’s lenient Immigration policies, only criminal aliens are given priority for deportation and most other Immigrants are largely left alone. However, under a Trump administration, Immigrants who are denied for Immigration benefits may be automatically targeted for deportation. 
USCIS Announces Termination Of Immigration Forms Request Line
U.S. Permanent Residents do not lose Residency status once their Green Card expires, but without filing for a renewal, they will not have any legal documentation to prove their continuing Residency status. That is why it very important to file for your Green Card extension before the card expires. However, current USCIS processing times for Green Card renewal applications (Form I-90), can exceed 6-8 months or more, often causing problems for Residents who require proof of legal immigration status for Driver’s License and other renewals. As a result of these long delays, local Field Offices are authorized to provide Residents with a Green Card extension sticker, affixed to their expired cards, to provide proof of their continuing legal Residency status in the U.S.. 
Currently, the USCIS has a dedicated line (1-800-870-3676) which allows customers to order free immigration forms by phone. However, beginning June 1, 2019, the USCIS will terminate the Forms Request Line service and instead encourage individuals to use its online website services as part of its efforts to modernize processes. Customers can still obtain forms by calling the USCIS 800# or through the website page to request Forms by Mail. 

Download free USCIS Immigration forms
Order USCIS Immigration forms by mail
View USCIS online service tools 
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Am Still A Resident Once My Green Card Expires?
So to avoid confusion and delays caused by failing to provide required documents, let’s go over a few important items which every immigrant must bring to his or her residency interview:

Interview notice 
- new Medical Report if previous one submitted has expired (most old medicals have expired, since they were only valid for one year prior to November 1, 2018)
- current Passport & all prior Passports  
I-94 card (if you entered the U.S. PRIOR TO 2013 otherwise “online I-94 printout”)
Work Authorization card/Travel Permit
Driver’s License
- ORIGINAL Birth Certificate 
- ORIGINAL Marriage Certificate for current marriage (not for past marriages)
- ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED Divorce Decree for every marriage in the past
- ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED Criminal Documents for any criminal case of any kind, including traffic cases which required a court appearance. Criminal Documents must include: a) CERTIFIED Police Report or Traffic Ticket and b) CERTIFIED Court Disposition (you must bring both a & b to give to the officer at your interview)

Every U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident sponsor should bring:

- ORIGINAL Birth Certificate (if sponsoring a sibling) AND 
Proof of U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Residency (i.e. ORIGINAL Naturalization Certificate , US passport or Green Card
Driver’s License

-For marriage residency: U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident Spouse’s Original/certified Divorce Decree for every marriage in the past, in addition to extensive marital documentation (see below)

-While not required, it’s also helpful for the U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident to bring an updated tax return and W-2 for the current year since filing the residency case, a currently dated employer letter and current paystubs

Marriage residency cases are particularly complicated, since in addition to the above, the USCIS officer will expect the married couple to provide extensive documentation of their lives and financial affairs together, including:

- Photos of the Couple: Original Photos of pictures you have together, during the time you were dating, pictures of your wedding and all pictures you have taken since you married. Assemble photos in Photo Albums. As many as you can, the more the better. Residency interviews can go quite quickly for couples who have lots of photos. Digital Photos will not qualify. The officer will not look at digital photos on your cell phone or camera. Include at least 8 Original Photos of you as a couple together (Wedding, Holidays, etc) for the officer to keep in the USCIS file

-Tax Returns FOR ALL YEARS since you got married, showing “married filing jointly” AND W-2’S for Both spouses;

-Joint Bank accounts statements showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present -stmts only, not checks

-Joint Credit Card Statements/Investment Accounts showing both spouse names showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present (if available) 

-Joint Auto Insurance policies & Insurance Cards showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present 

-Joint Health Insurance card/policy & Insurance Cards since you have been married (if available) 

-Joint Warranty Deed, Joint Closing Documents, Joint Homeowner’s Insurance policy;

-Joint Lease Agreement showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Joint Utility Bills in Joint Names showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Separate Utility Bills in U.S. Citizen’s/Foreign spouse’s name showing marital address to prove you reside together even though the bill is not in both spouses names 

-Joint Auto purchase contract/Automobile Registration showing both spouse names

-Joint Travel tickets/itineraries and boarding passes for trips showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Joint Receipts for items purchased together, for example, furniture showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Joint Birth Certificate for child born to the couple (if applicable)

-Joint Gym Memberships showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Joint Church & Club Memberships showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Joint BJ’s, Costco & other similar Cards showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present

-Other documentation to show parties have been living together as married spouses showing both spouse names since before and after you got married until present. 

-Copy of Driver’s License for both spouses showing the same marital address.

In most residency interview cases, once you have been called and are in the interview room, the officer will have the immigrant and sponsor take an “oath” to tell the truth, have them show their identification (driver’s license, passport) and then take the immigrants fingerprints and digital photo. Following that, the officer will generally want to see the original “civil” documents such as birth and marriage certificates, divorce decrees, naturalization certificate, etc. The officer will generally then review the family petition (I-130) and residency application (I-485) by asking the sponsor and immigrant to verify information on the form such as address, social security number, parents names, children’s and spouses names, etc. For marriage interviews, the officer will ask the couple questions about their relationship, marriage and life together as well. 

All immigrants will also be asked a myriad of “admissibility” and criminal questions (expect between 20 and 40) and then ask the immigrant to sign the I-485 residency form. After that, the interview is generally complete. Its always a good idea to confirm with the officer whether there is any other documents or information they need (in case they forgot to ask) so you can give it to them right there during the interview. In cases which go smoothly, the officer will approve the case and order the green card the same day, which the immigrant receives in the mail in about 2 weeks. In others, where required documentation is missing or the marriage interview did not go well, the officer will send the immigrant a letter requesting additional documentation. Once that is provided to the office however, it can take three months or more for the case to be approved. 

You can get sample questions and answers for marriage interview cases by visiting our website at: and clicking on the newsletter link. 

Our Firm provides interview preparation and representation as well, ensuring that you have all the documents required and understand exactly what will happen in your particular case. Give us a call at: 954-382-5378.
In an effort to keep his angry base focused on immigrants, Trump recently issued a Presidential Memorandum declaring that visa overstay rates are “unacceptably high” and a “widespread problem.”, directing federal agencies to consider action against countries whose citizens overstay either business or tourist visas at a rate higher than 10 percent. The State Department and other federal agencies have 120 days to make recommendations to reduce overstays by tourists and student visa holders and to suggest sanctions which could include suspending or limiting visas for those countries and imposing “Admissions Bonds” to deter overstays. 

Read the Presidential Memorandum 
LA Times
Trump Targets Visa Overstays For Visa Violations
Question: I got my green card in 2011 and am finally getting around to filing for my citizenship. My son is 17 and will be 18 next year. He only has his green card since 2017 which is less than 5 year but I heard that he can get citizenship along with me, is that true? Doesn’t he have to have a green card for at least 5 years? 
Answer: Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 children who are under age 18 automatically acquire United States citizenship when at least one biological parent naturalizes, as long as the child resides with that parent. There is no requirement that a child hold residency status for five years. In fact, when a minor child under age 18 immigrates to the U.S. through a U.S. parent (biological), he or she automatically becomes a U.S. Citizen upon entry to the U.S.. However, timing is everything, so it is important to understand that the law only applies to children under age 18 at the time the parent naturalizes, not files the naturalization application. So, with long naturalization application processing, it can take a year or more to complete the naturalization process and actually swear in. If your son turns age 18 during that time, he will not acquire U.S. citizenship along with you and will instead have to file for his citizenship separately.
Question: my question is about filing for my younger daughter. I got my green card through my eldest daughter who is an American citizen in 2016. My younger daughter is 23, single and in college. I am wondering if I should file for her now as a green card holder or wait until I get citizenship. please advise whether I should file her papers now or wait until I am a citizen so the waiting time will be shorter. 
Answer: As long as your adult daughter is single, you can sponsor her now while you are still a U.S. Resident. The waiting line for an adult, single child of a U.S. Resident is about a year shorter than that of a U.S. Citizen. Adult, single children of Residents (F2B immigration category) currently have to wait about 6 years and those of U.S. Citizens (F1 immigration category) have to wait about 7 years. The main advantage of a U.S. Citizen parent sponsoring a child is that if the adult child marries they still remain eligible to immigrate, they just move from the F1 Immigration category to the F3, which currently has a waiting line of about 12+ years. But if a Resident sponsors a child who marries before the U.S. Resident parent Naturalizes, the immigrant visa is automatically cancelled. 
This may be especially harsh for those who engage in fake marriages and are denied for marriage fraud, as well as many Immigrants sponsored by family members who file for Residency in the U.S. after their I-94 stay has expired and are no longer eligible to adjust status in the U.S..It’s very important to understand that most adult family members sponsored by parents or siblings, who’s legal status in the U.S. has expired, are not eligible to file for residency in the U.S. without a Waiver, even after waiting for many years in the Family Immigrant Visa line. Presently, making the Residency application with the USCIS nearly always results in the receipt of a work permit and social security card, whether or not the applicant is really eligible for residency. It is only once the applicant attends his or her residency interview, that they learn they are not eligible because their I-94 has expired and they receive a denial. Under current Obama policy, no removal action is normally taken against those denied for residency, even though technically, under the law, such Immigrants are deportable. However, once Trump takes office, such denials will likely result in the automatic initiation of removal proceedings against many Immigrants. 

So the best advice is to absolutely avoid entering into a fake marriage, especially out of fear of possible Trump Immigration crack downs. I can guarantee that not only will you likely be denied a Green Card, but also likely deported and lose all hope of ever returning to the U.S. again. Best to stay safe….wait for real love and only then get married and file for Residency. Similarly, no Immigrant from this day forward should ever apply for any Immigration benefit without having confirmation by an Immigration attorney of his or her eligibility. Understand that there is a big difference between simply filing for residency and actually being eligible for and receiving it. In all cases, the USCIS will accept your application fee and issue a receipt, that does not in any way mean your case will be approved. 

Most Importantly, avoid immigration services and paralegals, since they often do not understand Immigration regulations or simply want to take your money and file Immigration applications that they know the Immigrant is not eligible for. Going forward, these kinds reckless Immigration applications will likely result in tragic consequences in 2019 and beyond. There is no excuse now to remain ignorant about Immigration issues, or listen to advice from your friends or family – who have no idea what they are talking about. 

Remember, doing nothing is much safer than filing for something you are not eligible for, since as soon as you apply for something, you immediately put yourself on the USCIS “radar”, when otherwise, you would have remained safely “anonymous”. 
Be smart, educate yourself, have a free consultation with a qualified Immigration attorney before you file any application, even if you plan on filing the case yourself. We are here as a resource and most of us welcome the opportunity to review your Immigration circumstances for free and give you the best advice possible, so you don’t get yourself in an Immigration mess you won’t be able to get yourself out of. 
Under this policy, USCIS personnel at USCIS Field Office Application Support Centers can provide extension stickers to Residents usually valid for six months. Now that INFOPASS “self-scheduling” has been phased out in many jurisdictions nationwide, once a Resident files for renewal and receives their receipt, they can call the USCIS at 1 (800) 375-5283 and request that an INFOPASS appointment be made at their local USCIS office to request the residency extension.