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Question: I have a question about fixing my immigration status. I arrived here in dec 2019 to visit my girlfriend and the officer was really serious with me and said I had been here too much lately in the last year and asked me where I working here and not to lie. I told him the truth I was not working here and I come up in august for my sisters wedding and then left in October like I was supposed to. But he said he don’t believe me and wrote in big red pen in my passport no AOS/EOS whatever that means. He told me I could not stay here under any circumstances past my date and am not allowed to request any kind of status change or I could be in trouble and would not be able to come back in the future. It got me really afraid, so I planned on leaving in march this year, but they closed the flights down and I am stuck here since then. Now I don’t know what to do. The date I have to leave is coming up in a few weeks. Me and my girlfriend whos a citizen want to get married, but because of the officer, I know I cant file any thing to fix my immigration papers. We talked to my aunt and she said to contact you. Do you know what that note in my passport means and if I can do anything to get my green card if we get married or do I have to go back once the airport reopens?
Last week on May 27th, the USCIS issued a news release confirming the agency’s preparations to reopen most local Field Offices for routine, in-person services. Prior announcements set the reopen date for June 4th, however this release specifically says, on or after June 4th. As a result, I think we can assume that at least some offices may reopen on June 4th and others may follow suit within the coming weeks. Once the reopen begins, appointments and interviews will be rescheduled at local field and asylum offices and application support centers (ASCs), but at a reduced number in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 guidance, to ensure social distancing and frequent disinfecting procedures.
USCIS Announces Preparations To Reopen Local Offices - See Whats New!
Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
POSTING DATE: June 1, 2020
You Can Use The Government’s CBP Website To Obtain
Your I-94 And U.S. Travel History
Visitors to the U.S. no longer receive an I-94 card upon entry, which is necessary to change or extend status in the U.S. when making an application with the USCIS. To access and download an I-94 card and view past travel history, visitors can access the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Website which gives Non-immigrant foreign nationals travelers access to printout their I-94 record, as well as a U.S. travel history going back five years from the request date.
Answer: No worries, what you are referring to is a notation made by the Customs and Border Patrol officer usually at a port of entry like an airport in an international visitor’s passport. That notation is getting more and more common under Trump policies. Generally, this note is made by the officer as a means to intimidate the traveler, which it obviously does in most cases, but in reality, it DOES NOT prevent an individual from filing an extension or change of status in the U.S..
What the notation does is essentially two things:
1) Operates like a deterrent to make the individual believe that they can't file to extend, change or adjust status AND
2) Tells the next border officer to look more closely at the individual the next time they try to enter the U.S. to see if they are returning to the U.S. too often, staying too long and potentially working illegally, etc.
In your case, once you and your girlfriend get married, we can file your residency case, just like any other and you can legally remain in the U.S. during the entire process! Let me know when you plan to get married and we can get started.
Using The Child Status Protection Act To Keep Children From “Aging Out”
Under Immigration regulations, a “minor child” is defined as a child under age 21 who is not single. Qualifying as a minor child is particularly important because of long immigration waiting lines. Minor children of U.S. Citizens are considered as “Immediate Relatives” which allow them to immigrate to the U.S. nearly immediately.
Trump Order Restricting The Issuance of New Work Visas Expected Soon
Interviews and Appointments And Biometrics
The USCIS has already begun sending out reschedule for many local field offices, including those in South Florida for residency and naturalization interviews and Biometrics appointments. Those who have not received new appointment notices by July 3rd should contact the USCIS Contact Center toll-free 1-800-375-5283. New restrictions limit the number of individuals allowed to enter the building with the applicant to: 1) the Applicant’s attorney, one family member and if applicable, one individual providing disability assistance. Language Interpreters should be available by phone, however, it does not say that they are prohibited from attending. As a result, at least in the near future, don’t bring an interpreter unless there is no other option and be prepared to receive service by phone if the USCIS refuses to allow them to accompany you into the building.
New notices are similarly being sent out to U.S. Residents to reschedule postponed naturalization ceremonies. However, due to limitations on the number of participants allowed to attend at one time due to social distancing requirements, it may take several months for residents whose ceremonies were cancelled to be rescheduled for a new ceremony date. To limit personal contact and exposure, these new Oath of Allegiance ceremonies will be shorter, with limited presentations and likely no video presentations. Under the new guidelines, no guests are allowed to attend and only the naturalization candidate and an individual providing disability assistance may enter the building.
Applicants for asylum will also automatically receive reschedule notices for asylum interviews. New interviews will be shorter and may be conducted by video, with the applicants in one room and the interviewing officer in another room connected via video.
New USCIS Office Procedures
Building Entry Restrictions: Individuals are not allowed to enter the facility if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing), have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or have been directed to self-quarantine by a health care provider or public health official within the last 14 days. Anyone who feels sick or has a fever should NOT go to an appointment and simply follow the instructions on the appointment notice to reschedule your appointment for another time, without any penalty.
Face Mask Required: You will be required to wear a face mask, but to briefly remove it for facial photos.
Hand Sanitizer: All offices will provide hand sanitizer for visitors at entry points.
Bring Your Own Pen: You are encouraged to bring your own black or blue pen for sanitary reasons.
Timing of Entry: You will not be able to enter the building more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment or 30 minutes prior to your naturalization ceremony.
According to Forbes, Hi-tech and other industry leaders are bracing for a new Trump proclamation which is expected to place restrictions on legal work visas and halt the issuance of any new visas under the H-1B, L-1 and perhaps even J-1 and H-2B programs. These new restrictions will likely not affect those inside the U.S. who are currently holding visa status, but would prohibit the issuance of new ones abroad at U.S. Consulates.
Premium Processing Resumes For
H-1B and I-140 Petitions
The H-1B work visa is the most typical way that a professional foreign national obtains work in the U.S., which generally requires the minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in a specific field in order to qualify. Each year there are only some 85,000 such visa available, however the number of these visa approvals each year has decreased dramatically under Trump administration policies. These visas are generally issued to individuals in professional occupations including those in the sciences, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM).
L visas are those used by companies to transfer workers to U.S. offices in executive, managerial or specialized skills occupations. For instance, a manufacturing company in Colombia opens a branch office in Miami to sell its products and uses the L visa to initially staff its new office with an executive or manager to oversee its start-up operations and to hire new employees. However, this visa has increasingly become more and more difficult to obtain and to extend over the past few years, since policy restrictions have placed requirements for U.S. offices to show employment of a large number of U.S. workers, prior to the approval of any new L visa, which can be difficult for start-up companies.
J-1 foreign exchange visas are meant to encourage cultural exchange between the U.S. and other countries and represent about 70% of all U.S. work visa issued each year to over a million foreign nationals. These visas enable foreign workers on temporary exchange programs to work in summer (or winter) jobs at resorts, amusement parks (like Disney) and summer camps around the nation.
H-2B visas are those issued to foreign workers in non-agricultural, low skilled seasonal occupations including those in the hotel industry (maids, servers, etc). These would include workers currently employed at many of Trumps properties around the U.S. in the housekeeping departments.
Without further details, many expect the worst, meaning a total halt on visa issuance so that Trump can spend a week Tweeting to his followers about how he banned all immigration into the U.S.. However, some officials tell media insiders that the administration may put such onerous restrictions on eligibility that those measures will effectively eliminate the possibility of qualifying. I suspect he will go the route which gains him the most media attention, since that is what he craves above all else! Stay tuned…….
The USCIS has announced that it will resume providing 15-day expedited processing service, called “premium processing” for employment petitions, including forms I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases, beginning June 1st according to the following schedule:
Question: Me and my husband have been here since 2010 when we came for a visit and then my mother got sick and I stayed to take care of her and my time expired. Since then we have tried to make ends meet, I work as a home health aid to an elderly lady and my husband does handyman work. Neither of us has a drivers license or social and its getting really had to keep living like this. We didn’t get the government payment like everybody else did and cant get unemployment, even though there is not much work. Mr trump keeps doing more and more laws against immigrants and we think its not safe here anymore so we have been talking about leaving once the flight start again and the airport opens in Jamaica. Our kids are 16 and 20 and want to stay here with my sister their aunt in florida. My question is if me and my husband leave america, will we be able to get a visa and come back for visits after this just to see our kids, not to stay. Another question, our oldest son and his girlfriend have been dating for 3 years and are planning to get married once they graduate college next year. If my son gets his citizenship in the future, will he still be able to ask for me and my husband if we leave the country?
Answer: You are asking some very good questions here. It is very important to understand the legal consequences of overstaying your lawful period of authorized stay (I-94) once you leave the U.S. and want to come back in the future. I want to emphasize “once you leave the U.S.” since up until now, if you overstay your authorized period of stay and do not file any applications with the USCIS, there are generally no immigration actions taken against you, because government authorities do not currently have a way for tracking visa overstays. However, once you leave the U.S., the act of you leaving triggers immigration penalties immediately upon your departure, called immigration “Bars to Re-entry”, in case you later to try to re-enter the U.S. after an overstay. In general, here’s a rundown of the most common bars to re-entry after overstaying in the U.S. then leaving:
1) Visa Cancellation: Overstaying in the U.S. by even one day results in automatic U.S. visa cancellation, meaning that once an individual leaves after overstaying and tries to re-enter the U.S. again, the CBP officer at the airport/border will cancel their U.S. Visa and deny you entry. This requires them to obtain an entirely new visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad, which may be very difficult, if not impossible to obtain after an overstay.
2) Three year Bar: Once an individual overstays their period of authorized stay in the U.S. by 180 days (6 months) or more then leaves, their U.S. Visa is automatically cancelled and they are barred from re-entering the U.S. for three years.
3) Ten year Bar: Once an Individual has remained in the U.S. for 365 days or more past their authorized stay, then leaves the U.S., their U.S. Visa is automatically cancelled and they are barred from re-entering the U.S. for ten years.
No attorney can legally advise you to break U.S. laws by remaining in the U.S. past your authorized stay, but it’s clear to see that the consequences of leaving the U.S. voluntarily after being here for six months or more are substantial and would mean that you could not come back to the U.S. as a visitor or immigrant for ten years, since you are subject to the ten year bar. That means if you leave now in 2020, once your son obtains U.S. Citizenship, you would not be able to enter the U.S. again or immigrate here through his sponsorship until 2030! So in your case, given the information provided, you would want to weigh the risks and benefits of leaving and determine what is best for your family.
Question: I am married and filing for my citizenship. I want to take my husband’s last name so I thought I would do it on the citizenship application where it asks do I want a name change, but I heard that you have to wait longer to get the citizenship when you change your name, is that true?
Answer: It is true that you can change your name when filing for naturalization, to nearly anything you want. It is also true that changing your name during the naturalization process can take a little bit longer than regular naturalizations, since by law, you must be sworn in by a Federal Judge in order to obtain the name change. The reason it takes longer is that most swearing in ceremonies are scheduled weekly or even more often, but those for name changes in front of a Federal Judge take longer because you have to wait until there are enough people for a large ceremony to be scheduled, which could take several months, pre-virus. Another alternative is to wait until after you are naturalized, then simply change your name using your marriage certificate by going to the social security office (once they fully reopen), then having your Driver’s license issued and finally your U.S. Passport.
Visitors to the Website must enter their name, date of birth, and passport information. To access the current I-94 record, click on “Get Most Recent I-94”. The record can then be printed out and used for all required immigration-related purposes.
To access U.S. travel history for the past five years, click on “Get Travel History” and print out the report.
Currently, minor children of U.S. Residents can immigrate to the U.S. in as little as a year, although until recently, the waiting line was 1 ½ to 2 years long. Whereas children of Citizens and Residents who turn age 21 are forced to wait for 5-6 years to immigrate! Similarly, immigrant children who are dependents of parents who have been sponsored by a relative in the U.S. are only eligible to immigrate to the U.S. along with their family if they are under age 21 when the family immigrates
The age of the child is particularly important for children whose parents are sponsored by U.S. Parents and Siblings, where the waiting line for a visa can be 10 -12 years or more, since it is much more likely that the child will turn age 21 and age out.
The Child Status Protection Act ("CSPA") was enacted into law in 2002 to assist children who turn age 21 and would normally “age-out”, meaning become ineligible to immigrate as a minor (under age 21). The CSPA changed the process for determining whether a child has "aged out" (i.e. turned 21 years of age before being issued an immigrant visa or adjusting status) for the purpose of the issuance of visas and the adjustment of status of applicants in most immigrant categories. Under CSPA, the age of a child can be reduced by the time that the I-130 petition was “pending” with the USCIS, in some cases bringing the child’s age down under age 21 for immigration purposes.
There is a specific formula for determining whether a child's age is protected by the CSPA and there are required dates that must be plugged into the formula. When an immigrant visa first becomes available to the child and the child is age 21 or older, the amount of years which the I-130 petition was being processed by the USCIS can then be subtracted from the child’s current age, to determine whether they are technically still under age 21. If so, the child can still immigrate as a minor child.
For example, if an I-130 has been pending for 1095 days (3 years) and a child is age and a child is 22 years old about to turn age 23, we can deduct 1095 days from the child’s age to bring the child under age 21.
Call Our Office at: 954-382-5378 To Find Out More About
Preserving Your Child’s “Minor” Age Status
June 1st, available for all eligible Form I-140 petitions
June 8th, for all cap exempt I-129 H-1B petitions and all other Form I-129 petitions (non H-1B petitions) filed before June 8 that are pending.
June 15th, for cap-exempt I-129 petitions filed on or after June 8th
June 22nd, for all other Form I-129 petitions, including H-1B cap-subject petitions filed this year (fiscal year 2021).
In order to request 15-day premium processing for pending cases, petitioners must file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service. For new cases filed on June 8th or after, Form I-907 should be filed at the same time as form I-129 or Form I-140. Note that Premium processing is not available for any other form types, for instance I-485 to adjust status or I-130 family petitions.