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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2020 
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
  Immigration News & Updates              
Immigration How To:
How Do I   Know Whether To Appeal My Case Or Not?
Questions About Immigration? We have the answers!
We Are Here To Help, Call us now for a FREE consultation (954) 382-5378
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Question: Hi, I would like guidance on updating responses on the NVC application for my spouse. The application was approved and submitted but there are 2 questions regarding arrest that should have been yes. He did in fact have an arrest over 10 yrs ago.
In spite of last Thursday’s surprising Supreme Court 5-4 decision in favor of DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals), Trump is vowing to fight on and is continuing to deny new benefits to Dreamers. Under its narrow ruling, the court essentially affirmed lower federal court decisions which allow the DACA program to continue, despite the Trump administrations abrupt termination of the program in 2017.  

The bad news is that although the court rejected the Trump administrations current bid to cancel the program, conservative Chief Justice Roberts clearly stated that the ruling was not about the legality of the DACA program, only about the procedural steps that the government failed to follow in terminating it. 
Trump Refusing To Comply With Supreme Court 
Order  To Reopen DACA Program! 

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  POSTING DATE: June 22,  2020
Don’t Delay, U.S. Residents Should Sponsor Minor Teenage Children 
Immediately After Obtaining A Green Card

Immigration laws don’t always seem fair and in some cases, even downright heartless! This can be particularly true when a U.S. Resident parent sponsors his or her minor children under age 21. Resident parents often believe that as long as they file for their children before they reach age 21, the children will remain eligible to immigrate to the U.S. in the minor child immigration category, which has a current waiting time of about 1 year. 
Answer: Once you submit the ds260, there is no way to change the answers. He needs to bring certified copies of police and court records regarding the case and let the officer know about that in the beginning. If he says he lied or concealed the facts on the form, he will be denied and it could have negative ramifications on his eligibility to immigrate now and in the future. However if it was simply an oversight which was only noticed after he was reviewing the ds260, then the omission may be forgiven. However, if the arrest was for a serious criminal issue, he may be barred from immigrating to the U.S.. It does not matter how long ago the arrest was. It’s always best to seek the advice of a qualified criminal immigration attorney.
As most are aware, immigration application denials are much more common these days than in the past, and are often issued without even allowing an applicant the chance to provide additional evidence to prove eligibility. Even worse, most applicants receiving denials who have fallen out of legal immigration status, are now also at risk for deportation under the new NTA rule.
Drive-Thru Naturalization? Sounds Crazy, But It's True!
As excited U.S. Residents pull up in line at a drive-thru in Detroit Michigan, they are not there to pick up an order of hamburgers and fries, no way, instead they are attending a drive-thru Naturalization swearing in ceremony and picking up their U.S. Citizenship Certificates! Sounds too crazy to be true. In fact, amid all the fear and uncertainty of the covid-19 pandemic, USCIS closures and trump proclamations against immigrants, forward thinking officials at the USCIS in Detroit recently took the initiative, cut through the red tape and got it right by allowing would be citizens to take the oath of allegiance without even leaving their cars. Under the new initiative, Federal judges in Detroit wearing protective gear are welcoming new U.S. citizens at a parking garage outside the USCIS immigration field offices in the Motor City. 
He even laid out a road map that the agency could use to cancel the program in the future, but it will take some time, at least several months.

So What Is Going To Happen Next?

The bottom line is that this ruling, while temporary, should mean that the USCIS will immediately re-open the program and begin accepting new DACA applications from those who qualified under the 2012 guidelines. However, only a day after the ruling, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement repudiating the Supreme Court decision and restating the administration’s position that the DACA program was created illegally. Trump has also been very vocal in vowing to fight on in spite of the court ruling. And as of Monday, June 22, 2020, the USCIS Webpage for DACA has not been updated in accordance with the Supreme Court decision and continues to state that the agency is not accepting any new DACA applications. We can only hope that the agency is preparing new application guidelines in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, and will update it’s DACA webpage accordingly in the next few days, but only time will tell. If the agency decides not to accept new applications, lawsuits will surely be filed in federal courts in the next few weeks seeking to force the government to reopen the program. Once that happens emergency requests will likely be made by the Trump administration to put the program on hold until lower court rulings are issued. 

How Do I Qualify For DACA?

If Trump does allow the program to reopen, certain immigrants who entered the U.S. when they were young will be able to apply for the first time and obtain Work Authorization and a social security card. 

In order to qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

Be under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012 (even though you can be age 31 or above now);
Have last entered and remained in the U.S. on or before June 15, 2007;
That entry must have been before your 16th birthday;
Have been physically inside the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and on the date of the application;
Not be in lawful immigration status on June 15, 2012;
Must be either currently studying or have graduated from high school, earned a GED or have an honorable discharge from the US Armed Forces or the Coast Guard; and
Have not been convicted of a felony or DUI, or convicted of a “significant misdemeanor” or 3 or more misdemeanors of any kind.

What Happens After Filing My DACA Application?

USCIS Receipt: Once your application is filed, the USCIS will issue a receipt notice, called a Notice of Action within about 10-14 days. The notice will have your case number and filing date.

Biometrics: You will usually receive a biometrics appointment notice to have your fingerprints and digital photos taken at the local USCIS office within about 30 days.

Work Permit/Social Security card: Within about four (4) months your DACA approval notice will be issued and you will receive your Employment Authorization Card (work permit), valid for two (2) years and receive your social security card in the mail a short time after that.

Trump says he will still end DACA
Supreme Court Rules In Favor of DACA Dreamers- Issues Trump A Sound Defeat!
Department of Homeland Security Statement on Supreme Court DACA decision
USCIS DACA webpage not accepting new DACA applications
​What DACA Decision Means
Such efforts to naturalize residents who passed their citizenship test many months ago, but have been waiting to be rescheduled to swear in as new U.S. citizens are refreshing and may become the new pandemic alternative to the traditional ceremony held in an auditorium, with emotional videos, presentations, tears and waving flags. Other jurisdictions like York County, Pennsylvania are holding ceremonies outdoors. 

Due to the pandemic, thousands of residents have been waiting since March to be naturalized, unable to obtain U.S. passports or even obtain residency for spouses who are out of status. Local USCIS offices in Florida have begun scheduling small indoor swearing in ceremonies, but are many months away from catching up to pre-virus levels. As a result, many experts are urging officials to act quickly to hold ceremonies via video conference in order to clear out the backlog. Even the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives has called on lawmakers to pass a bill which requires the USCIS to immediately provide video or other form of mass swearing in nationwide to all residents who have met all the requirements to become a citizen and are just waiting to take the oath.

Don’t Get Rejected! Always Use The USCIS Filing Fees 
Calculator Before Filing Your Case
One of the leading causes of USCIS application rejection is filing immigration applications with the incorrect filing fee. It’s not only inconvenient to receive the entire application package back sometimes several weeks after filing, but can even be fatal in certain cases which have expiring deadlines. To avoid this, always use the USCIS Online Fee Calculator, which assists in calculating the correct fee amounts to include when filing immigration forms.
Some application types require that an additional fee of $85 for biometrics be paid and some do not. It's important to note that filing fee checks must be exact, no underpayment or overpayment. In fact, if you overpay, the USCIS will not refund the overpayment amount, instead they will simply reject your case and send it back to you with a request for the correct filing fee.The Online Fee Calculator makes it simple, by asking users to select a form, or combination of forms, and then to answer a series of questions. The tool then calculates the correct fee amount that the filer must submit, based upon his or her answers and can be accessed by both computer and mobile devices.

Visit the USCIS Online Fee Calculator 
Question: my husband sponsored me and we filed the spouse and green card application at the same time, along with the application for my work card. We looked on the immigration website and saw that the fee amounts were correct and then used a credit card to pay the fees on a fully completed form g1450 in the amount of $1760. We sent it off on June 1st. But we were so surprised today that we received the application and everything back today with a letter on every form rejecting the credit card payment. We are really confused! I called the credit card company and they said there are funds available and don’t see an attempted charge by the dept of homeland security. We looked over the forms and its correct and signed. We also called the immigration and the lady said that we have to read the rejection notice carefully because it means we did not submit the correct fee, but I know we did. We are not sure what to do and wanted to ask you about it before we proceed. I attached a copy of the credit card form for you to see that we did it correctly. Thank you.
Answer: Yes, I understand your frustration. When immigration applications are filed with the USCIS using the G-1450 credit card authorization form, a separate G-1450 form must be completed and signed for each application which requires a filing fee. For instance, in a regular adjustment of status residency case, filing fees are due for the I-130 and I-485 (which includes the I-765, I-131 and biometrics fees). The total is $1,760 when you are sending a check/cashier’s check or money order. But when you are paying using the credit card form, you have to pay for the I-130 ($535) and I-485 ($1,225) separately. So, make sure and properly complete, sign and date the two separate G-1145 forms, one for $535 and one for $1,225 and send back to the USCIS at the address on the rejection notice, along with a copy of the rejection notice placed on the top of your immigration package and send using USPS priority mail, Fed-ex, DHS or UPS, do not use CERTIFIED MAIL!. That should take care of the problem. After that, you should receive your receipts in about 10 -12 days.
Question: I got my ten yr green card and in 7/15/2010 and I want to file for my citizenship. My question is whether I have to renew it now before filing for citizenship. Since it hasn’t expired my wife says I can, but I just want to make sure first. Once it expires how do I prove I am legal here?
Answer: U.S. Permanent Residents receive a 10-year Green Card, which should be renewed within 6 months of expiration, since it takes so long for the USCIS to process renewals these days (up to a year or more). However, contrary to popular belief, the expiration of your Green Card does not mean that you are no longer a Permanent Resident, it just means that, once the card expires, you will no longer have documentary evidence that you are a U.S. Resident. 

Those applying for Naturalization must either have an unexpired green card, or receipt showing that a renewal application has been filed. Under normal circumstances, once you file for your green card renewal, you would receive an appointment to go to the local USCIS office to have your biometrics taken and the officer will give you an extension sticker on your green card for another year. However, now that we are in a pandemic, USCIS local offices are no longer scheduling biometrics and are sending a letter to applicants that they are reusing previously captured biometrics. So that leaves thousands of residents with expired green cards with no proof of residency. Since local USCIS offices reopened on June 4th, they are only scheduling emergency biometrics appointment and do not consider the expiration of a green card to be an emergency. As such, residents will likely need to wait until the end of June or early July to call the USCIS 800# and request an infopass or biometrics appointment in order to get the extension sticker. Hopefully this is only temporary. Once you obtain the sticker, it can be used as a temporary green card until the renewed green card is received for work, travel, to obtain Driver’s License renewal and any other purpose that an actual green card would serve.
However, this common misconception often causes families to make sponsorship decisions which can have tragic consequences and lead to many years of family separation. In some cases, Resident parents want their children to finish up school in the home country and plan to sponsor them after graduation, in others, parents delay sponsorship of minor children due to financial constraints, unaware how risky these choices may be. Immigration regulations pertaining to the minor children of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents are quite different. When a U.S. Citizen parent sponsors a minor child, that child’s age becomes “fixed” on the date the USCIS receives the family petition. This means that even if the petition is received by the USCIS a day before the child turns age 21, the child will retain “minor” status no matter how old they are when they actually immigrate to the U.S.. However, the opposite is true for minor children of U.S. Residents. When a U.S. Resident parent files a family petition for his or her minor child, that child continues to age and if the child reaches age 21 before eligibility to immigrate, he or she automatically moves from the F2A immigration category for minor children of U.S. Residents (approx 1 year wait time) to F2B category with an approx wait time of 5 years. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) does allow the time the I-130 petition was pending with the USCIS before approval to be subtracted from the age of the child at the time a visa becomes available, but in many cases, that is still not enough to bring the child’s age back down below 21. 

It’s important to know that when a Resident parent naturalizes, the age of any child sponsored by a pending or approved I-130 becomes fixed on that date, which can be a blessing in some cases when the child is just under age 21. So don’t delay, file for your teenage children as soon as you can to avoid processing and other delays.

As a result, it’s important to understand the options available once a case is denied and whether filing for review is appropriate. Under the new NTA rule, the USCIS will hold off on issuing a deportation notice for at least 33 days, giving the applicant a chance to file a motion or appeal (for review). If the applicant files for review, the USCIS will not take any further action until the review process is complete. This provides applicants with the opportunity to file a motion or appeal and wait for a decision, which can take 3 to 12 months depending upon the case type, buying some precious time before the issuance of an NTA. 

Many types of immigration case denials can be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 33 days, and those which cannot, can still be requested for review or reconsideration. And with so much on the line, it’s important to know the difference between the options for review and what they require. An appeal is based upon the argument that the denial was based upon either an error in the application of the law or the officer’s interpretation of law to the facts of a case. A motion can either be requested to reopen a case, based upon new facts or documents not available to have been previously submitted with the original application or to reconsider the case, due to the USCIS having misapplied or misinterpreted the law and/or facts of the case or both. For practical purposes, filing an appeal or request for review or reconsideration does not mean that it will be approved and the USCIS filing fee is $675. But, given the current risks involved in USCIS denials and deportation, the risk may be well worth it, particularly in cases where an applicant is clearly eligible, but did not provide adequate documentation with the immigration application, or provided requested information after the USCIS deadline (with a reasonable explanation) which can now be provided. Ironically, when an appeal or motion is filed, it’s frequently the same USCIS officer who originally denied the case, that gets to review or reconsider the case and either affirm the original denial or reverse it and approve the case. In an appeal case, if the USCIS officer decides not to approve the case, the appeal will automatically be sent to the AAO or BIA for a final decision. For Motions, the officer’s decision not to reopen or reconsider is final. Ultimately, the filing of an appeal or motion is important and should be well prepare and properly submitted. As a result, it often best to seek immigration advice from a qualified attorney regarding eligibility for any immigration application BEFORE filing and if denied, guidance on whether or not to proceed with an appeal or motion. You can get free information about filing Appeals and Motions by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.

USCIS Cases Available for appeal and motions
USCIS Appeals and Motions Q & A
Form I-290B
USCIS Begins Issuing Deportation Notices Under New Policy October 1st!