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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: An elderly lady she's 82, naturalized citizen, would like to file for her adult kids in Jamaica and they are not married. Since she's retired and getting her pension and government benefits, how does that income affects her paper work. Would she need an affidavit of support etc. Thanks
Answer: Once the family petitions are filed by the U.S. Citizen mother for her children in Jamaica, in the F1 Family Immigration category for single, adult children age 21 years or older of U.S. Citizens, there is an Immigrant Visa waiting line of about seven years. No financial documents are required to be submitted until a visa becomes available down the road, once her children begin consular processing to immigrate to the U.S.. At that time in 7+ years, if the U.S. Citizen mother’s income does not meet the minimum requirements, she can get a Joint-Sponsor who's income does qualify. However, its very important to understand that all Sponsor's must submit an Affidavit of Support during the immigration process, whether their income meets the guidelines or not. I hope this is helpful to you.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
USCIS Unveils New Virtual Assistant 
“Emma” - In Spanish
Formerly only available in English, after months of testing, the USCIS recently unveiled its computer-generated virtual assistant “Emma,” in Spanish. Now Emma is available to both English and Spanish-speaking customers. 

You can ask Emma questions using regular natural language, not technical governmental terms. Just type your question into her chat box and she’ll give you an answer and will even take you directly to the right spot on the English and Spanish website. 

Visit Spanish Emma
Visit English Emma
Once a new Immigrant enters the U.S., it now takes up to 180 days to receive his or her actual Green Card due to processing backlogs. As a result, it’s more important than ever for Immigrants to make sure that the required $165 fee Immigrant Visa fees are paid prior to entry, to make sure that the Green Card does eventually arrive. 

Upon first time entry into the U.S., new Immigrants present their $165 fee payment receipt to officers at the U.S. border as proof of payment and their Permanent Residency card is ordered. 
Tips On Paying Required Immigrant Visa Fees Through ELIS
Those who have not paid the fee, never receive their Green Card. Under the current system, Immigrant Visa fees must be paid on the USCIS website through its Electronic Immigration System, called “ELIS”.

 Here’s a quick run-down of the step-by-step process:

1. Attend the Visa Appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate 
Once you or your family member attends the Consular appointment and are approved for the Immigrant Visa, the officer will provide a handout which explains how to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee. 
At the top of your handout you will find your: Alien number (A-Number, the letter “A” followed by 8 or 9 numbers) and DOS Case ID number (3 letters followed by 9 or 10 numbers); 
For Non-family Diversity Visa Immigrants (Visa Lottery), the DOS Case ID will have 4 numbers followed by 2 letters followed by 5 numbers. You will use this handout to pay the fees later online.

2. Receive your sealed Immigrant Visa Packet-the Consulate will provide you with a sealed packet which must be presented to the immigration officers when you arrive in the U.S..

3. Create your online USCIS ELIS Account in order to pay the required Immigrant Visa Fee
Go to ELIS website and review the USCIS ELIS online customer service resources. Follow the directions to create an online account. 

4. Pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee 
After you have set up your USCIS ELIS account, select “USCIS Immigrant Fee” from the “Available Benefits” drop down menu to pay your $165 fee online. You can pay the fee for yourself and for any family members who will be immigrating to the U.S. along with you in one transaction. Provide a Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover Card, or debit card; or U.S. bank checking account and routing numbers. Once you pay the fee, make sure and print out the confirmation page which has your special case number that starts with “IOE” then ten digits. You will need this confirmation if you have problems in receiving your Green Card later and need to do an inquiry. The USCIS officer will ask for this special number, which unfortunately, is not included on your email receipt! Bring this confirmation receipt and your email payment receipts for each person when you enter the U.S. to provide to the border officer processing your Residency (and keep a copy for your records). You will receive a temporary residency stamp in your passport which operates as your proof of residency until you receive the actual card in the mail. If you run into problems with your Green Card issuance you can do an inquiry on the ELIS Help page. 

Get Tips on paying your Immigrant Visa fee

Visit the ELIS help webpage 
Upcoming Naturalization Ceremonies For June In South Florida Announced
The USCIS has announced upcoming Naturalization Swearing-in ceremonies for several USCIS Field Offices in South Florida:

Miami Field Office -  June 10, 17, and 24
Hialeah Field Office - June 10, 17, 18, 24, and 25
Kendall Field Office - June 3, 10, 17, and 24 and (Special Ceremonies at Everglades National Park) June 10 and 30
Oakland Park Field Office - June 10, 21, 24 and 29 and (Special Ceremony at Broward College, Coconut Creek) June 17
Question: My girlfriend applied for a student visa last month and she got denied. She got a paper from the embassy which says they denied her for 214 B. We are confused, what does this mean?
Answer: ​A visa denial under section 214(b) is one of the most common types of visa denials, normally based upon the Consular Officer’s belief that the applicant has the “intent to immigrate” to the U.S. 214(b) denials are usually issued when a foreign national is not able to convince the Consular Officer that he or she has “Strong Ties” to their home country which would likely compel the applicant to return home at the end of their visit and not stay in the U.S.. 

Demonstration of “Strong Ties” includes documents which prove that the applicant is employed, owns a home or other real estate and has close family members who reside in the home country.
Most foreign nationals mistakenly believe that the fact that they have family in the U.S. will work in their favor when applying for a U.S. Visitor Visa (B1/B2). However, contrary to belief, close relatives in the U.S. such as U.S. Citizen or Resident parents, spouses or children can have a very negative impact on an application, since the mere presence of such relatives in the U.S. tends to show that an applicant might be more prone to want to stay in the U.S..

You can visit the State Department Website for information on the most common visa denial types:

State Department Visa Denials
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Reporting Abusive Treatment By The USCIS
Thousands of Immigrants receive immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year, navigating their way through the often difficult and confusing process. 

And while it is expected that Immigrants should be held to the standards of qualification defined by law to demonstrate eligibility, no immigrant should ever expect to be treated discourteously, disrespectfully or in an abusive way by a USCIS Officer or employee. 
However, it does happen and when it does, Immigrants do have the right to report mistreatment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS strives to maintain the public’s trust and provide quality services and does investigate credible reports of abuse.  

One such incident reported to me recently was from an U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse during a marriage interview case wherein the USCIS officer demanded that the U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse go to their car and bring him their cell phones. Once they returned with the phones, the officer demanded that they give him the phones and passcodes and he preceded look at all of their personal text messages and cell phone photos. The Citizen and his wife did not consent to this, but frightened, they did as they were demanded to do. None of this is official USCIS procedures and much of what the officer did was a violation of their rights. In cases like these, complaints should be made as soon after the event as possible.

To make a report, you can use one of the following:

Call the DHS Hotline at 1-800-323-8603 

Send a fax at (202) 254-4292 

File an online complaint at: Office of Inspector General (OIG) 

File a written complaint to:  

Department of Homeland Security
Attn: Office of the Inspector General Hotline
245 Murray Drive, Building 410 Stop: 2600
Washington, D.C. 20528

Be sure to include: 1) the date, time and location of the incident, 2) detailed description of the what happened to you 3) the name(s) of employee(s) involved.
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Qualify To Apply For Early Naturalization?
Eligible U.S. Residents who are spouses of U.S. Citizens can apply for Naturalization early and obtain their U.S. Citizenship in only 2 years and 9 months.

Most U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) must wait for 4 years and 9 months before being eligible to apply for Naturalization. However, qualifying U.S. Residents who are married to U.S. Citizens are eligible to apply 2 years earlier, called “Early Naturalization”. 

To qualify under this expedited U.S. Citizenship process, a U.S. Resident must fall under what is commonly called the “3/3/3” rule. 
1) The U.S. Resident must be married to their U.S. Citizen spouse for at least 3 years and 

2) their U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least 3 years and finally,

3) the U.S. Resident must have held that status for at least 3 years (really 2 years and 9 months). 

So, as long as the U.S. Resident meets these requirements and is not only currently married to, but continues to reside in a real marriage with their U.S. Citizen spouse – they can apply for early naturalization… now you know ...