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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  Sponsor My Grown Kids For A Green Card?
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: I just got my green card but my name spelling is wrong, they put Wattson, instead of my name Watson. Now it don’t match my driving license or my social card and when I went to renew my drivers license last week they gave me a problem about it. How do I go about getting that fixed, can I go to the immigration office at Oakland park and get a new one?
To the relief of millions of immigrants waiting anxiously for residency, biometrics and citizenship appointments to be rescheduled, most USCIS local offices reopened nationwide on June 4th. However, new policies and procedures have been put in place at these facilities, which are aimed at protecting the staff and public amid continuing fears about the risks posed by Covid-19. As a result, the USCIS has scheduled a Webinar on Thursday, June 18, from 3 to 4 p.m. ET, which is open to the public, to introduce the reopening of local offices and provide tips and information about the new measures which have been instituted. 
USCIS Offers Free Webinar On June 18th To Learn More 
About New Procedures At Local USCIS Offices

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  POSTING DATE: June 8,  2020
Understanding Conditional Two Year Residency Requirement
 For Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Did you know that a foreign spouse of U.S. Citizen who has been married for less than two years at the time of obtaining residency, only receives a two-year Conditional Resident status? Its true. Unlike regular U.S. Residents who obtain a Green Card through family members, employment or other means, husbands and wives of U.S. Citizens who got married less than two years prior to U.S. Residency approval, only receive a two-year Green Card, rather than the full 10 year Permanent Residency.
Answer: Sorry to hear that! Unfortunately, when the USCIS makes a typographical error on a green card, in order for it to be corrected, you need to file form I-90 and mail the original green card back along with your application. Be sure to check off #2d on page 2 part 2 (existing card issued by the USCIS has incorrect data) on the form. You do not need to pay the filing fee, since it was a USCIS mistake. You can tape your green card to a sheet of paper and staple it along with your I-90 so it does not get lost. Once the form I-90 to renew or replace a green card, you will receive a receipt, called a Notice of Action, which has your case number on it. Once you receive that, you should receive your Biometrics appointment notice within 30 days to have your fingerprints done. At that time the officer will give you a I-551 stamp in your passport as temporary evidence of your residency while you are waiting for your replacement card. If you do not receive your Biometrics appointment notice by that time, call the USCIS at (800) 375-5283 to have them schedule an Infopass appointment at your local USCIS office to obtain the stamp. This will provide you with evidence of your lawful residency status. I hope this is helpful to you.
Adult children of U.S. Citizens and Residents are in immigration categories which usually take many years to wait for an Immigrant Visa in order to immigrate to the U.S.. The process can be frustrating and not easily understood, so a run-down of the how the Immigrant Visa process generally goes as follows:
Experts Predict This Year’s Hurricane Season May Be Worse Than 
Expected-Time To Safeguard Your Immigration Documents!
Hurricane experts just released predictions that the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season will see "above-normal" activity, with some 13 to 19 named storms. While Florida was spared from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian last year, we may be in for a rough ride this season. Let this be a wakeup call to all Immigrants to safeguard your immigration and other important documentation to prevent potential loss due to natural disasters such as hurricanes and water damage. 

When a storm hits, there are more important things to think about than saving documents, like saving lives and keeping out of harm’s way. So the time to protect your vital documents is now, before the next threat is on the horizon. Here are just basic steps you can take to keep your documents safe:
Common Mistakes To Avoid When 
Submitting Affidavits Of Support
Filing an Affidavit of Support (form I-864) is required in nearly all family sponsored immigration cases, in order to prove that the sponsoring U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident has enough financial income to support their immigrating loved ones. 

A sponsor is the U.S. Citizen or Resident family member who has filed for his or her relative to immigrate to the U.S..
You can register for the Webinar, by going online to the USCIS subscriber page and entering your email address. Once you press submit, you can select “Subscriber Preferences” and then select the “Event Registration” tab, in order to enter your information to register for the Webinar. After registering you will receive an email confirmation with details about joining the Webinar. 

Start registration
Webinar Overview
USCIS Visitor Guidelines
1) Copy and Scan Documents: Be sure that you always make a copy of the entire immigration petition and supporting documentation BEFORE sending to the USCIS and make copies of all receipts, notices and correspondence to and from the USCIS as well. Similarly, make copies of Birth, Marriage & Citizenship Certificates, Divorce Decrees, Green Cards, Passports, I-94 cards, Driver’s License, home and car insurance, car registration, healthcare cards, mortgage statements and other important papers. If you have a scanner, scan all your documents and save them on an online “cloud” like carbonite, even a FREE service like dropbox. If you don’t have a scanner, you can download an app called “tiny scanner” to your phone, which lets you take a picture and turn it into a fairly good quality scan. When in doubt, ask young adults in your family for assistance, they know how to do magic on their phones!

2) Original Documents: Originals should be kept safely together in a file and enclosed in a zip-lock bag or other waterproof container or safety deposit box at your local bank. 

3) Document Copies: Copies of all your documents should also be placed in a zip lock bag and should be easily accessible. Its also a good idea to give copies of your vital immigration documents to relatives to safeguard for you as well.

Remember, if you lose vital immigration documents such as your Naturalization Certificate or green card, it can cost hundreds of dollars to obtain replacements and take up a year for processing. So take some time this weekend to locate your documents and safeguard them now!

Miami CBS
In cases where a sponsor does not work or does not have enough income to meet the minimum requirements, a joint sponsor who has the required income can also file an I-864, along with all the required financial documentation. Note that even when a joint sponsor is used, the actual sponsor is still required to file an I-864 Affidavit of Support and provide financial documentation as well. The only exception to the Affidavit of Support requirement is when a U.S. Citizen is sponsoring a minor child under age 18, since the child will automatically become a U.S. Citizen upon immigrating to the U.S.. 

So what exact information is required for affidavits and how do you prove income? If you have a joint sponsor why do you still need to file form I-864 yourself? Issues such as these involving Affidavits of Support are often a main reason for the USCIS or National Visa Center issuance of a request for more information, which can significantly delay an immigration case. Here is a quick overview to help simplify the issue.

Basic Requirements

Sponsors are required to properly complete form I-864 and provide the following:
1) Most recent tax return and W-2. At this time, it can be for the year 2018 (or 2019 if filed). Note that on or after July 15, 2020, the 2019 tax return is the only one accepted. Filing an extension does not qualify in place of providing the actual tax return; 
2) Paystubs for the past three months (last 90 days) to prove current income and
3) Employer letter with current date, stating date hired, position, fulltime employment or hours worked and salary or hourly wages. 

If a joint sponsor’s income is used, this is required in addition to (not substitute for) the I-864 filed by the sponsor. The joint sponsor must properly complete and sign and date form I-864 and provide the following:
1) Most recent tax return and W-2. (according to the above) 
2) Paystubs for the past three months (last 90 days) to prove current income;
3) Employer letter with current date, stating date hired, position, fulltime employment or hours worked and salary or hourly wages;
4) Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Residency (copy of U.S. Birth Certificate, Naturalization Certificate, U.S. Passport or Green Card) 

Note that sponsors and joint sponsors are required to provide their current tax return, and the fact that an extension was filed with the IRS does not qualify to overcome this requirement. The only time a sponsor is relieved of that requirement is if his or her income was too low to require the filing of taxes, for instance when income is received from social security retirement etc. In such cases, a social security benefits letter showing the past and current year’s monthly benefits amount should be included. The sponsor should include a letter explaining income amounts, particularly when he or she does not provide an employer letter.

Most Common Mistakes

Miscalculating household size: Form I-864 Part 5 requires the calculation of household size. Note that in addition to the immigrating relative and sponsor/joint sponsor, the form requires the listing of anyone who was listed on the individual’s most recent tax return as well, or an explanation as to why those listed as a dependent on the tax return provided for the previous year are no longer dependents. For instance, if you list the immigrant (even if they are not in the U.S.), yourself and spouse, that is a household of 3. But if your tax return for the most recent year has not only you and your spouse but 3 other dependents listed as well, for instance your grandchildren or parents, etc., and you do not provide an explanation to the USCIS as to the change in dependent status, you will receive a Request For Evidence (RFE) from the officer requesting an explanation. Another tip is that if you are sponsoring other relatives separately who have not yet immigrated, you do not need to list them on household size. For instance, you are currently sponsoring your mother and father which are two separate unrelated cases. If your parents are not currently residing with you in the U.S., you do not need to list both parents in your household size, just the current parent in the instant case you are filing.

Overestimating or Underestimating Current Income: Form I-864 page 4 Part 6 #7 requests that the sponsor/joint sponsor enter the figure for “current individual annual income.” This means what the “current” income is reflected by the individual’s salary or wages on an annual basis NOT the figure on the current year’s tax return. The figure on #7 must match the current paystubs provided along with the application. If the figures do not match, the officer will send an RFE requesting documents which demonstrate the income on line #7. Note that income from immigrant cannot be used if he or she is not authorized to work in the U.S.. An easy way to calculate your yearly income is to do the following: Get your past 3 months paystubs and add them all up, then divide them by 3 to get an average monthly income, then multiply times 12 (for 12 months). That is your estimated annual income based upon your current average monthly income. Sponsors/joint sponsors who do not receive regular paystubs may have a very difficult time proving income and may not be able to prove eligibility. For instance, those who are self employed and deposit cash into their back accounts but have no regular pay checks to show income received. In such cases, sponsors need to find a qualifying joint sponsor who is paid by regular paystub wages by an employer.

Misunderstanding Requirements For Proving Assets: Form I-864 page 5 part 7. If you are relying on income which is sufficient, you DO NOT complete the assets section, otherwise, you could receive an RFE requiring you to provide extensive documentation of your qualifying assets. Using assets can be very complicated and it’s important to know that the value of the assets must be 5 times the shortfall in income (3 times when U.S. Citizen is sponsoring his/her spouse or minor child). For example, let’s say the Resident sponsor’s paystub income calculates as $15,000 per year and the sponsor needs to prove at least $21,550 (the minimum required for a household of 2). The shortfall is $6,550 times 5 = $32,750, meaning that the Resident would need to show qualifying assets of at least $32,750 to make up for the difference. If the relative is a spouse or minor child of a U.S. Citizen, the additional asset amount would be $19,650. Unless you can easily show you have saving or investment funds of these amounts in the bank, its simply much easier just to get a joint sponsor!

Failing To Provide Copies of Required documents: Sponsors are required to provide the documents detailed above and any missing documentation will cause delay in the case, since the officer will issue an RFE requesting it. Complete copies of tax returns are required and one of the most common mistakes made by sponsors is in just providing the first few pages of the return. You are required to submit the entire return with all schedules and the W-2 or an IRS transcript and wage report, which you can order online for free. Another common mistake is either failing to submit an employer letter, or submitting one which is deficient in that it is not currently dated, or does not state the sponsor’s fulltime status, hours, salary or wages. For instance some sponsor’s submit a letter they received the previous year when they were hired stating their job position and wages, which of course does not qualify since it is not currently dated. Remember, the letter is not a job recommendation, it’s meant to verify “current” employment and salary.

Our office can help you navigate the often confusing process of initial Affidavit of Support submission 
or by preparing a proper response to a USCIS Request For Evidence you received for 
a previously submitted Affidavit of Support. Call for a free consultation 954-382-5378.

Question: I have a question, can we file one I-130 application and include both my kids? I got my green card through my American husband and now we want to bring my kids who are 8 and 12 up to live with us. we have the form I-130 but don’t see how to add both the kids to it and don’t want to make any mistakes. I hope you can please answer this email for us thanks.
Answer: For background, a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident can sponsor children in the “minor” category, as long as the children are under age 21. If a U.S. Resident is sponsoring a spouse and minor children, only one I-130 form needs to be filed, which includes the spouse and children altogether. However, if a U.S. Citizen is sponsoring a spouse and minor children, a separate I-130 form must be filed for each person, i.e., the spouse and each child separately on separate I-130 forms. Similarly, when either a U.S. Citizen or Resident is sponsoring children, but not a spouse, each child must be filed on a separate I-130 form. Multiple children cannot be filed together on the same I-130 form, unless the sponsor is a U.S. Resident sponsoring a spouse and the children are added as dependents on the same form. In your case, since you have already obtained your U.S. residency and you are now just sponsoring your minor children, you must file a separate I-130 for each child and pay a separate $535 USCIS filing fee. Please let us know if you need our legal services to take care of handling the cases.
Question: I have been in america for many years after I overstayed my visa and now I want to get my papers straight. My son just got his citizenship though serving in the military and wants to sponsor me. The problem is that I don’t have legal status so I don’t know if that will be a problem for me with immigration and I don’t live with my son because he is stationed overseas. Also he cant come back home now to sign the papers in person because we don’t know when he will get permission to leave. My question is whether I can still qualfy for my green card with my expired visa? Do I have to live with my son for him to file my papers? If I can, how does he sign the papers? Bless you.
Answer: Not to worry, under Immigration regulations, Parents/Spouses and Minor children of U.S. Citizens are “Immediate Relatives” and as long as they entered the U.S. legally (meaning being inspected by an immigration officer), then even if the I-94 period of stay expires and they become “out of legal status”, they can still obtain U.S. Residency through their U.S. citizen child (age 21 or older). Parents are not required to live at the same address or even the same state as their sponsoring children, so don’t worry that your son lives abroad. Finally, as a result of the pandemic, the USCIS now accepts copies of signed immigration forms (no longer requires “wet” signatures), so we will simply prepare your case and email to your son to sign and email back his signature pages.
In order to qualify for removal, the foreign and U.S. Citizen spouses must file a request for removal of the conditional status within the 90 day period prior to the conditional Green Card expiration. Once the foreign spouse receives Permanently Residency, he or she can apply for early Naturalization once they have been a Resident for at least 2 years and 9 months. In order to qualify for removal of the conditional status, a couple must continue to not only be married, but to live together as spouses (which includes same-sex spouses). The removal of condition request must be submitted with extensive supporting documentary evidence that the couple has and continues to live together in a real marriage. One of the biggest misconceptions that conditional residents have is the belief that as long as they remain “married” to the U.S. Citizen spouse, but not actually living together, they will still qualify result in tragic consequences which often leads to loss of Residency and in some instances, deportation.

Conditional Residents can file a removal request without the U.S. Citizen spouse in cases where the couple has divorced, where there is documented domestic violence and when a spouse is widowed. However, the burden of proof is on the conditional resident spouse to provide the USCIS with extensive evidence that prior to the divorce, domestic violence or death of the U.S. Citizen, the couple were living together in a real marriage.

You can find out more about removal of Conditional Resident status by visiting our Website at or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
1) Parent files a Family petition with the USCIS 

2) I-130 Receipt issued by the USCIS

3) USCIS processing time currently takes about 5 years for single adult children of Residents and Citizens and about 10 years for married adult children of Citizens. Remember that USCIS processing time is not the same as preference waiting times, which are determined by the Visa Bulletin for each family immigration category.

4) USCIS issues I-130 Approval Notice to the Parent

5) USCIS 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 determinations made by the State Dept) as reflected in the monthly Visa Bulletin

6) National Visa Center (NVC) sends letter to the Parent indicating that the case is pending visa availability

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

Adult, Single children of U.S. Citizens called F1 Preference have to wait approximately 6 years. Adult, Married children of U.S. Citizens (and their spouse & minor children) called F3 Preference have to wait approximately 12 years or more. Adult, Single children of U.S. Residents called F2B Preference have to wait approximately 5 years.

8) Finally, after many years, when an Immigrant Visa becomes available, the NVC notifies the parent that Fee bills must be paid in order to prepare the case for Consular Processing 

9) Once Visa and Affidavit of support fee bills are paid, consular forms and original documents must be uploaded to the NVC CEAC online system, along with the Affidavit of Support and financial documentation

10) Once all required documents are submitted, and 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 the immigrant visa which must be presented to the U.S. Immigration officials at the airport upon entering the U.S. . Prior to entry, Immigrant visa fees must be paid 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 30 days and then proceed to apply for Social Security numbers from the Social Security Administration.