Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
POSTING DATE: July 1, 2019
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: my boyfriend is a green card holder (through his parents) and I am in the us visiting him. We just heard that if we get married, I can stay here and file for my green card. We want to get married and do it but I am wondering about when I will be able to go home for a visit so I can bring some of my stuff up here. Also, will I be able to go home for Christmas to visit my family?
Answer: No, not a good idea, since your wife must establish eligibility at the time the residency application (form I-485) is filed, not later during processing. If you were to mistakenly file her case now when she is not eligible, then to naturalize (become a U.S. Citizen) during the process, her application would not be approved, since you would have had to be a U.S. Citizen before she filed her adjustment of status application. The result would be that you would need to refile her application all over again, another $1,225 USCIS filing fees!
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
Important Tips For Residents On Filing Residency Petitions
For Spouses And Children Beginning July 1st!
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Need To File An Affidavit of Support For My Child?
No Affidavit of Support Required For U.S. Citizens
Sponsoring Minor Children Under Age 18
Did you know that the children of a U.S. Citizen parent who are under age 18 at the time of immigrating, are not required to have an Affidavit of Support filed on their behalf? Its true. Eligible children under age 18 who become U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) and by operation of law, automatically become U.S. Citizens, are not required to have an Affidavit of Support filed on their behalf. This is true for children immigrating from abroad through a U.S. Consulate, as well as children adjusting status to U.S. Residency inside the U.S. through a U.S. Citizen biological parent.
In these cases, the immigrating child must file form I-864W, Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption, instead of form I-864 Affidavit of Support.
Question: im a resident and applied for my citizenship earlier this year. My wife has been here in the us many years after overstaying her visa back in 2009. My question is whether I can file for her residency and work permit now even though she isn’t eligible under the new law for spouses of residents since she is out of status, then later once I get my citizenship, she will be eligible. We just want to get her papers in and get her work permit since she has been waiting all these years, thanks.
Answer: Good question. It is very important for immigrants who are filing for adjustment of status (residency) in the U.S. to understand that once the application is filed, they cannot leave the U.S. until they receive their travel permit, called “Advance Parole”. Under delayed Trump processing times, this is now often taking 6-8 months to receive! If an immigrant leaves the U.S. after filing for adjustment, without the travel permit, the entire residency case is automatically cancelled. So, in your case, if your residency case is filed today, it would likely take until January or February 2020 to receive your work and travel permit. That means you will not be going home for Christmas!
Tips On USCIS Restricted Delivery Mail Policy
The USCIS began phasing in use of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service over the past year when it mails Green Cards, Work, Travel and Re-entry permits and other secure documents to Immigrants. Under the Restricted Delivery policy, all documents will be sent to Immigrants using the U.S. Postal Service’s Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service which will require Immigrants to provide identification and to sign for their documents upon delivery. Immigrants who are not home when the U.S. Postal Service attempts to deliver, will be issued a notice on their door and be able to pick up their immigration documents at the local post office.
Beginning July 1st, thousands of U.S. Residents (green card holders) will be filing immigration petitions to sponsor their spouse and minor children, since the immigration category called F2A is “current”, meaning that there are visas immediately available for any applications filed on that date. Moreover, spouses and children of residents who are inside the U.S. in legal immigration status, as visitors (on B1B2), F-1 student, or other visas, can file for Adjustment of Status and stay, allowing them to live, work and attend school during the entire residency process, instead of having to wait outside the U.S. for consular processing.
Its an awesome opportunity and no one is certain how long it will last. So, as immigrants begin planning to file this week, here’s a few important tips to help make the process go smoothly:
ICE just announced that, effective June 24 2019, online fees required to be paid to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) by international students and exchange visitors will increase as follows:
The I-901 SEVIS Fee for F and M international students will increase from $200 to $350.
The I-901 SEVIS Fee for most J exchange visitors will increase from $180 to $220. (The $35 I-901 SEVIS Fee for J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work travel program participant categories will remain the same.).
1) Eligibility: Before filing any application with the USCIS make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. Do not file adjustment of status applications if you in the U.S. and not in legal status! It could get you deported! This opportunity is only for applicants who are inside the U.S. maintaining legal status.
2) Use the correct form: Be sure you have the most current edition of the form. Never pay for forms, they are free. To download the current edition of each form, go to www.USCIS.gov and click on the Forms link, then choose your form. Residency forms for spouses inside the U.S. include forms: I-130, I-130A, I-485, I-765, I-131 and I-864 Affidavit of Support.
3) Previously Filed form I-130: In cases where the Resident has previously filed an I-130 for a spouse or minor child, you do not need to refile a new one, just put a copy of the Receipt (called I-797 Notice of Action) or Approval Notice in the residency package in place of where the form I-130 would go.
4) Supporting Documents: Make sure and include all required documents so your case is not delayed. Read the Form Instructions and enclose copies of the required supporting documents listed. Never send originals! Do not send copies of documents taken with a cell phone, since they will not be accepted by the USCIS. Send only clear, clean copies made on a copy machine.
5) Foreign Language Documents: All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation and “Certificate of Translation” signed by the translator, attesting to the fact that they are fluent in the foreign language and English. Example: I [name of translator], certify that I am fluent in the English and [type in name of foreign language, for instance, Spanish] languages, and that the above is an accurate translation of the attached document. Have the translator sign, date and type in his or her address. Note that an Applicant, family member or anyone else can be the translator, you do not need a certified translator or any other special certification.
6) Copies: Make and keep copies of every page of your signed application, all supporting documents and check/money order for your records.
7) Filing Fees: Make sure the USCIS filing fee is correct. Go online to www.USCIS.gov and click on the Forms link to see the current filing fee for each form. You can pay by check/money order or credit/debit card. You can use a personal check to pay the filing fees, just note that it can take 2+ months for the USCIS to deposit it, so make sure the funds are there, otherwise there is a $30 “insufficient funds” fee. If you use a Money Order, have it issued by your bank, rather than a convenience store or postal service, in case you need to get a copy of the cancelled check (to see your case number on the back-in case you don’t receive a USCIS receipt). If you pay by credit card, you have to download and complete form 1450 and place on the top of your application.
8) Sending your application: Use USPS Priority Mail, Express Mail or Fed-ex/UPS with tracking. Be sure to get delivery confirmation a few days after you send your application, to confirm it was received and save the confirmation for your records. NEVER USE CERTIFIED MAIL, it is too slow.
9) Sign-up for E-Notification: Always file Form G-1145 with your application, to receive a text message or email e-notification confirming that the application was received and accepted for processing by the USCIS along with the case receipt number(s). 10) Sign-up for E-Mail Case Updates: Once you receive your USCIS Receipt (called I-797 Notice of Action) – usually in about 10 days, go online to www.USCIS.gov and click on “Check your case status” then sign-up for email updates on your case using your case number. 11) Check USCIS Processing Times: Go to www.USCIS.gov and click on “Check your case status” then scroll down and click on “USCIS Processing Times Information” and click on the Service Center or office where your case is processing to see the current processing times for your application type.
I can take care of handling the entire process for you and your family, to give you peace of mind that your case is professionally prepared and filed according to USCIS regulations so as not to delay processing!
Just give us a call for a FREE consultation at: (954) 382-5378.
ICE Announces Increased International Students Fees
Last Friday the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up consideration of DACA, following the Trump administration’s cancellation of the program and the numerous resulting lawsuits by various states to prevent Trump from cancelling DACA protections for Dreamers.
For background, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was implemented in 2012 by President Obama to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in the U.S. who were brought to the U.S. by their parents as children and who lack any kind of legal immigration status.Once Trump took office in 2017, he cancelled the program, refusing to accept any new DACA applications.
Supreme Court Agrees To Consider The Fate Of DACA
In Upcoming Term In October
Lawsuits later resulted in Federal Judges preventing Trump from cancelling the program altogether, forcing him to accept DACA renewals. During this time, thousands of Dreamers have been unable to apply for DACA and instead remain in the U.S. without any legal protections. The Supreme Court will hear arguments from the Trump Justice Department and plaintiff’s opposing cancellation in its October 2019 term, and expect a decision to be made on the case in the Spring of 2020.
Question: I have a question about an application I filed earlier this year for a tourist visa extension. I visited the us last year in September 2018 and got 6 months to stay, then decided to stay a few more months so in February 2019 I filed a request to extend for another 2 months. Since then I haven’t got an answer! I just got a receipt and every time I call immigration they say its still processing. Now its too late and I have to leave to get back to my job. I am wondering if I need to request that immigration cancel the application I filed or something, or do I just leave?
Answer: Unfortunately, that is very common these days. USCIS processing times for extensions of stay and change of status can take 6-8+ months or more. Usually by the time the decision is made, one of a few things has occurred, 1) the visitor has already left the U.S. because they were not able to stay waiting without an answer, 2) The USCIS denies the case and the individual’s I-94 has expired because he or she has been waiting so long or 3) The extension is approved, only six months from the date of the request is given, so again, the individual’s I-94 has expired by the time they receive the extension approval. As a result, in all cases, the individual’s U.S. visa is automatically cancelled. This policy seems to have the effect of penalizing any foreign national who visits the U.S. and applies to extend their time here, since in many cases, the mere act of filing such an extension causes the visitor to lose their U.S. B1/B2 visa, sometimes for many, many years.
The service also allows Immigrants who know they are going to be receiving their documents from the USCIS to register for Informed Delivery through the U.S. Postal Service to get daily images of mail being sent. The Informed Delivery also allows Immigrants to automatically track expected packages, set up email and text alerts Delivery Instructions for the mail carrier to hold the package for pickup. There is also an option to designate another person to sign for the package by downloading and completing a designated agent form and providing it along with identification when the mail carrier delivers the package.
With all this said, it’s more important than ever for Immigrants to keep the USCIS updated on any address changes and to sign up for automatic email and text alerts on pending immigration cases, in order to know when a Green Card or other document is being sent out.If your mailing address changes after you file your application, you must update your address with USCIS and USPS as soon as possible. USPS recommends you use the USPS Look Up a ZIP Code tool to ensure that you give USCIS your full address using the standard abbreviations and formatting recognized by USPS.With Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery, you or your designated agent (PDF) will need to present valid identification and sign for the package in person. You can continue to use Informed Delivery to track and manage the delivery of your package.
Read more about the new Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery service program: