Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: JULY 11,  2016
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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: I have a question about immigrating to America. I am from Venezuela, married with kids and my dad who’s a U.S. Citizen filed for us back in 2010. The situation here in Caracas is getting so bad, with food shortages, I want to find out if I can take my family and go to the US now and just stay there. If we do, will we have a problem in receiving our Green Cards? Thanks. Regards. 
Answer: The F3 is the Family Immigration category for adult married children of U.S. Citizens. This category generally has a waiting line of about 10-12 years. Right now, there are Immigrant Visas available for petitions filed in December of 2004. Since your dad filed the family petition for you and your family in 2010, you have another six or more years to wait for a visa to be available. The date your dad filed the family petition for you in 2010 is called the “Priority Date”. You can keep updated on the movement of dates in your family Immigration category by visiting the Visa Bulletin website and looking at the Family F3 category to see what current priority dates are “current”, meaning those which currently have Immigrant Visa available.

Family members who have been sponsored in Immigration categories which have Immigrant Visa waiting lines are not eligible to stay in the U.S. and wait for their Priority Date to become current. The only way to legally stay in the U.S. is by obtaining another legal visa status such as a student or work visa. Family members in these categories who do stay in the U.S. past their authorized stay become INELIGIBLE to immigrate to the U.S. under most circumstances. 

Therefore, unless you are able to obtain a student, work or other visa which allows you to stay legally in the U.S., you should not remain in the U.S. past the authorized stay of your tourist visa which is usually 6 months for B1/B2 visas and 3 months for Visa Waiver countries (ESTA). 

Here is the link to the Visa Bulletin website:

State Department Visa Bulletin
Guide To Understanding Family Visa waiting times

This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Overview of the Naturalization Process - Becoming a U.S. Citizen
Millions of U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) have been scrambling to file for Naturalization over the past few months, in order to become U.S. Citizens so they can vote in this year’s upcoming Presidential election. 

Here’s a brief overview of the process to Naturalize and the common steps to take once you become a U.S. Citizen:
You can learn more about Family visa waiting time and sponsoring family members by visiting our website at:  or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
USCIS Document Requirements - Never Send Original Supporting Documents
1. Complete and file your Naturalization application (called form N-400) using Express or Priority Mail;

2. Receive a Receipt from the USCIS within about 10 days and go online and sign up for case updates on the USCIS website using the case number on your receipt;

3. Receive your Biometrics appointment notice within about 30 days from the USICS for you to go and have your fingerprints taken at the local USCIS office;

4. Receive your Naturalization Interview notice in about 3 months, attend your interview, pass the test and get approved;

5. Receive your Naturalization Ceremony notice Once your Application for Naturalization is approved, the USCIS will schedule for your Naturalization Ceremony within about 30 days. 

6. Attend your Naturalization Ceremony, surrender your Green Card, take your Oath of Allegiance to complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen and receive your Naturalization Certificate the same day.

7. Apply for Your U.S. Passport Once you receive your Certificate of Naturalization, you can immediately apply for a U.S. passport. You will receive an application for a U.S. passport at your naturalization ceremony, called the “U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet” or you can go online to the U.S. Passport office  

8. Register to Vote! Once you are a U.S. Citizen, it is your right and privilege to vote. You can register to vote at certain locations in your community, which may include post offices, motor vehicle offices, county boards of election, and offices of your state Secretary of State. You can read more about registering to vote by reading the government publication: “A Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections."

9. Update your Social Security Record After you become a U.S. Citizen, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your Social Security record. You can find your local Social Security office by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting: You can go to your local SSA office about ten days after your ceremony to give time for the SSA to be able to access your new status in the USCIS records. Be sure to take your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport with you. Good luck! 

Find out more about Naturalization by visiting our website at:  
When filing applications with the USCIS - never send original supporting documents. Immigration applications filed with the USCIS generally require that supporting documentation be submitted in order to prove eligibility, including Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Divorce Decrees, Criminal documents, etc. 

The USCIS requires that all official documents be a copy of either the original, or of the certified copy of the original. Never send original documentation to the USCIS unless specifically requested. 
Original or certified documents are generally only required to be provided to the USCIS officer during an interview. Therefore, if you send original document to the USCIS Service Center, you will no longer have the original document to bring with you as required to the interview at your local Field office. Finally, always make a copy of everything that you send to the USCIS for your records, otherwise, you have no proof of what you sent. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) which governs foreign student visa status is reporting a scam which targets foreign students in the U.S. on F-1 and M-1 student visas. Con artists contact students by phone, pretending to be from the SEVP, USCIS, Customs and Border Enforcement (CBP) or Department of Homeland Security demanding payment for I-901 fees up to $4,000 to avoid deportation. 

Students who receive such calls are advised not to pay any money and to contact their International Student department and the local police.  
Scam Alert: Scammers Target Foreign Students In The U.S. 
Immigration How To:
How To Look Up USCIS Operational Policies
USCIS Releases Policy Manual 
In an effort to  improve transparency and efficiency, the USCIS has made available an extensive USCIS Immigration Policy Manual for immigration policies and procedures. 

The Manuel covers USCIS adjudication in the areas of citizenship and naturalization, adjustment of status, admissibility, protection and parole, nonimmigrants, refugees, asylees, immigrants, waivers, and travel and employment.​
Find Out How To Get Your First U.S. Passport
Application procedures are different for new U.S. Citizens than they are for native born Americans and passport renewals. Find out how to apply for your first U.S. Passport:

U.S. Passport For First Time Applicants