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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 I Need To Register For Selective Service? 
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: me and my husband got married in 2017 and I got my green card on the 18th of feb of 2018. I heard that I can get my citizenship early once I am married for 3 yrs, so I want to know if that is true and how I can go about it.
As expected, Trump is becoming more and more volatile as each day passes and his poll numbers continue to slide downwards. And in desperation, he routinely uses Immigration bans as a fallback to please his shrinking base of supporters. 

This was the case with his April 22nd and July 24th “immigration bans” through Presidential Proclamations, putting a freeze on most family immigrant visas and work visas issued abroad, his recent July 6th attack on international students, threatening to deport those who take online classes and continuing with his recent threat last week to sign an Executive Order to drastically change immigration laws.
Trump Goes On Immigration Ban Rampage As Election Day Looms

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  POSTING DATE: July 13,  2020
Don’t Forget To Notify The Social Security Administration 
Once You Become A U.S. Citizen! 

Most Naturalized U.S. Citizens know that they should immediately apply for a U.S. Passport and register to vote, but many are not aware that they are required to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) once they obtain citizenship status, so that changes can be made in their Social Security records. 

U.S. Citizens are eligible for benefits which many others are not, so it’s vital that your SSA records are up to date to reflect your eligibility. Benefits include eligibility for certain disability benefits which are only available to U.S. citizens, easier qualification for retirement, social security benefits, ease in obtaining replacement of lost Social Security card, and status as a U.S. Citizen across government agency databases, including E-Verify.
Answer: Eligibility to file for naturalization is not based solely upon how long you have been married to a U.S. Citizen, instead, it is based upon how long you have been a U.S. Resident. The rule is that a U.S. Resident (conditional or permanent) who is married and living together in a real marriage with his or her U.S. Citizen spouse, can apply for early naturalization once they have held residency status for two years and nine months. This is true even if the Removal of Condition petition remains pending. In these cases, USCIS policy says the officer should adjudicate the Removal of Condition application for permanent residency along with the early naturalization application at the same time. This can theoretically speed up a pending Removal of Condition case. In your case, since you obtained your green card in on February 18, 2018, you can apply three months before your third year residency anniversary, so November 19, 2020. I hope this is helpful to you.
U.S. law requires men to register for military conscription in case of war, under a program called the Selective Service System. This applies to men who live in the U.S. or who get a green card at any time between the ages of 18 and 25, requiring them to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, to be called up in a military draft if ever needed. 

There are, however, certain exemptions, including those for men between 18 and 25 who were only here in a nonimmigrant visa status, like tourists, students, etc. Strangely enough, undocumented or “illegal aliens” are also now required to register, even though many do not.
ICE Threatens To Deport International
 Students Who Take Online Classes
Don’t Forget To Register To Vote – 
Just Imagine The Damage A Second Trump Term Will Bring!
Each year over a million international students attend American schools and universities, bringing much needed revenues from tuition fees, as well as cultural diversity. Many foreign students attending state schools pay two or even three times the regular tuition rate, which helps reduce tuition costs for U.S. students. Moreover, according to NAFSA, international students contribute $41 billion to the U.S. economy yearly and support some 450,000 jobs. According to Forbes magazine, nearly a quarter of U.S. billion-dollar startup companies have founders who originally came to the U.S. as international students. These startups typically create an average of 1,400 jobs per company, with the collective value of such companies nearing $96 billion.

So its very odd that the Trump administration would target such a group unnecessarily, without an ulterior motive, which there is, to no one’s surprise. It seems that team Trump believes that his reelection depends upon a good economy. And the current economic downfall and resulting high unemployment caused by the pandemic, don’t look good for his political future. In an effort to rev up the economy, Trump wants get everything open, including schools which he believes will cause the economic numbers to rise for his re-election in November.  
In an interview with Spanish Language Telemundo in Florida last week, Trump vowed to make sweeping changes to U.S. immigration policy through an executive order which would shift from the current family-based system, to a “merit-based” system. And perhaps in an effort to seem kindhearted, he also threw in a promise to include protections for Dreamers and a pathway to citizenship, in direct contradiction to his consistent efforts over the past three years to terminate DACA and recent vow to continue fighting to cancel DACA benefits for some 800,000 young immigrants in the U.S. who rely on it

So to recap, Trump was vowing to sign an executive order to give benefits to Dreamers, when he just finished requesting that the Supreme Court allow him to terminate them, arguing that Obama’s order creating the DACA program was illegal and had exceeded presidential authority. However, this and other apparent contradictions have never stopped Trump in the past from making ridiculous statements, which he likely just thought sounded nice at the moment, speaking to a Hispanic audience, in a last ditch effort to win more Hispanic votes. He would rather have us forget that he called Hispanic immigrants “criminals” and “rapists”. Trump must believe that voters are as stupid as he is! Hopefully not, or we are all in for a lot more trouble in the coming years.

Following Trump’s remarks, White House staffers appeared shocked when questioned by reporters, apparently unaware of Trump’s claims that he could unilaterally change U.S. immigration laws by executive action and of any planned benefits for Dreamers. Aids quickly scrambled to backtrack Trump’s statements, by saying that Trump understands that he does not have that authority and what he meant to say was that the administration would instead seek to have Congress pass legislation to that effect and there was definitely no amnesty planned for Dreamers.

What is almost certainly in the works at the White House, is a plan to release an even more shocking anti-immigrant bans in the coming weeks, which Trump will use during his re-election campaign to tout as his “America First”, get tough on immigration actions. For now, we just have to brace ourselves for the next inevitable “Proclamation” and hope that it will not apply to immigrants and workers inside the U.S.. Stay tuned….

Bloomberg News
But the major stumbling block to the re-open plan has been schools, since many institutions have been hesitant to hold “in-person” classes due to social distancing concerns and are instead moving to on-line academic models for the fall semester, while others are doing a hybrid of online and limited on campus classes. In an effort to get schools to obey him, last week Trump tried to “order” all schools to reopen to provide physical classes in the fall, including universities and colleges, even though a president has no power to do so. Most schools simply ignored him, since states and private schools control their operations, not authoritarian executives.  

For background, in normal times, international students on F-1 visas are limited to one online class or three credit hours per term. But due to the pandemic and school closures, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) realized the risk to students in attending campus classes, and issued an advisory in March, providing temporary exemptions to allow international students to move to online-only classes during the spring and summer semesters, stating that these exemptions would apply “for the duration of the emergency,”. However since this policy was in direct conflict with Trump’s recent efforts to get schools to reopen, he directed ICE to issue a reversal of the policy on July 6th, to again restrict online classes, with threats of deportation against international students who did not comply.

Under the new edict, international students whose Fall programs have moved entirely online will no longer be allowed to remain in the U.S. , forcing them to either leave the country or transfer to a school offering either in-person instruction or a hybrid model (with at least one in-person course). Schools will be required to issue each student a new I-20 by August 4, 2020, certifying that the student is not taking an entirely online course load. Those outside who are coming to attend online courses in the U.S. will no longer be eligible for student visas. M-1 students in vocational studies and F-1 students in English language programs will no longer be allowed to take any online classes.

In response to the new ICE policy, both Harvard university and the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) swiftly filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE on July 8th, challenging the decision and requesting the court to prohibit ICE from carrying out the policy by issuing a temporary restraining order. The lawsuit is pending, awaiting a hearing soon to determine whether the ICE policy will be temporarily halted or be allowed to go forward. 

ICE Policy Announcement
The Clock is ticking! Time is wasting away! As the months tick by we are getting closer and closer to state voter registration deadlines for the 2020 election. Do not let Trump be re-elected just because you were not able to vote in the upcoming 2020 Presidential election!

In Florida, the deadline to register in order to vote in the general Presidential Election is October 5th 2020. If you have not voted in several years, it would be a good idea to go online and check your registration status to make sure that you are still registered. If you do not find your information there, contact the voter registration office immediately. If you have moved, make sure and change your address and request new voting precinct information.
So, don’t delay! Don’t doom America for decades to come by allowing Trump to complete his destruction of our country’ institutions, ideal and vital immigration system during a second term! We hold the power to say no to corruption, bigotry, racism, lies and hatred. Let’s use it to save our nation from tyranny, shape our political history and create a new positive future for America where black lives matter and immigrants are valued for their incredible contributions! 

Voter Registration Deadlines
Register to Vote or Check your current registration status
Question: I have a question about my dad. He came a few years ago and his visa expired and he has been living here with me. I just got my citizenship at the local immigration office after it reopened a few weeks ago and am planning to sponsor my dad. The problem is that my grandmother, his mother just died of cancer after a long illness and of course my dad wants to go to Mexico with me to attend her funeral. I told him that might be a problem but I am not sure and wanted to get your opinion before we buy the tickets. Thanks.
Answer: Yes, you are correct, if your father leaves the U.S. after having been here out of status, he will be barred from re-entering the U.S. for a period of time. An overstay of 180 days up to 364 days before leaving the U.S. is an automatic bar from reentering the U.S. of three years and overstaying by 365 days or more, then leaving results in an automatic bar of ten years. I know it hard to tell a child not to attend his mother’s funeral, but the consequences are so tough that I think it would be a real mistake to leave. I am sure his mother would not want him to leave and be stranded outside the U.S. for all those years. Once we file your dad’s residency package, we will request a travel permit for him, which takes approximately six months for approval. Once approved, he can leave the U.S. and safely return without worrying about being barred from reentering. Unfortunately, until that time, dad needs to stay safely in the U.S.. See you soon
Question: I have everything ready to file my immigration case for my green card and I want to know if I need to get the medical exam done before I apply. I called around and it looks like the cost is about $300 and I won’t be able to afford that and pay for the immigration filing fees at the same time. My question is if I can just file my immigration papers now and then do the medical exam once I save the money and then send it in later?
Answer: The medical examination is required as part of all immigration residency cases, but it is not required to be submitted along with the initial application filing. However, it must be done before your residency interview. The best advice is to save money and send in your completed residency application now, then wait until the USCIS issues a residency interview notice, then have your medical examination done at that time and take your medical in the sealed envelope with you to your interview. After filing your case, the USCIS will send you a letter reminding you that the medical must be done and that you must take it to your interview. Don’t have it done and send it in to the USCIS after filing your case, unless specifically directed, since the medical exam will likely never make it into your file and you will have to pay to have it done all over again.
To change your status, you can download form SS-5, then visit a local Social Security Administration office in person, to register the change and speak with a representative about your social security record. Bring your Certificate of Naturalization or your U.S. passport and some other form of picture ID such as a driver’s license.

Download the SS-5 form

Find a Social Security Administration office near you
The issue of Selective Service Registration generally comes up for male Immigrants who apply for Naturalization and are required to list their Selective Service Registration information. Failing to register for Selective Service can result in Naturalization denial for failure to show good moral character. For some, it is not too late to register: Men preparing to apply for Naturalization (U.S. Citizenship) who failed to register for the Selective Service in the past, but who are not yet age 25, can still register online.

However, those who have passed age 25, are not eligible to register and must face the potentially negative immigration consequences of passing the required registration date. For those, the easiest thing to do may be to wait until you are age 31 to apply for Naturalization so that five years of good moral character have passed (or 29 years of age to show three years of “good moral character” for those who are married to and living with a U.S. citizen for at least three years).

Immigrants who failed to register, but do not want to wait for the “good moral character” period to expire, need to provide the USCIS officer with documentation to demonstrate for instance that the Resident did not know he was supposed to register and did not “willfully” fail to do so. To do this, an Immigrant can submit the following along with his naturalization application:

1) Status Information Letter from the Selective Service System (obtained from the Selective Service System website or by calling 847-688-6888.)  

2) Sworn Declaration, and sworn declarations from people who know the Immigrant, attesting to their knowledge of the reasons why he failed to learn about and did not know about the requirement to register or believed he was automatically registered.

USCIS officers have discretion whether or not to approve such cases, so it’s best to provide as much evidence as possible to ensure the most positive result.