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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 Make Sure My Application Is Filed Correctly?
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: Good day my husband is a Permanent Resident and he filed for me. On March 3, 2020 I got a letter from NVC saying they have received all of the fees, forms and documents that are required prior to attending an immigrant Visa interview and once they confirmed an interview date they would send a Notice to me. My question is, does this New Proclamation which expires December 31, 2020 applies to me too. Thanks in advance.
In yet the latest round in the battle over DACA, a hearing was held last Friday in Federal court, regarding the Trump administration’s defiance of a ruling issued on July 17, 2020, ordering the USCIS to begin processing new DACA applications. Federal Judge Grimm gave the government 30 days to comply with order or publicly clarify the DACA program’s status and directed the parties to prepare a briefing schedule on whether the government should be held in contempt for failing to accept new DACA applications. This latest hearing comes over a month after the Supreme Court ruling issued on June 18, 2020, denying the government’s right to terminate the program and a week following the Trump administration’s continued defiance in refusing to accept new DACA applications, after the federal court ordered them to do so. 

The Justice department attorney Mr. Pezzi argued for the agency that the USCIS had not actually refused to accept applications, but had rather put them “on hold” as the government discusses the details of the future of the program. 
Federal Court May Hold Trump Administration In Contempt 
For Failing To Process New DACA Applications!

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  POSTING DATE: July 27,  2020
No Affidavit of Support Required U.S. Citizens 
Sponsoring Minor Children Under Age 18

Since Trump took office in 2017, many U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) have been wary of travelling abroad, in fear that they may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. and could have their Green Card taken away at the U.S. border. This fear has been exacerbated by the recent pandemic, which has caused many residents to be unable to return to the U.S. due to cancelled flights and airport closings. When a resident has remained outside the U.S. for an extended period and the Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) officer at the airport or border believes the resident does not actually reside in the U.S., the officer can request that the resident relinquish his or her green card and sign official I-407 form to "voluntarily" abandon status as a permanent resident of the U.S.. 
Answer: Yes, unfortunately, only the spouses and minor children of U.S. Citizens are exempt from Trump’s immigration ban issued on April 22nd, (called Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak), which applies until December 31st. Since your husband is a U.S. Resident (green card holder) and not a U.S. Citizen you are subject to the ban. As a result, even though your case is documentarily complete and the National Visa Center has likely transferred your case to the U.S. Consulate, no interview will be scheduled until early next year, unless Trump gets re-elected and extends the ban further. The good news is that if Biden is elected in November 2020, he will cancel the ban the day that he takes office on January 20, 2021! 
I should note to readers that spouses of U.S. residents who are INSIDE the U.S. in legal immigration status, even those here on visitor visas are not subject to the ban and can file for adjustment of status here in the U.S.. Once filed, spouses and minor children are allowed to stay in the U.S. during the entire residency process. So for example in the case of a spouse of a resident who has a pending I-130 or even approved I-130 and is currently processing with the National Visa Center (NVC) or even waiting for a consular appointment to be scheduled, if he or she has a visitor’s visa and is inside the U.S. in legal status, he or she would be eligible to file for residency, even though the NVC or consular processing has already begun. This allows the spouse to remain in the U.S. while waiting for residency and bypassing Trump’s immigration ban.
Tips For Filing Immigration Applications

Now more than ever, you need to be extra careful about filing any immigration application with the USCIS. Before filing your Immigration application, use the following tips to ensure proper filing.
Printing Delays Leave Thousands Of Immigrants 
Without Work Permits And Green Cards 
I was approved months ago, so where is my card? That is the question thousands of immigrants are asking, as the USCIS backlog for printing work permit (EAD) and green cards skyrockets to over 150,000! The reason for the delays, it seems, is that the USCIS had a contract with an outside company to produce employment authorization documents (work permits) and green cards, which ended in June 2020. But rather than renew the contract, the USCIS decided to produce the cards in-house, which makes no sense, given the COVID-19 crisis, financial crisis, and now impending layoffs which could reduce the agency’s workforce by 50% or more. 
USCIS Resumes Scheduling Marriage Residency Interviews – 
Make Sure You Are Prepared For Success!
After a long pause during USCIS local field office shutdowns caused by the pandemic, offices have reopened and are beginning to reschedule interviews, including those based upon marriage. Marriage residency cases can be very tough - even for those that are real! Commonly, couples navigating through marriage immigration process often find it daunting, unsure of the procedures, required documentation and timing involved. 

However, filing the case is just the start, the important part comes after that, in the time in between filing the case and the USCIS residency interview, when all the necessary marital documentation is established and compiled, in order to prove the legitimacy of the marriage.
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. Unfortunately, this does not apply to step-parent relationships, which do require that an I-864 by fully completed and submitted.

This assertion, however, is false, since there are many documented reports of DACA applications being rejected with a USCIS form stating that no new applications are being accepted. Pezzi went on to acknowledge that the DACA information on the USCIS website was “outdated and inaccurate information” and said he had pressed the administration to fix it expeditiously. Unimpressed, Judge Grimm noted that “In a circumstance where the agency has not found the time or resources to change their website to accurately reflect what the status is, it is probably not the greatest degree of reassurance to the plaintiffs [about] a timeline for the decision on the new policy,” and that the inaccurate website information “fuels a belief by the plaintiffs that something is underlying this failure to process the claims, and the delays in consideration are being done for an ulterior motive”.

Clearly the pressure on the government is now mounting, as it becomes more and more apparent that the administration will be held accountable for its failure to comply and will be required to respond to the court for its actions going forward. As the attention on the issue grows, the agency will likely concede and revise its DACA website to reflect instructions for filing new DACA applications under the 2012 guidelines. However, it now appears they may have another 30 days to do so. Dreamers should visit the USCIS DACA webpage frequently for updates. Stay tuned….

You can find out more about qualifying for DACA 
Critics say the agency’s current financial shortfall is due to anti-immigrant Trump administration policies which have caused applications to plummet over the past few years, coupled with the department’s shifting of funds and resources from adjudications to immigration enforcement. 

With such dire circumstances, the USCIS Ombudsman, (in charge of assisting individuals with unresolved issues involving the USCIS) issued a statement on July 21st (Ombudsman's Alert: Card Production Delays at USCIS), to address the card production delays, explain the circumstances and confirm the cause. The Ombudsman’s office is offering to assist those with approved cards who are awaiting production by sending a list of those individuals to the USCIS to verify the status of production. You can visit the Ombudsman’s website and file a request. The notice advises U.S. residents who need proof of residency to call the USCIS 800# to request an appointment at the local USCIS field office to get a temporary residency sticker, however to date, the USCIS is not scheduling appointments at local offices except for emergencies, which do not include needing proof of residency! 

Ombudsman's Alert: Card Production Delays at USCIS
​Request Case Assistance
Here are a few tips for couples representing themselves in the residency process:

1) Take the process very seriously – it’s better to be over prepared, rather than under prepared and delay the green card process 
2) Do whatever it takes to have a joint marital bank account that both spouses use on a daily basis (not just a saving account). Never use separate bank accounts and always pay utilities, rent and other expenses from bank funds, not cash.
3) Don’t go paperless! I love trees and the environment, but the USCIS could care less, they want to see marital bills, statements and invoices with joint names or at least separate bills for each spouse going to the same marital address 
4) Have a lease with both spouses’ names and pay rent from your joint account (even if you live with relative – which you should not!)
5) Always do your tax return married filing jointly, don’t file head of household just to get more money back from the IRS, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Do you want a Green Card or a little more money? 
6) Split the utility bills, get several in the U.S. Citizen spouse’s name and several for the foreign national spouse 
7) Get joint car insurance, don’t stay on your parent’s policy, really, you are married, act like it! 
8) Make sure both spouses Driver’s Licenses are at the same marital address 
9) Take lots of pictures with family and friends in different occasions. 

These are just the bottom-line documents the USCIS officer is looking for. However, the more marital documents, the better, like joint car registration, joint health insurance, joint cell phone plan, fitness club family plan, etc, etc. The more documents a couple brings to their USCIS interview, the faster the case will be approved. Couples who get stuck somewhere in the process can always give me a call and I will try to steer them in the right direction. 
Question: I have a question about my daughter, she is 18 now, but was sponsored by my US citizen husband when she was 17. She had her appointment at the embassy in March and now we are just waiting for her to come to florida next month. I am still a resident, but I heard that since her dad (stepfather) is a citizen, I can get her American passport once she gets here. Is that true? Or does she have to wait 5 years? 
Answer: Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 children who are under age 18 automatically acquire United States citizenship when at least one biological parent is a citizen or naturalizes, as long as the child resides with that parent. There is no requirement that a child hold residency status for five years. In fact, when a minor child under age 18 immigrates to the U.S. through a U.S. parent (biological), he or she automatically becomes a U.S. Citizen upon entry to the U.S.. However, the law only applies to children under age 18 at the time the parent becomes a U.S. citizen and does not apply for step-parent relationships. So in your case, since your daughter is already 18 and her stepfather is the U.S. citizen, she is not eligible. In her case, she will need to wait for four years and nine months once her green card is issued before applying for naturalization.
Question: I came to the us in 2011 as a student and overstayed. My mom is a us citizen and she filed for me but when I went to the interview I got denied because I was not in status since I overstayed. The officer took my little white entry card at the interview and didn’t give it back. I got married last year and filed papers for my green card through my wife and everything was going fine I got the receipts and did my biometrics but after a few months the immigration sent me a letter asking for my little white card they called i94 to prove I was eligible. I wrote back and explained about the officer taking it and that I don’t have it anymore then they sent me a letter saying they were denying my green card because I could not prove I came to the us legally which is stupid because I have a visa in my passport! I made an application to get another one but that got denied because I put the wrong entry date. We are so mad that this happened and did not understand we could have requested to have the application reopened so the time expired and we lost all that money. Now we want to try again and have it done professionally with everything we need so we know it will be approved. Can you please tell us what you need to represent us and what will you do about getting that white paper back from the immigration so there is no problem getting my green card this time?
Answer: Yes, I understand exactly what you have been going through. Unfortunately, when filing for residency, the responsibility to prove eligibility always falls on the immigrant, even when the USCIS is in possession of documents which clearly already demonstrate that. One of the most important issues of any residency case is proving that the immigrant entered the U.S. legally. This is done by providing a copy of that little white card you are referring to which is called the I-94 arrival/departure card. This little card was issued to all non-U.S. citizen/resident individuals up until 2013, but since that time, its available for download from the CBP website, which is much more convenient. However pre-2013, the I-94 card was like gold, and because it was so small, it was very common for immigrants to lose, misplace or even have it taken by immigration (like in your case), leaving an immigrant without any way to file for residency. There was always the option to file for a replacement, but many immigrants like yourself are unaware of that and how important have that card is for the residency process.
To re-file your residency case properly, I will do several things to get your case going, first, we will file a new request for a duplicate I-94 card with your complete information. Second, I’ll file a Freedom of Information request called a “FOIA” with the Department of Homeland Security to obtain a copy of your immigration file. The processing time can take several months or more, but the results should provide us with a copy of your I-94 all most of your immigration-related documents as well. We can file your case along with a copy of your I-94 duplicate original request so there is no need for delay.
1) Eligibility: Before filing any application with the USCIS make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. This is vital now that an application denial can lead to deportation.

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 and click on the Forms link, then choose your form. 

3) 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

4) 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.

5) Copies: Keep copies of every page of your signed application, all supporting documents and check/money order for your records.

6) Filing Fees: Make sure the USCIS filing fee is correct. Go online to and click on the Forms link to see the current filing fee for each form. Pay particular attention to applications which require biometrics fees in addition to the regular filing fees. You can pay your fees by regular personal check, Cashier’s Check, Money Orders, Credit Cards, Debit Cards and even Gift Cards. If using a card, you will need to download and complete form G-1450. However, be very careful about making sure that you have enough funds in the card for the filing fees and fill out a separate G-1450 form for the filing fee for each separate form. For instance, if your residency application is based upon marriage, you’ll need to fill out a form G-1450 for the form I-485 for $1,225 and a separate one for form I-130 $535. 

7) Sending your application: Use Fed-ex or USPS Priority Mail or Express Mail 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. 

8) Sign-up for E-Notification: Always file Form G-1145 with your application (put it on top of your forms), 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). 

9) 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 and click on “Check your case status” then sign-up for email updates on your case using your case number.

10) Check USCIS Processing Times: Go to 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.  

USCIS Overview of Paying Filing Fees
Current USCIS Filing Fees