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

  POSTING DATE: July 3,  2017
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2017 
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

Question: I came to the U.S. with my parents about 15 years ago when my father got hired by an American company on a work visa. The job ended several years later and my parents have been here all this time and don’t have legal status. I ended up marrying my citizen husband several years ago and just received my American citizenship through early naturalization last month. I filled out the immigration form for my parents on the same form and filed it, but when I got the receipt back last week, it only had my mom’s name. I listed my mom and then put my dad as her spouse. I thought that would make sure my dad’s residency was included. I called the immigration 800# and they got me all confused and said that my dad was not included in the case and I had to file a separate form for him and since my parents were not legal they would have to get their residency at the consulate in Jamaica and the form that I filed would not get my mom or dad their work permit in the U.S. because I did not file a request for it. I emailed you a copy of the form I filed, can you please tell me straight what I can do from here to get my parents’ residency back on track and what documents I need to bring you. thanks.
In what many believe is a shameful decision, the U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld several parts of Trump’s Travel Ban, allowing his administration to begin prohibiting the entry of individuals from six the 6 countries (Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia).  

While lower courts had rejected the ban as violating the Constitution, Supreme Court justices instead agreed to allow the travel ban to go forward, while waiting for the full hearing on the case this fall. 
Supreme Court Gives Trump Partial “Green Light” 
For His Travel Ban
Answer: That’s a great question! Under immigration regulations, a U.S. Citizen can sponsor not only their family members, but the spouse and minor children of family members as well, including married children and brothers & sisters and their families. However, there is a special category of immigrants called “Immediate Relatives” (Spouses, Parents and Minor Children of U.S. Citizens) which have the benefit of being exempt from quotas (waiting lines), but the drawback is that family members sponsored in this category can only immigrate alone and cannot bring “dependants” such as a spouse or minor children. This applies to your case. When you sponsor a parent, only the parent named in the petition is sponsored and any spouse your parent has, even your own biological parent is not included. The only way to sponsor the spouse of your parent is to file a separate petition to sponsor that parent. It is true that the form I-130 requests information about your parent’s spouse and children, but not to enable them to immigrate along with your parent, rather simply for technical informational purposes. To sponsor your dad, we will need to file a separate petition for him as well. 

On the issue of legal status, since your parents came to the U.S. legally on a visa, even though they later fell out of status, they are still eligible to adjust their status to residency inside the U.S. and are not required to process through the U.S. Consulate in Kingston. For residency and work permission for parents, spouses and minor children being sponsored who are inside the U.S., in addition to the I-130 family petition, we need to file the I-485 application to adjust status to residency and I-765 request for work authorization in a package together. I will provide you with a list of documents we will need for your parents’ case, including your birth and U.S. Naturalization certificate, your parents’ marriage and birth certificates, passport documentation and required immigration medical exam, along with your financial information for the Affidavit of Support. Once filed, it will take 90 days to receive their work permits and another six months or so for their Green Cards. See you soon.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Never Lose Your I-94 Card Or Allow Your Authorized Period Of Stay In The U.S. To Expire!
Since 2013, Foreign Nationals entering the U.S. no longer receive a paper card called an I-94 upon entry (which gave the date of entry and date upon which the individual must leave the U.S.), but are instead issued instructions on how to download and printout their I-94 report from the CBP website. 
The USCIS recently revised its form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) and K-3 visas and since June 9, 2017, this form 4/10/17 edition is the only one which will be accepted. The good news is that Form G-325A is incorporated into the new I-129F form, so a separate G-325A (Biographic Information) for each spouse no longer needs to be filed. 

The bad news is that the form contains a “Petitioner’s Declaration and Certification” which informs the U.S. Citizen sponsoring a Fiancé(e) or bringing a spouse to the U.S. on the K-3 that he or she may be required to have their biometrics (fingerprints, photograph and/or signature) taken. This has been done in the past petitioners with a criminal history, and may become more frequent in the future.
Question: I am applying for my citizenship and the form asks about all my trips in recent 5 years. I travel a lot for work and I have lots of trips and some of the US entry stamps are stamps on top of stamps and I cannot read the dates accurately. Does it matter if I make a mistake just because I cannot clearly see the dates?
Answer: As is often the case, U.S. and foreign border officers alike, simply stamp your page without even considering whether it is legible or not. In most naturalization cases, making the best guess you can for illegible dates is the best you can do and the USCIS will not fault you for it. However, fortunately, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has a website which allows travelers to access their U.S. travel history going back five years from the request date. To access the information, go to the CBP website and click on “Get Travel History” and print out the report.

Visit the CBP Travel History Webpage 
Immigration How To 
How Do I Prove I Have Residency Once My Green Card Has Expired?
​Obtaining Proof of Residency While Waiting For Green Card Replacements and Renewals
U.S. Resident s who have lost a Green Card or who’s Green Card requires renewal must apply for a replacement or renewed card with the USCIS (using form I-90). However, government processing times required to receive the new card can often take six months or more, which can be quite an inconvenience when a Resident needs proof of U.S. Residency to renew a Driver’s License, obtain a employment and even travel. 
USCIS Releases Revised Fiancé(e) Visa Form
The court decision did grant an exception for individuals with “bona fide relationships” in the U.S., giving consular officers and U.S. border officials ultimate discretion to determine whether they believe a qualifying relationship exists. 

According to the decision, a “bona fide relationships” includes: 

Persons with a “close familial relationship” to someone in the US;
Students who have been admitted to a university in the US;
Workers who have accepted an offer of employment from a company in the US;
Lecturers invited to speak to an American audience

Experts are advising nationals of these countries who are inside the U.S. to avoid any unnecessary foreign travel until the Trump Administration’s handling of the measure can be evaluated.

Read more about the Supreme Court Decision:

American Immigration Council guide about who is affected by the Supreme Court Decision:
​Travel Ban guide
View the new Fiancé(e) Visa Form:
New Form I-129F
The USCIS recommends that DREAMERS holding DACA status renew their Deferred Action status and Work Authorization early in order to avoid a lapse in permission to work. DREAMERS should apply for renewal no later than 120 days prior to expiration.

 The process for renewal is nearly identical to the initial process for DACA status, except the initial documentation to prove eligibly is not required.
DREAMERS Are Advised To Renew DACA Status 
120 Days Prior To Expiration
There’s a new form and USCIS DACA Filing Fees have increased from $465 to $495. Applicants are advised to write “Renewal Request” in large letters on the bottom of each form and include: 

Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (Form I-765, Form I-765WS)
Visit the USCIS DACA Webpage 
This is great, because it provides a secure way to access the individual’s entry information for future use. However, up until 2013, those entering the U.S. were issued a small paper called an I-94 (Arrival/Departure) Card by Immigration inspections. This card is one of most important immigration-related documents issued to foreign nationals and it has the date of entry and the required date for exit clearly written on it. This document is typically the only evidence that a foreign national has to prove legal entry into the U.S. up until 2013. Without it, it is nearly impossible to apply for any type of immigration visa in the U.S. As a result, those who have lost the card and wish to change or adjust status, must apply for a replacement card which generally takes up to six months or more to receive a replacement I-94 card after application and costs $445. 

Another important tip is for Foreign Nationals to remember to avoid allowing their period of authorized stay in the U.S. to expire, since once it has expired, under current immigration regulations, it is impossible to change or adjust status inside the U.S., (with the exception of being the spouse, minor child or parent of a U.S. citizen who is sponsoring them.) All too frequently immigrants are incorrectly advised that as long as they entered the U.S. legally, and a relative like a sister/brother or parent files an I-130 family petition, they can legally remain in the U.S. waiting for their case to be approved. This is simply not true. Immigration regulations presently prohibit a foreign national who has a family petition filed for them by a sibling (sister/brother), Permanent Resident spouse, Permanent Resident parent or U.S. Citizen parent (if the foreign national is over age 21) from obtaining a Green Card in the United States once they overstay their authorized period of stay. There used to be a law called 245(i), which allowed Immigrants who had overstayed in the U.S. to pay a penalty and still be able to obtain Green Cards, but that law ended on 4/30/2001. Unfortunately, ill-informed friends, relatives and unscrupulous immigration centers still advise foreign nationals that there is no problem in overstaying in the U.S., as long as an I-130 family petition has been filed for them.  

Please take my advice - maintain your legal status while inside the U.S. at all times and if necessary, request an extension of your tourist visa period of stay. But remember, that while you may be able to obtain one six month extension, a second request for an extension is very risky and may well be denied. To recap, among the only relatives who can still adjust status (obtain Green Cards) in the U.S. once they have overstayed are Spouses, Minor Children and Parents of U.S. Citizens and Cubans (CU6) and those who qualify under the old 245(i) rule. Under the current Trump Administration, the worst thing an Immigrant can do is to apply for U.S. Residency in the U.S. when they have overstayed. Not only will they be denied, but could very likely be deported as well. Stay safe!

If you have any questions about qualifying to obtain a Green Card in the U.S. after overstaying, you can call my office for a Free Consultation at: (954) 382-5378.
As a result, Residents who have filed the request and received the USCIS Receipt Notice (called a “Notice of Action”) can obtain a temporary Residency stamp their passport, or sticker on their expired card called a “I-551” which provides proof of Residency status for up to one year.

To obtain the sticker or stamp, Residents should go online and make an Infopass Appointment at their local USCIS office. 

Residents should bring the following documents to the USCIS when making the request: 

1) InfoPass appointment notice (if appointment was scheduled); 
2) Valid passport; 
3) USCIS Receipt Notice (called a “Notice of Action”) to prove that Form I-90 was filed and is pending;
4) Copy of your lost or expired Green Card, if available; 
5) Copy of your date-stamped Biometric appointment notice showing you had your biometrics taken if that is the case;
6) Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the USCIS office, for instance, utility bill, valid driver’s license, etc.;

The USCIS Officer will schedule you to have your Biometrics taken (if you have not already done so), then once complete, will issue the I-551 stamp with a validity period of 6 to 12 months.