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POSTING DATE: July 8, 2019
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: I got my residency through my eldest daughter who married an American and is a U.S. citizen. I live with my daughter and don’t work, since my daughter supports me and I have a small pension from a job I retired from years ago. I have two younger sons, both single and in their 20’s that I would like to sponsor now that I got my green card, but my concern is that I cant because my income is not enough. Is it true that if I sponsor them and my income is not enough their cases can be denied? Much appreciated.
Answer: That is a great question. The most important thing for all immigration case is to first confirm eligibility before filing anything with the USCIS, since filing for residency when one is not eligible can now lead to deportation! Yes, in this unique circumstance now that the F2A immigration category for spouses and minor children of U.S. Residents is “current”, meaning that there are visas immediately available for any applications filed on that date, she is eligible. For a limited time, eligibility exists for 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, to 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. So your daughter can indeed stay in the U.S. and file for adjustment of status. Once the case is filed, she will receive her work and travel permit in about 6-8 months and residency interview within about a year after that. Let me know if you want us to handle her residency process.
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
Trump Administration Begins Enforcing Affidavits Of Support Against Sponsors When Immigrant Receives Public Benefits
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How Do I Know When To File For My DACA Extension?
With The Future Of DACA Uncertain – Dreamers Should File Renewal Applications At Least 150 Days Prior To Expiration
In September 2017, Trump abruptly announced cancellation of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program beginning March 5, 2018. But as the deadline approached, several federal courts blocked the administration from ending the program for Dreamers who already had DACA status. So even as the March 5th deadline has passed, the Trump administration is currently still required by the federal courts to allow DACA renewals, but not to accept new applications.
However, this is not a permanent solution, and a federal court could allow Trump to terminate the program in the future. As a result, Dreamers are advised not to become complacent and leave renewals until the last moment….since the program could be terminated at any time.
Question: I am a resident of the U.S. but I did not file for my daughter earlier because I wanted her to finish her high school first before immigrating her to the US. She is age 19 and finally graduated, visiting with me here on vacation. My question is about whether i can sponsor her now and she can stay here with me while we are waiting for her process? I heard a lot of things about that, but it is still confusing to me. I don’t want to do anything wrong that will hurt her immigration chances. Thanks for your advice.
Answer: The issue of meeting the financial requirements does not apply to the first step in the immigration process for your children. Once the family petition is filed by a U.S. Resident for adult, single children, it must be processed and approved by the USCIS, then the case transferred to the National Visa Center to hold, waiting for an Immigrant Visa to be available. For nationals of most countries (except, Mexico and Philippines) for single adult children in the F2B Family Immigration category, the waiting time is about 6 years. No financial documents are required to be submitted until a visa becomes available down the road. At the time the final processing begins, if the U.S. Citizen’s income does not meet the minimum requirements, they can simply get a Joint-Sponsor whose income does qualify to file an Affidavit of Support. So at this time, don’t worry about the Affidavit of Support issues, its best to file the applications for your children quickly to get them a place in the Immigrant Visa line. The longer you wait, the longer the line becomes. I hope this is helpful to you.
Understanding Conditional Two Year Residency For Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Did you know that a foreign spouse of U.S. Citizen who has been married for less than two years at the time of obtaining residency, only receives a two-year Conditional Resident status?
Its true. Unlike regular U.S. Residents who obtain a Green Card through family members, employment or other means, husbands and wives of U.S. Citizens who got married less than two years prior to U.S. Residency approval, only receive a two-year Green Card, rather than the full 10 year Permanent Residency. In order to qualify for removal, the foreign and U.S. Citizen spouses must file a request for removal of the conditional status within the 90 day period prior to the conditional Green Card expiration.
In May 2019, Trump issued a presidential memorandum to enforce a long standing rule requiring sponsors who sign Affidavits of Support to be responsible for reimbursing the government for any public assistance received by an immigrant.
This essentially requires sponsors to reimburse government for public benefits used by the immigrant(s) they are sponsoring. The memo, called “Memorandum on Enforcing the Legal Responsibilities of Sponsors of Aliens” seeks to enforce an existing federal law, (part of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and Welfare Reform laws) which have been on the books for 23 years, but never really been enforced.
The USCIS announced that beginning July 1st, residents (green card holders) will no longer be allowed to file Form I-407/ Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, to relinquish (give up) residency status at international field offices by mail or in person. Starting today, form I-407 will only be accepted by mail at the following address:
USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: I-407 unit
124 Leroy Road
PO Box 567
Williston, VT 05495
ISCIS No Longer Accepting Green Card
Relinquishment Requests Abroad
In a recent escalation of intimidation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have been issuing fine notices to immigrants who were ordered deported, but failed to leave the U.S. as ordered. Many such notices reflect fines in the six figure for charges of $799 per day for failure to leave the U.S..
According to ICE, immigrants who fail to voluntarily depart the U.S. are subject to a $3,000 fine, unless an immigration judge sets a different amount.
ICE Issues Fines Of $799 Per Day To Deportees Who Fail To Leave The U.S.
The law provides that sponsors who sign an affidavit of support accept legal responsibility for the sponsored immigrant(s) until they become U.S. citizens or are credited with 40 quarters of work (10 years), whichever is sooner. This responsibility does not mean actual financial support of the immigrant, but instead responsibility to ensure that if the immigrant accepts public assistance within that period, the sponsor is liable to reimburse the government for the cost of the assistance.
The USCIS recently began implementing the new policy at local field offices, now requiring sponsors to sign a new affidavit, which lists the financial responsibilities required for sponsoring an immigrant and acknowledging their responsibility to reimburse the government for any public benefits utilized by the immigrant in violation of the law. For instance, if the immigrant being sponsored were to receive food stamps or other “means tested” benefits before becoming a citizen or working for ten years, the sponsor would be responsible to reimburse the government for the value of the benefits provided. The Trump memo authorized the creation of a program the government will utilize in the future to recover funds from sponsors when an immigrant they have sponsored receives any kind of public assistance. Likely withholding tax refunds and other government benefits from sponsors until reimbursement is receive in full.
However, those who do not comply with a final order of deportation from an immigration judge are subject to a fine of no more than $799 per day for every day they remain in the U.S..
Under this new policy, some immigrants have received fine notices from ICE totaling nearly half a million dollars. For instance in Ohio, immigrant Edith Espinal, still in the midst of fighting a deportation order after having lived in the U.S. for more than twenty years, received a notice from ICE that she was being billed for fines totaling $497,777. Another immigrant in Texas, Hilda Ramirez Mendez reportedly received an ICE notice that she would be fined $303,620 and an immigrant in Virginia, Maria Chavalan received notice that she would be fined $214,132, to name just a few.
ICE agency spokeswoman Carol Danko, responded to criticism of this new tactic “ICE is committed to using various enforcement methods — including arrest, detention, technological monitoring and financial penalties — to enforce U.S. immigration law and maintain the integrity of legal orders issued by judges,” .
Until now, U.S. Residents who wanted to surrender residency status and give up their green card so that they could reside permanently abroad could file the application in person at the U.S. Consulate abroad and request a U.S. tourist visa, in exchange for filing form I-407 and giving up their U.S. residency. Apparently, now, that may no longer be possible. Residents hoping to exchange residency for tourist visas may now be required to file form I-407, obtain approval, then present the relinquishment approval to the consular officer in order to obtain a U.S. tourist visa.
Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status
Answer: Unfortunately no, under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, certain qualifying foreign-born children automatically acquire U.S. Citizenship from a parent, simultaneous with their grant of U.S. Residency (a Green Card). To qualify, a child has to have at least one biological U. S. Citizen parent (by birth or naturalization), be under 18 years of age, be a U.S. Resident and residing with the U.S. Citizen parent. Essentially, what this means is that Immigrant children in the U.S. and abroad, who are under age 18 and approved for Residency through a U.S. Citizen Parent, automatically become U.S. Citizens and can immediately apply for a U.S. Passport. However, the law does not extend to Immigrant children when the sponsoring U.S. Citizen is a step-parent, not biological parent, unless the child was legally adopted. So in your case, your stepson does not automatically become a U.S. Citizen through you, but will once his father naturalizes, as long as he is still under age 18 at that time. I hope this was helpful to you
Question: I am a US citizen by birth and filed for my husband and stepson currently age 14 (his son by an earlier marriage) in 2017 and they got their green cards last year. I just came across articles on the internet saying that children who are under age 18 who get a green card automatically become a US citizen if one of the parents is a citizen. So I am wondering if I can just apply for my stepson’s US passport? I hope you can tell us if this is possible or not.
Once the foreign spouse receives Permanently Residency, he or she can apply for early Naturalization once they have been a Resident for at least 2 years and 9 months.
In order to qualify for removal of the conditional status, a couple must continue to not only be married, but to live together as spouses (which includes same-sex spouses). The removal of condition request must be submitted with extensive supporting documentary evidence that the couple has and continues to live together in a real marriage. One of the biggest misconceptions that conditional residents have is the belief that as long as they remain “married” to the U.S. Citizen spouse, but not actually living together, they will still qualify resulting in tragic consequences which often leads to loss of Residency and in some instances, deportation.
Conditional Residents can file a removal request without the U.S. Citizen spouse in cases where the couple has divorced, where there is documented domestic violence and when a spouse is widowed. However, the burden of proof is on the conditional resident spouse to provide the USCIS with extensive evidence that prior to the divorce, domestic violence or death of the U.S. Citizen, the couple were living together in a real marriage.
You can get free information about removing conditions on your Green Card,
by calling our office at: 954-382-5378
This means that DACA renewals should be filed as early as possible, meaning 150 days before the work authorization card expires. USCIS processing of DACA renewals can be slow and those who fail to file early renewals can find themselves with expired work permits, waiting for renewal. This can mean loss of a job and driver’s license in some states
Recommendations For Renewing DA Status:
The DACA renewal Fee is $495, which includes both renewed DA status and Work Authorization. Applicants who are over age 31 are still eligible, as long as they were under age 31 when the policy became effective on June 15, 2012 and currently hold DACA status.
Be sure to file your renewal no earlier or later than 150 days from the date your current card expires. If you are representing yourself, fully complete the DACA renewal forms and write “Renewal Request” in large letters on the bottom of each form.
Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization