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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 am a Naturalized U.S. Citizen since 2011. Once I got my citizenship, I filed for my 30 year old son in Colombia and got the immigration approval. But my son just got married to his long time fiancée and now she is having a baby. My question is whether the case I filed for my son is still valid or not now that he is married. Do I have to start all over again and file a new application with immigration to include his wife and the child? Please give me your advice so I can get started right away so his immigration case won’t be delayed. Thank you.
Answer: Not to worry, since you were a U.S. Citizen when your son got married, his approved I-130 immigrant visa petition remains valid. When you filed the I-130 to sponsor your adult single son, his case was in the F1 category for unmarried sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens (waiting time approx 8 yrs). Now that he is married, his eligibility will simply move from the F1 to the F3 category for married sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens, which includes spouses & minor children under age 21 (waiting time approx 11-12 yrs). In contrast, if you had been a U.S. Resident when your son got married, that would have invalidated the I-130 petition and you would have needed to file a new petition once you became a U.S. Citizen. The reason for this is that under immigration regulations, there is no immigration category for married sons or daughters of U.S. Residents. 

Yes, now it will take him much longer to immigrate, but, at least his wife and child can immigrate along with him. The National Visa Center (NVC), the government agency which takes care of preparing cases for consular processing, is not aware that your son is now married. Therefore, in order to convert from the F1 to the F3 category, you can call the NVC at: (603) 334-0700, then send a copy of your son’s marriage certificate, birth certificate for his wife and copy of your grandchild’s birth certificate to: National Visa Center, Attn: DR, 31 Rochester Ave. Suite 100, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2914 with a letter containing the NVC case number, your name/ birth date and the same for your son. You can always visit the State Department's Visa Bulletin website, to see the current Visa Priority Dates.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Overview of Spousal & Fiance Visas
There are several options for a U.S. Citizen to obtain U.S. Residency for a foreign spouse, here is a rundown of the options available:

Adjustment of Status in the U.S.: If the foreign spouse has a U.S. tourist visa or is already in the U.S. (having entered legally), the couple can marry and file the foreign spouse’s adjustment of status case inside the U.S. to obtain Residency (Green Card). After filing for adjustment of status, the foreign national spouse receives his or her Work Permit within about 90 days and about 6 -8 months for the Residency interview and U.S. residency status. 
You can learn more about sponsoring Family members by visiting our website at:  
or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Safeguarding Your Vital Immigration Documents 
Now that hurricane season is upon us, it’s a good time to remind readers about taking steps to safeguard your Immigration-related documentation in case of potential loss due to natural disasters such as hurricanes and water damage.

1) Be sure that you always make a copy of the entire immigration petition and supporting documentation BEFORE sending to the USCIS. 

2) Make copies of all receipts, notices and correspondence to and from the USCIS. 

3) Make copies of original Birth, Marriage & Citizenship Certificates, Divorce Decrees, Green Cards, Passports and I-94 cards. Originals should be kept safely together in a file and enclosed in a zip-lock bag or other waterproof container or safety deposit box at your local bank. 
When the foreign spouse does not have a U.S. Visa, there are only several options available:

Spousal Visa (Consular processing): In these cases, the couple gets married abroad and the U.S, Citizen files a spousal visa, which enables the foreign spouse to process through the Consulate abroad, which takes about 8 months.  

Fiance Visa (K-1): Used to bring the Fiance to the U.S in order to get married and file for Residency. In years past, the K-1 Fiance visa was the quickest way to bring a Fiance to the U.S. to avoid a long separation. However, currently, the K-1 visa can take nearly as long as spousal visa processing, so in many cases, it just as fast for the U.S. Citizen and foreign fiance to marry abroad and go through spousal visa Consular processing. If the couple does opt to go the K-1 route, it takes about 7-8 months for visa issuance through the Consulate. Once the visa is stamped in the foreign Fiance's passport, and entry is made into the U.S., he or she must marry the U.S. citizen sponsor and file for Adjustment of Status (“Green Card”) within 90 days of entry into the U.S.. After filing for adjustment of status, the foreign national spouse receives his or her Work and Travel Permit within about 90 days and about 6 -8 months for the Residency interview and U.S. residency status (Green Card). Importantly, the Fiance visa is one of only a few types of visas in which the visa holder CANNOT change to another visa category, while inside the U.S.. The reason for this is that the Immigration wants to prevent individuals from using the Fiance visa to enter the U.S. with the intent to change to another type of visa, instead of for marriage, as it is intended. Therefore, once a foreign national is inside the U.S., if he or she does not marry the U.S. citizen within the 90 day period, he or she is in illegal status. K-1 visa holders can ONLY obtain a Green Card by marrying the U.S. citizen who sponsored them for the Fiance visa. If they marry any other U.S. citizen and apply for a Green Card, they will be denied.
4) As an Immigrant, you should maintain your original immigration documents (and copies) until you become a U.S. Citizen (and even beyond), since you never know when you will need them. 
You can learn more about sponsoring your Fiance or Spouse by visiting our website at:  or by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Expedite Customs Processing At Miami And Other Major U.S. Airports Using Cell Phone App
Under a program implemented by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency at Miami and other major airports, expedites entry and reduces wait times using a new Mobile Option for Customs Declaration, called “Mobile Passport Control (MPC)”.

 This new mobile cell phone application allows U.S. Citizens and Canadians to submit their passport information and customs declaration forms via the smartphone and tablet app prior to CBP inspection. Android and iPhone users can download Mobile Passport for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Immigration How To:
How Do I Print Photos From My Computer For My Immigration Application
Photograph Requirements For Residency Applications
More details about having Passport type photos taken:

Type and Number
Photos must be original printed photos (on special photo paper) taken within the past six months. Scanned, copied, and reprinted photos are not acceptable. They must be in full color and printed in double (two identical shots). You will need to submit both with your I-485 application.

Photos must be exactly 2-inch by 2-inch squares. The head, from the crown to the chin, must fill 1 to 1 3/8 inches of the height of the photo. Eye height from the bottom of the photo must be between 1 1/8 and 1 3/8 inches.

Backgrounds must be completely bare; no patterns, images, or textures. The color should range from bright white to slightly off-white (egg shell). Colored backgrounds are not acceptable.

Subject Appearance
The subject in the photo should be wearing casual clothing (no dress wear) and have his or her head completely bare--no hats, sunglasses, large earrings that overlap the face, scarves, or head bands. If you regularly wear prescription glasses or a hearing aid, wear them in the photo. The only exception to the head gear rule is concerning headdresses of a religious nature, granted they do not cover the face. The full face must be showing, with no exceptions. The subject must look directly at the camera, no side shots or angled views. You can either smile or maintain a neutral face; there are no regulations regarding smiling.

Back of Photo
On the back of each photo you must write your full name and your alien registration number (A-number) using either a pencil or felt pen that does not bleed through the photo.

Good luck!

As part of the Residency process, all green card applicants must submit passport-type photos along with their I-485 applications.  You must follow the photo requirements exactly or the USCIS will send a request for qualifying photos and your application will likely be delayed.

This means you should not generally take your own photos and print out using your own computer printer and instead get Passport type photos  taken professionally, at most Walgreens, CVS, Pak Mail, Mailbox and other such locations.