Tell a friend about this page

Learn More About:

Add this page to your favorites.

Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2021 
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 If I Need To Contact Social Security Once I Get My Citizenship?
Questions About Immigration? We have the answers!
We Are Here To Help, Call us now for a FREE consultation (954) 382-5378
Democrats Include Immigration Legalization 
In This Year’s Budget Proposal

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
 POSTING DATE:  August 16, 2021
Question: I came here to the us with my husband in 2000 on a tourist visa and we inadvertently overstayed. We had filed to request an extension of our visa, but by the time we got the immigration paper, the time had already expired. In jan 2001 our son was born here in the U.S. and he will turn 21 this coming jan. He plans to file for our green cards. The problem is that we have moved quite a few times during the past years and find that we are unable to locate the immigration card that we got when we went through immigration at the airport in 2000. I have read your column many times where you say we need that card or we cant get our green cards. I called your office and have an appointment to talk to you next week, but have a question about the immigration card. If we cant find it, will you still be able to file for our green cards once the time comes next year? If not, what other options do we have? 
Add this page to your favorites.
American Immigration 
Law Center
2645 Executive Park Drive 
Suite 137
Weston, Florida 33331
As part of his campaign promises, Biden vowed to put forth measures to permanently protect Dreamers eligible under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as providing a path to citizenship and to provide legal status to millions of immigrants living in the U.S.. 

However, following the election, with such a slim majority in Congress, it has been difficult for the Democrats to pass any legislation without Republican support. Any proposed amnesty legislation would normally need to pass not only the Democratically controlled House of Representative, but also the Senate, which has rules requiring 60 votes to pass any measure (called the filibuster rule). 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Use The Online USCIS Filing Fees Calculator To Help You Determine 
The Correct Fee So Your Case Is Not Rejected! 

Filing immigration applications with the incorrect filing fee is the leading cause of case rejections by the USCIS. This can be inconvenient and sometimes very serious for certain applications which have filing deadlines. 

As a result, the USCIS has an Online Fee Calculator to assist customers in calculating the correct fee amounts to include when filing their forms.
Update Your Social Security Immigration Records Once You Become a U.S. Citizen

Immigrants often receive a Social Security Card for many reasons, for instance while working on OPT after college graduation, while working on a work visa such as an H-1B, etc. However, those types of Social Security cards require USCIS authorization in order to work. Therefore, once an immigrant becomes a U.S. Resident, Social Security Administration Records need to be updated so that the Social Security records and card allow unrestricted employment, without the need for USCIS authorization. 
Answer: Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is a very common problem. Immigration regulations require that an immigrant prove that he or she entered the U.S. legally. The card you are referring to is technically called an I-94 “Arrival/Departure” card which used to be issued by Immigration officers to every visitor who entered the U.S. up until 2013. Without providing the USCIS a copy of the card, to prove that you entered the U.S. legally, the USCIS will deny your residency case, even when you provide other evidence of entry, such as a copy of the entry stamp in your passport. These days, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) no longer issues I-94 cards at the border and instead, allows Traveler’s to access and download I-94 printouts for entries within the past several years from their website, but it does not provide records that go back far enough to access your I-94. If you have a copy of your old I-94 we can use that, instead of the actual card. Otherwise, we will simply apply for your I-94 replacement and either receive it before we file for your residency in January 2022, or use the receipt from that case in place of your I-94. The USCIS will then process your case and we will provide you with your I-94 replacement card to submit to the USCIS Officer at your residency interview. See you next week.
Immigrants Can Now Apply For A Social Security Card 
When Applying For Residency
The USCIS recently announced that effective August 12, 2021, medical examination and vaccination records required for residency cases will temporarily be extended from two years to four years. This change is due to processing delays which have caused medical reports to expire due to long USCIS processing times.

 As such, medical reports (form I-693) in sealed envelopes will be considered to be valid as long as:
The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-       485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature
A decision on the applicant’s Form I-485 is issued on or before September 30, 2021
USCIS Temporarily Extends The Validity Period of Medical Reports
The USCIS has made some significant improvements in streamlining processes and procedures, including issuing many work permits for two years instead of one and allowing students to apply for work permits online, among many other changes. In one of the most recent policy enhancements, the USCIS is simplifying the process for residency applicants to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement cards. Up to now, residency applicants who wanted to obtain a social security card were required to file an application for work authorization during the process and wait for the work permit to be issued and social security card to arrive around the same time. 
Since there are only 50 Democrats in the Senate, such a measure would need 10 Republican votes, which is an impossibility. But, under Congressional rules, one of the few types of legislation which does not require 60 votes are bills that go through the budget reconciliation process. The yearly budget gets proposed and passed each year, which is supposed to be signed into law by the President by October 1st, the start of the government’s new fiscal year. This year, the Democrats have added very ambitious measures which would not only protect Dreamers under DACA, but also drastically reform the current immigration system and potentially provide legal immigration status (often called “amnesty”), work permit and later green cards to a large portion of some 12 million immigrants in America. The first priority would be Dreamers, farmworkers, essential workers and those on TPS (Temporary Protected Status), however the hope is that this bill will legalize all immigrants in the U.S. with a clean criminal record.

What are the Democratic proposals in the Budget Bill?

The Democratic bill includes over $100 billion dollars in funding for immigration to provide "lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants" and "investments in smart and effective border security measures.". In support of the bill, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee which created the framework, Senator Bernie Sanders wrote of the proposal: "We will bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those who courageously kept our economy running in the middle of a deadly pandemic."  

Who will it benefit?

The proposal is short on details, but seeks to legalize all immigrants "qualified" for legal status, which Democrats generally define as any immigrant currently inside the U.S. who does not have any serious criminal background have an expansive rather than a restrictive view of legalization for the undocumented. The hope of course is that all immigrants in the U.S. will be included, however, at a minimum, it would include Dreamers eligible under DACA to provide for legal status, green cards and citizenship and perhaps even “essential workers”, which is yet to be defined but may include millions of immigrants involved in our nation’s food supply chain, farmworkers, health care providers, and those working in hospitals, nursing homes, and labs.

What are the chances of passage?

Experts predict a tough road ahead, but seem confident that the bill could likely include protections for Dreamers at a minimum. Whether that would include a pathway to citizenship is uncertain and would be determined on a technical basis. The harder path is that for other immigrants. Many believe the definition of “essential workers” will be key to inclusion and that is where the fight will be. What exactly is an “essential worker”, for now, it is anyone's guess. The Congress is on August recess (vacation) and will return in early September to begin the budget battle. Who will win? Stay tuned…

Reconciliation and Immigration: What You Need to Know 
Pelosi, Biden push immigration reform in $3.5T spending bill 
The USCIS is also now encouraging immigrants to include medical examination reports with applications filed to adjust status (form I-485), to prevent delays caused by having to issue a request for evidence (RFE) for the I-693. The USCIS may extend the temporary validity of medical reports past September 30th in the coming months.

USCIS Medical Report Validity Extension 
Under the new policy, the USCIS will electronically transmit the residency applicant’s data to the Social Security Administration, which will then automatically assign each immigrant an SSN and card, or issue a replacement card, as appropriate. There will be no additional fee for this service. To take advantage of this new option, applicants must use the new updated residency form I-485 with the edition date of 03/29/21. However, applicants should still be able to apply for a SSN by using form I-765 application for work authorization in order to obtain a SSN earlier, once the work permit is issued. 

USCIS Announcement
Registration Periods Extended for Venezuela, Burma And Syria TPS
The Department of Homeland Security has extended the registration periods for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela, Burma, Syria from 180 days to 18 months for initial (new) applicants for TPS. Under this extension, nationals from these countries may submit initial TPS and work authorization request applications at any time during the 18-month designation or redesignation periods for these three countries. The 18-month registration period for initial applications under the TPS designation of Venezuela now runs through Sept. 9, 2022, Sept. 30, 2022 for Syria and Nov. 25, 2022 for Burma. 

USCIS Temporary Protected Status | USCIS
Question: I got my green card several years ago through my wife and now I will be swearing in for my American citizenship next Friday. I want to bring my 15 year old daughter to live with us in America. I read where children under 18 automatically get American citizenship when a parent is a citizen. Since I will be a citizen next week how do I automatically get my daughter her American citizenship? How does that work exactly?
Answer: 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 or coming to live 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, in order to obtain automatic U.S. citizenship, a foreign child must first obtain residency. To do that, you must sponsor your daughter for her residency, then once she is approved, she also obtains her automatic U.S. citizenship. Let me know if you would like me to handle your daughter’s residency case.
Question: I filed for my 18 yr old son in 2019 and he got approved in February of this year. I filed all the documents the national visa center requested but we are still waiting for his interview. They have sent me two letters so far, one last year, then another one recently saying his case is complete and we just have to wait. I keep calling the center but they always say that they don’t handle the appointments at the embassy and I have to wait until I get notification by the embassy. I am wondering how much longer we need to wait! I wanted to apply for my son to go to college in the winter session here in florida but now with all the delays I don’t know what to do anymore. Is there anything you can do to speed this up? 
Answer: Unfortunately, no, due to long delays caused by covid-19, most U.S. Consulates worldwide are seriously backlogged on scheduling immigrant visa consular appointments. Many consulates were virtually closed for much of 2020, so all those cases which were cancelled need to be rescheduled, then the cases which should have been scheduled last year are also in the queue, as are the new cases which are ready for interviews each month like that for your son. At present there are still hundreds of thousands of cases waiting in line for immigrant visa appointments at U.S. Consular posts around the world. I would give it until the end of the year, if nothing by then, contact your congressional representative to see if they can assist.
The Online Fee Calculator asks users to select a form, or combination of forms, and then to answer a series of questions. The tool then calculates the correct fee amount that the filer must submit, based upon his or her answers and can be accessed by both computer and mobile devices. 

Check out the USCIS Online Fee Calculator

Similarly, once a U.S. Resident Naturalizes and becomes a U.S. Citizen, Social Security records need to be updated to reflect the new Citizenship in order to later be eligible for certain Social Security benefits.

Updating Your Immigration Status In Social Security Administration Records 

To change your records, Complete Form SS-5. You can download this online or get one in any SSA offices and go to your nearest Social Security office. Take your current Social Security card, original Naturalization Certificate, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. Due to Covid-19, you need to make an appointment, which can be very difficult to get. So once the pandemic has subsided, make it a priority to get it done.

The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions.