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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: August 21,  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 have been dating an American citizen for several years, and recently we got married. I came to America as a tourist five years ago and stayed because I got a good job and that’s how I met my husband. I have a son from a previous marriage who is 19, living in Jamaica with my mom. My question is, can my husband sponsor both me and my son together for Residency?
Justice Department Supports Reducing Family Immigration 
Through RAISE Act
Answer: Your Husband can sponsor you, but unfortunately not your son. Immigration regulations require that the marriage between the foreign national spouse and U.S. Citizen or Resident spouse takes place before the stepchild reaches age 18, in order for the child to be sponsored by the U.S. Citizen. However, once you obtain your residency in about 6-8 months, you can sponsor your son. But, the waiting line is about 1 ½ years for a minor child of a Resident (F2A Immigration Category), so unfortunately, once your son reaches age 21, he goes into an immigration line (F2B Immigration Category for adult single children of Residents) which is 7-8 years long. It’s a harsh immigration law which is inflexible and often causes much suffering when children are not able to immigrate to the U.S. along with parents. Preplanning is the key to avoiding these situations. Immigrants with minor children under age 18 should carefully consider the above when making marriage plans, so that the marriage occurs BEFORE the child reaches age 18. Let me know if you would like me to handle your Residency case. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
National Visa Center Accepts Copies of Documents 
For Consular Processing

Since November 2014 National Visa Center (NVC) policy no longer requires applicants to provide original documents as part of its consular processing procedures. Only copies of original Civil Documents are required to be provided. Recently, the NVC also began accepting copies of Affidavits of Supports, rather than requiring originals. Immigrating family members are required to take original documents with them to their consular appointments. 
Immigration How To: 
How Do I Pay My Naturalization Application Fee With A Credit Card?
Now that the USCIS allows Residents to pay the Naturalization Application Filing Fees with a credit card, customers can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and gift cards with the Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover logos to pay the fee. However, payment for the entire $725 application fee must be paid with one card and cannot be paid using multiple cards. 

Make sure and check your credit card balance before filing your application to make sure that you have enough credit or funds in the account, since the USCIS will reject any Naturalization applications paid using a credit card, if the payment is declined. 
As part of the Trump Administration’s attack on the legal family immigration system, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a statement on behalf of the U.S. Justice Department in support of moving the U.S. from a family-based immigrations system to one based instead upon merit. 

In his statement, Sessions applauded the elimination of most family immigration in exchange for attracting more deserving immigrants through a merit based system:
Protesters gathered in front of the Whitehouse last week calling on trump to keep DACA, amid heightened fears that Trump will terminate the DACA Dreamers program next month. 

Some 750,000 or more current Dreamers could lose their right to extend their legal protection, work permits and Driver’s Licenses, should Trump decide to terminate the program under threats from ten Republican held states led by Texas, which have demanded that the DACA program be phased out by September 5, 2017.
Protesters March To The Whitehouse Calling On Trump To Keep DACA
“The American people deserve a lawful immigration system that promotes our national interest. The RAISE Act would give us a more merit-based immigration system that admits the best and the brightest around the world while making it harder for people to come here illegally. The bill would end programs known to be rife with fraud and abuse and finally improve the vetting process, making our country--and working-class wages--much safer and stronger." 
As the deadline looms, supporters of the program held a rally across from the Whitehouse, calling on Trump to “have a heart” and keep DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Dozens of protesters were arrested, including Democratic Congressman Luis Guiterrez who participated in a sit-in outside the White House grounds. Supporters of the program say these kids are innocent victims and should be given legal status, Residency and a path to Citizenship. Stay tuned…
Question: I read where you said that immigration family sponsorship might be cancelled soon. I just got my citizenship and was planning to have you office file for my mom to bring her here from Venezuela. I think there is a delay in processing, so it might take her a year to get here. So I want to know if they cancel the program will that cancel my mom’s immigration case?
Answer: That is a great question and something many family members are worried about right now. It is almost certain that any family immigration petition which is now pending for approval or which has been approved and the foreign relative is simply waiting for a visa to become available in order to immigrate, will remain valid. If the RAISE Act passes, it would be highly unusual that it could be applied retroactively, and if the Trump Administration tries to do so, such a move would likely be challenged in the Federal courts. So don’t worry, once your mom’s Immigration case is filed, she will likely continue processing normally for her Immigrant Visa, whether or not the law is passed. We can take care of preparing and filing your mom’s Residency case once you are ready to start. 
As background, in most immigration cases for family members living abroad, the NVC is responsible for preparing the case file for the U.S. Consulate abroad. To accomplish this, the NVC requests documentation and information from both the sponsoring U.S. Citizen or, Resident and their Immigrant family members abroad which are required by the U.S. Consulate abroad for Immigrant Visa issuance. Sponsoring U.S. Citizens and Residents are required to submit an Affidavit of Support and financial documentation to prove financial eligibility and immigrating family members are required to provide original photos, their Passport Biographic page, Civil Documents which include Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce decree(s), Military, Criminal records and for those age 16 and older, a Police certificate. 

Until this change in policy, all documents were required to be provided in the “original” or “certified” copy (certified by the governmental agency responsible for issuing the document), not just notarized by a Notary. Since 2014, copies are provided to the NVC and originals to the Consular officer during the interview and recently copies of Affidavits of support as well. It is vitally important that family members abroad be reminded to take the original documents with them to their consular appointment. Immigrants appearing at their interviews without the required originals will not be issued visas until they are provided, which could significantly delay their visa issuance.
Finally, be sure to fully complete Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction, sign and place on top of your Naturalization application package. 

Learn more about paying Naturalization Fees using a Credit Card:

​USCIS Instructions on paying Naturalization fees by credit card