Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
POSTING DATE: August 27, 2018
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2018
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: I got my green card in 2011 and filed for my divorced daughter and my granddaughter who is now 18 years old. We got notification from immigration that it’s now time for them to immigrate, but my daughter has a good job and boyfriend and decided she does not want to move here anymore. My granddaughter is devastated and so am I. My question is this, can I just sponsor my granddaughter alone to come even though her mother does not want to? Can you help?
Answer: There is nothing you can do to sponsor your granddaughter separately, since there is no immigration category which allows that. She can only immigrate as a dependent of your daughter. So the best option is for us to keep the case for your daughter (which includes your granddaughter) going forward. To do that , the National Visa Center fees will need to be paid for both your daughter and granddaughter ($445 plus $325) and we will prepare and forward the required financial affidavit and other documents to the NVC to complete case processing. Several months later the immigrant visa interview will be scheduled at the U.S. Consulate. Both your daughter and granddaughter will attend and once approved, will receive the immigrant visas via courier and then the final immigrant visa fee of $220 per person will need to be paid before they enter the U.S.. Once they enter the U.S., the immigration officer at the airport will issue them their residency stamps. Your daughter can then leave the U.S. and return home. She does not need to reside here, only to come to the U.S. on the immigrant visa so your granddaughter can obtain her residency as well. The USCIS will send the actual green cards in the mail within 30-90+ days. At some point in the future, your daughter can surrender her green card at the U.S. Consulate and request a U.S. tourist visa in return. See you soon.
***WARNING*** Scams Targeting Immigrants On the Rise
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
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How Do I Know If I Need To File An Affidavit of Support?
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.
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.
Affidavits of Support – What are they and who needs them?
In order to sponsor a family member to immigrate to the U.S. to become a Resident (receive a Green Card), all U.S. citizens and Residents must prove that they have the ability to support their foreign relative financially for a period of years.
This is required to show the U.S. government that the family member immigrating is not someone likely to immigrate to the U.S. then go collect government assistance (often called "welfare").
Trump’s Immigration Czar Is Publicaly Rebuked
By His Family For His War Against Immigrants
The Trump administration’s war against immigrants began the day he took office, soon thereafter issuing the 2017 Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which has been used to terrorize and punish innocent immigrants in every segment of society. Since that time, Trump’s Draconian “extreme immigration enforcement” measures have had the desired effect of separating families and producing untold fear and anxiety in immigrant communities across the nation.
But what is not commonly known is that while he is responsible for the chaos and mayhem caused by the policies, Trump himself did not actually devise the strategic campaign the administration is waging against immigrants himself, instead, he appointed senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller to do it for him.
Scammers are always looking for new ways to cheat unsuspecting victims, particularly vulnerable immigrants. This includes phone calls and email scams perpetrated by criminals who are impersonating immigration, IRS, FBI or other U.S. officials. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warns that a new scheme involves calls from what appears to be a DHS, USCIS or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer demanding that payment for an immigration issue involving a family member be wire or electronically transferred to a bank account provided by the caller or that gift cards be purchased and sent to the caller.
Similar calls are made requesting payment for tax debts owed. The common theme involves threats of arrest or deportation if the victim fails to comply with the demand.
Question: My husband and I got married in early 2017 and he sponsored me for my immigration papers. At our interview last week, the officer told us that he was only giving me a 2 year green card and we had to sign a paper saying we understand that. But really we do not understand and are confused and upset about this. We are wondering if we did something wrong and does this happen to everyone or just us? Thanks for your advice.
Answer: Yes, I know it can seem confusing, but it’s not something you did wrong, it’s just the law. Foreign spouses of U.S. Citizens who has been married for less than two years at the time of their residency interview, only receive a two-year Conditional Resident status, rather than the full 10 year Permanent Residency that other U.S. Residents who obtain a Green Card through family members, employment or other means receive. This is meant to prevent marriage immigration fraud. Under the regulations, the foreign and U.S. Citizen spouses must file a joint form to request removal of the conditional status (Form I-751) within the 90 day period prior to the conditional Green Card expiration. In order to qualify for removal of the conditional status, a couple must continue not only to be married, but also to live together as a husband and wife. 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. Conditional Residents can file a removal request without the U.S. Citizen spouse in cases where the couple has divorced, or where there is documented domestic violence, or 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.
These phone scams often include emails and "robo-calls" making "urgent" callback requests, which appear to come from U.S. government agencies, but DO NOT BE FOOLED!
IRS email scams often have a link, directing the victim to “download your record of account transcript.”, then request personal information, such as your date of birth, place of birth, social security number, bank account or credit card numbers, which criminals later use to steal identities and even money from the victim’s bank account.
It’s important for immigrants to safeguard themselves and their families from criminals. No U.S. government official or agency will ever call or email an individual requesting payment of any kind. Genuine requests for taxes or fees are sent by a governmental department and payments are made directly to U.S. government agencies. Officials do not issue threats or demands, that is like a “red flag” to victims that the call is from a scammer. U.S. agencies advise those who receive such calls to hang up.
The Trump administration’s war against immigrants began the day he took office, soon thereafter issuing the 2017 Executive Order, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which has been used to terrorize and punish innocent immigrants in every segment of society. Since that time, Trump’s Draconian “extreme immigration enforcement” measures have had the desired effect of separating families and producing untold fear and anxiety in immigrant communities across the nation. But what is not commonly known is that while he is responsible for the chaos and mayhem caused by the policies, Trump himself did not actually devise the strategic campaign the administration is waging against immigrants, instead, he appointed senior policy advisor, Stephen Miller to do it for him.
From the beginning, Miller has taken on that job with relish, acting as the iron hand behind Trump’s racist anti-immigrant agenda, gleefully designing ever more diabolical policies against both legal and illegal immigrants alike. He was the chief architect of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, travel ban, plans to terminate family “Chain Migration” and the recent family separation policy, ripping children from their parents arms.
So who is this infamous character? Well, as it turns out, Miller himself is Jewish and a direct product of family sponsored “chain migration”, whose own family (like Trumps) immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900’s. In an effort to escape anti-Jewish persecution in Belarus, his family fled the country arriving in America, the cherished land of immigrants. His poor Yiddish speaking family, were able to take advantage of this land of opportunity, worked hard, learned English and lived the American Dream. That was until Stephan Miller came along putting the family history to shame. As the product of a welcoming America, which provided his own family with the opportunity to reap the rewards of our great land of opportunity, Miller has shown such hypocrisy by spitting on the very creed that our nation was built on, land of immigrants and home of the free…
In response, even his own family members are perplexed and mortified at his monstrous actions. His uncle David Glosser was so outraged that he recently wrote an op-ed in Politico, publically rebuking his nephew in an article entitled: “Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle. If my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.” Glosser went on to recount Miller’s own family “Chain Migration” history and poverty, finding refuge in America and turning $8 into a family fortune. He describes how he has watched with “dismay and increasing horror” as his nephew has become “the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country.”
We live in such perilous times now, when it seems nothing is sacred, not even the bonds between innocent babies and their immigrant parents. There is apparently no end to the double standards being set by a current administration whose leaders are direct beneficiaries of family immigration and who would not exist here, were it not for the welcoming policies of America, towards their poor, needy immigrant families. We can only hope that this period in our history will end soon and be a lesson that voting (and its absence) matters and has real consequences which threaten our nation as a whole. The midterm elections are coming soon, so tell your U.S. Citizen family members to get out and vote!
USCIS Sends Automatic 18 Month Residency Extension Notices
To Removal of Conditions Applicants
The USCIS recently began issuing updated notices to Removal of Conditions applicants (form I-751) that Residency status has automatically been extended from the current 12 months, to 18 months. The notices come in response to every increasing USCIS processing times for these type immigration cases, which can currently take in excess of two years. Applicants’ Residency status is extended for 18 months past their Green Card expiration date, not 18 months from the notice date. For instance, if an applicant’s Green Card expired on June 1, 2017, the notice will extend Residency status until December 1, 2018.
Residents whose cases are not decided by that date, can make an Infopass appointment at the local USCIS office and request an additional Residency extension for an additional year. To request the extension, applicants need to bring the USCIS Residency extension notice (called I-797 Notice of Action), along with their expired Green Card and Passport.
Question: I want to apply for naturalization to get my citizenship and the form asks about all my trips in the past 5 years. The problem is that I have to travel a lot for business, so I have lots of trips and stamps on my passport pages. Some are just impossible to read because they put stamps on top of other stamps. What will happen if I miss some dates? I read that immigration is cracking down on citizenship fraud and I’m afraid that I could get into trouble for putting the wrong dates. Can you please help me with that?
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.
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.
The Affidavit is a legally binding promise by the Sponsor that they will take financial responsibility if the need arises so that their relative will not collect government assistance and if that does occur, the Sponsor will be responsible to reimburse any government agencies from which their immigrant family received financial assistance.
The Affidavits of Support must always be filed by the U.S. citizen or Resident for their immigrating family member(s), even if they do not meet the minimum financial guidelines. In such cases, a Joint-Sponsor who does meet the financial requirements can provide an additional Affidavits of Support and will be bound by the same obligations. Joint-Sponsors must be either a Resident or U.S. Citizen, but are not required to be a family member. The sponsor’s obligation lasts until the immigrant either becomes a U.S. citizen, has earned 40 work quarters credited toward Social Security (about ten years of work), dies, or permanently leaves the United States. If the immigrant has already been living in the U.S. and worked legally, earning work credits before applying for the green card, those count toward the 40.
Minor Children (under age 18) of U.S. Citizens who automatically obtain U.S. Citizen upon being granted Residency are not required to have an Affidavit filed on their behalf, but must file a waiver form instead.