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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: August 28, 2017
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2017
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: My wife filed for me and we had to do the financial affidavit and attach her tax return. Well, we did that, but we recently received a letter from the immigration saying that she didn’t send in all the pages of her tax return. She checked her return with the copy we sent immigration and everything is there. We are very confused about what to do now, since they are asking for something that we already sent. Thank you.
Eligible DREAMERS Should Apply For DACA Now-
In Case Program Is Terminated
Answer: USCIS requests for additional information are very common in U.S. Residency cases, especially with the financial documents which must be provided to support the I-864 Affidavit of Support. And more often than not, the USCIS request letter is so vague, that it can often be very difficult to determine exactly what the officer is asking for. A good “rule of thumb” to use when you receive such a request like this is to order an official IRS Transcript and W-2 from the IRS online, so that you know you are providing a complete return. Good luck
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Immigration How To:
How Do I Sign Up For USCIS Email or Text Notifications?
The USCIS provides a convenient service to customers who have filed applications by sending email or text notifications once the center receives and accepts an application for processing.
To request an email or text notification, go online to the USCIS website and download and complete form G-1145. Complete a separate form for each form you are sending to the USCIS and attach to the front page of each application.
Top officials met in Washington last week to discuss the fate of the former Obama administration’s DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals) program for Dreamers, as the deadline for a decision next month nears.
Officials won’t comment on their deliberations, but Immigrants’ rights activists are gearing up for a fight to protect DACA eligibility through all available means.
In accordance with Trump’s March 06, 2017 Executive Order “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” , the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced expansion of the “facial recognition” biometric exit technology program to include Washington Dulles International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Government Expands Use of Facial Recognition Technology
To Identify Non-Citizens Leaving U.S.
The deadline on Trumps decision whether to continue or terminate the current DACA program is due to Republican officials in ten states set to battle Trump in the courts in the event he decides to protect DACA Dreamers. With this as the backdrop, most critics do not see Trump having the backbone to defy his own supporters by continuing with a program that he promised them he would terminate on “day one”.
The common understanding is that should the program be terminated next month, future DACA applications for new and extensions of status would be prohibited, while current DACA recipients would be able to retain status and benefits until they expire, but would not be able to renew. This is estimated to affect some 800,000 current DACA holders, as well as some 200,000 more Dreamers who become eligible each year. As a result, many experts are urging all Dreamers eligible to apply for DACA to do so immediately, so that the USCIS will have received their applications before the program has terminated. The understanding is that those who have applied, whether or not yet approved, will still qualify for benefits in the event DACA is cancelled.
This comes as part of its continuing efforts to track the exit of non-Citizens as they leave the U.S., using facial recognition technology.
The technology uses facial recognition to compare the photograph of an individual boarding an international flight with the photograph from the travel document the person provided to the airline through the use of airline manifests to track departures. The CBP also plans to use this technology to obtain more reliable information on non-citizens’ travel histories, and to determine visa overstays, which could be used against immigrants in later immigration cases.
To implement Trump’s April 18 Executive Order “Buy American, Hire American”, the State Department has issued directives to Consular officials to crack down on visa issuance, including those for International Students. In its guidance to consular officers in charge of determining whether an applicant is eligible for an F-1 or other student visa, the focus will more heavily weigh on the issue of the applicant’s “Residence Abroad” requirement, specifically, whether the prospective student can prove that he or she has the current “intent” to return to his or her own country after studies are completed.
Thanks To Trump - Getting A Student Visa Just Became A Lot Harder
This give officers even more discretion to deny visas, based upon the official’s own subjective belief about the applicant’s actual “intent” to return home. Increased denials for student visas could significantly reduce the number of foreign students in the U.S. and have disastrous effects on our country’s university systems. Prospective students should be forewarned to be very careful about their statements to consular officers regarding their intent to return home after their U.S. studies conclude. Officers may use “trick” questions, like, aren’t you planning to work in the U.S. once you graduate? What if you are offered a job in the U.S., will you stay in the U.S. to work? Do you plan on getting a green card in the U.S. after you graduate? Likely the answer should always be no. Applicants must think very carefully about their future plans which should involve completing school, then returning home, before attending their student visa interview. Be able to explain how a U.S. degree will benefit your professional job opportunities in your home country, including what you plan to do when you return home. Good luck.
Question: Hi, I just received my 2 yr Green Card through marriage to my U.S. Citizen husband. So I want to know if I can now sponsor my 23 year old son who is single but has a 3 year old daughter or do I have to wait until I get my permanent Green Card in several more years? If I can sponsor him, how long will it take?
Answer: That’s a great question. Under current Immigration regulations (which could be changed by Congress soon), U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) are eligible to sponsor spouses, minor children (under age 21) and single adult children (and their minor children). There is no requirement that U.S. Residency status be permanent before applying, however, if U.S. Residency status is not later made Permanent, any pending applications for qualifying family members will be cancelled.
Therefore, we can file a family petition for your son (which will include your granddaughter) now. The current Immigrant Visa line in that immigration category for adult, single children of U.S. Residents (the F2B category) is approximately 7 – 8 years. It is also important to know that if your son gets married at any time before you become a U.S. Citizen, the I-130 Family petition we will be filing will be automatically cancelled, since there is no immigration category for married children of U.S. Residents. The good news is that since you are married to a U.S. Citizen¸ you are eligible to apply for Naturalization in 2 years and 9 months from the date you were granted your conditional Resident Card.
Question: My son sponsored me for my Green Card and we recently went to my residency interview to go over my case with the officer. The officer was very nice and said that basically everything was fine, but that I needed to send in some documents about an arrest that I had way back many years ago for driving without a license, before he could issue my Green Card. He gave me a paper to include with the documents when I sent them back to him. After that, I went to the police station and got some documents from them about the case and sent them to the officer several days later – way before the deadline, then waited for word from Immigration that my case was approved. My son and I are so disappointed that instead of my green card, we received a denial letter last week saying that I didn’t send in the correct court document. I thought that the police documents were the right ones. I’m so upset now and don’t know what to do. Can you please help me to get the correct documents that the officer wants so I can go and give them to the immigration officer? If I do, will he approve my case? The letter says I can’t appeal. Can you help me, please!
Answer: What you are experiencing is very common and avoidable. It’s important to understand that when the USCIS issues a request for documentation, you generally only have one opportunity to provide EXACTLY what is requested or the case will be denied. With USCIS Requests For Evidence, it is crucial to determine exactly what the request is asking for, so that you can provide it, since there are no second chances. For criminal cases, Immigrants must provide the USCIS with a certified copy of both the Police Report or Ticket AND the Court Disposition. One or the other will not be sufficient. It’s also important to know that in many cases like yours which cannot be Appealed, an Immigrant can still make a request for the officer to reopen the case or reconsider it (I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion). The filing fee is $675. A motion to reopen must be based on factual grounds, such as the discovery of new evidence or changed circumstances, while a motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence of record at the time of that decision. Unlike a motion to reopen, no new evidence circumstances can be submitted to support the request. While not required, due to the technical legal issues involved in such Motions, its always best to have a qualified Immigration attorney prepare and submit the request.
In some Immigration cases, filing an Appeal, Motion to Reopen or Reconsider is not advised and just a waste of money. These types of cases involve eligibility issues, for instance when an Immigrant files for residency or some other immigration benefit that they are clearly not eligible for. For example, when a Resident sponsors a married a child. In such a case, no eligibility exists, since there is no immigration category for a adult married child of a Resident, only for single children. Only U.S. Citizens can sponsor their married children.
In your case, we can help you obtain the required court documents and it is likely possible to request that the case be reopened to submit the correct documentation and explanations as to why the documents were not initially provided. Processing times can be 3 – 6+ months and if approved, the USCIS will reopen/reconsider the case and approve it.
Applying For U.S. Citizenship – Understanding How Long
A U.S. Resident Must Wait
There is often a lot of confusion about when an immigrant is eligible to apply for U.S Citizenship through Naturalization. The basic rule is that a U.S. Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) can apply for U.S. citizenship once he or she has been a Resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years.
90-Day Early Application Rule
Even though the rules require a U.S. Permanent Resident hold a Green Card for five years, Residents are actually allowed to submit a Naturalization application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the 90-days before their five-year anniversary has arrived.
Here are some of the exceptions to the Five year rule:
Exception to Five-Year Rule for Residents Who Are Married to a U.S. Citizen
For U.S. Permanent Resident who are married to a U.S. Citizen, the waiting time to apply for U.S. Citizenship is only 3 years, if, during that time, they have been a Resident married to, as well as living with, a U.S. citizen and the U.S. Citizen spouse has been a U.S. Citizen for at least 3 years.
This exception is called “Early Naturalization” and applies even for Residents who did not obtain their Green Card through marriage. So, for example, a U.S. Permanent Resident who obtained a Green Card through employment, then married a U.S. citizen soon after can apply for Naturalization once they have been a Resident and married to the U.S. Citizen for at least 3 years.
Exception to Five-Year Rule for Battered Spouses of a U.S. Citizen Granted VAWA Protection
Battered spouses and children are also eligible to apply for Early Naturalization, since the law would not want to force a Resident to have to stay in an abusive marriage for three years just to obtain the benefit of the Three-year exception when they applied for U.S. Citizenship..
Children of a Battered spouse must still reach age 18 before submitting their application for citizenship.
Partial Exception to Five-Year Rule for Refugees
Those granted Residency based upon having come to the United States as a refugee can count all the time they spent in the U.S. after being granted refugee status towards the five years necessary before they are eligible to apply for Naturalization.
Partial Exception to Five-Year Rule for People Granted Asylum (Asylees)
Those granted Residency based upon asylum in the United States can count the one year of time as an asylee towards the five years necessary before they are eligible to apply for Naturalization.