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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: Hi, me and my wife (who is a US Citizen) got married last year, but I have been putting off moving there because I have been waiting for my company to agree to transfer me to the Florida office, so I can keep my job and pension. I have a visitor visa, so I come and visit her every few weeks. Finally, I got my transfer. I am supposed to start work in Miami in October. Now we are worried because we haven’t started the immigration process yet, so we need to get your services and advice, fast! We want to know which way is quicker, to apply for my green card in the U.S. or here in Jamaica. Thanks.
Answer: Since your wife is a U.S. Citizen, and you have your tourist visa, there are two options:

1) Adjustment of Status INSIDE the USA: As long as you have a U.S. Tourist visa and you are in the U.S., you can adjust status inside the U.S. and wait here to receive your Green Card. It takes about 3 months to receive your Work Permit and another 3-5 months for your Green Card.

2) Consular Processing OUTSIDE the USA: If you want to wait outside the U.S. to process for your Green Card, the process takes about 8+ months. You won’t receive a work permit, since you are not in the U.S., so you’ll need to wait until you receive your Immigrant visa approval in order for you to immigrate to the U.S. and receive your Green Card. 

Option #1 is always the best and fastest choice for spouses. Option #2 consular processing is usually only used when the immigrating spouse does not have a U.S. visa. It takes longer and can be more challenging for marriage cases. In your case, since you have a tourist visa, if you are in the U.S., we can file for your adjustment of status and you can wait here for your Green Card. It take between 60-90 days for your Work and Travel permits to be approved, so you likely won’t be able to begin working for the Miami company until near the end of this year. See you next week.

This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
USCIS Warns - Immigration Payment Scams Targeting Immigrants !
On August 24, 2016 the USCIS issued a notice to Immigrants to be aware of immigration scams, including scammers who call or email Immigrants pretending to be a government official. USCIS notes that it will never ask for personal details or payment over the phone or in an email. 

The USCIS advises Immigrants to avoid becoming a victim of one if these scams by never responding to an email or call from a person pretending to be a government official or Immigration officer requesting payment. As part of one particular immigration scam, a fake Immigration official calls or emails an Immigrant saying that there is a problem with an application or additional information is required to continue the immigration process. They ask for personal and sensitive details, and demand payment to fix the problem. 
Government Issues New Gonorrhea Testing Requirements for Visa Applicants 
The government recently added a requirement that all Immigrant Visa applicants be tested for Gonorrhea beginning October 1, 2016. Under the new guidelines, all visa applicants undergoing a medical exam, 15 years of age or older are required to be tested for gonorrhea. Applicants younger than 15 must be tested if there is a history of gonorrhea or reason to suspect gonorrhea infection. 

A Gonorrhea infection is a medical condition which results in an Immigrant being inadmissible to the U.S.. Those who have an infection must be treated prior to obtaining an Immigrant visa. 

View the new Gonorrhea testing guidelines:
Gonorrhea Immigration Testing Requirements

If you receive such a request and are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS. USCIS Scam Review Email: at [email protected] USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies. 

Visit the USCIS AvUSCIS Avoid Scamsoid Scams Initiative: 

If you have a question about your immigration case, call the USCIS at 800-375-5283 or make an InfoPass appointment at

Question: I am married to my American husband and he wants to file for my immigration papers. The problem is that he did not pay his taxes for a few years because he was self-employed and so now, he has to make monthly payment to the IRS, which he is current on. We are worried that he can’t sponsor me because he owes money to the IRS. Can you please help us with the case and tell us what we need to do so he can qualify.
Answer: In Residency cases, Immigration regulations only require that a Sponsor or Joint Sponsor provide copies of IRS Tax Returns proving that all required tax returns have been filed. There is no requirement that all taxes owed have been paid. In Naturalization cases, however, Residents are required to show that not only have all required tax returns been filed, but as well that either all outstanding taxes have been paid or an agreement for repayment has been reached with the IRS and all payments due under the agreement have been paid as agreed, even if a balance is still due. So in your case, your husband can still sponsor you, even though he still owes money to the IRS. I will need to review his current paystubs and income to determine whether he meets the income guidelines, particularly since he is self-employed, but even if he does not, you can always use a Joint Sponsor who’s income does meet the qualifications.
Never Send Your Immigration Application 
Using Certified Mail
Immigration applications and any follow-up correspondence with the USCIS are very important matters. That is why you should take the additional step of sending these documents to the USCIS by a safe, quick method, which allows you to verify the date and time of delivery to the USCIS. This is especially critical when you have received a Request For Additional Evidence from the USCIS and must provide the requested documentation by a specified deadline. 

Many applicants do not know that if their response sent to the USCIS is postmarked before the deadline date, but is actually delivered and received by the USCIS after that date, the case is likely to be denied. Certified Mail can take up to 10 days for delivery, making it one of the slowest methods of delivery!
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Not only is this a tragedy for the beneficiary of the immigration application, but in such instances, all the USCIS filing fees are lost, which in some cases can be thousands of dollars. Certified Mail is not delivered quickly and cannot be tracked online and other private courier services like Fed-ex cannot be delivered to the regular USCIS P.O. box address. 

So, since the USCIS is a government agency, like the U.S. Express Mail (U.S. Postal Service) The safest way to send applications/documents and to safeguard against the unfortunate situation above is to use the U.S. Express Mail next day service. The cost is about $16.00 and well worth it. You will receive a tracking# so you can go online and confirm delivery. Be sure to send any responses requested by the USCIS at least one week or more before the deadline. Also, make a copy of everything you send to the USCIS including the initial application, supporting documents, Money Order and all follow-up responses before sending to the USCIS and never send originals! Good luck!
The USCIS offers customers with pending cases the option of sending an electronic e-Request for information using an electronic inquiry form on the USCIS Website. In order to make an inquiry, you will need to have the case number, form type, filing date, zip code on file and other information.

Click Here to Visit the USCIS e-Request Webpage 
Immigration How To:
How Do I Make An E-Request For Problems With My Pending Immigration Case?