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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
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: I was previously married and received a conditional green card about 7 - 8 years ago. My wife and I had a falling out and she divorced me and the conditions were not removed. My mom is a US Citizen and I would like her to file for me. Seeing that I already have a green card which is expired, how long will the process be if she files for me or will it be better if I find another road? 
Answer: ​Under USCIS regulations, as an adult, you must be in legal immigration status to be able to obtain a Green Card in the U.S. through a Parent. One of the only exceptions to that is a law called “245i” which would still allow you to obtain a Green Card in the U.S. as long as someone filed a family petition for you on or before April 30, 2001. If not, and your mother sponsors you, at present, even when a visa becomes available in about 7-8 years in your immigration category, which is F1 (Adult single children of US Citizens), under current laws, you still are not eligible to obtain U.S. Residency. This strict law will likely change once Immigration Reform passes, but you need to understand this before having your mom sponsor you, so there are no surprises. You are however eligible to adjust status to U.S. Residency through a marriage to a U.S. Citizen if you remarry in the future. This would have to be done after an immigration judge formally terminated your Conditional Residency status if you were to remarry and take that route to residency. I hope this is helpful to you.
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Immigration How To: 
How Do I Study For My Naturalization Test?
Safeguarding Your Important Original Personal & Immigration Documents  
Immigrants often do not recognize how important it is to maintain immigration documentation until there is a desperate need for critical documents which have been lost, stolen or destroyed. Many Immigrants believe that the USCIS maintains complete files with visa, residency and citizenship information and approvals, which can be easily accessed once the need arises - and as logical as that is, it is incorrect. 

In fact, obtaining copies of immigration documentation can take up to six months or more through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and there is no guarantee that copies of all documents filed with the USCIS will be received. For instance, a FOIA request will not allow you to obtain copies of Receipts and Approval Notices, generally only copies of an immigration applications and supporting documentation. In order to obtain a duplicate copy of an Approval Notice, Form I-824 must be filed for each Approval Notice requested with a $340 filing fee for each one! 
You can find out more about issues involved in Family Immigration by visiting our website at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378 
USCIS Provides “Deferred Action” Toolkit for DREAMers 
Question: I want to discuss about family immigration for Sibling F4 category. Our family is from Pakistan and the case date is January 2006, we received a first letter in January 2010. I want to ask how much further time it will take to complete immigration case. When will our case be completed? what is the present F4 processing time. Me and my mother are the only family members who will be immigrating. Kindly reply urgent. 
Answer:  The waiting line for an Immigrant Visa in the F4 category for Siblings of U.S. Citizens is about 12-14 years. Since the case was filed in 2006, it will take at least about another 8-9 years for a visa to be available. Also be aware that children who turn age 21 or older are no longer eligible to immigrate along with their parents. The Child Status Protection Act does allow the child’s age to be reduced by the time it takes to process the I-130 petition, but in many cases, even subtracting the 4 years or so an I-130 petition can be processing, many children simple “age out” (turn age 21 and become ineligible). 

Read More about Family Immigration Waiting Lines:

The Sponsoring your family to immigrate to the U.S.-Understand The Immigrant Visa Process
To help Immigrants study for their Naturalization test, the USCIS has developed a a comprehensive educational resource Website with online study materials and sample tests.

You can visit the USCIS Naturalization Website:

Study For Your Naturalization Test

For applicants that don’t pass the test the first time, don’t worry, you will be given two opportunities to take the English and Civics tests and answer questions relating to your naturalization application in English. So, if you fail any of the tests at your initial interview, you will be given an opportunity to be retested on the portion of the test that you failed (English or Civics) between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview. 
House Lawsuit Against President 
Emboldens Obama To Act On Whitehouse Immigration Reforms
Since the immigration crisis began recently on the Southern Border, with thousands of children streaming into the U.S. from Central America, Republicans and other critics of the President began blaming Obama for creating the illegal flood of immigrants by implementing prior administrative actions, including Deferred Action for DREAMers, which served to encourage and increase further illegal immigration. 

 Immigration experts and the media began predicting that the border crisis and criticism over the President’s handling of the problem would have a negative impact on Whitehouse plans to expand Immigration Reforms using administrative and executive actions without the need for Congress. And adding insult to injury, with the recent vote by the House of Representatives to sue Obama for his Deferred Action program for DREAMers and other policies used by the Administration to benefit immigrants, it might seem reasonable that the Whitehouse would back off on its planned Immigration policies which were set to be announced shortly. But if you bet against Obama, you’d likely be wrong.  
In a strange twist last week, after voting to sue the President for his administrative actions and Congressional failure to pass a Bill to deal with the border crisis before leaving for the month of August on holiday, conservatives told the media that the crisis did not require congressional legislation and that Obama should use his own administrative actions to fix the problem…hummm…seems like there is a slight contradiction there: Sue the President for taking administrative action, then fail to do your job and pass a Bill to fix the crisis and then blame the President for not taking administrative action on his own!
Well it seems that the House lawsuit against the President has only served to embolden him to take unilateral actions on Immigration Reform in spite of Congressional in-action. Whitehouse insiders told the Los Angeles Times last week that the Administration is moving full speed ahead laying the groundwork for an expansion of administrative policies to provide large-scale Immigration Reforms which will be announced within several weeks. Aids told reporters that some 5 million Immigrants could benefit from the various alternatives being discussed. Options currently being considered would allow Immigrant Parents of U.S. Citizens and DREAMers to obtain temporary legal status and work permits. 

Read the Los Angeles Times article:

Los Angeles Times
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Toolkit for DREAMers The USCIS recently released a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Toolkit for DREAMers and Community Partners providing instructions and resources for applying under the program. The toolkit includes: a DACA program overview, a “How Do I Request Consideration of DACA?” customer guide, Tip sheet , Frequently asked questions, DACA process infographic, “Avoid Immigration Scams” flier and List of federal government resources. 

Download the “Deferred Action” Toolkit:

Deferred Action DREAMer Toolkit
Further, it can also take up to six months to receive the requested duplicate. Copies of immigration receipts, notices and I-94 cards are important because in most immigration cases filed for U.S. Residency, Citizenship and family petitions for relatives, the USCIS requires that documentation to establish qualification is submitted along with the application. For instance, when a U.S. Citizen has filed a family petition for a relative and the relative is now filing for a Green Card (adjustment of status), he or she is required to provide the USCIS with a copy of the I-130 Receipt/Approval Notice along with the Green Card application, showing that the relative petition was approved. However, if the Receipt/Approval Notice has been lost, the USCIS does not automatically obtain the relevant information from its files. Instead, it issues a “Request For Evidence” directing the applicant to provide that documentation with a deadline of 87 days to do so. In such cases, the immigrant must file Form I-824 to obtain a duplicate of the required notice and wait until it has been received. In cases where the I-824 processing exceeds the 87 day deadline, the USCIS can deny the entire case for failure to respond to the request. The immigrant can send a copy of the I-824 Notice of Action receipt in response to the request, asking for additional time to respond, however, there is no guarantee that the extension of time will actually be granted.

Another example is that of the all important I-94 (Arrival/Departure) card, which establishes that an immigrant entered the U.S. legally. In most cases, many immigration benefits are unavailable to individuals who are not able to provide a copy of their I-94 card to the USCIS at the time of application. In such cases, Form I-102 to obtain a duplicate I-94 must be filed with a $320 filing fee. Similar situations occur when naturalization certificates are lost or destroyed, however processing times for duplicates can take up to one year or more.

Final note, the sooner lost documents are replaced, the better. At this time in history, lack of documentation may affect one's ability to drive, to travel, or to demonstrate the ability to work legally in the U.S., so protect your status, by keeping your immigration documents safe!