Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: August 6,  2018
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2018 
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 filed my documents to removed my conditions and received a year extension, which expires in 2 weeks. My update is that the case is at the Field offices, since Feb.2018. Have no success to get an infopass appointment date. What can I do?
Answer: Yes, its commonly very difficult to get an Infoass, so you just need to be very persistent! Try at midnight and early morning when the new appointments are released. Good luck!
Trump Threatens Government Shutdown In Renewed Efforts To Terminate Legal Family Immigration
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Trump is again taking aim at legal family immigration, threatening to shutdown the government this Fall unless Congress passes immigration legislation which eliminates family immigration and replaces it with a merit based system, terminates the Visa Lottery and funds the border wall (that Mexico was supposed to pay for). 

To achieve his objective, Trump is using the upcoming spending bill deadline in September to push Republicans to overhaul U.S. immigration law and virtually end family-based immigration, which he refers to as "chain migration," tweeting last week: “I would be willing to 'shut down' government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!" 
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If My Criminal Record Will Cause Me Immigration Problems?
 Get Free U.S. Citizenship Information And Study Guides 
For Taking The Naturalization Exam
Under current political conditions, obtaining U.S. Citizenship through Naturalization is more important than ever. With changes to immigration rules and policies being made at a record pace, its best to start your Naturalization process sooner, rather than later.

To help you prepare, USCIS has a variety of educational resources, including eligibility and testing, the application process, and study materials. You can also learn more about citizenship rights and responsibilities and find a free information session in your area. To get started, explore the links below:
​Common Ways Residents With Criminal Records Get Arrested 
Under Trumps New Policies

The common belief among many Residents (green card holders) is that old criminal convictions that occurred many years ago no longer matter and they will not affect his or her immigration status.

 However, in reality, this is far from true and this misunderstanding often leads to Residents being taken into ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) custody, detained and in some cases, deported, over seemingly insignificant past crimes. 
Benefits Of Using A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request 
To Obtain Immigration Information 
As is often the case, Immigrants who have been in the U.S. for many years and filed immigration applications or were sponsored by family members at some point, have lost vital documents pertaining to those cases and in some instances, don’t fully remember what their immigration status is or what immigration requests might have been filed on their behalf. As the years go by, families move and documents get misplaced or lost, leaving some immigrants unable to know whether they qualify for legal immigration status or not. Some who applied for asylum or other benefits many years ago swear that they never got an answer on their case, only to later realize that an order of deportation was issued by an immigration court against them, which they were never aware of.
Tips On Paying USCIS Filing Fees By Credit Card
The USCIS recently provided the option of paying immigration application fees by credit card, including: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, even gift and prepaid cards. 

To use the new service, applicants must download and complete form G-1450, then place the completed and signed form on top of the application. However, note that and a credit card payment cannot be combined with a check or money order to make the required USCIS filing fee on the same one application. For instance, if the Naturalization application filing fee of $725 is to be paid using a credit card, the payment cannot be broken up between a combination of a credit card and a check. The entire payment must be made by either credit card or check.
Question: Good morning Ms.Pedersen, could you explain what it means when a request for additional evidence is needed on an I-485 application? Also, is it possible to enroll in school while waiting on permanent resident status?
Answer: Once a case is filed and a USCIS officer reviews the forms and supporting documents, if the forms are not complete, or required supporting documents are missing, the officer is supposed to issue you a request for evidence (RFE) , detailing what additional documents the officer needs to receive, by a certain deadline, in order to continue processing the case. Under the new rule beginning Sept 11th, the officer has the authority to deny a case, rather than issue the request. That means that incomplete cases can now be denied without first giving the immigrant and sponsor the opportunity to respond and provide documents to prove eligibility. However, officers will still likely issue RFE’s for simple things, but if a required form is omitted, or naturalization, birth, marriage certificate, divorce decree, complete tax returns, financials, or other vital documents required for the case have not been provided with the original application, or do not appear to support eligibility, an officer can, according to their discretion, deny the case, rather than request the document(s). For school, it depends upon the school you want to attend. For college, you will likely need to wait until you receive your work permit or green card, depending upon the institution. You need to check with the admissions office for more information.
Funny isn’t it, that no mention is ever made by Trump himself or his supporters, that Trump’s own family immigrated to the U.S. through “chain migration”. With less than 100 days to go before the mid-term elections in November, many Republicans do not want to be seen as opposing Trump, for fear of losing the needed votes from his base and are now more vulnerable than ever to his strong arm tactics. On the other hand, closing down the government when the Republicans hold both the executive and legislative branch will have negative ramifications as well, putting Trump’s party in a difficult position. With the fate of our country’s legal immigration system hanging in the balance, every tweet brings us closer to a radical change in our immigration laws, threatening to destroy our country’s cherished identity as a land of immigrants! Stay tuned…

So in these turbulent times, with constant government threats against even legal immigration, it’s more important than ever for immigrants to fully understand their immigration status and have possession of any immigration documentation they may need to help determine whether or not they are eligible to obtain residency through a family member or by other means. In these cases, filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with federal immigration authorities can be very useful to obtain critical information on an individual’s immigration history and even some documents to prove legal entry, when the I-94 card or old passport has been lost over the years.

FOIA requests do not trigger any kind of negative action on an immigrant’s case, but they can often take many months to process. The key to success is to provide full and complete information to enable the agency to locate the file and any related case information pertaining to the applicant. Depending on an immigrant’s particular case, documentation may sometimes be held by various government agencies, including: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of State (DOS), the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), and, for some, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). In these cases, a separate FOIA must be requested from each agency separately.

Learn more about filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):
FOIA Guide

​We can make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on your behalf, 
just give us a call at: 954-382-5378.
Also, USCIS filing fees and biometrics fee for each form can be paid together on one form. For instance form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, the filing fee is $ 455 and the biometrics fee is $85, so the entire USCIS filing fee of $540 if paid by credit card, can be paid using the same form G-1450. For Immigration cases which contain multiple applications with separate filing fees, a separate Form G-1450 should be used for each application requiring a separate USCIS filing fee.

Before sending your Immigration application with a credit card payment, be sure to make certain that you have enough credit left on your account to cover the payment, otherwise, the USCIS will reject your application. 

USCIS Credit Card payment advice
​USCIS Credit Card form G-1450
Question: I am writing on behalf of my parents. My parents have been married for 53 years. My father is a Bahamian citizen and my mother is a US Citizen. My sister is very ill and my mother would like to spend more time in the United States, but because my father only receives the six month stay; they have been going back and forth so that he would not go out of status. Is there anything or any type of "grandfather clause", that might apply to my father without having to file the adjustment of status and other forms? Thank you.

Answer: Sorry to hear about your sister dear. Unfortunately, there is no grandfather clause or special visa which will allow him to stay longer than his current U.S. B1/B2 Tourist visa allows, which is typically six months. The only option is for your mother to file a spousal petition for your dad to sponsor him for his U.S. Residency, or if he is in the U.S., he can adjust his status to Residency here. I hope this was helpful to you.
Should I Consider U.S. Citizenship?
Learn about the reasons to consider U.S. citizenship.
Learn About Naturalization
Understand the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Apply for Citizenship
Identify the steps needed to apply for citizenship.
Study for the Test
Prepare for the naturalization interview and test.
Find Help in Your Community
Find an English and/or citizenship class, legal assistance, and USCIS-funded programs in your area.
Free Information Sessions
Find a free naturalization information session in your area.
Find a Citizenship Class
Use your zip code to find a citizenship program.
Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities
Learn about citizenship rights and responsibilities.
Naturalization Resources in Spanish (Recursos para la naturalización)
Find a list of USCIS resources in Spanish about the naturalization process.

Criminal Immigration attorneys warn Residents with criminal backgrounds to take certain precautions to avoid having the USCIS revoke their green card for convictions which occurred after the green card was obtained and ways to safeguard against being taken into custody as part of Trumps aggressive Immigration enforcement policies.

 One of the most common ways that a Resident with a criminal background finds themselves in Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) custody is when they travel internationally and then re-enter the U.S. only to find that they face interrogation and possible detention and deportation due to a past criminal conviction, no matter how many years ago it occurred. Another common way that a Resident can be taken into Immigration custody is after an even minor traffic offense for which they were arrested. Finally, Residents with a criminal background who file for Naturalization can be referred to Immigration Court and not only be denied U.S. Citizenship, but lose their Green Card and be deported as well.

To avoid these nasty consequences, Residents with criminal conviction(s), no matter how “small”, should consult with an experienced criminal immigration lawyer before traveling internationally and before filing for Naturalization. Those who do not plan on international travel or filing for Naturalization should also schedule a consult to have the lawyer review their criminal record and provide advice about any possible future risks and/or steps that can be taken to clear up any potential negative Immigration effects of criminal convictions, including getting a criminal case reopened and dismissed. This does not include getting a criminal case “expunged” which does not make it disappear for Immigration purposes and may only make it more difficult to provide required documentation in a future immigration case.