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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: August 7,  2017
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2017 
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:  Hello, I hope you can answer my question. My mom came from Trinidad and got her green card in 2011 thru her American husband. I was over 21 so I couldn’t come to the us with her, but she filed for me right away. I just got married in 2012 and in 2015 my mom got her early naturalization. After that she got her citizenship she filed for me again in 2016. I know that now that I am married it will take longer for me to immigrate. What I’d like to know is if we can request that I keep the original 2011 filing date for me due to the fact that I was in the system for so long before?
Trump Endorses Immigration Bill To Slash U.S. Immigration By 50%!
Answer: That’s a great question. It’s important to understand that the rules are very different for children of U.S. Residents, compared with those of U.S. Citizens. With children of U.S. Citizens, if a parent files for a single adult child (F1 category) and the child later marries, the child simply changes to the F3 category and keeps the same original date of filing, called the “Priority Date”. The Priority Date is important because it determines where an Immigrant is in the Immigrant Visa waiting line. However, for adult children of U.S. Residents, there is only one category, F2B and that is for single adult children only, there is no immigration category for married children of U.S. Residents. So when a single adult child marries, the I-130 petition the U.S. Resident parent filed is automatically cancelled. There is no way to recapture the date that the original I-130 was filed when the child was single, since the marriage caused the original petition to be essentially void. When an adult single child of a U.S. Resident waits until after their parent Naturalizes and becomes a U.S. Citizen, they simply move to the F3 category and maintain the original Priority Date, the date the original I-130 was filed by the U.S. Resident parent.

In your circumstances, your priority date for the Immigrant Visa waiting line is July 2016. Right now, the visa line in the F3 category for married children of U.S. Citizens is 2005, so you have another 11+ years or so to wait. I hope this was helpful to you.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Read State Department’s Visa Bulletin - For August 2017

The Visa Bulletin released by the State Department each month details the current waiting times for Immigrant Visas in Family and Employment Immigrant Petition cases. You can view the current Visa Bulletin for August 2017 by clicking on the link below:

August 2016 Visa Bulletin

Immigration How To: 
How Do I know Whether It’s a Scam?
Common Immigration Scams You Should Avoid Falling Victim To:

For every government benefit and program, there is an equal number of scams designed to take advantage of innocent victims who believe they are eligible for a benefit or fearful of a government penalty. Immigration is no exception and in fact, is one of the most often victimized groups, since Immigrants often do not understand the law and how the systems works - a fact that scammers take full advantage of. 
Consistent with his continuing war on legal Immigration, Trump announced last week that he has endorsed an Immigration Bill called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which will effectively eliminate most family-based sponsorship, cutting immigration levels by 50%.

The RAISE ACT Bill, originally introduced in February by, Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue will dramatically rewrite America’s entire legal immigration system. If it becomes law, it would cut all legal immigration by 50%, exclude parents of citizens from the current special designation as “immediate relatives” and instead force them to wait in long visa lines, eliminate the yearly diversity (Visa Lottery) program, and cut refugee visas by half. 
Effective August 25, 2017, the USCIS will only accept the new version  of the form I-485 (Application to register permanent residence or adjust status), with an edition date of 06/25/2017. In addition to the form increasing from 6 to 18 pages in length, it also now includes biographic information that has previously been required on form G-325A. 

As a result, a separate form G-325A is no longer required. Also remember that for marriage cases, form I-130A is now required, in addition to form I-130. 

You can also always call our office to find out what the correct date should be on any immigration form to make sure that you are always using the latest edition, 954-382-5378
New Residency Form Required Beginning August 25th!
Question:I`m a resident and have my 10 year green card. I have a girlfriend from Dominican Republic that I met while we were in college and she had a student visa. She left the U.S. and is home now in DR, but has an american tourist visa and comes to visit me. We want to get married. What is the fastest way for me to bring her here to stay? I have another 1 year before I can apply for citizenship. Should we get married now? If we get married here and apply for her papers I know it`ll take longer since I`m not a citizen, but in the meantime will she have the right to work in the US?
Answer: It’s really important to understand that spouses of Residents are not allowed to stay inside or work in the U.S. (unless they are on another legal visa). If they do, they will be ineligible to obtain a Green Card. There is a big difference between the rights spouses of citizens have compared to those of residents. Residents cannot petition fiancées, whereas U.S. Citizens can. 

In your situation, once you get married, you should have a spousal case filed on her behalf as soon as possible so that she can get his place in the “visa line”. The visa line for spouses of Residents is now about 1 ½ years, so the sooner she is in the line, the better. There is no way for you to legally bring her to the U.S. to stay, unless she is eligible on her own for a work, student or other visa. However, be aware that once the spousal case is filed, she may not be eligible to obtain some types of work or student visas at the U.S. Consulate. Let me know if you want us to handle her residency case so that it is filed and processed properly so that she does not have to wait any longer than is necessary.
Most tragically, the measure would eliminate all immigrant visas for adult children of U.S. Citizens and Residents, and all siblings (brothers & sisters) of U.S. Citizens, allowing only spouses and unmarried minor children of citizens and permanent residents to obtain Green Cards. An exception in the proposal would allow qualifying elderly parents to obtain temporary visas to stay with sponsoring U.S. Citizen children in the U.S., but would require proof of health insurance and not allow the parents to work or receive public benefits.

U.S. Immigration going forward would largely be based upon a “merit-based” system that would put a greater emphasis on the job skills of Immigrants over their ties to family in the U.S.. The RAISE Act will create a “points system”, 0-100, where Immigrants will be awarded points based upon various characteristics, including fluency in English, education level and professional job skills.

In supporting the Immigration proposal, Trump told reporters that the bill marks "the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century.". Critics fear that with Trumps enthusiastic support and both chamber of Congress held by Republicans, the Bill could move quickly and very well become a law. This would make it impossible for U.S. Citizens to sponsor their parents, adult children and siblings, as well as for U.S. Residents to sponsor them adult single children. Under the new U.S. Immigration system, only spouses and minor children under age 21 would be eligible to immigrate to the U.S..

 As a result, U.S. Citizens should not delay in filing petitions for Parents, adult Children (single and married) and Siblings now! Similarly, U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) should file petitions to sponsor their adult single children as well. As in the past, immigrant petitions for all these family members filed now before the law changes, will remain valid in the future, even if family categories are later restricted or eliminated.

This and other similar legislation introduced in just the last few months of the Trump Administration are dangerous to our democracy and have real consequences.. There are few limits on their powers, except public opinion! This is your opportunity to voice your opposition to any Congressional proposals to restrict legal immigration, before it’s too late! Call your local Senators now and tell them you do NOT support the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act (RAISE ACT) and want to stop any efforts to restrict legal immigration. For Florida, you can call your Senators at: Democratic Sen. Nelson : 202-224-5274 and Republican Sen. Rubio: 202-224-3041 

Those outside Florida can find your senator by entering your zip code:

Read More:
Washington Post
The Whitehouse
Since taking office, the Trump administration has been on the “war path” against existing H-1B visa policies for professional workers. 

While earlier this year announcing that he would have the program reviewed, it now appears that Trump immigration officials have devised a way to challenge and likely deny many visa applications based upon the wage offered to the foreign worker, called “prevailing wage” (which is the wage the department of labor sets as the normal wage for that occupation in the county and state where the job is being offered). The wage levels range from level I to level IV.
H-1B Visa Program Under USCIS Attack
Generally, Bachelors degree professions are in the range of level I and II, with Master’s degrees level II or higher. Since adjudication of the new fiscal years H-1B visa applications began in April 2017, under new USCIS directives, officers have been issuing thousands of Requests for Additional Evidence called (RFE) to sponsoring companies, based upon the wage level.

 The RFE’s appear to attack the level of the wage on two fronts, first, scrutinizing applications with level I wages to assert that the entry level I wage in the application means that the position offered does not qualify for an H-1B visa because it does not rise to the level of a profession within the meaning of the regulations and/or second, that the level I wage does not reflect the complexity of the position and therefore the chosen level of wage is wrong, since the position should be a level II or higher and the application is not approvable. Employers unaware of the secret change in USCIS adjudication policy are scrambling to respond to the RFE requests and facing an uphill battle, which may be “unwinnable”. Going forward under the new policy, H-1B applications will need to offer at least level II or higher wages. Stay tuned....

My best advice is always to follow the wisdom our parents told us: “if it sounds too good to be true – it is”. Another important thing to remember is to follow your instincts. Whether threatened with extortion for money from a fake government employee or promised a Green Card or other immigration benefits for a large fee - which you have been advised you were not entitled to, stop and think, do your research, don’t get caught up in the excitement and become a victim. 
 I commonly hear stories from many Immigrants who come to me after being scammed, and in almost every instance they tell me that in their heart, they knew something was wrong, but they simply did not listen! We can all learn from that. 

Read more about common scams to avoid:

USCIS Scam Warning
Fake IRS Scam