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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: Thank you for taking the time to read my inquiry. In 2010, my mother (a US citizen) filed the I-130 for me. 3 years ago, my husband and I started a home-based business. My question is, with us awaiting a visa to be available, can we apply for a Green Card through investment? - I read something about it on your weekly update earlier this year.
Answer: Unfortunately, only those who have legal Immigration status are eligible to adjust status to Residency in the U.S., that includes through family, investment or employment. Don’t be fooled, there is a process for investors (EB-5) and through employment (Labor Certification), however, even though you go through the entire process, pay the attorney, the fees, etc. under current law, you will still not be eligible to get your Green Card in the U.S.. It important to understand that except in very limited circumstances, once an Immigrant allows his or her I-94 card or stay in the U.S. to expire, an invisible wall comes down between them and the USCIS and they become ineligible for nearly every kind of nonimmigrant and immigrant visa after that. The few exceptions are those who are married to, the parent of or minor child of a U.S. Citizen and those who qualify under 245(i) and very limited programs like DACA.  
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
New Policy Expands Waiver Eligibility For Sponsored Family Members In The U.S. With Expired Immigration Status
A new Immigration rule which just went into effect, dramatically expands eligibility for all qualifying sponsored family members who are in the U.S. with expired immigration status, to obtain residency after receiving a “Waiver” (called provisional unlawful presence waiver, or Provisional Waiver). 

Until recently, the existing program only allowed “Immediate Relatives” to qualify for the Waiver. Now, eligible family members include Parents, Spouses, Single and Married Children and Siblings of U.S. Citizens and Spouses and Single Children of U.S. Residents. 
Immigration Tip: Always Include A Medical Examination 
With Your Residency Application
When self-filing a Residency “Adjustment of Status” case, the most important thing is to be sure to submit the application properly, with all the required supporting documentation to meet the eligibility requirements. Because when required documents are missing in the package, the entire Residency case is put on hold while the USCIS requests the missing document and then puts the case is a queue to review it once a response is received. 

One common delaying factor is the failure to submit the required medical examination with the initial I-485 Residency application. Under current regulations, the USCIS requires its submission with the initial filing. This medical report, performed by a doctor designated by the USCIS called a “designated civil surgeon”, must be provided to the USCIS in a sealed envelope, issued by the USCIS designated doctor’s office. Medical examinations performed by doctors who are not designated by the USCIS will be rejected. 
For background, generally, Immigrants who stay in the U.S. unlawfully for more than 6 months are then barred from returning to the U.S. for 3 years and those who stay for one year or more are barred for 10 years after they depart. In such cases, these Immigrants are ineligible to immigrate to the U.S. due to the “bar”, without an approved “Waiver” which is like forgiveness from the U.S. government.

In the past, family members applying for such waivers were required to leave the U.S. and apply for the Waiver abroad. Under the current policy, Waivers can be submitted while the Immigrant family member remains in the U.S., then once the Waiver is approved, they can then safely leave the U.S. and receive an Immigrant Visa from the Consult to reenter the U.S. and obtain Residency.
To qualify for these Waivers, Applicants must have an approved I-130 immigrant petition with a current “priority date” and submit a formal application to prove that denial of an Immigrant Visa would result in “extreme hardship” to a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident who sponsored them. The Waiver request requires extensive documentation and professional preparation to establish eligibility for approval. Immigrants in the U.S. with approved I-130 petitions, which have not yet reached the priority date are not eligible for the Waiver until their priority date becomes current.
A commonly held misconception is that the medical examination expires after six months. This is no longer true, as it expires after one year. When an I-485 application is processed and there is no medical report or other missing documents, the officer issues what is called a “Request For Evidence” (RFE) requesting the report. This can cause unnecessary delays of 30 days or more, in an already lengthy, confusing process, further resulting delays in obtaining Work Permits (EAD’s) and Travel Documents (“Advance Parole”). So the best tip is to make sure and provide all the supporting documents to meet the requirements when filing your Residency case, to make sure everything is processed smoothly.
Question: I have a question about filing for my biological mom. I immigrated to the U.S. at age 11 along with my dad, through my American stepmother who sponsored us both. I got my residency, then automatically got citizenship along with my dad when I was 15. Now I’m 22 and I want to sponsor my mom. I’m afraid that since my step mom sponsored me, I can’t sponsor my biological mom. Can you please help me?
Answer: Good news, under Immigration regulations, U.S. citizens can sponsor both their biological and step parents and biological and step parents can sponsor both their biological children and step children. This means that once a U.S. Citizens child turns age 21, even though they were sponsored by a stepparent for Residency, the child is still able to sponsor their biological parent. Similarly, a U.S. Citizen child can also sponsor both their stepparent and biological parent to immigrate, as long as the requisite relationship qualifies. Step-parents are considered to qualify as “parents” and step children qualify as “children” for immigration purposes, as long as the step-parent/step child relationship was established before the child (now U.S. citizen) reached the age of 18. The only time a U.S. citizen would not qualify to sponsor a parent is where the parental rights had been terminated through adoption or otherwise.   
InfoPass allows you to schedule an appointment a the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office and to make an inquiry about your case with an Immigration Officer.

Click Here to schedule an appointment and select “Make Your Appointment with Infopass”

Type in your mailing address ZIP code (so that InfoPass will assign you to the correct USCIS office)
Select the type of appointment you need to solve your problem, Provide your name, date of birth, ZIP code and telephone number, choose an available date and time for your appointment (if you don’t see a convenient time, check back with InfoPass – new appointment choices are made available each working day); and when the appointment notice appears on your computer screen (showing the time, date and location of your appointment), print it out to show at your InfoPass appointment. 

On the day of your appointment you will need bring:

Printout of the InfoPass appointment notice confirmation

Government-issued Photo identification (passport, valid driver’s license, Employment Authorization Document, or Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (‘green card”)

All immigration forms, receipt notices, approval or denial letters-including translations and original documents that relate to your inquiry.

For general information you can call the USCIS at 1-800-375-5283
Free Online Tools For Naturalization Preparation
The USCIS has announced a new program to increase awareness about online Naturalization tools available for U.S. Residents who are applying for U.S. Citizenship. 

These tools include an online Citizenship Resource Center, Civics and Citizenship Toolkit for information on citizenship and naturalization topics, study guides and tests and Literacy resources, to assist Residents in learning or improving written English writing skills.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Immigration How To: 
How Do I Make An Infopass Appointment?