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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2015 
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 have seen your news letter regarding early immigration status for families from oct 1st. My father in law applied I-130 for my wife last year. She is not in the USA. Can she get some advantage of this new program? She is holding a Pakistani passport. Please advise how she can avail herself and whether she has to be in the USA.
Answer: Under the new policy, family Immigration categories benefit by enabling sponsored family members who are legally inside the U.S. to file for Residency about one year earlier than their Immigrant Visa would be available, had they stayed outside the U.S. and processed through the U.S. Consulate. So family categories with long waiting lines will not benefit that much from the new program right now. In your case, in the F3 category for married adult children of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is now May of 2004 and is typically 10-12 years long. Your father in law filed the I-130 petition for your wife in 2014, so even with Obama’s program taking off one year from that time, you still have to wait until about 2023 at the earliest! So you’ll just need to be patient and to view immigrating to the U.S. as a long term future plan. I hope this was helpful to you.
Justice Department Convicts Members of Florida 
Immigration Marriage Fraud Ring 
New USCIS Virtual Assistant Needs Your Help!  
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
The Justice Department recently convicted Twenty-Seven Members of an Immigration Marriage Fraud Ring in Florida, involved in arranging fake marriages for the purpose of filing Green Card applications. Inaldo Chavez and Caridad Baez of Hialeah, and Masiel Puron of Marathon were sentenced to federal prison and had their U.S. citizenship revoked, while 24 other defendants were sentenced on various immigration fraud charges. 

Apparently the group charged immigrants fees to arrange fraudulent marriages to U.S. Citizens, to filed their Green Card applications and to prepare the immigrant “spouses” for their marriage interviews with USCIS. The federal investigation concluded earlier this year exposed the fraud scheme which lead to the convictions. 
Question: I would like to file for my sister who is visiting in Florida. However, she wants to stay and live with me while we wait for her petition to be approved and award her with her green card. How do we apply for a work permit, so that she can work while she is here? Thank you.
Answer: You can sponsor you sister to immigrate to the U.S. in the F4 Immigration category for Siblings of U.S. Citizens, however, the Immigrant Visa waiting line for a visa is currently 12 -14 years long. As a result, your sister must wait in line and is not allowed to live or work in the U.S. until an Immigrant Visa becomes available many years down the road. If she does overstay her visa in the U.S., she will become ineligible to immigrate to the U.S. and will not be able to live or work in the U.S. legally. 

Find out more about Family Immigrant Visa Waiting lines by clicking on the link below:

​Family Immigration Waiting Lines
The U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) is involved in ongoing investigations state wide to identify and prosecute other marriage immigration fraud schemes. As a result, Immigrants should be very wary of getting involved in any marriage for fee arrangement, since not only do they risk losing thousands of dollars, but many are caught, prosecuted and deported as well. 
The USCIS will soon provide an online Virtual Assistant on its website called “Emma”. This will allow Immigrants to ask her questions in order to assist in obtaining information and navigating more effectively around the website. The website will have a popup chat window, to allow you to type in a question, so that Emma can give you a written and verbal response and provide you with links to specific pages on the USCIS website to help in your search for resources. 
But for now, Emma is still in training and the USCIS development team needs your help to assist Emma in learning how to provide better answers to questions.
You can help by visiting the temporary USCIS Emma webpage and ask Emma any immigration question you like, using words, phrases and full sentences in English, since the more questions you ask, the smarter Emma will become. The developers recommend that you use Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Internet Explorer 9 and does not work properly in Internet Explorer 11. 

Visit the USCIS Visual Assistant and click on the upper right hand link to ask Emma questions:

Emma Virtual Assistant
Government Announces Anti-Scam Publications In English and Fotonovelas In Spanish To Inform Immigrants About Common Immigration Scams  
In its continuing effort to combat immigration scams, the government has release anti-scam publications and developed a series of “fotonovelas” in Spanish to raise awareness among Hispanics about scams targeting the immigrant community. The stories offer practical tips for how to identify and avoid common scams. 

View the Spainsh “fotonovelas”:

You can view the English scam alert publication:
Spotting Avoiding and Reporting Scams
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) which governs foreign student visa status is reporting a scam which targets foreign students in the U.S. on F-1 and M-1 student visas. Con artists contact students by phone, pretending to be from the SEVP, USCIS, Customs and Border Enforcement (CBP) or Department of Homeland Security demanding payment for I-901 fees up to $4,000 to avoid deportation. 

Students who receive such calls are advised not to pay any money and to contact their International Student department and the local police.  
Scam Alert: Scammers Target Foreign Students In The U.S. 
Immigration How To:
How Do I Change My Social Security Immigration Records?
To change your records, go to your nearest Social Security card and take your current card, U.S. Residency card, Driver’s License (if applicable) or valid Passport. The Officer will change your records in the system to reflect your new status and order a new Social Security card which does not have any restrictions. 

To learn more about changing your Social Security records, click on the link below:

Social Security Records Change