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Question: I’m a student and me and my American fiancée got married last week so we can file my residence papers before the fees go up this week. We just saw online that I need some kind of police certificate and I don’t know where to get that. Do I have to get that from my country or the police department here, we are very confused about this.
Its almost like a bad TV series that on, then gets cancelled, then it’s on again, off, then on……
Finally, following a long silence during which the Public Charge form disappeared from the USCIS website, its back, along with an announcement that the Public Charge rule is back in effect again and form I-944 is required to be filed with all Residency applications. The big difference is that with this abrupt change, immigrants will be allowed to file residency petitions without form I-944 until October 13th , and will simply receive a request from the USCIS, called request for evidence or (RFE) to submit the form later. However, all residency petitions filed on October 14th or later without form I-944 will be automatically rejected.
USCIS Announces Public Charge Rule On Again!
Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
POSTING DATE: September 28, 2020
Answer: In most cases, immigrants who have no prior criminal history do not need to have fingerprints taken at the police department in order to obtain a “police clearance” report prior to filing I-485 Adjustment of Status (“Green Card”) and Naturalization applications. Biometrics, including fingerprints are done by the USCIS after a residency case is filed and are only required to be taken by the USCIS Immigration Support Center. So do not waste time going to the local police station to obtain such reports. However, if you were ever arrested, even if the case was later dismissed, or ever had to go to a criminal court for any reason, you need to obtain an official stamped/certified copy of both the:
1) Arrest report (obtain from the police dept. which arrested you) and
2) Court disposition (obtain from the court where your case was adjudicated).
The originals are to be given to the USCIS officer at the time of your interview. Only send copies in your initial petition package.
The USCIS provides free 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.
Tips On Filing Immigration Applications Correctly
Before The USCIS Fees Increase Deadline
As always, my advice is to be very careful before filing any immigration application with the USCIS by making sure that you are eligible and understand the process, procedures and timing involved in your particular type of immigration case.
Once that is done, you need to make sure that your application is properly prepared and filed to prevent rejection.
Tips On Contacting the National Visa Center
Once the USCIS approves a family petition (form I-130), it forwards the case to the National Visa Center (NVC), to handle processing of cases for relatives outside the U.S., by preparing the case for the U.S. Consulate in your family member’s home country.
After the sponsor receives the I-130 Approval Notice from the USCIS, the NVC generally sends out a notification that it has received the case from the USCIS.
For background, on February 24, 2020 a new Public Charge Rule went into effect, which required form I-944 to be filed by immigrants with all residency applications. The rule is highly controversial in that it allows government officials to deny residency to immigrants who they believe are likely to obtain public assistance in the future, by a set of criteria which factors in the age, health, education, English proficiency and financial resources of each applicant. Numerous lawsuits were filed in efforts to stop the rule from being implemented, which resulted in a ruling by a federal court on July 29th, which prevented the government from applying the rule during the pandemic. The Trump administration appealed and won the argument in a higher federal court decision issued on August 12th. However, since that time, form I-944 was removed from the USCIS website and the agency kept silent about its intentions to reimpose it, until the recent surprise announcement on September 22, 2020.
The good news is that residency applications being filed now before the USCIS Filing Fees increase deadline on October 2nd can proceed to be filed without the form and will be allowed to submit it once the USCIS sends a request.
Here’s few tips for those who have waited until the last moment to file:
1) Make Sure You Complete The Correct Forms: You must ensure that you have the most current edition of each immigration form before submitting. Note that on August 25th, the new USCIS form I-765 for work authorization edition 08/25/20 (see bottom left corner) was released and no other edition will be accepted. Applications filed with the old outdated edition will be rejected. Never pay for forms, they are free. To download the current edition of each form, go to www.USCIS.gov and click on the Forms link, then choose your form.
2) Supporting Documents: Make sure and include all required documents so your case is not delayed. Read the Form Instructions and enclose copies of the required supporting documents listed. Never send originals. Due to the approaching deadline, you can just file your applications now and the USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) later in case you don’t have time to submit important documents like financials to support the affidavit of support, etc. Just understand that any missing documents will delay your case and result in the late issuance of your work and travel permit.
3) Foreign Language Documents: All documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English translation and “Certificate of Translation” signed by the translator, attesting to the fact that they are fluent in the foreign language and English. If you don’t have time to get the translation done before filing in order to meet the deadline this week don’t worry, the USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) later.
4) Medical Exams: Due to the approaching deadline, you can just file your applications now and the USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) later.
5) Public Charge Form I-944 and Supporting Documents: Due to the approaching deadline, you can just file your applications now and the USCIS will issue a request for evidence (RFE) later.
6) Copies: Keep copies of every page of your signed application, all supporting documents and check/money order for your records.
7) Filing Fees: Make sure the USCIS filing fee is correct. Go online to www.USCIS.gov and click on the Forms link to see the current filing fee for each form. Pay particular attention to applications which require biometrics fees in addition to the regular filing fees. You can also use the Fees Calculator. You can pay your fees by regular personal check, Cashier’s Check, Money Orders, Credit Cards, Debit Cards and even Gift Cards. If using a card, you will need to download and complete form G-1450. However, be very careful about making sure that you have enough funds in the card for the filing fees and fill out a separate G-1450 form for the filing fee for each separate form. For instance, if your residency application is based upon marriage, you’ll need to fill out a form G-1450 for the form I-485 for $1,225 and a separate one for form I-130 $535. You can get link to the list of fees for all the forms by visiting our website at: www.Immigratetoday.com and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.
8) Sending your application before the deadline: The safest route right now is Fed-ex or UPS, since due to the recent delays by the U.S. Postal Service, it might be risky to use right now. Make sure and do next day or second day. Note that you must use the street address for the USCIS service center, NOT the P.O. Box. Be sure to get delivery confirmation a few days after you send your application, to confirm it was received and save the confirmation for your records. Deadline to send should be no later than September 30th, for NEXT DAY DELIVERY using Fed-ex or UPS, although its never good to wait until the last minute!
9) Sign-up for E-Notification: Always file Form G-1145 with your application (put it on top of your forms), to receive a text message or email e-notification confirming that the application was received and accepted for processing by the USCIS along with the case receipt number(s). 10) Sign-up for E-Mail Case Updates: Once you receive your USCIS Receipt (called I-797 Notice of Action) – usually in about 10 days, go online to www.USCIS.gov and click on “Check your case status” then sign-up for email updates on your case using your case number. 11) Check USCIS Processing Times: Go to www.USCIS.gov and click on “Check your case status” then scroll down and click on “USCIS Processing Times Information” and click on the Service Center or office where your case is processing to see the current processing times for your application type.
**** Urgent Update ****
Florida Voter Registration Deadlines For 2020 Presidential Election Is October 5th!
With only thirty five (35) more days left before the 2020 Presidential election (Tuesday, November 3rd), the deadline to register to vote is fast approaching, now only one week left! This is perhaps the most important election of our lifetimes, so if you are not registered yet, do it now. The damage that a second Trump term would bring to our Nation is unimaginable, so this is no time to think your vote will not count, it will! Florida is a battleground state and could go either way, so make it go to Biden.
Voter Registration deadlines:
Question: I have my citizenship application ready to file but I have a question. My wife who is a us citizen and I got married in 2017 and next month we will be married for 3 years. Can we file my citizenship 90 days before that meaning now while I only have to pay $725? Thanks.
Answer: Unfortunately, no, this is a very common misunderstanding. The basic guide for Early Naturalization is called the 3/3/3 rule: meaning that in order to apply for your Naturalization early based upon your marriage to a U.S. Citizen, you need to meet the following three requirements: 1) Have been a U.S. Resident for at least three years AND 2) Have been married to a U.S. Citizen for at least three years full years (continue to be in a valid marriage living together) AND 3) Your U.S. Citizen spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least three full years. However, you are allowed to apply for Naturalization 90 days before you have actually been a U.S. Resident for three years (2 years & 9 mo.). Since you have not even been married for three full years, it is unlikely that you have had your U.S. Residency for at least two years and nine months, therefore you need to check the date on your green card and you can file for naturalization in two years and nine months from your initial issuance date.
Question: My daughter was born here in the us prematurely when me and my husband were there for my late aunt’s funeral many years ago. After she was born and able to travel we left and returned to the Bahamas. My daughter will be 21 in November and we were under the impression that she can sponsor us at that time. But now we are worried because we read that president trump is going to cancel automatic citizenship if he wins the election. Does that mean that my daughter will lose her American citizenship? What if she sponsors us before he does that, will we still be able to get our green cards? Thanks so much for your advice.
Answer: That’s a great question. If U.S. Birthright Citizenship were abolished (which it likely will not be), it would not be retroactive, meaning that it would only apply to children born in the U.S. AFTER the law is changes, in the future. It would not apply to children born in the U.S. up to that point. Birthright Citizenship is governed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. To change it, would mean amending the Constitution, which may or may not be possible. However, Trump and many Republicans believe that either Trump can issue an Executive Order terminating automatic citizenship or Congress can pass a Bill clarifying the 14th Amendment to interpret it as not giving automatic U.S. Citizenship to all children born in the U.S.. Legal scholars disagree and say that if that occurred, the Supreme Court would need to weigh in. The fear among Immigration experts, however, is that since Trump has appointed two conservative Supreme Court Judges and has nominated a third to take the seat of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Supreme Court will be overwhelmingly conservative, six to three, and it may in fact rule in Trump’s favor on the issue. But in your daughter’s case, don’t worry, she is a U.S. Citizen now and forever and will be able to sponsor you once she turns age 21.
If the family member is in a “preference category”,(for all relatives who are not the Spouse, Parent or minor child of a U.S. Citizen), the letter will also state that there are no visas presently available for the foreign family member and that he or she should not make any plans to immigrate to the U.S. until a visa becomes available (which can be many years down the road). And during the long wait for an Immigrant Visa, family circumstances may change and addresses need to be updated in order for the NVC to have current contact information for the U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident sponsor.
Similarly, when a U.S. Resident becomes a U.S. Citizen, or a married child divorces the process for immigrating family members may speed up, but the NVC may not be aware of the change unless they receive a copy of the new Citizen’s Naturalization Certificate or the child’s divorce certificate.
To contact the NVC, call: (603) 334-0700. You may often hear a message saying that due to high call volume, operators are assisting other customers, directing you to call back at another time. Do not let this dissuade you, simply use redial to keep calling back every few moments until you are able to be put in the wait queue. Be sure to have the USCIS or NVC case number, your full name/ birth date and the same for your relative.
Visit the USCIS Naturalization Resource Page: