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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
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: My mom filed for me when she was a Permanent Resident in 1998 but I got married in 2005. After that she became a citizen and filed for me again July 2007. Can we request an earlier consideration due to the fact that I was in the system for so long before?
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
National Visa Center Announces Significant Processing Delays In Immigrant Visa Cases
The National Visa Center (NVC) is the government organization which handles the processing and preparation of Immigrant Visa cases for U.S. Consulates abroad for family and employment immigration cases when the foreign relative/Beneficiary lives outside the U.S.. 

Once the USCIS approves an Immigrant Visa, the case is forwarded to the NVC to put in a queue for processing. Some cases, such as those for Spouses, Parents and minor children of U.S. Citizen (called “Immediate Relatives”) generally begin processing immediately. 

However, those in other family or employment immigration categories where there is a long waiting line for an Immigrant Visa may end up remaining in the queue for many years before processing begins.
Until recently, the NVC processing times for cases with available Immigrant Visas was 30 to 60 days. Once the case was complete, the NVC would send the U.S. Sponsor/Petitioner a letter confirming case completion and notification that the file would be forwarded to the U.S. Consulate abroad for the scheduling of an Immigrant Visa Interview. However, in the past several months, due to an overload of Immigrant Visa cases becoming available in certain Immigration categories, the NVC has become backlogged and is experiencing significant delays in processing cases. As a result of the delays, the NVC recently began issuing letters to U.S. Sponsors/Petitioners regarding the delays, giving notification that processing of document review for cases will now take at least 60 days or more. This means that a normal case may take 90-120 days to complete!
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 2007. Right now, the visa line in the F3 category for married children of U.S. Citizens is 2003, so you have another 4-5 years or so to wait. I hope this was helpful to you. 
This is important because delays in processing at the NVC means delays in the scheduling of the Consular Interview and delays in obtaining U.S. Residency. Frequently, once the U.S. Sponsor/Petitioner receives the NVC bills to initiate the process, and requirements for financial and other documentation, they do not act promptly to pay the bills and provided the necessary documentation. 

So with these new NVC processing delays, it is more important than ever for U.S. Sponsors and Immigrants to quickly pay the NVC bills and provide the documentation required as soon as possible to avoid any further delays in the process.
Immigration How To:
How Do I Find Out What USCIS Policies & Procedures Are?
You can obtain assistance in properly preparing and submitting documentation to the NVC according to the requirements to avoid further delays in your case by visiting our Website at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
This Year’s Visa Lottery Scheduled To Begin October 1st, 2014  
Download the official government instructions which provides full details on eligibility and the application process:

One of the only good aspects of Congress’ failure to pass an Immigration Reform Bill thus far, is that the Diversity Lottery Program will continue for at least one more year. This Year’s Visa Lottery called DV-2016 will open for its annual FREE Online Registration beginning on Wednesday, October 1, 2014,. at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time , ending on Nov 3, 2014 at 12:00 noon. The Department of State has released instructions for the DV 2016 lottery which explains eligibility and procedures for applying online. 

Countries not qualifying are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. However, if you were born in one of these ineligible countries and neither of your parents was born there, and they were not legal residents of that country at the time of your birth, you can still qualify by using the country of birth of either of your parents to apply for the DV-2016 lottery.
The DV Lottery is always FREE and no paper applications are accepted. Lottery applications are required to be filed online through the official Department of State DV Lottery Website. Once the online entry is made, applicants receive a Confirmation Number, which allows them to return to the official government website and check the status of their entry through the “Entrant Status Check” once the winners are selected. There will be no other official notification. The program does not send notification emails or letters and never directs applicants or winners to wire money under any circumstances. 
Beware of websites claiming to be official Lottery sites, which charge a fee for entry, since they are not affiliated with the official U.S. Department of State and may be scams. Only sites that end in .gov are government sites. Apply yourself – its FREE and now, easy! The only official government website is: which is currently not available for DV 2016 and  will only be available for access once the lottery begins on Oct 1st. 
Reporting Abusive Treatment By The USCIS
Thousands of Immigrants receive immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year, navigating their way through the often difficult and confusing process. 

And while it is expected that Immigrants should be held to the standards of qualification defined by law to demonstrate eligibility, no immigrant should ever expect to be treated discourteously, disrespectfully or in an abusive way by a USCIS Officer or employee. 
However, it does happen and when it does, Immigrants do have the right to report mistreatment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS strives to maintain the public’s trust and provide quality services and does investigate credible reports of abuse.  

One such incident reported to me recently was from a U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse during a marriage interview case wherein the USCIS officer demanded that the U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse go to their car and bring him their cell phones. Once they returned with the phones, the officer demanded that they give him the phones and passcodes and he preceded look at all of their personal text messages and cell phone photos. The Citizen and his wife did not consent to this, but frightened, they did as they were demanded to do. None of this is official USCIS procedures and much of what the officer did was a violation of their rights. In cases like these, complaints should be made as soon after the event as possible.

To make a report, you can use one of the following:

Call the DHS Hotline at 1-800-323-8603 

Send a fax at (202) 254-4292 

File an online complaint at: Office of Inspector General (OIG) 

File a written complaint to:  

Department of Homeland Security
Attn: Office of the Inspector General Hotline
245 Murray Drive, Building 410 Stop: 2600
Washington, D.C. 20528

Be sure to include: 1) the date, time and location of the incident, 2) detailed description of the what happened to you 3) the name(s) of employee(s) involved.
You Can Read The Updated USCIS Policy Manual Online
In an effort to  improve transparency and efficiency, the USCIS has recently released an extensive USCIS Immigration Policy Manual for immigration policies and procedures in the areas of citizenship and naturalization, adjustment of status, admissibility, protection and parole, nonimmigrants, refugees, asylees, immigrants, waivers, and travel and employment.​