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Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

Major Bi-partisan Deal Just Reached on 
Comprehensive Immigration Reform!
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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
New USCIS e-Request For Inquiries On Pending Cases

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2013  
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378

The “Gang of Eight” just announced that it has reached a Bi-partisan deal on a Comprehensive Immigration Reform agreement to make sweeping reforms to the nation’s immigration laws and legalize millions of immigrants. The announcement came in a News Conference called to present the major terms of the deal. 

These Democratic and Republican members of Congress working together secretly behind the scenes on immigration reform, say they have finally agreed on the broad terms of the Bill which will be introduced into Congress shortly. The Gang of Eight includes influential Senators from both parties who have been charged with working out a Bi-Partisan deal on immigration reform that can be passed in Congress.  
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You can find out more about the anticipated Comprehensive Immigration Reform for 2013. To obtain a copy of the Immigration Reform explanation & Documentation List, you can call our office at: (954) 382-5378.
Answer: Most U.S. Residents and Citizens who sponsor a foreign relative, including a spouse, are required to file an Affidavit of Support. If the sponsor’s income does not meet the requirements, a U.S. Resident or Citizen Joint-Sponsor can be used who does qualify. 

However, meeting the minimum income requirements can be very “tricky”, especially if an individual is self-employed, since in such cases, income is not earned by “wages” with an employer issuing a W-2 at the end of the year. Self employed Sponsors or Joint-Sponsors may think they meet the financial requirements since their gross income meets 125% of the Poverty Guidelines, however, the final net income on the individual’s Tax Return is the figure that the USCIS uses to determine eligibility, not the gross. 
Question: Hi. My son’s wife filed for his green card, but she doesn't work (attends school) so I did an Affidavit of Support for them. But Immigration says that it s not enough - what else can I do?
Questions & Answers
Recently, the USCIS began offering customers with cases pending to send and electronic e-Request for information using an electronic inquiry form on the USCIS Website. In order to make an inquiry, you will need to have the case number, form type, filing date, zip code on file and other information.
As an example, a Nurses Aid may earn $30,000 a year. However, the gross wages reflected on the self-employment tax form called a Schedule C, are then reduced by expenses and the final Net income may only be $15,000, which would not qualify under the USCIS guidelines. When the USCIS issues a Request For Evidence to provide additional documentation to prove that the Sponsor (and/or Joint Sponsor’s) income meets the requirements, the Sponsor is generally only given one chance to respond to the USCIS request by providing a qualifying Joint Sponsor Affidavit of Support, Tax Return, Paystubs and Employer Letter which meet the guidelines. 

If the documents provided do not meet the requirements, the USCIS will not issue another Request, it will simply deny the entire case and all the filing fees will be lost. In order to proceed, a new Residency case must be filed all over again with new USCIS fees – very costly!!! So, make sure that a Joint Sponsor meets the income requirement on the net income line of the Tax Return before sending the new I-864 to the USCIS and include proof of Residency or Citizenship, Paystubs (3 mos) and a current letter from the Joint-sponsor’s employer stating the job title, # of hours per wk and the hourly wage or salary.
The major principals outlined in the released agreement, include four major goals which must be included in the reform law: 
1) Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas 
2) Reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university 
3) Creating an effective employment verification system to ensure that employers do not hire illegal immigrants in the future, including requiring prospective workers to verify legal status and identity through a non-forgeable electronic system 
4) Allowing more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn't recruit a U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program.
The provisions of the law are expected to provide “legal status” to immigrants who are inside the U.S. and who are currently not in legal status, with a path to an eventual Green Card and Citizenship. And while not specifically stated in the principals, experts are certain that the final law will include an expedited path to a Green Card and Citizenship for immigrants who qualify under the proposed Dream Act and Deferred Action. The next step is for the Bills to be introduced in the House and Senate based upon the principals outlined and for the debate to hammer out the final terms to begin.
The agreement includes principles worked out by both sides for a major overhaul of the nation's immigration laws and includes a path to citizenship for millions illegal immigrants already in this country. While the agreement is short on details, which will be worked out as the proposal moves through Congress, it is a major step which reflects a very clear understanding and message by both Democrats and Republicans that the time is right– to pass a law on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.