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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: January 8, 2018
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2018
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: Hi Miss Petersen. Happy New year. I have a question that I need your help answering for me. I have 2 children that live in jamaica 17, and 14 years old. I started the filing and was contacted by NVC. I am trying to get the documents together. But I don't know how to go about the original documents. I only have one of each original documents. As in divorce, birth certificate. And marriage certificate. I have copies but I would like to know if I should send the originals to NVC. Thank you very much I am awaiting your reply.
Answer: Happy New Year! You send COPIES to the NVC and your kids must bring the ORIGINALS to their consular appointment. I hope this is helpful to you!
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Immigration How To:
How Do I Show I Am Still A Resident Once My Green Card Expires?
Tips For Making A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request
USCIS Provides Residency Extension “Stickers”
To Green Card Renewal Applicants
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a Federal law which in part allows individuals to obtain copies of documentation contained in government files, including those related to Immigration matters. However, it is important to understand that not all documents are available under FOIA, including requests to obtain duplicate approval notices or original documents submitted to the USCIS. Typically, documents which can be obtained are copies of Immigration case filings, including supporting documents. This is particularly important when an immigrant has lost a copy of a vital document such as an I-94 which was previously submitted to the USCIS as part of an Immigration application.
Democrats Prepare For a Showdown on DACA
While the fate of thousands of Dreamers hangs in the balance, key Democratic and Republican senators are quietly brokering a bipartisan deal behind the scenes in Washington, in order to shield Dreamers from deportation once the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program permanently ends in March. In the DACA war, there are two basic camps battling for control on the issue.
Democrats have been calling for a “clean” bill, meaning a “stand alone” bill which would only deal with DACA and give Dreamers permanent protection and a path to Citizenship.
Many Immigrants are not aware that the U.S. requires men to register for military conscription in case of war. Under U.S. law, men who live in the U.S. or who get a green card at any time between the ages of 18 and 26, are required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, to be called up in a military draft if ever needed. Those exempt include men between 18 and 26 who were only here in a nonimmigrant visa status, like tourists, students, etc. Strangely, undocumented or illegal aliens are now required to register, although many do not.
The issue of Selective Service Registration generally comes up for male Immigrants who apply for Naturalization and are required to list their Selective Service Registration information. And since failing to register for Selective Service can result in Naturalization denial for failure to show good moral character, it’s a very important issue for those to whom it applies.
Understanding Selective Service Requirements And Naturalization
U.S. Permanent Residents do not lose Residency status once their Green Card expires, but without filing for an extension, they will not have any legal documentation to prove their continuing Residency status. That is why it very important to file for your Green Card extension before the card expires. However, current USCIS processing times for Green Card renewal applications (Form I-90), can exceed 6-8 months or more, often causing problems for Residents who require proof of legal immigration status for Driver’s License and other renewals.
They favor our current family sponsored immigration system, understanding that Immigrants built our country and have made our nation among the most prosperous in the world, and believe the Diversity Visa Lottery, commonly called the “Green Card Lottery” enriches our society by diversifying our nation with the best aspects of all the world’s cultures, making us stronger and more competitive.
Republicans on the other hand see the DACA issue a whole different way. For them, DACA is mainly a bargaining chip to use against the Democrats in order to eliminate as many other legal immigration programs as possible, in exchange for Dreamer protections. In this camp, there are two main Republican views. Conservative Republicans generally favor a DACA program, but one which only gives temporary status to Dreamers and does not lead to a Green Card or Citizenship. Similarly, they oppose so called “Chain Migration” which currently allows Immigrants to sponsor family members in an endless chain, seeking to eliminate most family sponsored immigration by replacing our current system with one which is “merit” based. Finally, they favor the elimination of the entire Diversity Visa Lottery program.
Moderate Republicans are more likely to favor a permanent DACA program, but one which takes many years to become a Citizen and some want a restriction which prohibits Dreamers from sponsoring the parents that brought them to the U.S.. They generally want a reduction of family immigration and modifications to or the elimination of the Green Visa Lottery.
Then there is the Trump camp, catering to his conservative, anti immigrant base. He says he will only agree to sign a Bill that gives Dreamers protections, in exchange for:
1) Building a (physical) wall (and make the American people pay for it, starting with a down payment of $10 Billion in the 2018 yearly government budget) and enhancing border security using high tech surveillance.
2) Terminating the Green Card Lottery (because he believes it attracts the worst people from all over the world) and
3) Ending all family “Chain Migration”, meaning replacing the current family sponsored immigration system with “merit” based system.
Clearly, there is an ocean between what many Republicans and Trump are demanding, and the immigrant friendly Democratic position. And as the clock ticks down, members of both parties are preparing for a showdown. But while the circus goes on around them, apparently key moderate Republicans and Democrats have quietly worked out a final framework of the DACA deal. The final deal might include giving Dreamers permanent legal status and a path to Citizenship, in exchange for agreeing to let Trump build his expensive wall (which the American people will end up paying for) and enhancing border security (which the Democrats support), as well as modifications to the Green Card Lottery. So far, the Democrats are holding firm on rejecting any changes to the family immigration system, but this could change.
To ramp up the fight even more, Trump told reporters this past Saturday during his meeting with Republican leaders at Camp David, that he won’t sign any deal on DACA unless it includes an overhaul of the family-based immigration system as well as an end to the Green Card Lottery. This sets up battle lines for a potentially ugly fight ahead. Appeasing Trump would mean that Democrats might have to give up the current family immigration based system, or at least some parts of it. The most expendable parts would likely be F4 Sibling (Brother/Sister) and maybe even F3 Married Children sponsorship.
Look to the next few weeks for the issue to be front and center in the news! Stay tuned….
For some, it’s not too late to register: Men preparing to apply for Naturalization (U.S. Citizenship) who failed to register for the Selective Service in the past, but who are not yet age 26, can still register online.
However, those who have passed age 26, are not eligible to register and must face the potentially negative immigration consequences of passing the required registration date. For those who failed to register, the easiest thing to do may be to wait until you are age 31 to apply for Naturalization so that five years of good moral character have passed (or 29 years of age to show three years of “good moral character” for those who have been married to and living with a U.S. citizen).
Immigrants who failed to register, but don’t want to wait for the “good moral character” period to expire, need to provide the USCIS officer with documentation to demonstrate for instance that the Resident did not know he was supposed to register and did not “willfully” fail to do so. To do this, an Immigrant can submit the following along with his naturalization application:
1) Status Information Letter from the Selective Service System (obtained from the Selective Service System website or by calling 847-688-6888.)
2) Sworn Declaration, and sworn declarations from people who know the Immigrant, attesting to their knowledge of the reasons why he failed to learn about and did not know about the requirement to register or believed he was automatically registered.
USCIS officers have discretion whether or not to approve such cases, so it’s best to provide as much evidence as possible to ensure the most positive result.
Under current policies, H-1B workers are allotted six (6) years total to in the U.S.. However, once they are sponsored by an employer for a Green Card and are waiting in a line in order to immigrate, the law allows them to continue to extend their H-1B visa past six years. This policy came about as part of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21) passed by Congress years ago and has allowed employers to extend worker’s H-1B visa in three year increments once their Immigrant Visa is approved. However, the Trump administration is considering an Executive Order or Memorandum which would limit the ability of employers to extend an H-1B worker’s visa beyond the six year limit in one year increments, rather than three.
Trump Administration Looking To Restrict H-1B Visa Extensions
Experts are certain that any such attempt by the Administration would be overturned in Federal Court, however that has not stopped the White house before.
Question: In 2016 I applied for my citizenship and I even I took the test and the officer said I passed it. But then I was supposed to go to take the oath and I was waiting for the date, but during that time I had moved, so I never got the notice. I went to check on the date last year and the immigration officer said the notice had been mailed to me in 2016 right after the test. I explained that I never received it and he said I should have done and address change, but there was nothing he could do and I should refile my application. I don’t understand why I have to pay again for a new application when I was already approved and when it was not my fault since I moved and never got the notice. Can you help me?
Answer: I understand how frustrating it can be! But since it was so long ago, your case has likely been closed by the USCIS. We could have helped you within the first year of taking your test to get you rescheduled for your swearing-in, but unfortunately, now, it is too late. It’s important to understand that all Immigrants are required to do an address change with the USCIS once they move. With all that said, in my experience there is one option you might try. Go to your local congressional office and request assistance. Explain that you did everything properly, but just did not get your Swearing In appointment notice due to the move. Ask that they make a speical request for the USCIS to make an exception in your case and reschedule you for your swearing in ceremony. Be sure to bring your Naturalization receipt. I cannot guarantee it will work, but with some perseverance, you may have a chance. Good luck!
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides the option of filing a FOIA request online, or through a free mobile application called “eFOIA”, which allows users to submit and track Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests conveniently from an Android or Apple phone. You can download the free mobile application through Google Play and the App Store.
Visit the new eFOIA Website:
Download the new eFOIA mobile applications:
As a result of these long delays, local Field Offices are authorized to provide Residents with a Green Card extension sticker, affixed to their expired cards, to provide proof of their continuing legal Residency status in the U.S..
Under this policy, USCIS personnel at USCIS Field Office Application Support Centers can provide extension stickers to Residents at the time of their Biometrics appointment.
The extension stickers are valid for nine (9) months. Residents who have already attended their Biometrics appointment and did not request or receive the extension sticker can make an INFOPASS appointment to return to the local USCIS office and receive the extension sticker at that time.
Make an Infopass Appointment at your local USCIS office: