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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: October 16,  2017
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2017 
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
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

Question:My wife has been a resident for almost two years now and we will be filing our application to make her green card permanent through your office. I have a few questions 1) You said it may take up to 8 months or more for the immigration to approve her case, so we are wondering if she will be issued another temporary green card during this process until she gets her final permanent one and 2) we are planning a vacation to Italy next spring and we are afraid that she will not be allowed back in the country without her actual Green Card, thanks.
Answer:  I understand your concerns. Once the petition is filed, the USCIS issues a formal receipt in about 10 - 14 days called an “I-797 Notice of Action” for the I-751, which will extend your wife’s Green Card, Work & Travel authorization for a full year. This receipt takes the place of her actual Green Card while her removal of condition petition is processing. She will use this original receipt to travel. So when you go abroad, the I-751 Receipt is in fact her Green Card for the purposes of entering the U.S.. Once we file your petition and receive the extension receipt, we will make an Infopass Appointment for your wife at your local USCIS office so that they can put a residency extension stamp in her passport which is easier to use for travel. See you soon.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Immigration How To:
How Do I Study For My Citizenship Test On My Cell Phone?
Trump Uses Dreamers As Bargaining Chip 
To Dismantle U.S. Family Immigration System
In his continuing efforts to dismantle the entire U.S. Family Immigration system and institute a merit based system in its place, Trump has released a list of immigration reform demands required in exchange for protecting DACA Dreamers.

Entitled “Immigration Principles & Policies”, the list details a required reforms to border security and more importantly, to our country’s long standing Immigration system. If enacted the measure would eliminate most family immigration and cut legal immigration by 50% over the next decade. 
Department of Homeland Security Seeking Ways 
To Tighten Legal Immigration Without Congress
As Trump calls on Congress to make DACA permanent in exchange for reforms to the U.S. Immigration system listed in his recent “Immigration Principles & Policies”, his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is secretly working behind the scenes making unilateral changes to existing policies which will tighten requirements and effectively reduce overall immigration without the need for Congressional approval.
USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFE) - It’s Importance and 
Tips On Responding What is RFE (Request for Evidence)
A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter that the USCIS officer sents you to request additional information or documentation on your application. 

RFE requests are generally most frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility.
New Mobile Friendly Citizenship Resource Center 
Makes Studying For Your Naturalization Test Easier
Immigration related demands include:

Eliminate most protections for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

Make it more difficult to qualify for asylum by tightening required standards of proof, allowing pre-screening for eligibility and expedited removal of those that are denied

Expand the criteria of deportable crimes

Make illegal re-entry to the U.S. a crime

Expand state and local law enforcement cooperation with ICE 

Make “overstaying a visa” and being inside the U.S. without legal immigration status a crime and bar immigration benefits

Eliminate the “Diversity Visa Lottery” program

Limit the number of refugees

Eliminate most U.S. Family Immigration and replace with a “Merit-Based” points system by limiting family-based green cards to only spouses and minor children, eliminating all other immigration entirely for parents, adult children and siblings as proposed by the RAISE Act currently pending in Congress

Democrats reject Trump’s demands, saying they are a complete reversal of the recent agreement reached with Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. The Democratic leadership further reject the principles behind the RAISE Act which would eliminate the family-based immigration system and harm the economy. Many proponents of DACA say they will fight for a "clean" DACA replacement, without concessions on border security or legal immigration, but the Democratic leadership is likely willing to give in on some minor concessions in order to protect Dreamers and their future. Stay tuned…

Read more about Trump’s demands and the RAISE Act:
Immigration Principles & Policies
The Hill
Trump Endorses Immigration Bill To Slash U.S. Immigration By 50%!
These new policies are already having major effects throughout the entire legal immigration system. Legal work visa policy changes have been implemented under the H-1B program which have retroactively changed the requirements and caused thousands of visa denials. Consular officers have been given more authority to re-adjudicate approved cases and deny visas for cases previously approved by the USCIS and to deny student visas based upon their “subjective” belief that the applicant does not intend to return to their home country after the U.S. studies are completed. Asylum review guidelines for officers have been modified to provide more restrictive interpretation of the proof necessary for eligibility and USCIS officers are encouraged to apply the strictest standards to each application, leading to increased requests for evidence and denials for minor technical errors. Other policy changes include the 90-day rule recently announced which abruptly replaced the existing 30/60 day rule. Under this strict new rule, any application for change of status or adjustment, or even marriage to a U.S. Citizen made within 90 days of entering the U.S. will result in an automatic presumption of “preconceived intent”, meaning that it will be presumed by the government that at the time the visitor entered the U.S.. he or she made a “willful misrepresentation” to the officer at the border, which could result in potential revocation of their visa.

Similarly, the DHS is exploring other subtle changes to immigration policies that could have major consequences, including eliminating work authorizations for spouses of professional workers and restricting STEM students to only 12 months of work authorization, rather than allowing them to have an additional two extra years. Other measures being considered may simply just slow down the visa issuance process, so as to significantly reduce yearly levels of legal immigration. This is already being implemented to a degree by a new policy requiring that all employment based residency applicants undergo an interview at local USCIS offices prior to Green Card approval. Other measures being considered could even more significantly slow down family cases and also naturalization processing (which currently already takes up to a year in some jurisdictions), effectively disqualifying many Immigrants to vote in the upcoming elections in 2018 to benefit the Republicans. As a result, it is even more important than ever for U.S. Citizens and residents file to sponsor family members in order to avoid even more delays in processing and for Residents to file for Naturalization now, to give themselves a chance of becoming a U.S. Citizen before the 2018 elections in November.

Question:   I just passed my Naturalization exam at my interview last week and I am waiting for my appointment date to get sworn in as a U.S. Citizen. Once I become a Citizen, I want to apply for both my parents who came here as tourists and have been in the U.S. for the last 12 years. I want to know if you file for my parents residency, how long will it take for them to get permission to work and their driving license and for their green cards? 
Answer:  Once their residency cases are filed, it will take about 3 months to receive their Work Authorization cards and then another week or so to be issued their Social Security cards. At that point they can apply for their Driver’s License. Currently, it is taking between 6 to 9 months for residency interviews, then another week or so to receive their Green Cards. 
Question: I have a question about petitioning a green card holder's children over age of 21, it says they can file a petition for unmarried children over 21. Does that mean the person being single at the time of the application or the person must be single throughout the whole process? Regards  
Answer:  That is a very critical question and the answer is one that many immigrants simply do not know. The law requires that the adult children of U.S. Residents sponsored in the F2B category remain single. If a child marries after the I-130 petition is filed but before a U.S. Resident parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the I-130 is automatically cancelled, even if the adult child later divorces. The reason is that immigration regulations do not have a Family category for married children of U.S. Residents, only single ones. I hope this is helpful to you. 
Responding to an RFE from the USCIS

Always read the RFE letter very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine and some are simple and easy to understand. For more complicated RFE letters, you may want to retain an immigration attorney to assist you. Once you have determined what the letter is requesting, be sure to provide the exact document requested. For instance, an officer may request a “long form” of a Birth Certificate. If you respond that you do not have one, your case will likely be denied. The appropriate action to take is to request one from the deparmental authority in your country of birth.

How much time do I have to respond to an RFE?

Depending on the type of case, you may have from 30 days to 84 days to respond so that the USCIS receives your response before the expiration date. If you fail to respond or filed after the deadline, your case will likely be denied. To be on the safe side, you should always send your response by Express or Priority Mail and get a delivery confirmation. Never send any communications to the USCIS via Certified Mail, which takes much longer and can risk your response being received late. Finally, remember that your response to the USCIS officers request must be RECEIVED by the USCIS ON or BEFORE the deadline. Responses received even one day late result in complete case denials. 

After I respond-what happens next?

Depending upon the case, it could take up to 60 days or more. You can check the online status to see if it is stating that your RFE response has been received, or call the USCIS 800# to ask if the computer show the USCIS received it. For adjustment case (I-485) requests, the officer may wait to receive your response before continuing processing of your Work Authorization application which will cause delays in its issuance. To avoid this, send your response as soon as possible and do not wait until you get near the deadline in the letter.

The USCIS Citizenship Resource Center which provides free citizenship preparation and study materials recently became friendlier to those using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. 

Visit the Citizenship Resource Center:
USCIS Citizenship Resource Center