Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: October 2,  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: Hi, I have a US Citizen daughter that was born in the U.S. while I was a student there many years ago. She turned 21 last year and filed a petition to sponsor me and the case was approved. I got a letter saying that my case is at the National Visa Center now. But we just realized that even though my husband and 10 year old son were also included on my petition, for some reason the National Visa Center is only preparing my immigration case. So I’d like to know if its possible for you to take over my case and add my husband, (who is my daughters step father since she was 12) and my 10 yr old son, so we can all immigrate together, thanks.
Answer: That’s a very good question and important for you to understand. The Immigration category for Parents of U.S. Citizens, called “Immediate Relatives” does not allow for any dependant (Spouse and children) to immigrate with the Parent to the U.S.. Immediate Relatives can only immigrate as individuals, not as a family. This is true even though your spouse and children are also listed on the I-130 Family Petition your daughter filed. In order for the spouse of a Parent (step-parent to the U.S. Citizen child) to be able to immigrate, the marriage between the U.S. Citizen child’s biological Parent and the step-parent must have taken place before the U.S. Citizen child reached age 18. If it did, then the step-parent can immigrate as a separate Immediate Relative, just like a biological parent would. However, children of the Parent do not qualify to accompany the immigrating parent. The only way the child, who is the sibling of the U.S. Citizen sponsor can immigrate through the U.S. Citizen, is in the F4 Immigration category for siblings, which can take about 14 years. 

In your case, since you married your husband when your U.S. Citizen daughter was 12, he qualifies as her stepparent and she can file a parent petition for him, just like she did for you, her mother. However, your 10 year old son will not be eligible to immigrate along with either of you. The best strategy is likely for you to immigrate to the U.S. and immediately file to sponsor your 10 year old son. Once you do, the waiting line for a visa in the F2A Immigration category for minor children of U.S. Residents is about 1 ½ -2 years. So rather than adding your husband and son to your petition, I will file a separate petition on behalf of your daughter to sponsor your husband and later, once you obtain your Green Card, we will take care of filing a petition for your son as well.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Republicans Unveil More Restrictive DACA Dream Act Bill
In an effort to avoid a potential Democratic Party/Trump deal on the Dream Act (to make DACA permanent), Republicans last week introduced their own version of the measure called the SUCCEED Act, (Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education and Defending our nation).

Like the bi-partisan Dream Act bill introduced earlier this year, the SUCCEED Act seeks to make DACA permanent and give legal status to Immigrants brought to the U.S. at a young age by their parents. However, the conservative Republican legislation includes major restrictions and provides a longer path to legalization.
Immigration How To:
This Year's Obamacare Open Enrollment Begins Soon - How Do I Know Whether I Qualify To Apply ?
With the recent defeat of the Republican effort to end Obama care, the Affordable Care Act survives and open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace starts in November 2017. The question for many Immigrants is - Who Qualifies for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
Many Immigrants are confused about their eligibility to qualify for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”). Here’s a list of some of the common non U.S. Citizen immigration statuses which are eligible for health coverage:

Immigrants holding the following Immigration Status:

Lawful permanent and temporary Residents (LPR/Green Card holder)
Cuban/Haitian entrant
Paroled into the U.S.
Conditional entrant granted before 1980
Battered spouse, child, or parent (VAWA)
Victim of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent
Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal
Individual with non-immigrant status (including worker visas, student visas)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Deferred Action Status (EXCEPT: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) isn’t an eligible immigration status for applying for health coverage)

Applicants for:

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Adjustment to LPR Status with an approved visa petition
Victim of trafficking visa
Asylum who has been granted employment authorization
Withholding of Deportation/Removal 

Certain individuals with employment authorization documents:

Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
Applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Granted an administrative stay of removal by the Department of Homeland Security 

Click here to see the eligibility list 

Stay Informed - Sign-up For USCIS E-Notification & Email Updates 
On Your Immigration Case 
The USCIS now offers several ways for Applicants to get updates on newly filed and pending Immigration cases. Immigrants and Sponsors filing Immigration applications with the USCIS can now sign-up to receive text messages and email E-notifications confirming application receipt by the USCIS, along with the case receipt number(s). The receipt number allows individuals to track the status of their case online. E-notifications are issued within 24 hours after the USCIS receives the application.
For instance, once your Immigration application is filed, the USCIS may issue you a letter requesting more evidence in order to continue processing the case. If you are registered to receive case status updates, you will receive an email notification that the USCIS has issued the request, which helps you to be aware that you should be receiving the request by mail soon. If you have not received the request, you can then make further inquiries. Similarly, once you respond to the USCIS request, you will receive an updated email notification that they have received your documentation. It’s a great way to stay informed and keep up to date on the status of your case as it is being processed.
To request e-notification, download and complete form G-1145 and mail along with all Immigration applications.  

Once you receive your case number, go to the USCIS website and sign up for Email Status updates on your case through the USCIS My Case Status program. Once you register and enter your case number(s), the USICS will automatically email you notifications and updates on any actions take on your case so that you are better informed about your case status. 
Under a new Federal rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is authorized to collect social media data from all international travelers, immigrants and even naturalized U.S. Citizens entering the U.S. border. 

According to the new policy, beginning on October 18th, the DHS is authorized to collect “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information and search results,” which would be included in an applicant’s immigration file. The rule states that the data would come from “publicly available information obtained from the internet, public records, public institutions, interviewees, commercial data providers.”
Major highlights: 

Eligibility Requirements:
The bipartisan Dream Act will allow Dreamers who have entered the U.S. before the age of 18 and who have resided in the U.S. for at least 4 years to qualify. Under the SUCCEED Act, Immigrants must have entered the U.S. before age 16 and have resided in the U.S. since 6/15/2012. 

Age Limit:
The Dream Act has no age limit, yet the SUCEED Act limits eligibility to those who were under age 31 on 6/15/12. 

The Dream Act would allow Dreamers to apply for U.S. Citizenship after 13 yrs (8 yrs as a Conditional and 5 years as a Permanent Resident), The SUCCEED Act would allow Dreamers to apply for U.S. Citizenship after 15 yrs (10 yrs as a Conditional Resident and 5 years as a Permanent Resident)

Sponsoring Family Members:
Finally, the Dream Act has no prohibition against Dreamers who obtain U.S. Citizenship sponsoring family members, while the SUCCEED Act explicitly prohibits Dreamers who obtain U.S. Citizenship from sponsoring family members, including parents.

With the momentum in Congress from both Democrats and Republicans ready to finally tackle legislation for Dreamers, it is more important than ever for you to contact your member of Congress and voice your support for the Dream Act and opposition to the SUCCEED Act. For Florida, you can call your Senators at: Democratic Sen. Nelson : 202-224-5274 and Republican Sen. Rubio: 202-224-3041. If you live outside of Florida, you can get a link to contact your Senator by entering your zip code at whoismyrepresentative:


Read More:
Dream Act of 2017
Analysis of the Dream Act of 2017
Analysis of the SUCCEED Act

Reminder To Dreamers – File Your DACA Renewal Today!
As the October 5th deadline approaches in a few days, Dreamers are reminded to have their DACA renewal applications filed in the next few days using “overnight” delivery to ensure receipt by the USCIS on or before October 5th. Applications received after that date will be rejected and the applicant will no longer be eligible for renewal of DACA status. Simply sending the application before that date will not be acceptable, since it must actually be received by the USCIS on or before that date, no exceptions. The new USCIS Filing fee is $495. Reminder to never use Certified Mail for this or any other immigration application filing.

Mailing address and instructions

Question: I am 65 years of age and I have been married for nearly one year to my U.S citizen husband who is 52 years old. We are getting ready to file for my immigration papers and were wondering if there might be any concerns with the age difference since he is younger than me?
Answer: As long as you are a real couple, married for love, not for immigration, and you present a very well prepared, comprehensive case to the USCIS showing extensive joint marital documentation, your case should be approved. The main problem couples have in marriage immigration cases is failing to understand what the USCIS expects from them to prove a real marriage. Couples often use their own logic, not the reality of what the USCIS is expecting. This is especially true when they have other factors which do not fit the standard marriage case, for instance when couples are different ethnicities or when there is a significant age variance. The best advice is always to prepare your entire case to meet even the most extreme USCIS expectations, so that even if you are assigned the toughest USCIS officer, you will be successful, because you will be prepared. The fact that you are older than your husband will not be an impediment as long as your marriage is fully documented and you are able to present lots of joint marital documentation. Let me know if you would like me to handle your Residency case to obtain your Green Card.
New Policy Allows Government To Collect Social Media Data 
on All Travelers Entering The U.S.!
This comes amid rising civil liberties concerns over border officials’ recent expansion of Social Media scrutiny of foreign travelers, as part of the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” policies which include requesting unlock codes from travelers, searches of laptops, phones or other electronic devices, and demands for social media handles and aliases such as Facebook, etc to view media posts and other information. Critics see this as yet another inevitable blow against civil liberties, by an administration which appears to be moving more and more towards a police state.

Questions arise as to the limits on DHS power to search and seize electronic data, however this remains unclear. For now, the only way to safeguard devices against these measures is leave your laptop at home and use another device with limited person information when travelling and to delete phone texts and limit social media information and posts. 

Read More:
New York Times
View the new rule