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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2020 
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
  Immigration News & Updates              
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know If I Can Bring My Fiancée and Her Kids Over Age 18 To The U.S.?
Questions About Immigration? We have the answers!
We Are Here To Help, Call us now for a FREE consultation (954) 382-5378
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Question: I filed for my mom last year and she got her appointment at the embassy in March this year, then it got cancelled due to the pandemic. Then the consulate site said that no more appointments could be scheduled due to the presidents’ order. So, my mom has been waiting all this time. Now that we have a new president will my mom be able to get her appointment? Do you know when that might be?
The USCIS announced last week that it plans to implement a revised version of the naturalization civics test to ensure that it “comprehensively assesses applicants’ knowledge of American history, government and civic values.”. The new test is required for all Residents who apply for naturalization on or after December 1, 2020.

The new test contains 128 questions in three categories — American government, American history, up from 100 in the current version and increases the questions from 10 to 20, requiring applicants to answer 12 out of 20 questions correctly, rather than the current 6 out of 10. 
USCIS Implements New Naturalization Test 
To Make It Harder For Residents To Obtain Citizenship!

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
 POSTING DATE: November 16, 2020
Answer: Yes, the great news is that President Biden will cancel Trump’s immigration ban once he takes office in January 2021. From that time, U.S. Consulates which had been prohibited from scheduling most family and employment-based immigrant visa appointments will begin scheduling those which were cancelled in 2020. However, due to reduced staffing caused by Covid-19, consular processing is already very slow, so give it some time. I would estimate a minimum of four months wait if not longer. You can shoot the Consulate over an email in January with your mom’s case number and information to see if you can get an answer about approximate timing and if it takes longer than six months you can request congressional assistance to try to get her interview rescheduled.
Under the “Immediate Relative” law, the minor child of a foreign spouse qualifies as a “Step-child” which can be sponsored by the U.S. Citizen, as long as the marriage to the child’s parent took place before the child turned age 18. Yet one day over age 18 and the child loses the ability to obtain Residency from the Stepparent. 
So what happens if a couple is planning to get married but has not yet done so before a child turns age 18? And what if the couple has not even met until the child is over 18? Tragically, in some cases, children are not able to immigrate along with their parent and must often wait in a long immigration visa lines for years once their parent obtains a Green Card, to join them in the U.S..
Don’t Forget To Make A Copy Of Your Immigration Application 
Before Sending To The USCIS!

One of the most common problems immigrants have in determining their immigration status is that they don’t keep copies of the petitions filed with Immigration (USCIS). The best advice to avoid this is:
1) Make a copy of EVERYTHING, including all documents you file with your petition
2) Send your immigration petition package and all follow up documents to the USCIS using Priority Mail from the U.S. postal service or Fed-ex/UPS, NEVER use Certified Mail! Make sure you track the package to see the date of delivery and print out the confirmation for your records in case you need to prove it later.
Biden’s Immigration To Do List In His First 100 Days
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Immigration Reform For Millions Of Immigrants Depends 
Upon The Senate Run-off In The State Of Georgia
There is a very ugly mess waiting for President Biden on his January 20th inauguration day, with nearly all of the Obama Administration’s policies and initiatives thrown into the trash and agencies like the USCIS critically underfunded. 

During his time in office Trump transferred millions in government funds from the USCIS to enforcement, and stripped its resources to the bone, leaving only minimal staffing, relegating it as a low priority agency. Over the past four years, Trump reduced legal immigration by some 50% and virtually brought all family and employment immigration from abroad to a standstill with his “Immigration ban”. 
Question: I heard that the new president is going to restart DACA. So I want to know if I will be able to apply. I came to America in 2015 when I was 13  with my parents and they just stayed here, so I don’t have my papers or drivers license or anything to show that I am legal. Thank you for your answer.
Answer: A priority of the new Biden administration is to protect Dreamers and restart the DACA program. However, under DACA, only those who meet very strict criteria can apply. For background, on June 15, 2012, President Obama created the DACA program for young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as small children. The Executive policy, formally called the “Childhood Arrivals” Program, “Deferred Action” provides young immigrants with much of the same rights as U.S. Residency (Green Card), allowing them to live, work, drive, attend school, join the military and live the American Dream - while waiting for Congress to officially pass a law which will provides a formal immigration status, Green Card and eventual U.S. Citizenship. Those who are approved receive a Work Authorization card , a Social Security Card, Driver’s License, the right to attend college and serve in the military. Importantly, youth with Deportation Orders are eligible as well! To qualify, applicants must:
1) be between ages 15 and 30, 
2) have come to the US before age 16, 
3) have been in the U.S. continuously for at least 5 years before June 15, 2012, meaning by at least June 15, 2007 or before 
4) be in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012, 
5) be currently be in school (any middle, high school, GED, college or tech school), or have graduated from high school, have GED or be honorably discharged and
6) have not have been convicted of a Felony offense, major or multiple Misdemeanors 

Upon taking office Trump terminated the DACA program and even after multiple lawsuits ordering the program to be re-instituted, the administration has refused and recently even limited renewals to one year, instead of two.
Unfortunately, according to your circumstances you would not be eligible for the DACA program because you did not enter the U.S. on or before June 15, 2007. However, many believe that once Biden reinstates the full DACA program, he may try to expand it to include other young immigrants who came the U.S. at least five years ago, but that may not happen during the early months of his Presidency. 
Question: I came to see my girlfriend and her family in jan this year and due to the virus I couldn’t leave in March because my flight got cancelled. Then every time I got a new flight it was also cancelled. I filed an extension request in june showing all the cancellations but I didn’t get an answer yet. Me and my girlfriend have been dating for over a year first long distance and now that we have spent this long time together while I am in the U.S. we got more serious and have decided to get married. She has her green card through her parents. We want to know if I have to wait for the answer from immigration on my extension or can we just get married and file my papers. Does it matter that my i-94 expired in july (even though I filed the extension before it expired in june)? If its ok to file the papers what is the process? Thank you.
Answer: Since you filed to extend your status in June, before your I-94 expired in July, you are still technically in legal status and once you and your girlfriend get married, you can file for your residency. Once your residency is filed you will be in legal status during the entire residency process until you receive your green card. Once your case is filed, it takes about 2-3 weeks to receive your receipts, then another several months for your biometrics appointment to be scheduled, and your work and travel permits six months after the filing. After that, another 4+ months for your residency interview to be scheduled and after you attend another 30 days or so to receive your green card. Let me know when you are ready to get started.
Officers will now be required to ask all 20 questions, even though currently, an officer usually stops the test once the applicant has answered at least six correctly. The English test portion of the new naturalization test has not changed. 

The new test is even blatantly political, for instance, one of the civics questions asks applicants “Who does a U.S. senator represent?” Under the current test, the correct answer is “All people of the state.”. However, under the new version, the answer is “Citizens of their state.” In obvious reference to Trump’s recent failed attempts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the decennial census for the purposes of assigning congressional seats and federal funds.

There are, however, exceptions to the new test under the 65/20 Special Consideration rule for applicants who are 65 years old or older and have been living in the U.S. as lawful permanent residents for 20 or more years. Those who qualify only need to study 20 questions which are marked with an asterisk (* ) and may take the naturalization test in their language of choice. These applicants only need to answer 10 out of the 20 civics test questions with an asterisk and get at least 6 correct.

The new test is slated to be effective for all naturalization applicants who apply on or after Dec. 1, 2020, however, experts predict that Biden will throw out Trump’s new test and go back to the original version in favor of encouraging immigrants to become U.S. Citizens, rather than trying to make it harder!

New Civics Questions & Answers

There’s certainly a lot to be done and extreme pressure on the new Biden Administration to get it done quickly. Unfortunately, many positive changes in immigration, including comprehensive immigration reform require congressional action, which may not be forthcoming if the Democrats are not able to win a majority of seats in the Senate. So, in the early days, Biden will need to issue a big pile of Executive Orders, to start the clean-up. Here’s a list of a few of the immigration priorities the administration plans to tackle first including:

-Re-adopt the pre-Trump mission statement of the USCIS “America’s promise as a nation of immigrants” and ensure that all policies going forward focus on encouraging and enabling immigration, rather than on enforcement by ending ICE raids and enforcement actions which intimidate immigrant communities, end arrests and detention for law abiding immigrants and shift resources to immigration processing, rather than punishment. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel will answer directly to President Biden.

-Re-direct enforcement funds back to USCIS to reduce processing time and put policies in place to reduce agency Requests For Evidence (RFE) for H-1B work visas and other applications to increase efficiency 

-Issue new Executive Orders to reverse all of Trump’s proclamations and Executive Orders, including the “Immigration ban”, “Muslim Ban” and others

-Undo Trump’s restrictive immigration regulations including the Public Charge Rule, restrictions on International Student visas, child separation at the border, restrictive asylum policies, H-1B restrictions and others

-Re-institute DACA and issue immediate protections for Dreamers

-Issue TPS to Venezuelans

-Streamline the naturalization process for Residents to make it faster and easier to become a U.S. Citizen.

-Work with Congress to -Modernize America’s Immigration System to create legal status and path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. through comprehensive immigration reform

-Work with Congress to reform temporary work visa programs for seasonal workers to make it more streamlined and less bureaucratic and provide a path to citizenship for agricultural workers

-Work with Congress to enact a program for Startup Visas to encourage foreign-born entrepreneurs to start new businesses in the U.S. to create jobs and revitalize our economy, similar to programs in Canada, the U.K, Australia and New Zealand

-Reduce backlogs at U.S. Consulates abroad and speed up visa processing
President elect Joe Biden won the presidential race garnering over 300 electoral votes and won the popular vote by more than 5 million, giving him a mandate to push forward his Democratic agenda, which includes a large number of immigration reform, likely including amnesty. But even with his successful win, most priorities and many reforms, including amnesty will likely never be realized, unless the Democrats hold a majority of seats in the Senate. If not, the House of Representative which is held by a majority of Democrats and President Biden will put forward a slew of measures to bring about positive changes in America, but if the Senate is controlled by Republicans (like it is now), no laws can be passed and Biden’s agenda will simply languish and never become law.
The reason is that as a result of the recent election, 48 Democrats and 48 Republicans hold office in the Senate, with the results of two senate races going for a run-off on January 5th, to bring the total up to 100 Senators. Given this, the fate of millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. depends entirely upon the results of two Senate races in Georgia. Whoever wins these two seats controls the Senate, and thus, controls the entire Biden administration agenda.   
Democratic candidate Rev Raphael Warnock is running against Republican incumbent Trump loyalist, Kelly Loeffler and Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff against the Republican incumbent, David Perdue. With stakes so high, this local race is taking on national scale and even international attention as the fate of the world’s largest democracy hangs in the balance. Both the Democrats and Republicans are fighting hard to gain control of the Senate, with millions of dollars pouring into campaign coffers from all over the U.S., Republicans are highly motivated and angry that Trump lost, so they may have a big revenge turnout which will drive up votes on their side. 
Democrats in Georgia have a new found sense of satisfaction for turning the state from Republican red to Democratic blue and that may motivate many voters to get out a vote for a second time on January 5th. For now, we just have to wait, hope and make frequent contributions to the National Democratic Party which is helping to fund Warnock and Ossoff’s campaigns!  

Make a contribution to the National Democratic Party 
3) Keep the USCIS receipt (I-797 Notice of Action Receipt) as soon as you receive it-it is like GOLD! In many cases, when your petition could be processing for several years, you need to have proof of filing, as well as you’re A# (Alien Registration Number) and the case number so you can periodically check the status of your case. 
4) Always sign up for USCIS case status updates so you can get the latest status and processing information on your case.

Yet in many instances, the a K-1 Fiancé Visa is a perfect solution for U.S. Citizen sponsorship and can be the key to enabling stepchildren to immigrate to the U.S. along with their parent, when they would otherwise be unable to do so. Most people know that the K-1 Visa Fiancé Visa is used by U.S. Citizens to bring a foreign fiancé to the U.S. in order to get married within 90 days and file for Residency to get a Green Card. But many don’t know about the hidden benefits of the law, which allows minor children of the foreign Fiancé to qualify for Residency, when they would not otherwise be eligible to under regular Family immigration rule for “Immediate Relatives” (Spouses, Minor Children and Parents). Under the K-1 Visa, minor children of the Fiancé, under age 21 are eligible to be issued a K-2 Visa, which allows them to accompany their parent to the U.S. and obtain a Green Card along with the parent, up until they reach age 21. In this case, there is no requirement that their parent and stepparent marry before the child reaches age 18!

Years ago, the K-1 Visa was great because it would expedite the process to bring a fiancée to the U.S. in only a few months, so that the couple would not have to be separated for long periods of time. However, these days, the K-1 process takes almost as long as a spousal Immigrant Visa, 8 +months or so, making it less attractive. As such, the usual advice to U.S. Citizens these days is simply to get married to the foreign fiancée in their home country, then file the spousal petition and once approved, the foreign spouse will become a Resident upon entering the U.S.. 

However, in cases where the foreign Fiancé has one or more children over age 18, but under age 21, the K-1 (Fiancé) and K-2 (dependent) visas are a wonderful solution to overcome the problems caused under normal Immigration regulations in establishing the requisite Stepparent/Stepchild relationship before the child turns age 18. In this case, as long as the K-2 child enters the U.S. before age 21, he or she continues to qualify for a Green Card. This visa is only available to Fiancés and their minor children under age 21 of a U.S. Citizen (not Resident Green Card holder) and is only for those who are outside the U.S. and have not overstayed previously in the U.S..

 Find out if this could be the solution for your children! Get Free Information about the benefits 
of the K Fiancé Visa, by calling our office at (954) 382-5378.