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

Tell a friend about this page

Learn More About:

This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

Add this page to your favorites.

Add this page to your favorites.
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2014  
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
Question:  I`m currently a permanent resident and I have my 10 year green card. My boyfriend is currently in Bulgaria. What is the fastest way to bring him here? I have another 2 years before I can apply for citizenship. Should we get married here or there? If we get married here and apply for his papers I know it`ll take longer since I`m not a citizen, but in the meantime will he have the right to work in the US?
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
New Website Allows Immigrant Workers To Self-check Employment Eligibility Status
 The USCIS has announced the creation of a new website which gives Immigrant and other workers the ability to safely check their own employment authorization status in the government system. 

Called “My E-Verify”, the website gives individuals free access to self-check employment eligibility and to see information about themselves that an employer might see about them in the government E-Verify system, as well as to assist workers to combat fraud and protect against identity theft.
Answer:Its really important to understand that spouses of Residents are not allowed to stay inside or work in the U.S. (unless they are on another legal visa). If they do, they will be ineligible to obtain a Green Card. There is a big difference between the rights spouses of citizens have compared to those of residents. Residents cannot petition fiancées, whereas U.S. Citizens can. 

In your situation, you should have a spousal case filed on his behalf as soon as possible so that he can get his place in the “visa line”. The visa line for spouses of Residents is now about 1 ½ years, so the sooner he is in the line, the better. There is no way for you to legally bring him to the U.S. yourself, unless he is eligible on his own for a work, student or other visa. However, be aware that once the spousal case is filed, he may not be eligible to obtain some types of work or student visas at the U.S. Consulate. Let me know if you want us to handle his residency case so that it is filed and processed properly so that he does not have to wait any longer than is necessary.
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know What Happens At My Naturalization Ceremony?
New Biometrics Appointment Notices Now Have New Certification 
Visit the new My E-Verify site to check your status:
Upgrade Planned For USCIS Change of Address System
The USCIS is planning upcoming upgrades to its systems which once implemented, will allow change of address data filed by Immigrants and sponsors on the USCIS website to automatically be validated on the U.S. Postal Service systems as a valid address. 

This will likely help to ensure that fewer USCIS mailings are returned to the USCIS for an “invalid” address and assist customers in ensuring that address changes are correctly entered into the USCIS system for future notifications and communications.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the extension of TPS for Hondurans and Nicaraguans effective January 6, 2015 through July 5, 2016. Those seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day period that began on from Oct. 16, 2014 continuing through Dec. 15, 2014. 

Beginning August 2014, the USCIS changes its Biometrics Appointment Notice format to include a new certification which must be signed at the time of your appointment:
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended for Hondurans and Nicaraguans
The USCIS has also announced that it will not be reusing previous Biometric fingerprints and photographs taken from Immigrants during earlier TPS periods. All TPS re-registrants will receive appointment notices to have their Biometrics taken at local USCIS Application Support Centers within approximately 30-60 days of application. Those who do not attended the scheduled Biometrics appointment may have their cases denied, so re-registrants are urged to either attend the scheduled appointment or send in the form to reschedule the appointment for another date.
Information Desk Outreach:

West Dade Regional Library located at 9445 Coral Way Miami: on 11/13/14 from 4:00 – 7:30 pm
Kendale Lakes Branch Library located at 15205 SW 88 St. Miami: on 11/20/14 from 4:00 – 7:30 
The USCIS Has Announced Upcoming Outreach Sessions And Naturalization Ceremonies At Several South Florida Locations
Naturalization Ceremonies:

Miami Field Office November 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th  
Hialeah Field Office November 7th, 14th and 21st 
Oakland Park Field Office November 14th and 21st
Kendall Field Office November 7th, 14th, 21st and 25th
Question:  I am here in Miami on a tourist visa and want to know if it is possible for me to change to a student visa while I am here?
Answer:Immigration regulations allow you to apply to change from your B Tourist or other visa to an F-1 Student visa while in Miami if you qualify. You'll need to wait at least 60 days from the date you entered the U.S., have an I-20 issued by the school you want to attend and be able to demonstrate that you intend to return to your country once you have completed your studies in the U.S.. Documents which will help to prove that you intend to return home include evidence showing you own or rent a residence in your home country, have significant family ties which will make it more likely than not that you will return home, in addition to showing the financial resources to pay for your Tuition and living expenses while studying in the U.S.. 

Please note that when a student changes status to that of a student (F-1 status) INSIDE the U.S., he or she is able to stay and attend school during the entire period of studies, no matter how long that is. However, F-1status inside the U.S. does not provide an F-1 “Visa”. So, the first time that a student leaves the U.S. and travels abroad, he or she must first obtain the actual F-1 “Visa” from the U.S. Consulate abroad before being allowed to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status. If a student does not get the “Visa” and enters the U.S. on their tourist or any other visa or Visa Waiver, F-1 student status is automatically cancelled. Let us know if you want us to handle your F-1 change of status case
You have willingly completed your application, petition, or request; 

You have reviewed the contents of your application, petition, or request and of all supporting documents, applications(s), petition(s), or request(s) that you (or your attorney or accredited representative) filed with your completed application, petition, or request and all of the information in these materials is complete, true, and correct; 

If you were assisted in completing your application, petition, or request (including supporting documents), the person assisting you also reviewed the Acknowledgement of Required Appointment at USCIS Application Support Center notice with you; 

You understand that you will be signing your name to the following declaration which will be displayed to you at the time you are required to provide your photograph, fingerprint(s), and/or signature during your ASC appointment: 

By signing here, I declare under penalty of perjury that I have reviewed and understand my application, petition, or request, as identified by the receipt number displayed on the screen above, and all supporting documents, application(s), petition(s), or request(s) filed with my application, petition, or request that I (or my attorney or accredited representative) filed with USCIS, and that all of the information in these materials is complete, true, and correct. 
Understanding What Happens At Your Naturalization Ceremony And Becoming a U.S. Citizen
Once your Application for Naturalization is approved, the USCIS puts your case in the queue to be scheduled for your Oath of Allegiance which takes place at your naturalization ceremony. This taking of your Oath of Allegiance complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
Understanding the types of Oath Ceremonies:

There are two kinds of Oath of Allegiance ceremonies, one, is a judicial ceremony, where the court administers the Oath of Allegiance for Residents who have requested a name change and the regular administrative ceremony, during which the USCIS administers the Oath of Allegiance.

So what’s going to happen at your naturalization ceremony?

1. Receive Your Naturalization Ceremony Notice to Take the Oath of Allegiance

While some Immigrants who request it may be able to participate in a naturalization ceremony on the same day as their naturalization interview, many Residents must wait for the USCIS mail them a notice with the date, time, and location of their scheduled naturalization ceremony, called a Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony (Form – N-445). Those who cannot attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony must return the notice to their local USCIS office, along with a letter requesting a new date and explaining why they are not able to attend the scheduled naturalization ceremony. Residents who fail to show up for their naturalization ceremony without having requested a rescheduling may receive a denial of their naturalization case.

2. Complete Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony before checking in at the Ceremony
Residents should complete Form N-445, Notice of Naturalization Oath Ceremony before arriving at the ceremony, prior to check in with USCIS. During check-in, a USCIS officer will review your responses to the questionnaire.

3. Surrender of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) 

Residents who are becoming U.S. Citizens must surrender their Permanent Resident Cards to the USCIS at the time they check- in for the naturalization ceremony. Those who have lost their cards can receive a waiver. 

4. Taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States

A Resident is not a U.S. citizen until he/she takes the Oath of Allegiance to the United States during the naturalization ceremony. After the Oath, new U.S Citizens receive their Certificate of Naturalization.

5. Notes about the Certificate of Naturalization

New U.S Citizens should carefully review the Certificate of Naturalization for accuracy while still at the ceremony. Any inaccuracies must be brought to the attention of the USCIS before leaving the ceremony. Unless or until you apply for your U.S. Passport, your Certificate of Naturalization is your official proof of your U.S. Citizenship. Those who lose their Certificate of Naturalization must request a replacement by filing Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document and paying the $345 USCIS filing fee. The waiting time for a replacement can be lengthy.
downloading the form. 

6. Time to apply for Your U.S. Passport

Once you receive your Certificate of Naturalization, you can immediately apply for a U.S. passport. You will receive an application for a U.S. passport at your naturalization ceremony, called the “U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet” or you can go online to the U.S. Passport office  

7. Time to Register to Vote!

Now that you are a U.S. Citizen, it is your right and privilege to vote. You can register to vote at certain locations in your community, which may include post offices, motor vehicle offices, county boards of election, and offices of your state Secretary of State. You can read more about registering to vote by reading the government publication: “A Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections."

8. Final Step: Update your Social Security Record

After you become a U.S. Citizen, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your Social Security record. You can find your local Social Security office by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting: You can go to your local SSA office about ten days after your ceremony to give time for the SSA to be able to access your new status in the USCIS records. Be sure to take your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport with you. Good luck!