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

  POSTING DATE: DECEMBER 7,  2015
Tell a friend about this page







Learn More About:

Add this page to your favorites.

Add this page to your favorites.
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2015 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: www.ImmigrateToday.com or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Immigration
Questions & Answers
Question: I have a question about renewing my Green Card. I have been a resident for almost 10 years and my card is expiring soon. The problem is that I was convicted with shoplifting, something like pet theft which my lawyer said was a misdemeanor in 2008. Now I’m afraid to apply for my Green Card renewal and I need your advice. I was thinking of trying to get the case expunged so it won’t cause a problem with my immigration case. If I can qualify, then I want to renew the card then get my citizenship right away so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Thanks.
Answer: Generally, as long as the charge was for petty theft, which is a misdemeanor in Florida and you have only one conviction, then it should likely not have a negative effect on Green Card renewal or Citizenship (since the conviction was more than 5 years ago). There is a special “petty theft” exception in immigration law. However, any time a foreign national is convicted of a crime, due to potential immigration consequences, it is always a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney to be safe. It is also important to know that when an individual is convicted of a crime, even if the case was later expunged, the criminal conviction must still be listed on all immigration applications, since having a criminal record expunged does not apply to immigration. The USCIS requires that applicants provide certified arrest reports and court dispositions when applying for immigration benefits. Having a case expunged makes it much more difficult to obtain. Many immigration cases are denied each year, simply because an individual had his or her immigration case expunged, thinking that it would not have to be reported to Immigration, only to find out later that the conviction must be revealed and documented. 
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know How Long It Will Take For My Sister To Immigrate To America
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
Obama Administration Files Supreme Court Appeal 
In Executive Actions Case
As expected, the U.S. Justice Department formally appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court recently to review the denial issued by the 5th Circuit appeals court against allowing implementation of the President’s Executive Actions for parents of Citizens and Residents (DAPA) and expanded DACA for Dreamers. The formal petition filed by the Obama Administration requesting Supreme Court review, called “ a writ of certiorari”, asks the Court to overturn the injunction blocking DAPA and expanded DACA which had been issued by a Texas Court earlier this year in February. 

On November 23rd, the State of Texas then requested a 30 day extension of time to respond to the Justice Department's petition for review by the Supreme Court, which is widely seen as a delay tactic in an effort to prevent the case from being heard by the Supreme Court during the current term. But experts predict that the court will nevertheless put the case on an expedited schedule to make the decision whether to grant or deny review in the next several months.
Question: I am 31 years old and single, never married. In February of 2008 my U.S. citizen dad filed an I-130 for me to immigrate to the U.S., which was approved. Then I came to the U.S. in 2011 on an F-1 Student Visa and have been in the U.S. going to college here ever since. Recently, my dad got a letter from the National Visa Center saying that they are going to begin processing my immigrant visa for Jamaica. But since I’m in the U.S. and not in Jamaica, I’m confused about what to do next. They are asking us to pay some fees and we aren’t sure what to do. Should we pay them or not? How soon can I work in the U.S.? 
Answer: Since you are legally in the U.S., and an immigrant visa is immediately available in your visa category (F1 Immigration category for unmarried adult sons & daughters of U.S. Citizens) you have the option of either applying inside the U.S. to adjust your status to U.S. Residency (Green Card) which takes between 4-8 months or processing outside the U.S. through the U.S. Consulate in Kingston, which could take longer. If you choose to adjust your status inside the U.S., your father should not pay the bills, but instead the National Visa Center should be notified that you will adjust status in the U.S., so that they can transfer your file back to the USCIS. If we file your residency case for you now, it will take about 3 months for you to receive your work and travel permit.
 If granted, the case will be heard by the court in the Spring of 2016, with a final decision expected by late June 2016. 

Read the formal Justice Department Appeal to the Supreme Court:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v.STATE OF TEXAS
Question:Hi, I’ve been in the U.S. for over 10 years now. I came in 1999 on an international student visa and once I graduated, I let my I-94 card expire and I have never left the U.S. since. Me and my American girlfriend who have been dating for about 2 years are getting married in a few weeks. My question is about my immigration papers. Is there a certain waiting period once we get married before you can file for my Green Card. Also, my girlfriend is 19, does she have to wait until she is 21 before she can sponsor me?
Answer: Once you are legally married, we can file your immigration case immediately, there is no waiting period between getting married and being able to file an immigrant petition through your U.S. Citizen spouse. An individual only needs to be at least age 18 in order to sponsor a spouse. The exception is that U.S. citizen children must be at least age 21 before they can petition for their parents. 
Question: I have a question about renewing my Green Card. I have been a resident for almost 10 years and my card is expiring soon. The problem is that I was convicted with shoplifting, something like pet theft which my lawyer said was a misdemeanor in 2008. Now I’m afraid to apply for my Green Card renewal and I need your advice. I was thinking of trying to get the case expunged so it won’t cause a problem with my immigration case. If I can qualify, then I want to renew the card then get my citizenship right away so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Thanks.
Answer: Generally, as long as the charge was for petty theft, which is a misdemeanor in Florida and you have only one conviction, then it should likely not have a negative effect on Green Card renewal or Citizenship (since the conviction was more than 5 years ago). There is a special “petty theft” exception in immigration law. However, any time a foreign national is convicted of a crime, due to potential immigration consequences, it is always a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney to be safe. It is also important to know that when an individual is convicted of a crime, even if the case was later expunged, the criminal conviction must still be listed on all immigration applications, since having a criminal record expunged does not apply to immigration. The USCIS requires that applicants provide certified arrest reports and court dispositions when applying for immigration benefits. Having a case expunged makes it much more difficult to obtain. Many immigration cases are denied each year, simply because an individual had his or her immigration case expunged, thinking that it would not have to be reported to Immigration, only to find out later that the conviction must be revealed and documented. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
The USCIS E-Notification Service Notifies You When Your Case Is Received 
The USCIS now provides a convenient service to customers who have filed applications by sending email or text notifications once the center receives and accepts an application for processing. 

To request an email or text notification, go online to the USCIS website and download and complete form G-1145. Complete a separate form for each form you are sending to the USCIS and attach to the front page of each application. Good luck!
It Can Take Many Years For Family Members To Immigrate To The U.S. - Learn Why

​Many Americans and Immigrants alike believe that once a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident sponsors a family member to immigrate to the U.S., the only delay in their relative actually immigrating is the time it takes the USCIS to process the case. 

This often causes quite a bit of confusion and frustration for sponsors and family members who are unsure about how long the immigration process will actually take and how to determine how much more time they will need to wait.
Category/Family Relationship

1st Single, Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
(and their minor children under 21)

2A Spouses & Minor Children of U.S. Residents

2B Single, Adult Children of U.S. Residents
 (and their minor children under 21)

3rd Married, Adult Children of U.S. Citizens
(their Spouses & minor children under 21)

4 Siblings (Brother/Sisters) of U.S. Citizens
(their Spouses & minor children under 21)
7 years


1 1/2 years


6 years


10 - 12 years


12 - 14 years
Approx Wait Time
Simply put, Immigration waiting lines are based not upon processing time, but instead upon supply and demand. This means that since there are only a certain number of Immigrant Visas available each year to family members in immigration categories, if too many visa applications are filed, the long and longer the line gets. So in a way, when a family petition is filed to sponsor a relative, even though there are no immigrant visas available at the time, the application is put in a line behind all the others who applied earlier, waiting to get to the front of the line. It’s kind of like a “rain check”, when you go to the store to buy an item on sale and the store is out of stock, once the stock becomes available again, you can complete your purchase – which in this case – can take many years.  

You can read a full explanation of Family Immigrant Visa lines and processing to give yourself a fuller understanding of the issue.

The chart below gives readers an idea of the various family categories and waiting lines for all countries except China, Mexico & Philippines, which often have waiting  lines exceeding 20 years or more due to high demand: