Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

  POSTING DATE: December 16,  2019
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2019 
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
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...

  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter
Question: I have a question about my work permit that expires next week and so does my driver license. My wife and I did a marriage case and went to our interview last week but the man gave us a paper that said we have to wait 120 days for an answer. Now I don’t know what im gonna do about my license cause if I cant drive I cant go to work and support my family. Me and my wife have a baby and he just turned a year this month. Is there anything you can do to get me a new work permit fast so that I can get my driver license renewed?
Immigration How To:
How Do I Renew My Child’s Green Card On Their 14th Birthday For Free!
Understanding Appeals And Motions When Your Case is Denied!

With increasing frequency under the Trump administration, more and more immigration cases are being denied, as the USCIS has applied stricter scrutiny of all immigration applications. As a result, it’s vital to know what remedies exist once a case is denied and whether fling for review is appropriate. ​In many cases, USCIS denials can be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 33 days, with the denial notice including an advisory to that effect. Some types of immigration petitions cannot be appealed and denials include an advisory to that effect as well. 
 Warning - DUI Conviction Is Most 
Common Cause For Deportation! 
Stay Safe In This Holiday Season!

According to the Washington Examiner, the majority of all deportations from the U.S. stem from “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI) charges and convictions. Of the 158,000 immigrants arrested by ICE in 2018, the majority, some 80,000 were for DUI. ICE Arrests for drug crimes came in second, with traffic offenses coming in third. Don’t become a statistic for 2019. Be safe in this holiday season, don’t drink and drive, just use Uber!
House Passes Immigration Bill To Give Green Cards
 To Agricultural Workers In U.S.
Answer: Great news, since you are in the residency process, your work permit (also called an Employment Authorization Document “EAD”) is automatically extended for 180 days past the expiration date, as long as a renewal application is pending. That means that even though we are technically required to file for your EAD extension, once we do, you can still live, work and drive here legally for 180 days after your current EAD expires. Once your extension is filed, you will need to take your USCIS EAD extension receipt along with your expired EAD card, driver’s license and printout of the official USCIS 180 day rule policy, to get your driver’s license renewal.

Download the USCIS 180 day extension announcement 
During all the highly publicized Impeachment hearings in the House Judiciary Committee last week, representatives from both parties were quietly hammering out details of a final deal between Democrats and Republicans to include immigration protections and legal status for hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants working in the U.S. agricultural industry. 

In a surprise move, the House passed a bipartisan bill, called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019 last Wednesday night, which would legalize up to about 325,000 immigrants currently working in agriculture who do not have legal status. 
Avoid Common Mistake When Submitting Your Medical Report For Residency
Applying for residency can be a very confusing process, with all the fees, forms and documents and on top of all that, getting your required medical exam done. As a result, immigrants often do the easy part and have their medical exam done early on in preparation for filing their case, only to end up delaying filing for residency due to reasons which often include saving for the USCIS filing fees. This can end up being a costly mistake, since a new policy put into place last year provides that medical exams are only valid for 60 days after issuance (the date the doctor signs the report). 

Under the new policy, medical exams which are more than sixty (60) days old on the date of submission to the USCIS are no longer considered to be valid and must be redone all over again, which can be very expensive. To avoid this costly situation, it’s always best to have the medical exam performed just prior to residency case submission (the last thing on your check-off list). 
Question: I am a citizen and me and my wife who is from Bahamas will get married in January and I want to file her immigration papers. She is here visiting for the holidays and we decided to have her stay here and not go back home when her time expires. However we are concerned about her son who just turned 18 last month. He is here visiting as well and we want to make sure that he will be able to immigrate along with his mother. Can you please inform us of how we can go about this please?
Answer: I am sorry to say that you can sponsor your wife for U.S. Residency, but unfortunately not her son. Immigration regulations require that the marriage between the foreign national spouse and U.S. Citizen or Resident spouse takes place before the stepchild reaches age 18, in order for the child to be sponsored. Since her son is already age 18 and you are not married yet, he would not be eligible as your step-child. However, once your wife obtains her residency, she can sponsor her son as long as he remains under age 21 by the time he is eligible for an immigrant visa. 

There is also an interesting alternative for you. Since you are not married yet, you have the option of doing a K-1 fiancée visa, which would allow your fiancée’s son to qualify to immigrate along with his mother. It is a special provision in the law, which allows the minor children of fiancée’s under age 21 to immigrate to the U.S. and receive residency along with their parents. To qualify, your fiancée and her son would not be allowed to stay in the U.S.. They would have to return home before their period of authorized stay expires, although they can come and visit. We would file the K visa for them and they would go to an interview at the U.S. Consulate in about eight to ten months or so in order to be issued a K visa to enter the U.S. and then you would get married within 90 days. Once they are here and you are married I can file for their residency. This method would require a sacrifice of being separated for a period of time, but it is well worth it in order for her son to be able to obtain his green card along with his mom. Let me know if you want me to handle your case.

Under its provisions, the bill would give farmworkers who have worked in agriculture for at least 180 days over the past two years the opportunity to apply for “Certified Agricultural Worker” status, which can be renewed in six-month or five-year increments if they continue to work in agriculture for at least 100 days a year.

 Long-term farmworkers with at least four more years of experience in the industry would be eligible to pay and $1,000 penalty and be provided a path to residency and eventual U.S. Citizenship. 

The underlying reason for the proposal is to provide a cheap supply of unskilled workers to the agricultural and dairy industries, which have been hit hard by Trump’s anti-immigrant policies. There is a shortage of workers in these fields because it’s almost impossible to find U.S. workers willing to do these grueling, labor intensive jobs. The bill also streamlines the application process for the H-2A temporary visa program for seasonal agricultural workers, which employs approximately 196,000 agricultural workers legally every year and creates 20,000 visas for year-round agricultural workers in the dairy farming and related industries. Finally, the measure allows for up to 40,000 green cards to be granted annually, either through the sponsorship of an employer or if workers maintain H-2A status for 10 years. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration in early 2020. Stay tuned… 

Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2019
The good news is that once submitted to the USCIS, medical examinations are valid for two years from the date signed by the doctor. 

USCIS medical exam policy announcement

Question: I read something you said about a green card holder can file for his wife and I want to know if it applies to us. My husband has his green card for 2 yrs through his parents. He says he has to wait for 3 more years to apply for his citizenship. I came up on a tourist visa and we got married 2 years ago after he got his green card and I stayed here until now and my visa has expired. I cant drive or work legally and its really difficult for us so we want to file for my papers as soon as possible and want to know if its legal or not or do we have to wait until he is a citizen?
Answer: That is a great question and very important to know before filing any application with the USCIS. These days, spouses and minor children of U.S. Residents (green card holders) are eligible to file for residency in the U.S. as long as they are in legal immigration status. This was not always possible before, since in the past there was a two year visa waiting line. For the time being, there is no waiting line, although there may be again in the future. 

Unfortunately, in your case, you are not eligible to file your residency application. This is because you are inside the U.S. and have fallen out of legal immigration status. The law is very different for spouses and minor children of residents, compared with those of U.S. Citizens. Spouses and minor children of U.S. Citizens who entered the U.S. legally, but fell out of legal status are still eligible to file for residency inside the U.S.. However the opposite is true for spouses and minor children of residents, since the law does not provide them a right to adjust status in the U.S. if their status has expired. In such cases, these family members must wait until the resident becomes a U.S. Citizen. In your case, you have been very wise not to apply for residency up to this point. You will need to wait until your husband becomes a U.S. Citizen, then at that time we can apply for your residency safely. I hope this was helpful to you.
However in most such cases, even when an appeal is not legally available, a motion (MTR) can still be made within 33 days of the denial, to request that the denial issued by the USCIS be reviewed or reconsidered. With that said, it’s really important to understand that even though an appeal or request for review or reconsideration is available in most cases, that does not mean that it is wise or even prudent to file one. When an immigration case has been denied because eligibility for the benefit does not exist, filing an appeal or motion will not result in an approval and is really just a waste of time and money. The USCIS filing fee for appeals and motions is $675 and in no way guarantees a final approval. In fact, the majority of all appeals and motions are denied. Many applicants believe that since the denial notice mentions the appeal, that means that if they file one, the case will be approved, but in reality nothing can be further from the truth. 

For example, when a Resident files for naturalization but has not been physically inside the U.S. for at least 913 days in the past five years (or 548 for early naturalization based upon marriage to a U.S. Citizen), with very few exceptions, eligibility does not exist. Similarly, when an U.S. Citizen files to sponsor a non-qualifying family member like grandchild or a resident files to sponsor a married child, no eligibility exists. In these and other cases, filing an appeal or request for review is simply a waste of $675.

In contrast, there are some circumstances when it may be wise to file an appeal or review request, for instance in cases where the USCIS issued a request for evidence and you never received it, so were unable to proved the documents requested by the deadline or where legal eligibility exists and the initial petition was well documented, but still denied. For instance in a family based I-130 when the USCIS issues a request for evidence asking for a copy of a sponsor’s Certificate of Citizenship, but since the request was never received, the case was denied for failure to submit the document by the deadline. Similarly when an interview notice was issued by the USCIS but never received by the applicant and the case was denied for the applicant’s failure to attend the interview. Or when an I-130 petition was filed for a qualifying family member in an immigration category with long waiting lines which would necessitate waiting many more years, were the case be required to be re-filed, like that for a sibling or married child which would mean enduring another 12 to 14 years waiting if the denial were to stand. In such cases, an appeal or motion may very well be worthwhile.

In other cases where USCIS processing times are relatively short, it is often simply best to just re-file the case again, since appeals and motions can often take from six months to several years to be decided. Interestingly, when an appeal or motion is filed, ironically, it’s frequently the same USCIS officer who originally denied the case, that gets to review or reconsider the case and either affirm the original denial or reverse it and approve the case. In an appeal case, if the USCIS decides not to approve the case, the appeal will automatically be sent to the AAO or BIA for a final decision. For Motions, the officer’s decision not to reopen or reconsider is final.

An appeal is based upon the argument that the denial was based upon either an error in the application of the law or the officer’s interpretation of law to the facts of a case. A motion can either be requested to reopen a case, based upon new facts or documents not available to have been previously submitted with the original application or to reconsider the case, due to the USCIS having misapplied or misinterpreted the law and/or facts of the case or both.
The decision whether or not to file an appeal or motion is important and should be based upon well informed, intelligent reasoning about the likelihood for success, not simply the notion that since the denial says I can appeal, I will. And as more restrictive policies are implemented by the USCIS which will make it riskier for certain applicants to remain in the U.S. following a denial, the issue of the timing of appeals and motions becomes more critical. As a result, it often best to seek immigration advice from a qualified attorney regarding eligibility for any immigration application BEFORE filing and if denied, guidance on whether or not to proceed with an appeal or motion.

You can get links to the I-290B appeals/motion form and more information about filing a request by visiting our website at: and click on the newsletter link or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.

Immigration rule that regulations can be obscure, seem mysterious and are often complicated. So it’s nice to come across a rule which is actually beneficial and saves you money! Under a little-known law, once a U.S. Resident child turns age 14, a Green Card renewal must be filed within 30 days. 

This special requirement exists because children under age 14 are exempt from the fingerprinting, so once a child reaches age 14, he or she must provide biometrics provide fingerprints as part of the renewal process. However in practice, most parents do not follow the rule to renew their children’s Green Cards and no penalty is applied by the USCIS for failure to do so. 
But what if there were a benefit to filing a renewal on your child’s 14th birthday? Well there is ….to a lucky few! The USCIS actually waives the application fee for Green Card renewal applications filed for children within 30 days of their 14th birthday, as long as the child’s Green Card will expire after the child turns age 16. Strange, but true. The catch is that there is only a very short 30 day period in which the renewal can be filed without paying the USCIS filing fee and those exact requirements must be met. For instance, if a child is turning age 14, but their Green Card expires when the child is 15, the filing fee would not be waived. Similarly, if the child has turned age 14 and you filed after 30 days, the fee is not waived. In all cases the biometrics fee of $85 must still be paid, but you will still be saving $455 for the regular renewal fee. Good to know! 

Form  I-90 renewal