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Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378

New USCIS Immigrant Fee Imposed For U.S. Residency Applicants Abroad 
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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2013  
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378

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Beginning February 1, 2013, Immigrants who are processed for U.S. Permanent Residency at U.S. Consulates abroad will be required to pay an additional USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165.

Question: I am the mother of an 11 yr old american son. My 194 is expired but my visa is not, is there anything I can do to upgrade my status?
Questions & Answers
Answer: No, unfortunately, it is not your U.S. Tourist Visa (B1/B2) in your Passport that controls your immigration status in the U.S., it is your I-94 Card. Even though your Tourist Visa is still valid, under current law, there is no way for you to change your status to any other non-immigrant visa inside the U.S. All visa extensions and changes of status must be received by the USCIS before the expiration date on your I-94 card. 

Also, believe it or not, there is not even a special exception for parents of U.S. Citizen children. Immigration regulations require that parents of U.S. Citizen children wait until the child reaches age 21 to be sponsored by their child for U.S. Residency. You will just have to wait until the law changes…..hopefully very soon. I hope this was helpful. 
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About the recent USCIS Announcement about the new Fee:
USCIS Website Announcement
New Comprehensive Immigration Reform – “Gang of Eight”
About the Politico Article naming the Immigration Reform "Gang of Eight":
Politico Article naming the "Gang of Eight"
The online political news website Politico reports that a bi-partisan group of eight Senators are working in secret on Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation which is rumored to be introduced in Congress in early 2013 following President Obama’s inauguration. 

Called the “Gang of Eight”, these Senators are expected to create the draft Bill which will become the foundation for the new U.S. Immigration law. The Senator are: Chuck Schumer - D-NY, Dick Durbin - D-IL, Michael Bennet - D-CO, Bob Menendez (D-NJ), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT),  Jeff Flake (R-AZ). ​
Question: I am married to a permanent resident, can my daughter go to college with our status?
Answer: It all depends upon whether you are in the U.S. in legal immigration status or not. The fact that you are married to a U.S. Resident does not give either you or your daughter any immediate immigration or other benefits in the U.S. . The only way to obtain benefits is by obtaining U.S. Residency. Generally, a foreign national married to a U.S. Resident, who is inside the U.S. with an expired I-94 card, is not eligible to obtain a Green Card inside the U.S.- under current law.

On the other hand, the law is very different if you are in legal immigration status (for instance on an F-1 student visa and you are still in school or on an H-2B or other work visa). In those cases, you are allowed to wait inside the U.S. in the Visa line until there is a visa available for the spouse (and child) of a U.S. Permanent Resident, then once available, your petition to adjust status to U.S. Residency can be filed with the USCIS and after 3-4 months your Green Cards should be approved. At that point, your daughter is eligible to legally attend college.
Similarly, if your spouse is a U.S. Citizen (or naturalizes and becomes a U.S. Citizen), even if you are inside the U.S. and have not maintained legal status (expired I-94), current immigration law allows you to adjust status to U.S. Residency and obtain a Green Card. Essentially, as long as your spouse is a U.S. Citizen, the USCIS forgives you for the lapse in immigration status. So, if your I-94 cards have expired, you and your daughter are currently not eligible to obtain your Green Cards inside the U.S.. 
To obtain a free copy of the Immigration Reform explanation & Documentation List -call our office at: (954) 382-5378.
However, once your husband obtains his U.S. Citizenship, the USCIS will forgive you for having your I-94 cards expired and you will both then be eligible to obtain your Green Cards inside the U.S and your daughter can attend college.But, with all that said, positive changes in the law are expected very soon. Comprehensive immigration reform is likely to pass in 2013 and once enacted, your daughter will certainly be eligible to attend college, even before she obtains her Green Card.