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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2021 
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 What Kind of Photos To Submit With My Immigration Application
Questions About Immigration? We have the answers!
We Are Here To Help, Call us now for a FREE consultation (954) 382-5378
Question: I read about where you said there is an amnesty for people here in the united states with no status I want to find out how can I apply? Is there a fee I need to pay? I cant find any information on it.
New Biden Policy Terminates Trump’s NTA Rule! 

                  LAW CENTERS

Immigration Questions: (954) 382-5378
 POSTING DATE: February 1, 2021
Answer: As part of President Biden’s immigration proposal, called the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, among other things, immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal immigration status would be eligible to obtain temporary status, then a green card and finally U.S. Citizenship. However, the proposal is currently being drafted and will need congressional approval. Until the measure is passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Biden, no amnesty will be available to apply for. There is an uphill battle coming for the Democrats to try and get the Republicans to negotiate on a final immigration plan that can actually get passed through congress. It can take many months for that to happen. So be patient and careful not to fall victim to scammers who pretend that there is an amnesty program and charge you fees to apply.
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As part of Biden’s recent Executive Actions on immigration policies and programs, the USCIS has immediately rescinded Trump’s NTA rule, which resulted in deportation notices being issued to thousands of immigration applicants who received a denial notice after having fallen out of status while the application was pending.

For back ground, in January 2017, Trump issued an Executive Order (EO), Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, which resulted in a new policy on June 28, 2018 that drastically changed the criteria under which the USCIS issued deportation notices (called Notices To Appear, or NTA). 
Court Blocks Bidens Pause On Deportations
American Immigration 
Law Center
2645 Executive Park Drive 
Suite 137
Weston, Florida 33331
USCIS Issues New Extension Of Time 
For Response To Requests Until Jan 31, 2021
The USCIS has previously announced several extensions of time for applicants and petitioners to file responses to USCIS requests for evidence, denials and other notices, which previously extended until Jan 31, 2021. Under the most recent extension policy just announced, the new period further extends until March 31, 2021. As a result of the new extension policy, an additional 60 calendar days from the deadline date will be given to submit a response to a request or notice issued by the USCIS from March 1st 2020 through and March 31, 2021. 
On January 20th, President Biden announced a 100-day pause in deportations, pending a review by the Department of Homeland Security of policies and practices concerning immigration enforcement. Soon after, a Texas judge appointed by Trump, issued an order to block the administration's 100-day pause on deportations, in an effort to circumvent the effect of President Biden's first immigration actions. The lawsuit was brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who was also responsible for the lawsuit immediately filed after Obama’s DACA Executive Action, which prevented the program from being implemented for several months. 
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use...
Family Members May Soon Be Allowed To Immigrate To The U.S. Faster!
So Don’t Wait, Sponsor Them Now To Get Them In The Immigration Line 

Under Biden immigration proposals, family members of U.S. citizens and residents may soon be eligible to come to the U.S. during the immigration process and live and work here while waiting for residency. This may apply to family members with existing immigration petitions filed on their behalf at the time the measure passes. All this will depend upon the President’s U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 being passed by Congress and signed into law. And there is still a long way to go to see if that happens. 
Photograph Requirements For Residency Applications

As part of the Residency process, all green card applicants must submit passport-type photos along with their I-485 applications. The requirements for green card photos are original passport type photos on photo paper, not pictures take from a home camera or cell phone printed on paper. Even most home photos printed on photo paper don't qualify for the size and quality required. If you send in photos which don't qualify, your application will likely be delayed.
The 2018 policy memorandum, titled “Updated Guidance for the Referral of Cases and Issuance of Notices to Appear (NTAs) in Cases Involving Inadmissible and Deportable Aliens”, encouraged USCIS officers adjudicating typical immigration applications, to issue an NTA to applicants whose cases were denied and the individual’s status in the U.S. had expired. For instance, an international visitor in the U.S. who had applied for an extension of stay and received a denial after his or her six-month stay had expired, or an H-1B worker who had applied for an extension and received a denial under the administrations draconian policies and his or her visa had expired during processing, or an immigrant who had applied for residency and was not in legal status when the case was denied. In all these instances, the Trump administration policy meant that applicants would likely be issued an NTA to appear in deportation court. This frightening policy further contributed to the Immigration Court backlog of nearly a million cases currently pending.

Instead, the USCIS will now revert back to the Obama administration policy which only called for NTA’s to be issued for limited types of cases, not for denials of typical immigration applications when the applicant’s only violation was lapsed immigration status.
Read the rescission of the NTA rule in the appendix of the Department of Homeland Security’s review of priorities 
Obama Administration 2011 NTA Memo
2018 Trump Administration Notice to Appear memorandum 
It is likely going forward that nearly every major immigration policy change made by Biden will be met with lawsuits from Republican majority states, like Texas. 

The order temporarily blocking the Biden administrations pause on deportations was initially in effect for 14 days. However last week, the judge said that he will likely extend the order until February 23. For now, the deportation “pause” is on hold, but the Justice Department is likely to appeal the ruling this week. Stay tuned…


The Biden administration is expected to provide further extensions in the coming months. As with the current policy applies to:
Requests for Evidence; 
Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);
Notices of Intent to Deny;
Notices of Intent to Revoke;
Notices of Intent to Rescind and Notices of Intent to Terminate regional investment centers; 
Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings and 
Filing date requirements for Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

It is important to note, that responses must be received on or before the deadline, not just postmarked by the deadline date. Also, responses to request for additional evidence should always be mailed in one package, not in multiple response filings, since once the USCIS receives the first response, the officer will usually make a decision based upon that response, not on anything received later. Finally, always send responses, appeals, motions via fed-ex or another mail service, overnight. 

New USCIS Extension Notice
U.S. Consulate In Kingston, Jamaica Issues Appointment 
Cancellation Notices Due To Closure
Officials at the U.S. Embassy Consular Section in Kingston, Jamaica are sending out cancellation notices to visa applicants with scheduled appointments, citing Covid-19 concerns. The notice, typically provided to applicants by email, notifies applicants that the consular section will be closed for routine services until further notice, due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. Applicants are encouraged to routinely check the CEAC online case status for information about appointment rescheduling in the future.
Question: I got my citizenship in February last year and me and my girlfriend was planning to get married in April but had to cancel because of the virus. We got a problem now. She has a daughter who just turned 18 in November. We did not know that was a problem until my mother saw in an old article you wrote in the national weekly that we have to get married before a kid becomes 18. My girlfriend does not want to come without her daughter and I agree. So now we need to figure out what to do. My mom gave me your contact number to see if you can help us, thanks.
Answer: Yes, good thing your mom pointed that out to you, since if you got married now that your fiancée’s daughter has turned age 18, the child would not be able to immigrate to the U.S. along with her mom. The best option now is for us to do a K-1 fiancée visa, which will allow your fiancée’s daughter to qualify to immigrate along with her 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. Once we file the K-1 visa for your fiancée, due to Covid-19 processing delays, it may take 8-10 months or more for them to be scheduled for the visa interview, where they will be issued a K visa to enter the U.S. (K-1 for your fiancée and K-2 for her daughter). Once they arrive, you would get married within 90 days and we can file for their residency. So, no worries, tell your fiancée her daughter will be able to come along with her and get her green card at the same time.
Question: I sponsored my son and he got his interview at the embassy for next week, but I just got an email cancelling it because the embassy is closing. It says because of the pandemic getting worse. I am worried because its taken so long for him to finally get his appointment we have been waiting since march of last year and his medical will expire in February. I am wondering if he will be required to have it done again or will they take the one he already did since it is their fault the appointment was cancelled, not his. Thank you.
Answer: Unfortunately, medical exams are only valid for 6 months, so if his interview is not scheduled before it expires, he will need to have it redone. The reschedule notice should give you instructions on having it done again.
As a cautionary note, during congressional negotiations there is also the possibility that one or more family immigration categories will be eliminated in the future, most likely the F4 immigration category for siblings (brothers and sisters) of U.S. citizens. So, it’s never too soon to sponsor your family members and get them in the immigration waiting line to immigrate.

Here's a run-down of the various family categories:

U.S. Citizens are eligible to sponsor:
1) Spouses, Minor Children and Parents (called "Immediate Relatives") 
2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) F1, 
3) Adult Married Sons & Daughters (and their spouses and minor children) called F3  
4) Brothers & Sisters (and their spouses and minor children) called F4.

U.S. Residents are eligible to sponsor: 
1) Spouses and Minor Children called F2A and 
2) Adult Single Sons & Daughters (and their minor children) called F2B. 

Note that U.S. Residents cannot sponsor their Parents, Adult Married Sons & Daughters or their Brothers & Sisters. If a child who has been sponsored by a Resident marries before the parent becomes a U.S. Citizen, the Immigration case is automatically cancelled, even if the child later divorces.

Waiting Times For Family Members in all Countries (except Mexico/India & Philippines where waiting times are often much longer): 
1) Immediate Relatives (Spouses, Minor Children and Parents of U.S. Citizens), there is no waiting line, just USCIS and consular processing time (approx 12+ months). 
2) F1 - Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 6 years, 
3) F3 -Adult Married Sons & Daughters of U.S. Citizens, the waiting line is approx 12 years, 
4) F4 -Brothers & Sisters of U.S. Citizens , the waiting line is approx 14 years, 
5) F2A -Spouses and Minor Children of U.S. Residents, currently there is no waiting line, just USCIS and consular processing time (approx 12+ months). 
6) F2B -Adult Single Sons & Daughters of U.S. Residents, the waiting line is approx 5 years.

Under current Immigration regulations, once an Immigrant receives U.S. Residency, (even Conditional Residency through marriage), and similarly when a Resident becomes Naturalized, they are eligible to sponsor any and all family members in any of the qualifying categories. There is no limit on the number of family members which can be sponsored at the same time. For instance, a U.S. Citizen can sponsor an adult, single daughter, a married son and 3 sisters and 2 brothers all at the same time. However, due to the difference in waiting times, each family member be immigrating at different times, depending upon the Family Immigration category. Trump and Congressional Immigration reforms in the future may limit the type and amount of family members allowed to immigrate to the U.S., but for now, the number is limitless, so don’t wait until it is too late. 

Finally, in most cases, family members in the F-1 – F4 categories above must be in legal Immigration status (unexpired I-94) in order be eligible to adjust status to residency in the U.S.. 

You can learn more about immigrating through family members by visiting our website 
at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.

This means you should not generally try to take your own photos and instead get Passport type photos taken professionally, at most Walgreens, CVS, Pak Mail, Mailbox and other such locations. 

More details about having Passport type photos taken:

Type and Number
Photos must be original printed photos (on special photo paper) taken within the past six months. Scanned, copied, and reprinted photos are not acceptable. They must be in full color and printed in double (two identical shots). You will need to submit both with your I-485 application.

Photos must be exactly 2-inch by 2-inch squares. The head, from the crown to the chin, must fill 1 to 1 3/8 inches of the height of the photo. Eye height from the bottom of the photo must be between 1 1/8 and 1 3/8 inches.

Backgrounds must be completely bare; no patterns, images, or textures. The color should range from bright white to slightly off-white (egg shell). Colored backgrounds are not acceptable.

Subject Appearance
The subject in the photo should be wearing casual clothing (no dress wear) and have his or her head completely bare--no hats, sunglasses, large earrings that overlap the face, scarves, or head bands. If you regularly wear prescription glasses or a hearing aid, wear them in the photo. The only exception to the head gear rule is concerning headdresses of a religious nature, granted they do not cover the face. The full face must be showing, with no exceptions. The subject must look directly at the camera, no side shots or angled views. You can either smile or maintain a neutral face; there are no regulations regarding smiling.

Back of Photo
On the back of each photo you must write your full name and your alien registration number (A-number) using either a pencil or felt pen that does not bleed through the photo.