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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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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

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Questions & Answers
Question:I live here (U.S.) and my mother filed for me. I got a letter saying the application was approved, but the papers were sent to Jamaica about three years ago. Is there anything I can do and if so approximately how much money will I be required to come up with? Thanks much for your information. God Bless
Answer: ​As the child of a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Resident, if you are age 21 or older and you are currently in the U.S. with an expired I-94 card, you are not eligible to adjust your status to a Green Card in the U.S. (except under very limited circumstances). Similarly, once your family petition is approved and you are notified that an Immigrant Visa is available, if you leave the U.S. to process through the U.S. Consulate in Jamaica, you will likely be barred from re-entering for 10 years. This is a typical problem for adult children of U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents who are the beneficiaries of a family petition and remain in the U.S. and fall out of legal immigration status.

If your mother is a U.S. Resident, even if you are not age 21 or older, USCIS regulations still require that if you are inside the U.S. you must be in legal status to obtain your U.S. Residency here and the same bars apply to you depending upon how old you are and how long you have been in the U.S. past your I-94 expiration.

​Without knowing more about your circumstances, if you are age 21 or older and not maintaining legal status, your options are to wait for Immigration Reform to pass in Congress in order to obtain legal status and hopefully adjust status to Residency through your mother’s petition and, if you entered the U.S. legally, you can also obtain a Green Card through a real marriage to a U.S. Citizen.  Give me a call and we will go over your case to confirm your exact status and what you should do next.

Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Immigration How To: 
How Do I Know Whether I Qualify For OBAMACARE Insurance (under the Affordable Care Act) ?
USCIS Changes Policy On Validity Of Medical Examinations 
Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature began considering a Bipartisan Bill which if passed, would provide in-state tuition to Dreamers in the State who attend Florida state colleges. However, a split has developed among Republican legislators who are deeply divided on the issue. Many Republican lawmakers, including Gov. Rick Scott who previously rejected any Legislative efforts in the past to provide benefits to Dreamers have changed their position, while the far right of the Party remains steadfast against the measure. 

The proposed Florida Senate Bill (SB 1400) would allow Dreamers who have attended at least three of their four high-school years in Florida public schools to pay the lower cost in-state college tuition rather than the higher “out of state” tuition rates which can be three times the cost. Republican’s on both sides of the issue say there’s a tough fight ahead to get the measure passed in Florida this year. Stay tuned…
Immigration regulations provide that Medical Examinations (which are required by all Immigrants filing for Residency) are valid for one year from the date of the exam. However, due to the increase in the long backlog of certain pending family and employment sponsored Residency cases waiting for an Immigrant Visa to be available, such cases may remain pending for several years or more past the medical examination’s expiration date. 

As a result, in previous years, rather than require Immigrants to retake the medical exam every year, the USCIS simply issued an announcement that the validity of all such expired medical exam results would be automatically extended for another year.
Conditional Residency For Spouses of U.S. Citizens
The foreign spouse of a U.S. Citizen who has been married for less than two years at the time of obtaining residency, only receives a two-year Conditional Resident status.

Unlike regular U.S. Residents who obtain a Green Card through family members, employment or other means, husbands and wives of U.S. Citizens who got married less than two years prior to U.S. Residency approval, only receive a two-year Green Card, rather than the full 10 year Permanent Residency. In order to qualify for removal, the foreign and U.S. Citizen spouses must file a request for removal of the conditional status within the 90 day period prior to the conditional Green Card expiration. 
With the recent Republican government shutdown due largely to the desire of Conservatives to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (also known as “ObamaCare”), immigrants might be wondering who qualifies for affordable healthcare under the new legislation. For full eligibility requirements to see if you qualify for “Obamacare” and to apply for coverage, you can visit the Affordable Care Act website at: 

Here’s a list of eligible immigration statuses for health coverage through the “Affordable Care Act” Marketplace below. You may qualify for Obamacare if you are a Native Born or Naturalized U.S. Citizen or:
Update on In-State College Tuition For Florida Dreamers
You can find out more about obtaining Residency in the U.S. and issues relating to Adjustment of Status for those in the U.S. with expired I-94 Cards by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
Lawful permanent resident (LPR/Green Card holder)
Cuban/Haitian entrant
Paroled into the U.S.
Conditional entrant granted before 1980
Battered spouse, child, or parent
Victim of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent
Granted Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT)
Individual with non-immigrant status (including worker visas, student visas, and citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau)
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Deferred Action Status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) isn’t an eligible immigration status for applying for health coverage.)
Applicant for:
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Adjustment to LPR Status with an approved visa petition
Victim of trafficking visa
Asylum who has either been granted employment authorization, OR is under 14 and has had an application for asylum pending for at least 180 days.)
Withholding of Deportation or Withholding of Removal, under the immigration laws or under the Convention against Torture (CAT) who has either been granted employment authorization, OR is under 14 and has had an application for withholding of deportation or withholding removal under the immigration laws or under the CAT pending for at least 180 days.)
Certain individuals with employment authorization document:
Registry applicants
Order of supervision
Applicant for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation
Applicant for Legalization under IRCA
Applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Legalization under the LIFE Act
Lawful temporary resident
Granted an administrative stay of removal by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada
Resident of American Samoa

Read More About Immigration and Obamacare

Under the new policy, once the Residency case is ready for final processing, the USCIS has begun issuing notices to applicants to submit updated medical examinations prior to Residency application approvals. Immigrants who receive such notices can contact the same doctor who performed the initial exam in order to request an updated medical exam and blood tests.
While the media spotlight on Immigration Reform has begun to dim in the past few months, efforts are still going on behind the scenes to set the stage for the consideration and passage of Immigration-related legislation in the Summer months ahead. To underscore the urgency for Immigration Reform, Speaker of the House John Boehner, was recently quoted by the Wall Street Journal as telling the crowd at a Republican Party fundraiser last month that he pledged that the House would pass several immigration bills this summer and was “hellbent on getting this done this year.” This sentiment was also echoed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte in comments to Silicon Valley executives recently, telling hitech leaders that he anticipates that the House will likely vote on at least five to seven Immigration Bills during the Summer session. So even with the current “lull” in Immigration Reform news, hopes remain high that Republican leaders are making progress behind closed doors in Washington, convincing fellow colleagues to support reform, not only for the good of the country, but for the future of the Republican Party itself.
House of Representatives May Begin Considering Immigration Bills In Coming Months
In order to qualify for removal of the conditional status, a couple must continue to not only be married, but to live together as a husband and wife. The removal of condition request must be submitted with extensive supporting documentary evidence that the couple has and continues to live together in a real marriage. One of the biggest misconceptions that conditional residents have is the belief that as long as they remain “married” to the U.S. Citizen spouse, but not actually living together, they will still qualify result in tragic consequences which often leads to loss of Residency and in some instances, deportation.

Conditional Residents can file a removal request without the U.S. Citizen spouse in cases where the couple has divorced, where there is documented domestic violence and when a spouse is widowed. However, the burden of proof is on the conditional resident spouse to provide the USCIS with extensive evidence that prior to the divorce, domestic violence or death of the U.S. Citizen, the couple were living together in a real marriage.
You can find out more about Conditional Residency through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen 
by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.