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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: May 1,  2017
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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2017 
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

New Scam Alert From Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has just issued a fraud alert to Immigrants regarding a new scam. To cheat Immigrants, scammers call victims using a fake caller ID which shows up as DHS hotline (1-800-323-8603).

 The perpetrators tell Immigrants that they are “U.S. Immigration” employees and that they are the victims of identity theft and ask them to provide or verify personal information like address, social security number, Alien Registration number, credit card details, etc. This information is then used later by the scammers to steal the person’s identity and obtain credit or other debts using this personal information.
USCIS Announces New Policy Guidelines For Language Interpreters 
Question: I have a question about who should sponsor me. My elder brother just got his Citizenship in 2016 and sponsored my mom, who now has her Green Card. I am Venezuelan, 38 yrs old and single and want to know if both my brother and mom can sponsor me? Who is best to apply for me, either my brother or my mom and long it will take for me to immigrate? Thank you
Answer: The waiting line for adult, single children of U.S. Residents is about 7-8 years or longer (called F1 Family Preference category). However, the waiting line for siblings (brothers & sisters) of U.S. Citizens is even longer – 12-14+ years (called F4 Family Preference category). Please note that in the F1 category, if you get married before your mother becomes a U.S. Citizen, your Immigrant Visa case will be cancelled. This is not the case with your brother’s sponsorship, since the F4 category for siblings includes spouses and children.

In your case, you could have both your U.S. Resident mother and U.S. Citizen brother file family petitions for you. There is no limit on the number of immigrant visa petitions that can be filed for an immigrant in different family categories. I hope this is helpful.
Free USCIS Online Tools For Naturalization Preparation
The USCIS has free online Naturalization tools available for U.S. Residents who are applying for U.S. Citizenship. 

These tools include an online Citizenship Resource Center, Civics and Citizenship Toolkit for information on citizenship and naturalization topics, study guides and tests and Literacy resources, to assist Residents in learning or improving written English writing skills.

Visit the USCIS Naturalization Resource Page:

USCIS Citizenship Resource Center
Civics and Citizenship Toolkit 
Literacy Directory
The USCIS has an enhanced resource webpage to assist Immigrants in locating local doctors authorized to perform medical examinations required for Green Card applicants. 
USCIS Webpage Helps Immigrants in Locating Authorized Physicians And Understanding Requirements For The Medical Examination 
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
New Restrictions On Changing To Student Visa Inside The U.S. Announced
The USCIS recently revised its policy on allowing visitors in the U.S. on B-1/B-2 (tourist) visas to change status to an F-1 Student Visa. Under the new procedures, prospective students wishing to change status to a student status must first file an extension of stay application (form I-539) and then an application to change status using the same form with a separate fee.

The filing of an I-539 change of status application itself, will not serve to extend the applicant’s status past their date of authorized stay (previously their I-94 date).

And, since I-539 change of status and extension of stay applications are now taking up to six months for USCIS processing, it is becoming much more risky for a visitor to make such a request and remain in the U.S. past their authorized period of stay, since once that stay has expired, if the I-539 change of status or extension of stay application is denied, the individual’s U.S. B1/B2 visa is automatically cancelled and he or she is “out” of legal immigration status. 

Once they leave the U.S., he or she must then reapply for a new U.S. visa at a Consulate abroad. The bottom line is that apply for a student visa abroad is much safer than the potential risk of losing one’s U.S. visa. Good to know!
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
How Do I Know What Kind of Medical Exam I Need For My Immigration Case?
The U.S. government, IRS, USCIS and DHS never call individuals to request personal information and remind Immigrants never to provide personal information over the phone or by email to anyone. The DHS advises you to do the following if you receive such a call: 1) hang up immediately 2) If you want to verify whether a call is from USCIS, you can call the USCIS at 800-375-5283, 3) make an InfoPass appointment or 3) use myUSCIS to find up-to-date information about your application.

If you are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS webmaster at uscis.webmaster USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate. You can get a link to contact the USCIS or make and Infopass appointment, by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter link.

The USCIS recently changed its policy regarding the use of language Interpreters during Immigration interviews for Immigrants wishing to bring interpreters to interviews to provide language assistance. Under the new guidelines, Interpreters will be required to sign a Declaration stating that they will accurately, literally and fully interpret for both the interviewee and the interviewing officer. 

Beginning May 1, 2017, the new policy goes into effect and Interpreters must be age 18 or over, cannot be the attorney, accredited representatives or a witness. USCIS Officers who determine that an interpreter does not meet the standards will have them disqualified and the Immigrant will then need to choose to:
1) continue the interview using a qualified interpreter;
2) reschedule the interview per local procedures so that the applicant may bring a qualified interpreter; or 
3) continue the interview without an interpreter, if the applicant and officer can communicate effectively in English. 
Question: My boyfriend got his U.S. green card last year through his dad. He has been living in the U.S. since December 2016. We have been together a few years and now we are ready to get married. I have an 8 year old son by a former marriage. We both have American visas. I want to know if me and my son come to the U.S. and my boyfriend marries me, can he file for me and my son so we can stay and live in the U.S.? Is it legal for us to stay here and wait for our green cards or do we have to go back and wait in Trinidad? Hope you can represent us in getting our green cards in the U.S.. Thank you.
Answer: U.S. Citizens can sponsor their spouse and children (referred to as “Immediate Relatives”) while they are in the U.S. and they can file to adjust their status to U.S. Residency immediately, without the need maintaining immigration status. 

However, the law is very different for spouses and children of U.S. Residents, since they must wait until there is an Immigrant Visa available in order to obtain U.S. Residency. Currently, it can take a year and a half for a visa to be available once the family petition is filed. In such cases, spouses and children of U.S. Residents who are the beneficiaries of a family petition and who want to adjust status to U.S. Residency inside the U.S. can only stay in the U.S. and wait for an Immigrant Visa to be available if they continue to maintain legal immigration status. Those who fail to maintain legal status are not eligible to obtain a Green Card inside the U.S. until the sponsoring U.S. Resident becomes a U.S. Citizen. 

In your case, once you and your fiancée get married, you should return home and wait until a visa becomes available in a year and a half. You can come back and visit the U.S. during that time, but cannot overstay your authorized period of stay. We can represent you and your son in your Residency cases. See you next week.

The improved resources provide Immigrants with information including:

1) What to expect during the medial exam
2) Checklist of documents to bring to the examination and 
3) Tools to easily locate authorized doctors by zip code, driving directions and local transportation. 

Visit the new USCIS webpage: USCIS Medical Examination