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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: MAY 19, 2014
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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Effective May 1st, our nation’s capital began issuing Driver’s Licenses to so called “Illegal immigrants” in Washington, D.C.. Under the new law, Immigrant’s will be required to pass both written and road tests in order to obtain the new “Limited Purpose” Washington D.C. Driver’s License. Applicant are required to prove that they have lived in the District of Columbia for at least 6 months and must not have ever been issued a Social Security card.

This new measure makes Washington D.C. one of twelve such other states which now issue Driver’s Licenses to Immigrant who do not have legal immigration status in the U.S.. 
Washington D.C. Begins Issuing Driver's Licenses to “Illegal” Immigrants 
U.S. Department of State Announces Visa Lottery Winners 
On May 1, 2014 the U.S. Department of State released the results of the 2015 Visa Lottery, called the “Diversity Visa program”. It’s important to remember that since the program is now fully automated, winners do not receive a letter or email notification. The only way to find out whether or not you have won is through the official Electronic Entrant Status Check (ESC) at: . 

Note that the system had technical difficulties on May 1st which failed to show many winners names on the list. Because of this, Entrants should log back into the ESC website to re-check their status. 
Another important thing for winners to understand is that while there are only 50,000 Immigrant Visas available, over 100,000 applicants are selected as “winners”. So being selected as a winner and being lucky enough to actually be issued an Immigrant Visa to obtain a Green Card are two different things. The reason for the selection of so many winners over the amount of visas available is that many “Entrants” either don’t qualify (for instance failing to possess the required educational or employment background) or simply fail to complete the visa process. So the best tip is always to apply early…don’t wait.
Finally - don’t fall prey to Scammers! Every year thousands of Entrants receive emails and letters from scammers pretending to be an official notification of winning the Visa Lottery and directing that money be wired to a bank account. Don’t be fooled! State Dept and USCIS fee payments are never made by wire. If you receive any written communications relating to winning the lottery or from the USCIS requesting fees which you are not absolutely familiar with, have an attorney take a look and let you know whether or not the notification is genuine. Better to be safe, than sorry…

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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
Questions & Answers
Question:My sister is a USA citizen..applied for us 2013 june. i am 32 and my brother 28.. so can you inform me how long year need to process this application...when we will receive letter...waiting for fruitful reply...
Answer: ​The waiting line for an Immigrant Visa for brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens is about 12-14 years. Since the case was filed in 2013, you have a long, long time to wait. 

Once the case is approved in a few years, the USCIS will send your files to the National Visa Center (NVC) to hold until it projects a visa will soon be available, then the NVC will contact your sister and the consular processing will begin. So for now, be patient.
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Immigration How To:
How Do I Answer a USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE) 
Same Sex Spouses Are Now Eligible For A 
Full Range of Immigration Benefits 
Many see the defeat of DOMA and resulting immigration benefits to same-sex spouses only in terms of conferring U.S. Residency (a Green Card), when in fact, every other spousal visa benefit is now available.

This includes not only Fiancée visas, but visas for spouses of Students (F-1), Professional Workers and Investors, such as spouses of H-1B, L-1, E-2, TN, R-1, O/P visa holders, as well as Green Card based Immigrant Visas including I-140 visas for workers sponsored by Employers, such as workers in the EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based Residency categories (Labor Certification), Multinational Executives, Extraordinary Ability, EB-5 Investor Immigrants and more.
You can learn more about family immigration waiting lines by visiting our Website at:
or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378:

Understanding Immigrant Visa Waiting Lines
What is RFE (Request for Evidence)?

Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter or notice USCIS adjudication officer uses to request additional information for pending applications. 

What is RFE (Request for Evidence)?

A Request for Evidence (RFE) is a letter that the USCIS officer sends you to request additional information or documentation on your application. RFE requests are generally most frequently issued for missing information or documentation to establish your eligibility.

​Responding to an RFE from the USCIS

Always read the RFE letter very carefully to determine exactly what kind of evidence or document is being requested. Some RFE's are more complex than the others and it is difficult to determine and some are simple and easy to understand. For more complicated RFE letters, you may want to retain an immigration attorney to assist you. Once you have determined what the letter is requesting, be sure to provide the exact document requested. For instance, an officer may request a “long form” of a Birth Certificate. If you respond that you do not have one, your case will likely be denied. The appropriate action to take is to request one from the departmental authority in your country of birth.

How much time do I have to respond to an RFE?

Depending on the type of case, you may have from 30 days to 84 days to respond so that the USCIS receives your response before the expiration date. If you fail to respond or filed after the deadline, your case will likely be denied. To be on the safe side, you should always send your response by Express or Priority Mail and get a delivery confirmation. Never send any communications to the USCIS via Certified Mail, which takes much longer and can risk your response being received late. Finally, remember that your response to the USCIS officers request must be RECEIVED by the USCIS ON or BEFORE the deadline. Responses received even one day late result in complete case denials. 

After I respond-what happens next?

Depending upon the case, it could take up to 60 days or more. You can check the online status to see if it is stating that your RFE response has been received, or call the USCIS 800# to ask if the computer show the USCIS received it. For adjustment case (I-485) requests, the officer may wait to receive your response before continuing processing of your Work Authorization application which will cause delays in its issuance. To avoid this, send your response as soon as possible and do not wait until you get near the deadline in the letter.
Question:I hope this message reaches you well. I have a question. My girlfriend is a green card holder and I am a not a us citizen. We plan to get married soon. If I get married to her, am i eligible to obtain a temporary work permit while she works on her citizenship, and can eventually sponsor me. Ideally, I would like to start looking for jobs but I am afraid I would not be able to if I am on a visitor’s visa. What is the best approach? Thanks
Answer: ​As the spouse of a U.S. Resident, you will not obtain any immigration benefits, work permit or legal status in the U.S. until an Immigrant Visa becomes available for you, which may take several years in the F2A Immigration Category for Spouses and minor children of U.S. Residents. 

The only way you can obtain immigration benefits including a work permit sooner than that -is when your wife becomes a U.S. Citizen and you are able to file for your U.S. Residency. 
However, if your girlfriend is not eligible to obtain her Citizenship soon, in order to remain eligible to obtain a Green Card as her spouse, you’ll need to maintain your legal status in the U.S. if you want to wait here. So, if you are visiting the U.S. on a tourist visa, you must change your status to another visa such as an F-1 student visa in order to maintain legal status in the U.S.. If you fail to maintain legal status, you will not be able to obtain your Green Card through adjustment of status in the U.S. when the times comes and you would otherwise be eligible as the spouse of a U.S. Resident, or you’ll have to wait until she becomes a U.S. Citizen. I hope this is helpful to you.
You can learn more about Sponsoring Your Spouse for Residency by visiting our Website at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378
Even legally married same-sex spouses vacationing in the U.S. can obtain Tourist visa extensions (B1/B2) as a family. The USCIS recently established a new website page which provides a Q & A for common questions relating to same-sex marriage immigration under the new policy. 

CLICK HERE to go to the USCIS Same Sex Marriage Immigration Page
You can learn more about Sponsoring Your Same-Sex Spouse for Residency calling our office at: 954-382-5378