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  Immigration News & Updates              eNewsletter

  POSTING DATE: July 31,  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

Question:I came to the U.S. in 2005 for a visit on a tourist visa, and then I just stayed here. I can’t renew my drivers license and I feel that things are getting tougher, so I want to see what options I have. My parents are in Jamaica but I have a cousin who is an American citizen and he is willing to sponsor me. I’m wondering about the process and how long it will take for me to get a work permit and drivers license. Also, I was wondering if I went home to Jamaica and then applied for a new tourist visa (since mine has expired), whether I would be able to come back into the U.S. while I’m waiting for the immigration process. thanks.

New Mobile Friendly Green Card Renewal Available Online
Answer: Only certain family members can sponsor relatives to immigrate to the U.S.. U.S. Citizens can sponsor their Spouses, minor Children (under age 21) and Parents (called “Immediate Relatives”) and also their adult single Children (including their minor children under age 21) in the F1 Immigration Category, adult married Children (including spouse and minor children under age 21) in the F3 Immigration Category and Siblings (Brothers & Sisters and their spouse and minor children under age 21) in the F4 Immigration Category. 

U.S. Residents can sponsor their Spouses and minor Children in the F2A Immigration Category and single adult Children (and their minor children under age 21) in the F2B Immigration Category. There is no Immigration Category for a U.S. Resident to sponsor a married adult Child or a Parent. Similarly, under immigration laws, a Cousin cannot directly sponsor his or her Cousin, so this would not be an option for you.

However, since you entered the U.S. legally in 2005, you would be eligible to obtain your Residency (Green Card) through marriage to a U.S. Citizen (real, for love, not for immigration purposes). Unfortunately, this is your only option. Since you overstayed your period of stay in the U.S. by more than a year, if you leave the country, you will automatically be barred from reentering for 10 years and would be denied a new tourist visa. I hope this is helpful to you.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
On July 26, 2017 the USCIS announced a change in policy regarding the requirement for Biometrics (fingerprints & digital photos) to be taken from Naturalization Applicants. Until now, the USCIS has waived Biometrics for Residents who are age 75 or older. Under this recent change, all Residents, regardless of age, will be required to have them taken. Residents with certain medical conditions, may still be eligible for a waiver and special accommodation will still be made for Residents with disabilities, those who are homebound or hospitalized. 

Find out how to request home or hospital Biometrics accommodations
How Do I Sign Up For USCIS Email Case Status Updates?

If you have an Immigration case pending with the USCIS, you can now sign up on the USCIS website for Email Updates

Email updates allows you to get automatic updates whenever any action is taken on your case. CLICK HERE to sign up for USCIS Email updates.

Immigration How To: 
How Do I Know What Filing Fees Are Required?
Avoid Case Rejection By Enclosing the Correct USCIS Filing Fee

One of the most common reasons for case rejection by the USCIS is for outdated forms and the wrong Filing Fees. 
You can see the current USCIS Filing Fees by clicking on the link below:

Current USCIS Filing Fees

Biometrics Are Now Required For All Naturalization Applicants
The USCIS recently launched a new redesigned mobile-friendly online form for Green Card renewals and replacements. Residents can now file for renewals and replacements both online through the USCIS website and through their mobile device, making the process fast and easy. The new design allows required documents and photos to be uploaded through mobile devices quickly and easily. 

To file online, you’ll need to create a USCIS online account

Read the USCIS announcement 
​Create an account and get ready to file

Question: Hi, I'm from Trinidad and came to the U.S. in 2015 and I met my fiancé in 2016. I overstayed my visa by 2 months last year so I could be here with her for the Christmas holidays, then I came back to Trinidad to get things settled before coming back to America to get married and then file my immigration papers. But when I tried to come back in March of this year, the officer at the airport cancelled my visa and told me I had to get a new one at the Embassy because the last time I was here I stayed too long. I explained that it was only 2 months, but he said even a day is too much! So then I applied at the embassy and they turned me down. Me and my fiancé are just devastated and don’t know what to do. She is making plans to come to Trinidad in August and we get married here. My question is, will I be able to accompany her back to Florida once we get married and what is the immigration process from there?
Answer: This is very common. Unfortunately, under Immigration regulations, once you overstay your period of authorized stay in the U.S. - by even one day, when you leave the U.S., your U.S. visa is automatically cancelled and you are not allowed to re-enter on your Visa Waiver (or B1/B2) and are instead required to apply for a new B1/B2 Tourist visa at the U.S. Consulate in your home country. However, once an individual overstays in the U.S. and then applies for a visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad, the Consular officers are very unlikely to issue a B1/B2 tourist or any other type of Non-immigrant visa, effectively closing all possibilities for legally travelling to the U.S. again.

The exceptions are Visas, such as a Fiancée Visa and Spousal Visa (for foreign Fiancées & Spouses of U.S. Citizens). However, foreign Fiancées and Spouses are not issued the Visa which allows them to travel to the U.S. until all the technical processing is complete, which takes 6-8 months or more. 

In your cases, since your U.S. Citizen Fiancée is going to fly to Trinidad to marry you, once she returns, a Spousal Immigrant petition can be filed to initiate the process of bringing you to the U.S. as a U.S. Resident (Green Card holder). However, you won’t be allowed to return to the U.S. along with your new wife, instead you have to wait in Trinidad for consular processing. 

We can assist you and your soon-to-be wife by taking care of your Spousal case to ensure that it is properly, professionally prepared and filed, so that you are able to immigrate to the U.S. as quickly as possible under USCIS and Consular processing procedures. Let me know.
The USCIS is currently conducting a customer satisfaction survey through a professional research firm. The aim is to determine the level of easy and functionality customers feel as they navigate through the website, in order to help improve it. 

Participation is completely anonymous and takes about 10 minutes to complete. 

Take the Survey
USCIS Wants Your Opinion about Its Website
Question: I am a US citizen and I submitted an application for my parents who live in the Caribbean. They are married and I have a little brother who is 10 that lives with them. I have seen you mention that parents cannot bring along their kids when they are sponsored by an American child. So that means my brother will be stuck and won’t be able to immigrate? I am wondering if my parents have to wait 5 years for their citizenship then file for him or can they apply for a green card for him as soon as they come here (next year if their residency is approved)? How long would it take under both options?
Answer: Once your parents obtain their green cards (approx 8-12 months), they can file for your little brother and the process takes about 1 ½ years. They don’t need to wait until they become U.S. citizens.
Question: I am from Bahamas and I was sponsored for a green card in 2014 by my sister in the United States. My family here at home has passed and I don’t have anyone left but my sister in America, so I need to know any possible way to cut down this long waiting time to immigrate to America sooner or if I can just be allowed to go to the U.S. and stay with my sister there while I am waiting?
Answer: Sorry to hear that you are alone there. Unfortunately, there is no way to expedite the immigration process for siblings of U.S. Citizens (F4 immigration category). It will likely take 12-14 years for an Immigrant Visa to be available in that category. The law does not allow siblings to stay inside the U.S. while waiting to immigrate, unless they are in the U.S. in another legal visa category like an F-1 student visa or some other work visa. 
Learn more about Family Immigrant Visa waiting lines