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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2016 
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: I have a question about sponsoring my son in Jamaica to immigrate to America. I filed an immigration application for him and the immigration denied me because they said I couldn’t prove that we had a real relationship, even though my name was on his Birth Certificate and such. I was never married to his mother, even though I supported him and he stayed with me a lot of the time. I want to try again, but I need to know what my chances are to get an approval and If you can help me.
Answer: This is a great question and one that effects many families, especially those from countries in the Caribbean where documentation requirements are less formalized for child custody and support.

As background, Immigration regulations provide that in cases where the Father was never married to the child’s mother, the USCIS will generally require that the Father provide additional documents to prove that a parental relationship existed and continues to exist, to prove that a bona fide father-child relationship was established between the father and the child while the child was under 21 years of age and that the father has demonstrated an active concern for the child’s support, instruction, and general welfare. This can include that the father and child actually lived together, the father held the child out as his own, provided for some or all of the child’s needs, and in general the father’s behavior evidenced a genuine concern for the child. 

To establish the relationship, sometimes called “care and concern”, the USCIS requires extensive documentation to prove the relationship and without documentary evidence, the USCIS will generally deny family petitions filed for children or parents, even when they have no doubt that the dad is the child’s biological father. The main issue is always, did this biological father show care and concern for his child while the child was a minor? 

Documentation which can help prove this relationship includes:

a. Cancelled checks or receipts of money given by the father to the child, Western Union receipts, etc.
b. Father’s income tax returns showing the child as a dependent.
c. Father’s medical Insurance records listing the child’s medical coverage.
d. Father’s insurance policy showing the child as a beneficiary.
e. Child’s School records showing petitioner as the child’s father.
f. Child’s medical/Vaccination records listing the father’s name.
g. Pictures of the father and child together
h. Child’s Baptism & Church records showing the father’s relationship with the child;
i. If the father and child lived together, documents from each showing their address was the same
j. Other similar and relevant documents, including: telephone bills, airline tickets, email printouts and other communications between the father and child.
k. Notarized Affidavits from the father, child’s mother, relatives and the community, including teachers, doctor, pastor, etc regarding the father providing support, caring for the needs of the child and providing for the child’s general welfare.
This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen
New USCIS Policy Allows Immigrants To Keep Work Authorization Card After Residency Interview While Waiting For Green Card To Arrive
On January 14, 2016, the USCIS confirmed that Adjustment of Status applicants appearing at local field offices for their Residency interview can request to keep their Work Permit (Employment Authorization Card, also called EAD) at the conclusion of the interview, as long as the case was approved. 

As a result, for those who want to keep their Work Permit, once the Immigration Officer begins concluding the Adjustment interview, the Immigrant should notify the Officer that they are aware they can keep the EAD card as proof of work authorization in order to be able to work, and ask to take the card back while waiting for the Green Card to be issued. 
The USCIS has released the following dates for upcoming Naturalization Swearing-in Ceremonies scheduled in some South Florida Field Offices in February:

Miami Field Office – February 12, 19 and 26
Hialeah Field Office – February 19 and 26
Oakland Park Field Office – February 19 and 26
Kendall Field Office – February 5 and 26
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
Immigration How To:
How Do I Send My Immigration Application To The USCIS?
Upcoming Naturalization Swearing-In Ceremonies Scheduled 
For Some South Florida Offices 
This is true, even if the officer insists that the Immigrant will receive the card in a week or so. In fact, it can sometimes take several weeks to a month in some cases due to delays in production and as a result, retention of the EAD is necessary. 
Question: Good day, I am a permanent resident planning on applying for my citizenship next month. I also plan to file for my parents and my little brother to migrate here. Should I apply for my parents and brother now as a permanent resident and will their residency come through as soon as I get the citizenship (I mean they will need me to be a citizen before they approve the I-130) or should I wait for the citizenship before I file?
Answer: As long as you are age 21 or older, once you obtain your U.S. Citizenship, you can sponsor your parents (each one separately) for their U.S. Residency. You cannot apply for them while you are a U.S. Resident, even if you have filed the Naturalization application – if you do, the case will be denied.

Under current law, unfortunately, your younger brother cannot immigrate along with either parent as a “dependent”. Instead, you can sponsor your parents and then once they obtain their U.S. Residency in about a year, one of them can file for your brother. If he is still a minor, it could take up to 1 1/2 years for an Immigrant Visa to be available to him in the F2A category for minor children of U.S. Residents. Also, if your brother has a tourist visa, once the I-130 is filed for him, he may be able to come to the U.S. and later file for his adjustment, if the Visa Bulletin indicates availability. In such cases, it can be a little complicated and it is best to consult with an Immigration Attorney prior to any I-485 adjustment of status filings, to ensure eligibility.
You can find get more information about documentation requirements to prove the relationship between the father and child to ensure approval by visiting our website or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
USCIS Provides Residency Extension “Stickers” 
To Green Card Renewal Applicants 
The extension stickers are valid for nine (9) months. Residents who have already attended their Biometrics appointment and did not request or receive the extension sticker can make an INFOPASS appointment to return to the local USCIS office and receive the extension sticker at that time. 

Make an Infopass Appointment at your local USCIS office:
Infopass Appointments 
Current USCIS processing times for Green Card renewal applications (Form I-90), can exceed 6-8 months, often causing problems for Residents who require proof of legal immigration status for Driver’s License and other renewals. As a result of these long delays, local Field Offices are authorized to provide Residents with a Green Card extension sticker, affixed to their expired cards, to provide proof of their continuing legal Residency status in the U.S.. 

Under this policy, USCIS personnel at USCIS Field Office Application Support Centers can provide extension stickers to Residents at the time of their Biometrics appointment. 
Send USCIS Applications and Correspondence by U.S. Express Mail For Easy Tracking and Delivery Confirmation
Immigration applications and any follow-up correspondence with the USCIS are such important matters, that you should take the additional step of sending these documents to the USCIS by a safe, quick method, which allows you to verify the date and time of delivery to the USCIS. 

This is especially critical when you have received a Request For Additional Evidence from the USCIS and must provide the requested documentation by a specified deadline. 
Many applicants do not know that if the response sent to the USCIS is postmarked before the deadline date, but is actually delivered and received by the USCIS after that date, the case is likely to be denied. 
Not only is this a tragedy for the beneficiary of the immigration application, but in such instances, all the USCIS filing fees are lost, which in some cases can be thousands of dollars. Certified Mail is not delivered quickly  and other private courier services like Fed-ex cannot be delivered to the regular USCIS P.O. box address. 

So, since the USCIS is a government agency, like the U.S. Priority Express Mail (U.S. Postal Service), the safest way to send applications/documents and to safeguard against the unfortunate situation above, is to use the U.S. Priority Express Mail next day service. The cost is about $15.00 and well worth it. You will receive a tracking# so you can go online and confirm delivery. Be sure to send any responses requested by the USCIS at least one week or more before the deadline. Also, make a copy of everything you send to the USCIS including the initial application, supporting documents, Money Order and all follow-up responses before sending to the USCIS and never send originals! Good luck!