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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter ©  2011  - 2015 
For questions about U.S. Residency, Green Cards and Immigration Visas, Visit our Website at: or  call our office at: (954) 382-5378
Obama Prepares To Veto Republican Bills Aimed at 
            Rolling Back Executive Actions
President Obama recently told reporters that he has his Presidential pen handy and ready to begin vetoing legislation passed by the Republican controlled Congress seeking to roll-back his Executive Action Immigration programs. 

Meanwhile Republicans are busy preparing Legislation which would eliminate most benefits of the program. But if Republicans know that Obama is going to veto such legislation, why would they bother to pass it, you say? 

The answer is that staunch Conservatives want to show their anti-immigration constituents that at least they tried to overturn the President’s Executive Actions, while knowing all along that their efforts will fail. Well, that’s politics….
Questions & Answers
Question: Hello! Quick question! I have petition for my sister to get a green card and received a letter where they received the application. Can she qualify for DAPA while the other petition is pending. Thank you! 
Answer: That’s a great question. Yes, absolutely your sister remains eligible for DAPA, as long as she qualifies by having entered the U.S. on or before January 1, 2010 and she has a U.S. Citizen or Resident child. There is no conflict by having the family petition filed by you on her behalf, it will process in the normal way, regardless of her DAPA status.
Question: Once I get my Citizenship, how long after that can I file for my husband? In my situation my boyfriend was visiting me here in America on a tourist visa and we married in a religious ceremony (because my parents are here), but not through the government. My husband went back home to prepare to move here, but now I’m trying to look at the immigration information online and I’m confused about how to go about this. I don’t know what category he will be in, my spouse or fiancé since we are only married in a "religious sense". Thank you for all your help.
Answer: Once you become a U.S. Citizen (the same day) you can file an Immigrant Visa petition for your husband or if you have not yet married civilly, a Fiancé Visa Petition. 

For spousal petitions, Immigration law requires that you be issued a formal civil marriage certificate by the country in which you marry, in order for the U.S. to recognize your marriage. Strictly religious ceremonies do not qualify, even in the U.S.. Therefore, if you wish to sponsor your husband, you will need to get married formally by completing the civil procedures and obtain a civil marriage certificate. For now, he is your fiancé, not your husband and since he has a U.S. Tourist Visa, you have several options. The first option is that he can remain in his home country and you can file the petition for him as a Fiancé (if you have not yet married civilly) or as a spouse, once you are formally married. The process generally takes about 6-8 months or so for him to immigrate. Or alternatively, if he comes to the U.S. on his Tourist Visa for a visit and you decide after he has been here that you want him to process for residency here, he can stay here and obtain his Green Card fairly quickly, within about 6 months or so. Let me know if you want our assistance in obtaining his Residency.
The USCIS Begins Accepting Applications For H-1B Work Visas On April 1st 
It’s that time of year again and the USCIS will begin accepting new H-1B work visa applications on April 1st which allow foreign nationals to begin working for U.S. employers in certain professional occupations. However, at present, there are only 65,000 of these highly prized visas available, which are expected to be exhausted in the 1st week of April alone and as a result, the USCIS may select applications by a random lottery, if the volume of requests for the visa exceeds the visas available. Because of the anticipated shortage of visas, those hoping to obtain an H-1B Visa this year, particularly students on OPT, should line up a U.S. Employer willing to support the H-1B Visa request quickly, in order to begin processing the case for filing by April 1st.
Question:  I want to apply for my citizenship, but my Green Card expired. can you apply for my citizenship even though my GC is expired? If you need to file to renew my GC, do I need to wait until it is renewed before you can file for my citizenship or can you apply before that? Thanks sorry for so many questions.
Answer: When filing for Naturalization in order to obtain U.S. Citizenship, USCIS policy requires that you either provide a copy of your valid, unexpired Green Card, or a copy of the expired GC along with the USCIS receipt for Residency renewal with your Naturalization application. So you’ll need to file an application to renew your Green Card, then use the receipt you receive from the USCIS when you file your Naturalization application.

You can learn more about obtaining a Green Card, Naturalization or sponsoring a family member 
by visiting our website at: or calling our office to schedule 
a free consultation at: (954) 382-5378.
As background, the H-1B work visa allows qualifying foreign nationals to work for a U.S. employer for up to six years and even longer when an employer sponsors the H-1B worker for a Green Card. To qualify, the H-1B visa requires the foreign national to possess a Bachelors degree or its equivalent and be offered a professional position in a U.S. company. 

After obtaining an H-1B visa, Immigrants (and their families) often obtain a Green Card through their H-1B employer in a process called Labor Certification. 

Find out more about H-1B and other Work Visas by visiting our website or calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Reporting Abusive Treatment By The USCIS
Thousands of Immigrants receive immigration benefits from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) each year, navigating their way through the often difficult and confusing process. 

And while it is expected that Immigrants should be held to the standards of qualification defined by law to demonstrate eligibility, no immigrant should ever expect to be treated discourteously, disrespectfully or in an abusive way by a USCIS Officer or employee. 
However, it does happen and when it does, Immigrants do have the right to report mistreatment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS strives to maintain the public’s trust and provide quality services and does investigate credible reports of abuse.  

One such incident reported to me recently was from an U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse during a marriage interview case wherein the USCIS officer demanded that the U.S. Citizen and Immigrant spouse go to their car and bring him their cell phones. Once they returned with the phones, the officer demanded that they give him the phones and passcodes and he preceded look at all of their personal text messages and cell phone photos. The Citizen and his wife did not consent to this, but frightened, they did as they were demanded to do. None of this is official USCIS procedures and much of what the officer did was a violation of their rights. In cases like these, complaints should be made as soon after the event as possible.

To make a report, you can use one of the following:

Call the DHS Hotline at 1-800-323-8603 

Send a fax at (202) 254-4292 

File an online complaint at: Office of Inspector General (OIG) 

File a written complaint to:  

Department of Homeland Security
Attn: Office of the Inspector General Hotline
245 Murray Drive, Building 410 Stop: 2600
Washington, D.C. 20528

Be sure to include: 1) the date, time and location of the incident, 2) detailed description of the what happened to you 3) the name(s) of employee(s) involved.
Immigration How To:
How Do I Find Out How To File My Application With The National Benefits Center?
The USCIS recently issued a reminder for Applicants and Petitioners to include an Apartment Number with the address on the forms, according to its requirements. Each year hundreds of packages, notices and even Green Cards to Applicants by the USCIS are returned as undeliverable. 

Frequently, this is due to the fact that the Applicant or Petitioner did not include the apartment number correctly on the forms. And of course, you should always keep your address up-to-date and file a change of address within 30 days of moving to a new location. You can get more filing tips and make your address change online by clicking on the link below: 

USCIS Change of Address Online Form
USCIS Filing Tips Page