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This Week's Immigration News 
By Immigration Attorney Caroly Pedersen

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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:  I have an 8 year old daughter and she is a US citizen living here and studying in public school. I am Colombian and here in Miami on my US Tourist visa. My daughter is staying with my sister here in Doral, Florida and I would like to know how can I stay in the US longer with my daughter and apply for a different visa. Thank you
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
New Republican Leadership Warns Obama Against Presidential Immigration Reform
With sweeping Republican wins across the country in last week’s mid-term elections, Republican Leaders are making bold statements about what their legislative priorities are for the coming year, like repealing “Obamacare”, tax reform…. 

However, rather than putting Immigration Reform at the top of that list as an urgent priority demanding immediate attention, instead, both House Speaker Boehner and the new Senate Majority Leader McConnell are making statements to the media warning the President that any Executive actions he may announce shortly on Immigration Reform will “poison the waters” against Congress taking up a comprehensive Immigration Reform bill on its own. McConnell told reporters that if the President moves ahead with Immigration Reform, it would be "like waving a red flag in front of a bull".
Answer: Under current immigration regulations, there is no visa which will allow the Parent of a U.S. Citizen to stay and live in the U.S.. The only existing law allows children age 21 or older to sponsor Parents for Residency. However there is a possibility that under President Obama’s soon to be announced Immigration Reform programs, there may be an option for Parents of U.S. Citizens who are not in legal immigration status and who have been inside the U.S. for at least 5 years or more on the date the program is announced, to be given legal status.

You do have a few options. One option is for you to apply for an F-1 student visa for yourself, which would allow you to stay in the U.S. with your daughter for as long as you are in school. Also, if you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or Master’s from a U.S. school, you will receive a work permit for at least one year or more.

As a Colombian, you are eligible for a special visa called an E-2 treaty Investor visa, which allows you to make an investment in your own business in the U.S. and be able to live and work here, almost perpetually, as long as the business remains operating and you have hire U.S. workers. I have attached information for you to review in this regard.

In the situation you are in right now, if you try to use your B visa to keep coming back and forth between the U.S. and Colombia after having stayed in the U.S. for long periods of time, eventually the officers at the border may stop you and even cancel your tourist visa. Also, if you extend your B visa another 6 months, then you leave the U.S. after that, the officers at the border may not allow you to enter the U.S. because of that extension. So that is a big risk. So it is good that you are asking the tough questions now and resolving your visa status before you get into problems at the border that you can’t easily solve. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Beginning October 31, 2014, new restrictions are being enforced for Third-Country National visa applicants who apply for visas a the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. 

Previously, Nationals of any country could travel to the Jamaica to obtain visa stamps in their passports for “Change of Status” approvals they received while in the U.S.. These visa stamps allow foreign nationals to re-enter the U.S. in the visa status they attained before leaving the U.S.. These visa services were available to Nationals of most countries, called “Third Country Nationals (TCN)”, (meaning that they are not Citizens of Jamaica), who did not want to travel back to their home country to apply for the visa at their local U.S. Embassy. Typically, applicants would travel to Jamaica on vacation and apply for the visa stamp before returning to the U.S.. 

U.S. Embassy In Jamaica Announces Restrictions For Non-Jamaican Visa Applicants
USCIS Will Transfer I-751 Petitions to Remove the Conditions on Residence 
from Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center 
For Spouses of U.S. Citizens and Residents:

The USCIS just announced that it will transfer pending I-751 Petitions to Remove the Conditions of Residence originally filed with the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center for more efficient processing. Immigrants and their spouses who’s applications are transferred, will receive a transfer notice with the words “Case Type: CRI89 Approved Removal of Conditions” printed on the notice, which refers to the pending Form I-751. 

Remember to sign-up for Case Updates through My Case Status on the USCIS website, so that you will receive email updates about any actions taken on your case.

Sign up for “My Case Status” now:
My Case Status
Well, we have heard that same story before and both President Obama and pro-immigrant supporters have found that even when Obama has given Congress ample time to pass an Immigration Reform bill for him to sign into law, it pitifully failed in its responsibilities due to political “infighting”. So with no alternative, President Obama has confirmed that he will move forward before year end to initiate administrative programs to legalize millions of Immigrants. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for details on the new programs…

Read Articles About the Republican Leadership Threats on Administrative Immigration Reform:
Huffington Post
The Hill
However, under the new restrictions. TCN’s who do not reside in Jamaica are no longer able to obtain a new visa based upon their “Change of Status” approval in the U.S., a new visa based upon an approved U.S. visa (such as an L-1 visa), renewal of a visa which an applicant was issued in another country other than their country of legal residence, or a new or renewed B1/B2 visa. It appears that the Embassy will continue to renew visas which TCN’s obtained in their country of residence, for instance H-1B, L-1, E-2, F-1 visas.  

Read the U.S. Embassy Kingston Advisory:
U.S. Embassy Advisory for Third Country National Visa Issuance
Immigration How To… 
How Do I Travel Outside the U.S. While I'm Waiting For My Green Card?
Similarly, certain foreign nationals who are sponsored by a U.S. company, or through Investment or another qualifying Immigrant Visa program to adjust status to Residency inside the U.S.. In such cases, the qualifying immigrant files the form I-485 application along with evidentiary proof of eligibility with the USCIS along with a request for Employment Authorization (often called a Work Permit) and if eligible, a request for Advance Parole (often referred to as a Travel Permit). Both the Work and Travel permits are generally issued within about 90 days.

Interestingly, once the I-485 adjustment of status application has been filed and accepted by the USCIS, the foreign national is now in the “adjustment of status” process and is not authorized to re-enter the U.S. after travel abroad at any time before receiving U.S. Residency (a Green Card) without the explicit permission of the USCIS through its issuance of an Advance Parole document. This document is not an authorization to leave the U.S. as many immigrant believe, but instead an authorization to be allowed to re-enter the U.S. after foreign travel abroad. 

If an immigrant who is in the “adjustment of status” process leaves the U.S. without first applying for an “Advance Parole” document, his or her pending application for U.S. Residency will be automatically cancelled. In many cases, applicants can find themselves stranded abroad and unable to re-enter the U.S..

There are a few exceptions to this rule, which include those immigrants who have valid work visas stamped in their passports for an L-1 or H-1B work visa and those for dependants. In such cases, adjustment of status applicants with these passport visa stamps are permitted to re-enter the U.S. using these entry visas and are not required to use an Advance Parole document.

Most importantly, Immigrants who's I-94 cards expired before filing for Adjustment of Status may not be eligible to travel outside the U.S. while waiting for residency and those who do, may not be allowed to re-enter the U.S. and actually be "barred" from re-entering for many years. As a result, Immigrants with expired I-94 cards should always consult with a qualified Immigration Attorney BEFORE applying for a travel permit.
Good to know…
When an Immigrant files for adjustment of status to U.S. Residency (form I-485), he or she will generally file for permission to work using form I-765 (request for an Employment Authorization Document) and if qualified, form I-131 permission to re-enter the U.S. after travel abroad, called Advance Parole. The evidentiary documentation submitted with the I-485 adjustment of status application, including a copy of the applicant’s Biographic page of their foreign passport, is generally enough to prove eligibility for the work or travel permit. 

However, when an Immigrant does not file form I-765 (request for an Employment Authorization Document) or form I-131 Advance Parole along with the initial I-485 application and later wishes to file for such benefits or for renewal of benefits, evidence of eligibility must be submitted along with these later filed applications in order to proved qualification, or the applications will be denied. Applicants should always include a copy of the I-485 adjustment of status receipt issued by the USCIS called the I-797 Notice of Action, copy of the Biographic page of the foreign passport and U.S. visa page for identification, along with the required passport photos. Good luck!
Always Provide Proof Of Eligibility When Applying For Initial or Renewal of Your  Work Authorization Document or Travel Permit
Immigration regulations allow qualifying family members inside the U.S. who have been sponsored by U.S. Citizens and U.S. Residents to file an application to “Adjust Status to Permanent Residency” inside the U.S. and to live and work here legally while waiting to receive a Green Card.