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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
Immigrant Fiancées In Florida May Benefit From Lift of 
Same-Sex Marriage Ban on Jan 5th 2015
Beginning next month on January 6, 2015, Florida may become the 36th State in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. As a result, once the stay is lifted on January 5th, same-sex couples in Florida will likely be eligible to legally marry in the State. This will allow U.S. Citizens and Residents in the State of Florida to marry their foreign fiancées in the State, rather than having to travel to another State such as New York to obtain a legal marriage license. Since 2013, Federal Immigration regulations have afforded same-sex couples the same Immigration benefits as other married couples, as long as the couple are legally married in a State or Country which recognizes same-sex marriage. 

Once the stay is lifted, couples will be free to marry in Florida and submit Immigration petitions using valid Florida Marriage licenses. This should also allow same-sex couples to obtain married names on their Florida Driver’s License and other State of Florida documents - which is currently prohibited.
You can find out more about obtainimg a Green Card or Visa through investment in the U.S. by visiting our website at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.
Helpful Immigration Tips You Can Use
Florida Joins Lawsuit Against President Over His Executive Actions on Immigration
While Mayors from cities across the nation met in New York City last week to support the Administration’s new Executive Action on Immigration and plan strategies to encourage Immigrants to register for the new DAPA and DACA programs, the State of Florida was busy joining a Federal lawsuit filed by 17 other states against President Obama, to stop its implementation. 

With a population of nearly one million Immigrants in the State who lack legal Immigration status, Florida has the nation’s fourth largest such population after California, Texas and New York. Critics say that Florida should be among the first to support such reforms, with Immigrants in the State contributing heavily to its economic growth and national standing. But for now, with a Republican Governor and State Officials calling the shots, Florida will remain among those States which punish, rather than appreciate its immigrant population. 
As background, in 2008, a constitutional amendment passed in Florida prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in the State. In August 2014, a U.S. District Judge ruled that Florida’s marriage ban is unconstitutional, but imposed a stay on his decision until January 5th, 2015 to give the State of Florida time for an appeal. So while the State of Florida may continue to fight the decision in court, the ruling prohibiting the ban will stand, unless it is later overruled by a higher court. 
Questions & Answers
Question:  Hi I have a green card appointment in December through marriage to my U.S. Citizen husband, but he does not have his birth certificate and that’s one of the documents they ask for. Do you know if it will cause a problem at my interview if he don’t get it by that time? Thank you
Answer: According to USCIS policy for marriage residency interviews, your husband must bring either his original or certified U.S. Birth Certificate or original Naturalization Certificate or U.S. Passport to prove that he is a U.S. Citizen. Otherwise, the officer likely will not approve your case until it is provided and it could delay your Residency by many months. I hope this is helpful to you.
Question:  Hi, me and my wife are Colombians and are here in Florida for the holidays staying with friends and visiting Disney World. My friend and I have been talking about maybe going into business together by opening a company here in Miami. So I am wondering how much do I need to invest to get a visa for me and my wife and whether we can get our green cards by our investment.
Answer: There are several immigration visa options available for foreign entrepreneurs from Colombia who desire to start their own U.S. business or to make an investment in the U.S. and obtain a Green Card. Here’s a rundown of the two types of “Investor” visas: 

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa (Non-Immigrant): The E-2 Visa for Colombians (and nationals of other E-2 Treaty countries) provides a great Visa for foreign investors to live in the U.S. and run their own business. Another benefit is that spouses are issued Work Permits. The U.S. Consulate in Bogota issues E-2 Visas for up to five years, renewable every 4 ½ years. E-2 Visas issued inside the U.S. are for 2 year extendable periods, but they do not provide an actual visa which allows travel, which can be inconvenient.E-2 Visas require an investment in and ownership of at least 50% of a new or existing U.S. company. A very safe minimum investment, with a high likelihood for USCIS approval, would be $100,000 USD or higher. Lesser investment amounts are eligible, but can be more difficult to obtain approval. However, even with all its other great benefits, the E-2 Visa does not lead to a Green Card. Because of this, investors who are able to make a higher investment are often much better off going straight to the EB-5 Green Card investment. 

The EB-5 Investor Visa (Immigrant): The only Investor visa which leads directly to a Green Card through investment is the EB-5 Investor visa, which allows foreign investors to invest $500,000 and receive U.S. Residency (Green Cards) for themselves, their Spouse and all minor Children. This visa also applies to Nationals of all countries, not just those which have Treaties with the U.S.. For investors desiring to operate their own U.S. business, the EB-5 program also allows foreign investors to invest the funds in their own business, in certain economic zones and obtain a Green Card. The investment business is then required to employ 10 U.S. workers for two years in order to obtain a permanent Green Card. 

Investors who do not want the hassle of operating their own business also have the option to receive a Green Card by making an investment in a USCIS approved Regional Center. The great benefit of this investment is that once the investment is made, the investor and his family can live, work, operate their own business, retire and do anything they desire in the U.S., while still obtaining a Green Card. 
Immigration How To:
How Do I Know What Filing Fees Are Required?
One of the most common reasons for case rejection by the USCIS is for the wrong Filing Fees. You can see the current USCIS Filing Fees by clicking on the link below:
Current USCIS Filing Fees
Avoid Case Rejection By Enclosing the Correct USCIS Filing Fee
Updating Immigration Status In Social Security Administration Records           
Immigrants often receive a Social Security Card for many reasons, for instance while working on OPT after college graduation, while working on a work visa such as an H-1B, etc. However, those types of Social Security cards require USCIS authorization in order to work. 
Therefore, once an immigrant becomes a U.S. Resident, Social Security Administration Records need to be updated so that the Social Security records and card allow unrestricted employment, without the need for USCIS authorization.