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Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter
POSTING DATE: June 12, 2017
Immigration News & Updates eNewsletter © 2011 - 2017
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Questions & Answers
This Week's Immigration News
Question: I have a question about the residency process. My husband got his residency back in 2010 through his parents when he was single. He has been living in Florida full time since 2013. We got married in 2015, my husband filed for me the same year in September and I am on the waiting list to immigrate. We just had a baby daughter last year. My question is if my husband files for his US Citizenship now, will that speed things up so we can immigrate to America sooner? Will our baby automatically be able to immigrate with me?
Answer: That is a great question. Normally, a spouse and minor child can immigrate to the U.S. much faster when the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen. However, in certain cases, where the immigrant petition has been pending and there are minor children, its best for the Resident to remain with U.S. Residency rather than to naturalize for technical reasons. For instance, once a Resident naturalizes, minor children are no longer included on the sponsored spouses I-130 petition. That means that a new, separate I-130 petition must be filed by the Resident sponsor for each minor child in order for the child to immigrate. This can take delay the whole immigration process for eight months or more. In your case, since the case was filed in August 2015 and it take about 22 months to immigrate, you are getting very close to your “priority date” becoming current and the immigration process to begin the final stages, so having your husband naturalize now would actually delay the process. Since he is a U.S. Resident, his daughter will automatically be eligible to immigrate along with you to the U.S..I hope this was helpful to you. Let me know if you would like me to represent you in your final immigration process.
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Department of Homeland Security Provides Six Month TPS Extension To Haitians
Retreating from it hard line against renewing TPS for Haitians, the Trump administration has agreed to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians in the U.S. for an additional period of six months, until January 22, 2018. Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly issued the announcement on May 22, 2017, that rather than the regular 18 month extension granted in the past, the department would extend protection for the shorter period instead.
Kelly warned that Haitians should not assume that TPS will be renewed after the new expiration set for next January expires and instead should take this six-month period of time to obtain travel documents and make arrangements to return to Haiti once the extension expires.
Controversial Immigration Bills Pending In Congress
Could Lead To Mass Deportations
In the midst of all the controversy surrounding Trump and his erupting daily scandals, the Republican held Congress is quietly busy behind the scenes devising legislation based upon Trumps mandate to crack down on Immigrants and reduce overall immigration.
With most news coverage focused on the Russian investigation and Trumps daily tweets, even controversial legislative efforts aren’t garnering much attention these day, which is the case with several Immigration Bills recently introduced into the House of Representatives.
The Enforcement Act H.R. 2406, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Authorization Act, introduced by Republican Bob Goodlatte and the Davis-Oliver Act, H.R. 2431, introduced by Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, while purporting to secure and protect Americans from dangerous criminal Immigrants and “job stealers”, would among other things, criminalize “unlawful status”, making it a crime to be in the U.S. without current legal immigration status (even overstaying a visa), make drunk driving a deportable offense, and result in deportation of millions of Immigrants.
The legislation would further substantially increase both federal and local immigration enforcement, encourage States and local law authorities to act as Immigration enforcement forces, mandate social media vetting for Visa applicants and increase Visa refusals.
Haitian TPS renewal applicants must re-register for status by July 24, 2017 and those who request extension of Employment Authorization (EAD) will receive an automatic extension of their expiring EAD for up to 180 days from the date their current EAD expires.
Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status (re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee).
The biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are 14 years old or older
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, regardless of whether you want an EAD.
Overview of the Naturalization Process -
Becoming a U.S. Citizen
Millions of U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) have been scrambling to file for Naturalization over the past year in light of the election and now, to safeguard immigration status under the new administration. As a result, processing times have increased and are now nearly a year in some jurisdictions. So Residents are well advised to avoid even further delays, by filing for Naturalization sooner, rather than later.
Here’s a brief overview of the process to Naturalize and the common steps to take once you become a U.S. Citizen:
1. Complete and file your Naturalization application (called form N-400) using Express or Priority Mail; 2. Receive a Receipt from the USCIS within about 10 days and go online and sign up for case updates on the USCIS website using the case number on your receipt;
3. Receive your Biometrics appointment notice within about 30 days from the USICS for you to go and have your fingerprints taken at the local USCIS office;
4. Receive your Naturalization Interview notice in about 3 months, attend your interview, pass the test and get approved;
5. Receive your Naturalization Ceremony notice Once your Application for Naturalization is approved, the USCIS will schedule for your Naturalization Ceremony within about 30 days.
6. Attend your Naturalization Ceremony, surrender your Green Card, take your Oath of Allegiance to complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen and receive your Naturalization Certificate the same day.
7. Apply for Your U.S. Passport Once you receive your Certificate of Naturalization, you can immediately apply for a U.S. passport. You will receive an application for a U.S. passport at your naturalization ceremony, called the “U.S. Citizenship Welcome Packet” or you can go online to the U.S. Passport office 8. Register to Vote! Once you are a U.S. Citizen, it is your right and privilege to vote. You can register to vote at certain locations in your community, which may include post offices, motor vehicle offices, county boards of election, and offices of your state Secretary of State. You can read more about registering to vote by reading the government publication: “A Voter’s Guide to Federal Elections." 9. Update your Social Security Record After you become a U.S. Citizen, you will need to notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) to update your Social Security record. You can find your local Social Security office by calling 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting: www.socialsecurity.gov. You can go to your local SSA office about ten days after your ceremony to give time for the SSA to be able to access your new status in the USCIS records. Be sure to take your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport with you. Good luck!
Understanding The Process To Surrender
U.S. Residency (Green Card)
However some Residents voluntary relinquish their Residency, often due to taxation issues or travel reasons. By surrendering the green card, it is often possible to terminate U.S. tax obligations. However, the most common travel reason to surrender a green card is that the Resident has spent more than a year abroad and has no intention of resuming actual residency in the United States but would like to visit the U.S. for holidays or business. Many Immigrants misunderstand that obtaining Residency in the U.S. means the individual is making the U.S. their formal residence, rather than simply using the green card to visit the U.S. several times her year. After frequently getting stopped by Immigration officers at the airport and experiencing travel delays while trying to visit the U.S., some Residents simply decide to give up their residency voluntarily. This can be done formally, by surrendering Residency status and becoming a non-resident, which requires a request made by the Resident at s U.S. Consulate abroad, in order to obtain a U.S. B1/B2 tourist visa instead.
The procedure to surrender a green card and with it, U.S. Residency status is fairly straightforward. The Resident simply needs to contact the local U.S. embassy or consulate and make an appointment. The embassy or consular official will provide Form I-407, Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status. At the appointment, the officer will accept the form and the green card and give the Resident a stamped copy of the completed I-407. The former Resident can then request a U.S. tourist visa in order to visit the U.S. It should be noted that once a Resident has submitted the I-407 and surrendered the green card, Residency status is terminated and cannot be obtained again, except by an entirely new sponsorship or eligibility. There is no going back and no way to change one’s mind and obtain reissuance of the green card again from abroad. Therefore, if for example, the married adult son of a U.S. Citizen surrender's his or her green card, then later decides that he wants to reside in the U.S., a U.S. Citizen parent would need to sponsor the son all over again and the son would need to wait 10 to 12 years or more for a new visa to become available again, since they cannot use the old one. Good to know.
Believe it or not, many U.S. Residents (Green Card holders) voluntarily decide to give up their Green Cards every year, while others lose Residency status involuntarily, by staying outside the U.S. for extended periods of time.
For most Green Card holders, the biggest concern is involuntarily losing their U.S. Residence, which can occur after a Resident has been outside the U.S. for more than a year and no longer has ties here. An immigration officer at the port of entry (usually airport) is typically the one who determines that the Resident has abandoned U.S. permanent residency and then confiscates the green card, leaving it up to an immigration judge to make a final ruling.