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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 want to know if when a US Citizen applies for his foreign wife, then should the US Citizen also apply for his foreign wife's children (Under 21 years old) in the same form I-130 or must separate I-130 forms be filed for each of the step children individually . And do the kids have to be filed with the foreign wife’s I-130 or can they be applied for after the wife’s case is filed and still in process. 
Answer:  A U.S. Citizen can only apply for step-children, when the children were under age 18 at the time of the marriage to the child’s biological parent. If qualifying, the U.S. Citizen step-parent can file for the minor children until they reach age 21. A separate I-130 needs to be filed for each child. In your case, as long as your wife’s children were 17 years old or younger when you got married, then you are considered to be their step-parent for Immigration purposes and can file for them now or at a later date. If the children were age 18 or older then you them. In that case your wife’s children will need to wait until she becomes a U.S. Resident in order for her to sponsor her children. I hope this is helpful to you. Please let us know if you need our legal services to take care of handling the case.
Helpful Immigration Hints You Can Use
You can find out more about  sponsoring foreign spouses and step-children by visiting our website at: or by calling our office at: 954-382-5378 
Tips On Preparing For Immigration Reform – 
Gathering & Organizing Your Documents!
U.S. Residents Can Now Request Travel 
History Records Online 
U.S. Residents requiring travel history dates and information for Naturalization can now obtain such records through an online Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request. Under immigration regulations, U.S. Residents applying for Naturalization must list dates of foreign travel made during the previous five year period. 

But for those who travel frequently, it is often very difficult to remember the exact dates of past trips outside the U.S., particularly for those who have lost their passport, or when entry stamps are sometimes difficult or impossible to read. As an added convenience, Residents can now make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for travel history information through the FOIA online system. 
As with the Childhood Arrivals program for DREAMers, any upcoming Administrative Immigration Reform implemented by the President this Fall and any future Amnesty law passed by Congress will require that Immigrants prove eligibility. Proving eligibility requires submitting documentary proof that the Immigrant has been living inside the U.S. continuously for a certain period of time (usually for the past five years) and have continued to be physically present in the U.S. up until the date the Immigration program is enacted. 
When making a request, be sure and choose U.S. Customs and Border Protection option, complete the form and when it asks for the type of information you are seeking, type in U.S. Travel history information (entries and exits) from xxx (date) through (date). Once you submit the request you will immediately receive a unique FOIA tracking number and acknowledgment that your FOIA request was received by CBP. Then you will be able to track your FOIA request any day/any time through your FOIAonline account. You will receive an email to retrieve responsive records or document via your FOIAonline account, when records or documents become available and you can view all of your historical FOIA requests via the "dashboard" in your FOIAonline account.
This can often be a very tough challenge since most Immigrants who lack legal status are often not able to obtain Driver’s Licenses, open bank accounts and easily create a record of living and working in the U.S.. However, as difficult as it seems, evidence will be required and those who are not able to provide it will likely not qualify work permits and any other benefits of the programs. The USCIS does not simply accept an Immigrants “word” that they have been inside the U.S. during the required period – they have to prove it! For example, many DREAMers who have applied under the President’s Deferred Action” program received USCIS requests for additional documentary proof of eligibility and those unable to provide it are denied. So gathering and retaining evidence of physical presence in the U.S. is critical to eligibility. 
Upcoming Immigration reform programs like those soon to be announced by Obama are likely to require that Parents of DREAMers and Immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens prove they have been inside the U.S. continuously since at least mid-2009 and provide documents to prove their presence here from their date of entry into the U.S. up until the date the program is announced. Those with bank accounts, utility bills and paystubs will find it easy to qualify, but those without bank accounts and utilities or evidence of employment will need to find other creative means to document their life in the U.S. since 2009. Thinking outside the box to come up with evidence to cover certain periods of time is very important, for instance, the USCIS will accept evidence such as copies of lease/rental receipts, cell phone bills, gym or other memberships, installment payments, automobile insurance, health insurance, automobile registration, school transcripts, hospital/medical & vaccination records, etc. So its best to start now both getting your past and current documentation together and start accumulating new ones up until the day the program is announced. 
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.  

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 Locate a USCIS Authorized Doctor For 
My Required Medical Exam
When an Immigrant applies for U.S. Residency (form I-485) a special immigration medical exam is required to be performed by a doctor authorized to administer such exams by the USCIS. 
The doctor will perform the medical exam and complete form I-693, then give the original examination report to the patient in a sealed envelope. Make sure to ask the doctor for a copy of the exam. It is your legal right to have it. 

To locate an authorized doctor, called a “designated civil surgeon”