The MacKenzie Law Firm where we practice exclusively in the area of U.S. Immigration law

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Below is a summary of comments I presented at a seminar at the International Center at Forsyth Technical Community College entitled, "Preparing for the Future."

In these uncertain times, the summary below may be helpful to you and many of your family members.
  1. Organize your important papers into a file. Make a list of all financial obligations; bank accounts; sources of income in the event that you need to ask someone to manage your affairs.
  2. Identify and discuss financial issues with a close relative or trusted friend with permanent residence or US citizenship.
  3. Consider adding this person as a signatory on a bank account that will allow them to access your funds in the event you cannot.

    This can be done at the bank or financial institution.
  4. Make arrangements at your children's school to permit another adult that you trust to pick up your children from school. This can normally be done directly with the school.
  5. Consider meeting with an attorney to discuss options for conditional custody using a power of attorney in the event you are detained.
  6. Continue to improve your English. While not required by US law it will be necessary if you have the opportunity to naturalize and it is helpful in understanding your rights and expressing your rights if required. 
Positive Steps to Obtain Status
  1. Review the immigration status of each family member. Remember a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) can apply for spouse, unmarried children over age 21 and children under 21. US Citizens can apply for parents, siblings, children single or married. If you have delayed filing a family petition for a family member this is the time to consider this option. Make sure that all green card holders renew their card. 
  2. Naturalization to become a US Citizens is the best protection against deportation and also provides additional rights including the right to vote. A lawful permanent resident can apply to naturalize after 5 years and this time requirement is reduced to 3 years if the resident is married to a USC. Another huge benefit to a parent naturalizing before their permanent resident children turn 18 is that the children may automatically acquire US citizenship.
  3. Consider other potential benefits: DACA is still available. If you entered prior to the age of 16, were living in the US in June 2012, have remained in the US since June of 2007, and graduated or enrolled in high school or a GED program you may be eligible for a work permit.
  4. Other programs include Temporary Protected Status; U Visas and self petitions for victims of domestic violence. 

Deferred Action Recipients
Deferred Action recipients can file renewals up to five months prior to expiry. Our office recommends highly for renewals to be filed as close as possible to the five month mark or there is a chance there will be a lapse in legal status.

Currently is it taking between two to six months for USCIS to process Deferred Action renewals. With initial Deferred Action applications, it is taking an estimated eight months for USCIS to process the case.

If you have Deferred Action and are married to a USC/LPR, please schedule an appointment with our office to discuss Advance Parole.
Internationally Recognized Athlete P-1 Visa
The P-1 classification applies to you if you are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition and an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.
Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria
You must be coming to the United States to participate in individual event, competition or performance in which you are internationally recognized with a high level of achievement; evidence by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered so that the achievement is renowned, leading or well known in more than one country.
Athletic Teams Eligibility Criteria
You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.
Update on amount of time for case processing times based on MLF recent approvals from date:
Under the current administration - all immigrant cases are taking two (2) to three (3) months longer than before.  There is nothing wrong with the cases.  Immigration has been flooded with an over-abundance of application requests, and it is just taking them time to get through them all.
  • Receipts normally would take 15 days to receive acknowledgement, it is now taking up to 30 days.
  • Bio-metrics are taking a month and a half up to two (2) months to process, rather than only a month.
  • Interviews could possibly take up to six (6) months to happen.
  • Naturalization:  6 - 8 months
  • I-130 Family Petitions:
    • Spouse - 6 - 8 months
    • Child - 9 months
    • Brother/Sister - 6 - 8 months
  • DACA
    • Renewal - 3 - 4 months
    • First Time - 8 months
    • Travel Doc - 6 - 9 months
  • Adjustment of Status: 6 - 8 months
  • DS 260 Consular Processing: 2 - 3 months
  • 601A Waivers: 8 - 10 months

April 2017 Visa Bulletin

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