A few weeks ago, USCIS announced that I-130 petitions can now be filed via the internet.
The I-130, known as the Petition For Alien Relative, is the first step in the green card process. Its purpose is to prove the family relationship between a U.S. citizen or green card holder and an immigrant relative.
Most news stories note how this development speeds up the green card process. They portray the change as a positive, pro-immigrant measure.
The new filing procedure is a step in the right direction. Yet, the change warrants cautious optimism for immigrants and their families.
My client, an immigrant from China, had been summoned to an interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Prudence dictated hiring a certified translator to attend the appointment with us.
My client was only 30 – 40% fluent in English. I know 0% Chinese.
The government has announced a plan to increase the filing fees for various immigration applications. It is estimated the average increase will be about 10%.
For many clients of our Riverside immigration lawyer offices, any increase in filing fees is not good news.
Because several are low wage earners, each time immigration fees are hiked, their dreams are placed on hold.
Making ends meet is already difficult. Saving enough funds to proceed is not an easy task.
After waiting 2 1/2 hours, my client was finally called for her green card interview.
We headed to the hallway door to meet the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. I extended my right hand to greet the officer and introduce myself. He turned and walked away. With his back to us, he said, “Follow me.”
My client’s face turned colorless. Fear ran up and down her spine.