Janet Moon receives award for business excellence and community service.



Janet Moon 40 Under Forty Honoree 2016.

We are pleased to share news of an award to Janet Moon, principal at the Moon Law Office. Janet received the 40 Under Forty award from the Business Journal News Network at a luncheon at the OnCenter on November 16, 2016. This award recognizes forty young leaders under the age of 40 in CNY who excel in the workplace, volunteer and give back to the CNY community.



hfg_0This group provides a forum for business leaders under 40 who invest in our community as business owners and professionals and as active community volunteers.  To learn more about the 2016 honorees and their contributions to central New York click on https://issuu.com/thebusinessjournal/docs/40u402016?e=2444949/40654054




Stay Tuned for Immigration Updates


Stay Tuned for Immigration Updates!

Immigration has been a hot topic in the recent election.  For those of you who have approved applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or who are eligible to apply, this program is still in effect.  We have no information on how this program will be treated going forward.  We want to let you know that we will be closely monitoring this program, and other developments in immigration, and will post updates as they become available.

Click on DACA for more information on this program as it exists now.

Apply Now for Naturalization?


Apply Now for Naturalization?


 Three good reasons to apply for naturalization (US citizenship) now.


  1. US citizenship is a more permanent status than permanent residence ( green card holder). In certain circumstances green card holders may lose their status. For more information on how this can happen see Permanent Residence.
  2. Once you are a US citizen, you may apply for a US passport. A US passport may simplify international. It will also allow you to spend time outside the US without the need to keep track of your absences for purposes of naturalization. Before you can apply for US citizenship you must be a permanent resident for five years (three if your green card was based on marriage to a US citizen). Make sure that you are eligible for US citizenship before you apply. For more on the requirements of  US citizenship see Naturalization.
  3. Naturalization application filing fees will increase on December 23, 2016 from $680 to $725.

If you would like our attorneys to help you apply for naturalization, please contact our office at 315-333-2424 or office@syracuseimmigration.com.


Certificate of US Citizenship – Proof of US Citizenship



Certificate of US Citizenship – Application Fee to almost double on December 23, 2016.

Were you born outside the US to a US citizen parent? Did one of your parents become a naturalized citizen before you turned 18?  If you can answer “yes” to either of these questions you may be a US citizen.

Read the information below to see if you might already be a US citizen.  Please note that this can be a complicated determination. You should not claim to be a US citizen without enough proof.  There are serious penalties for claiming to be a US citizen when you are not actually a citizen, including a permanent ban on filing immigration applications. To schedule a consultation with our office for help on this issue, click on contact us.

The application fee to file an application for a certificate of citizenship will  almost double on December 23, 2016. This fee will go up from $600 to $1170.  If you are eligible to file an application for a certificate of US citizenship, read the information below.

Most people become a US citizen by birth in the US, or by applying for naturalization after being a green card holder for five years (three years in the case of a green card based on marriage to a US citizen).  Some people become a US citizen at birth, or may become a US citizen based on the naturalization of a parent before the child turns 18. The laws about who qualifies to be a citizen are complicated and change over time.  The information that follows provides a general outline of the requirements for acquiring or deriving US citizenship from a US citizen parent.  If you think you may already be a US citizen, it will be important to meet with an immigration lawyer to help you decide if you should apply for a Certificate of Citizenship to prove that you are a US citizen.

There are two ways to become a US citizen.

  1. Birth in the US
  2. Birth outside the US to US citizen parent(s)
  • Depending on the law in place at the time of your birth, if you were born outside the US to US citizen parents you may have become a US citizen at birth
  • If your US citizen parent naturalized before you turned 18, you may have become a US citizen at the time your parent became a naturalized US citizen.

Birth Outside the US to US citizen parent(s)

  • One or both parents must be US citizens
  • Your US citizen parent must meet the US residence requirements that were in place at the time of your birth
    • “Residence” means principal dwelling place (where your parent lived)
  • If only one parent was a US citizen at the time of your birth, whether they were married at the time of your birth may affect the determination on whether you became a US citizen at your birth

Naturalization of US citizen parent

  • Your US citizen parent became a naturalized citizen before you turned 18
  • You are the biological child of your US citizen parent
  • You must be lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence (a green card holder)
  • You must be living in the legal and physical custody of your US citizen parent
  • If you are living outside the US different rules apply

Adopted Children may also become US citizens through a US citizen parent. This depends on the date of your birth and the laws in place at time you turned 18

Immigration Application Fees to Increase 12/23/2016

gallery-thumbnailsUSCIS Imigration Application Filing Fees will increase on December 23, 2016. If you are thinking about filing an immigration application, and you are eligible, file now before the fee increase.  Any application filed or postmarked on December 23, 2016 must include the new fee, or it will be returned by USCIS.

To find out if you are eligible to file an immigration applcation, or for help with an immigration issue click on Contact Us

Some of the filing fee amounts will increase by a large amount.  The list below includes some, but not all, of the forms that will require a larger filing fee on 12/23/2016.

Family Immigration Applications

Application/Petition New Fee Old Fee
Fiancé(e) Petition, Form I-129F $460 $325
Relative Petition, form I-130 $535 $340


Employment Immigration Applications

Application/Petition New Fee Old Fee
Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129 $460 $325
Immigrant Worker, Form I-140 $700 $580


Green Card Applications (in the US)

Application/Petition New Fee Old Fee
Adjust Status to Permanent Resident (green card holder),

Certain applicants under age 14

$1140 + $85 Biometric fee

Total = $1225


$985 + $85 Biometric fee

Total = $1070


Remove Conditions on Residence, Form I-751 $595 + $85 Biometric Fee

Total = $670

$505 + $85 biometric Fee

Total = $590


Citizenship Applications

Application/Petition New Fee Old Fee
Naturalization, Form N-400 $640 + $85 Biometric fee

Total = $725

Certain low-income applications may qualify for a reduced fee

$595 + $85 Biometric Fee

Total = $680

Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-600 $1170 $600/$550


Miscellaneous Applications

Application/Petition New Fee Old Fee
Extend/Change Nonimmigrant (Temporary) Status $370 $290
Waiver of Ground of Excludability, Form I-601


$585 $930
Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Presence, Form I-601A $630 $585
Employment Authorization, Form I-765 $410 $380
Travel Document, Forms I-131 & I-131A $575 $360

For a complete list of the new fees click on New Immigration Fees

Applying for a Fiance(e) Visa?


Fiance(e) Visa Application and Application for a Green  Card – Five-Steps 

If you are a foreign national  engaged to a US citizen, the US citizen may sponsor you for a green card.  This is a five-step process.



  1. USCIS: US citizen fiance(e) may file a fiance(e) petition with USCIS.
  2.  National Visa Center:(NVC): Once the fiance(e) petition is approved, the file is sent to the NVC for collection of fees, forms and documents. Once the NVC has received the correct fees, forms and documents, it sends the file to a US Embassy for a visa interview.  You will find helpful information in working with the NVC below.
  3. US Embassy: When the fiance(e) visa application is complete, the visa applicant will be scheduled for an interview at a US Embassy.  The embassy website provides helpful information on what you will need to bring to the interview.
  4. Border: Once the fiance(e) visa is approved by the US Embassy, the visa applicant will receive a fiance(e) visa stamp that may be presented at the US border for admission to the US. As long as the fiance(e) visa-holder is admissible to the US, he or she will be admitted for up to 90 days to marry the US citizen.
  5. USCIS: If the fiance(e) visa-holder marries his or her US citizen sponsor within 90 days of entry, the fiance(e) visa holder may file an application for a green card in the US.

Tips for working with the NVC

1.NVC Website

Provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions at:

FAQ’s in English  or FAQ’s in Spanish

2. Documents

Send copies of documents NOT the original documents to the NVC.  This includes birth certificates. The green card applicant must bring the original documents to the visa interview.

3. Mailing Documents to the NVC

Mail all documents in one envelope and include the cover sheet provided by the NVC in this envelope.

4. US Embassy Website

After scheduling a green card interview appointment, visit the US Embassy website for the embassy where you will be interviewed. The website will include the most recent information on the required medical appointment and processing fees required by the embassy.

Lost Green Card or Re-entry Permit and Need to Board a Plane to the US?


Lost Green Card or Re-entry Permit and Need to Board a Plane to the US?

A new form, Form I-131A, allows those who have lost a green card or re-entry permit  to apply for a travel document  to present to an airline or vessel for boarding.

Who is eligible to apply for a boarding document?

  1. If your green card has been lost, stolen, or destroyed


  1. You are returning from a temporary trip outside the US of less than one year


  1. Your Re-entry Permit has been Lost, stolen, or destroyed


  1. You are returning from a temporary trip outside the US of less than two years

You may file Form I-131A to apply for documentation to present to your carrier for boarding


How do I apply for a Travel Document if I am eligible to File Form I-131A?

  1. Pay the filing fee online at: Form I-134A Filing Fee
  • The current filing fee is $360.  This may change, so be sure to get updated information on the amount of the filing fee.
  1. Apply in person at a US Embassy or consulate
  • Bring evidence that you have paid the fee with you.

If you are eligible for Form I-131A, the US Embassy or consulate will generally issue documentation you may provide to your carrier (carrier documentation) within two weeks.  This documentation allows a permanent resident (green card holder) to prove to a transportation carrier that he or she is authorized to travel to the US.  You will still be inspected at the border and a Customs and Border Protection officer will make a decision on your admission to the US.

Please Note:

  1. The carrier documentation does not provide a new green card. You need to file Form I-90 to request a replacement green card.
  1. Before you go to a US embassy or consulate to apply for a travel document, contact the embassy or consulate to verify that the embassy is able to process Form I-131A and to get updates on instructions. You may be able to get this information from the embassy or consulate website.
  1. If your green card has expired, and you are still in possession of your expired green card, you may not need to file Form I-131A. If you have an expired green card, check with your carrier before you file Form I-131A.
  • Although immigration regulations require green card holders to travel with a valid (unexpired) green card, there is a Customs and Border Patrol policy that allows carriers bound for the US to board green card holders if one of the following applies :
    • Your expired green card was issued with a 10- year expiration date, or
    • Your expired green card has a 2-year expiration date, AND
      • You filed a petition to remove the condition on your green card, and
      • You received a notice that extends the validity of the card

Renewing Green Card While Applying for Naturalization


Renewing Green Card While Applying for Naturalization

Do I Need to file an application to renew my green card after I have filed my application for naturalization (US citizenship)?

According to the most recent information from USCIS, if your existing green card has at least 6 months of validity left on it when you file your application for naturalization, you do not need to file Form I-90 to renew your green card.  In this case, you are eligible to receive a stamp in your passport as temporary proof of permanent residence without filing form I-90.  You may request this stamp by making an InfoPass appointment with a local USCIS office.  You may make an InfoPass appointment at the USCIS website www.uscis.gov.


If your green card will expire within 6 months of filing your application for naturalization, you must file an application to renew your green card by filing Form I-90. To receive a stamp in your passport as temporary proof of permanent residence, you must provide USCIS with an I-90 filing receipt notice.



In order to avoid the filing fee for an I-90, as long as you are eligible to apply for naturalization, you should file your naturalization application while your green card is valid for at least 6 months.  Please contact our office if you would like more information on eligibility for naturalization.


What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?


What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) allows nationals from countries that have been designated by the US as dangerous, to stay temporarily in the US until it is safe to return to their home country.  The danger usually involves either civil unrest or a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or an epidemic.  To apply for TPS, you must already be in the US.  You do not need to be in lawful immigration status in the US to apply for TPS.  You must  be from a country that is currently designated for TPS by the US to be eligible to apply for TPS. If your application for TPS is approved, you will be eligible for permission to work in the US for the TPS period.  You will also be protected from deportation during the TPS period.


How is TPS Different than Asylum or Refugee Status?

Asylees and refugees apply individually for admission to the US and, if they are admitted, may be able to apply for a green card.  Those who receive TPS are usually approved for  a temporary period of 18 months.  The US may extend TPS after the original designation, however it is expected that when conditions in the designated country are safe, those with TPS will return to their home country. TPS, by itself, does allow you to apply for a green card.


What are the Requirements for TPS?

  1. You must be a national of a country designated for TPS.

For a list of countries currently designated for TPS see the USCIS website below. https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status#What%20is%20TPS?

  1. You must file for TPS during the open initial registration or reregistration period, or meet the requirements for late filing.
  1. You must have been physically present in the continuously since the date of the most recent designation of our country for TPS; and
  1. You must have resided continuously in the US since the date set for your country by the US. This date is usually the same as, or before, the date required for physical presence.

Who is not eligible for TPS?

  1. Anyone convicted in the US of any felony or two more misdemeanors.
  1. Anyone who is not admissible to the US based on criminal or security grounds.
  1. Anyone who is not able to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements above.
  1. Anyone who has not met the initial or late initial TPS registration requirements.
  1. Anyone granted TPS who failed to re-register for TPS without good cause.

Be Careful of Immigration Scams


USCIS issued a new warning about immigration scams. If someone calls you about an immigration application and asks for personal information or money to “fix” a problem with your application do not provide the information or a payment.  Instead report the call to USCIS.  For more information on immigration scams and how to report problems click on scams