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90-year-old Sarasota Immigrant Becomes Citizen

Posted: May 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Congratulations to Don Fisher for recently completing the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen at the age of 90.  Don first moved to the U.S. in 1984 and had E-2 Treaty Investor visa status from 1987 to 2010.  After six consecutive E-2 visas Don married a U.S. citizen and became a permanent resident in 2010.  

At age 90, Don is believed to be the oldest client in the 30 year history of Jaensch Immigration Law Firm to become a U.S. citizen.  We took a picture of Don in the office with his Naturalization Certificate.

Don says the following about the process, “it was a challenge, but we did enjoy the chase.” 

Congratulations again to Don Fisher!

-P. Christopher Jaensch

Q&A for Diversity Visa Applicants Attempting to Log into Entrant Status Check Website

Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This post is related to our earlier post about the issues the Kentucky Consular Center has been having with the Entrant Status Check website.  The technical problem with the Entrant Status Check system has led to many questions.  We contacted the Kentucky Consular Center for answers and are posting them below.

How will I know if I have been selected?

  • The only proof that you have been selected to process further in the DV-2015 program is a notice with your name on it that states you have been selected.  When you log into the Entrant Status Check (ESC) on the dvlottery.state.govwebsite you will see one of two responses:
  • If you see a message that says you were selected, and it includes your name, you have been selected to process further in the DV-2015 lottery.  Please review the website at for full instructions on how to proceed.
  • If you see a message that says you were not selected, you have not been selected to process further in the DV-2015 lottery.  You may enter again next year.  This message will not include your name.

When I logged in, I got a message saying I was not selected, but there was no name on the screen. What does that mean?

  • That means you were not selected.  If you were not selected for further processing, you will receive a standard message that applies to anyone who was not selected.  It will not have your name on it.

 I saw a selection notice, but it had someone else’s name on it. What do I do? 

  • If you log into the ESC now and see a notice that says you were selected, but it is addressed to another person, this does not mean that you have been selected. You should contact KCC at for further information.  Include your name and confirmation number, and tell KCC at what time you tried to log in to the ESC.  (If this happened to you on May 1, there is no need to tell KCC. If it happens to you now, please let us know.)

Will these results change?  Should I check back again later to see if I was selected in the future?

  • These results are final.  We do not anticipate that there will be any additional names selected for DV-2015. 

 I am having problems logging in, or I am confused by my results.  Can KCC tell me if I was selected?

  • KCC cannot tell you if you have been selected for further processing.  The ESC is the only means by which you may check your status.

If you are unable to log into the ESC, please check to be sure you are entering your confirmation number correctly.  Some letters and numbers look similar to one another.  If the ESC web page is experiencing a high volume of requests, it may work very slowly and some connections may time out.  If this happens to you, please try again later. 

If you have lost your confirmation number, please try to retrieve it using the “forgot confirmation number” link on the ESC website.  If you cannot retrieve your confirmation number by providing the information required, there is no way for you to check your status.

If you have read all of this information and still have questions, please contact KCC at  Include your full name and, if you know it, your DV case number.

Talented German Artist Shares Her Work With Jaensch Immigration Law Firm

Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , | No Comments »

EBBA Kaynak, accomplished German sculpture artist, has been creating art based on the theme of “in-between” for years.  When our firm helped one of her friends she heard about us and decided to get in touch.

Here below is a short description of her story with images of her work interspersed.  Anyone interested can visit her website to learn more.

My life surely has quite a lot do do with the big question, where do I belong to… where is my “Heimat”?

My grandfather was a Sudet German lawyer in Reichenberg, the German part of former Chechoslovakia. After World War II all Germans were thrown out of that country, and my family moved to the soft hilly southwest of Germany. Although the landsape was similar to their beloved former home, the mentality of the Svabians was strange for them. My father, coming from Alsace, the German region of France met my mother in the Black Forest. Their love didn’t last long, so I grew up with my “Sudet German” family.

Cheurbin Chrysolith

Growing up I always felt different from the others. In school I studied languages and mastered English, French and Latin. I went on to study Art in the Academy in Stuttgart, and learned Greek as well.  During my summers at the academy I would go to Greece. That’s where I came to feel most “at home.”

At the end of my studies I met a Turkish man in Istanbul.  We married, I learned the Turkish language, and we built a house in western Turkey. Changing my culture was not complicated for me, even though I was completely veiled. I loved my big Turkish family and raised my children there. Unfortunately, it all came to a bitter end.

Coming back to Germany was the beginning of feeling home there for the first time of my life. I bought a house, took care of my mother and children, rented a room in an old factory for atelier and began to work as an artist.

My connection to dance is very important to me. I discovered Salsa when I was 26 on a trip in South America. I got connected with the Salsa movement in Germany and I am still practicing. Most of the movement in my sculptures gets its origin in that rythm and motion.


I started my career as a sculpturor with a chainsaw and natural wood. My firth themes were either spirals or archaic round erotic female objects: Venus and AN-NA.


Later on I began to pose my AN-NAs between two shelves, creating the effect out of a single piece of wood.  It was an expression of my situation of being “in between.” Soon I understood this new form as being the synonym for my own life in between all places and cultures. The situation of being “in between” became itself a sculptural body. The fictional walls at the left and at the right became arms and legs of a new art creature. This form changed over time from very abstract to more realistic.

In Between

In my hometown I’m now one of the best known artists.  I make a living from selling my sculptures and pictures. The last four years I created a new form: the Cherubins on wheels, so described by Ezechiel in the old testament of the Bible. As he describes these angels as having wheels like “chrysolith,” I started making very small silver figures with wheels of chrysolith.

Ebba Kaynak

EBBA Kaynak, Schorndorf / Germany 2014

What’s Happening to Florida?

Posted: May 8th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Attorney Victoria Karins was asked to write a guest blog post on the AILA Blog.  We reposted the article below.

Author:  on 05/08/2014

shutterstock_33919990Last week, the Florida legislature passed two bills that are heading to Governor Rick Scott, who has stated that he will sign them. One grants in-state tuition to undocumented “Dreamers.” Another will allow Jose Godinez-Samperio, a DACA recipient and law school graduate, the ability to be a licensed attorney in the State. Jose was in Tallahassee in the gallery on the day the Florida House passed the bill. He was given a standing ovation.

I am still shaking my head. What happened to Florida? Gov. Scott ran on a platform in 2010 that called for Arizona-type laws to be enacted. Four years later, he is supporting significant pro-immigration legislation. I thought we could easily count on current Florida leadership to remain oppositional to any pro-immigration issue that was not forced upon them.

It would be easy to be cynical and chalk it up to politics. It is an election year, after all, and perhaps some politicians are finally realizing it is not a bad idea to try to garner favor in the immigrant community.

Certainly I believe that is a big part of it. But, I also think that we may be witnessing a change in attitude across the board.

After the vote last Friday, I was contacted by a local newspaper columnist who had written earlier in the week in support of the Jose Godinez-Samperio bill. He had received responses from readers asking questions such as “Why didn’t he apply for citizenship?” “Why does he need a special law, couldn’t he have started the citizenship process during law school?” “Didn’t he want to become a citizen?”

He contacted me to make sure he was not missing anything – that there had been no change to federal immigration law recently of which he was not aware. I assured him that no, there had been no recent change.

The columnist, Tom Lyons, from the Sarasota Herald Tribune, then wrote a follow-up column clarifying that Jose did not have the option of obtaining citizenship and said of the questioners:

the more I thought about those people who wanted to know why that would-be lawyer hadn’t applied for citizenship, the more I thought kindly of them. Though they apparently missed a key point in the nation’s immigration debate, I think their question was based on a nice assumption. They assumed that U.S. law couldn’t be as rigid and mean as it actually is.

This illustrates what I believe is also happening in Florida; people are becoming more educated about the issues. And as they get more educated, they may be becoming more compassionate…and passionate to do the right thing.

I only hope that the individuals in office at the national level take a look at what is happening in Florida since I hear Florida might just be a tad bit important when it comes to presidential elections.  I hope they realize that the House really needs to follow Florida’s lead and move forward on immigration reform.

By Victoria Jaensch Karins, Chair, AILA Central Florida Chapter

75% of International Students Come from Asia

Posted: May 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from USCIS Press Release

Summary: International student enrollment up 2 percent at US schools, 75 percent of students from Asia

Photo by Charles Reed

Photo by Charles Reed

WASHINGTON – The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), released “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States, Wednesday. The report is based on data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-based system that includes information on international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States.

As of April 1, almost 1.02 million international students were enrolled in nearly 9,000 U.S. schools using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa. This marks a two percent increase from January. Seventy-five percent of all international students were from Asia, with 29 percent from China. Saudi Arabia and India had the greatest percentage increase of students studying in the United States at 10 and eight percent, respectively, when compared to January statistics. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil.

The April report also included key insight into which international students pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) coursework. Sixty-seven percent of international students studying STEM fields were male. Forty-three percent of all international STEM students studied engineering. Seventy-eight percent of international students from India studied STEM fields, while only eight percent of international students from Japan studied STEM fields.

Other key points from the report include: 77 percent of SEVP-certified schools had between zero and 50 international students; 72 percent of international students were enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs; and California, New York and Florida had the most SEVP-certified schools. A school must be SEVP-certified before it can enroll international students.

The full report can be viewed here. Report data was extracted from SEVIS April 1. It provides a point in time snapshot of data related to international students studying in the United States. Data for the previous “SEVIS by the Numbers” was extracted from SEVIS Jan. 15.

SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.

Photo by Charles Reed

Photo by Charles Reed

Both agencies use SEVIS to protect national security by ensuring that students, visitors and schools comply with U.S. laws. SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, including CBP and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, so only legitimate international students and exchange visitors gain entry into the United States.

HSI reviews potential SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with potential national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigation. Additionally, SEVP’s Analysis and Operations Center reviews student and school records for administrative compliance with federal regulations related to studying in the United States.

Learn more about SEVP at

Repost: Historic Vote in Florida House Clears Way for Noncitizen to Practice Law

Posted: May 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, Immigration Reform | Tags: , , | No Comments »

 Reposted from Tampa Bay Times.



TALLAHASSEE — In a historic vote with strong political overtones, the Florida House joined the Senate on Thursday in backing a Pinellas County immigrant’s bid to practice law even though he’s not a U.S. citizen.

A beaming Jose Godinez-Samperio, 27, of Largo offered a grateful thumbs-up from the House gallery as members gave him a resounding ovation following a 79-37 vote that Speaker Will Weatherford called “an act of justice.” The Florida State University law school graduate has tried without success for 2½ years to gain admission to the Florida Bar and fulfill his dream of becoming an immigration lawyer.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously in March that it could not help Godinez-Samperio because federal law prevents giving taxpayer-funded public benefits to undocumented immigrants. Justices urged the Legislature to intervene and exempt Florida from that law, which led to Thursday’s vote.

The House amended the bill, though, adding that for a noncitizen to get a Florida law license, he must register for the military draft, which Godinez-Samperio has done. The Senate is expected to agree today, the last day of the session, which would send the bill (HB 755) to Gov. Rick Scott, who said Thursday he will sign it.

“I couldn’t believe how much support there was in the Legislature,” said Godinez-Samperio, a paralegal at Gulf Coast Legal Services. “I feel great that we have been able to educate a lot of people who felt differently.”

He has spent weeks meeting with individual lawmakers and his legal team has emphasized that Godinez-Samperio has met all of the Bar’s admission requirements, including a background check for character and fitness. Another key argument they made is that for other state-regulated occupations, citizenship is not a requirement to obtain a professional license.

As a so-called “Dreamer,” Godinez-Samperio is in the United States legally, but not permanently. He has work authorization, a Social Security card and a Florida driver’s license.

Thursday’s vote, combined with lawmakers’ support for cheaper in-state college tuition for undocumented immigrant students, are two watershed policy changes affecting undocumented immigrants that would have been unthinkable a year ago in Tallahassee.

“This is truly transformative,” said Patsy Palmer, one of Godinez-Samperio’s lawyers.

It also reflects a dramatic election-year shift in the Republican Legislature at a time when Scott appears to face an uphill battle winning re-election in a state where Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority.

Born in Mexico, Godinez-Samperio came to the United States with his parents at age 9, and never left because they overstayed their tourist visas. He learned English, became an Eagle Scout, was valedictorian of his senior class at Armwood High in Seffner and an honors student at FSU’s law school.

The opposition in the House was strongest among a group of conservative Republicans, some of whom described Godinez-Samperio as “illegal,” a term senators avoided. But Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, a lawyer and Iraq war veteran, championed the legal scholar’s cause and said that he was ready to defend his adopted country was “very compelling.”

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, criticized Godinez-Samperio’s lobbying. “He knew the rules of the game before he started playing and we shouldn’t change the rules at the end of the game,” said Corcoran, who will become House speaker in 2016. “He won, and he shouldn’t have.”

How Tampa Bay members voted

Votes Thursday on HB 755, which includes a provision that will allow a noncitizen to be admitted to the Florida Bar.

Yes: Janet Cruz, D-Tampa; Mark Danish, D-Tampa; Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg; James Grant, R-Tampa; Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater; Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey; Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena; Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City; Betty Reed, D-Tampa; Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg; Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill; Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; Dana Young, R-Tampa; and Carl Zimmermann, D-Palm Harbor.

No: Larry Ahern, R-Seminole; Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity; Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness; and Ross Spano, R-Dover.

Not voting: Jake Raburn, R-Lithia.


IMPORTANT: Re Diversity Visa

Posted: May 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

To All Diversity Visa entrants who attempted to log into the Entrant Status Check (ESC) website on May 1, 2014.

For a brief period on May 1, the ESC website experienced a technical problem. As a result, some people who logged into the site to check the status of their applications were shown the wrong information. If you logged into the ESC website on May 1 and saw a notice of selection that did not include your name, or if you saw a notice that you were not selected, you must re-check your status to find out whether or not you were selected.

You must see a notice that is addressed to you by name as proof of selection to process further in the DV-2015 program. We regret any confusion this technical problem may have caused.

Please note that the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) will not send you unsolicited e-mail that includes your confirmation number or that asks you to provide any personal information. You must log into the ESC website to check your status. If you have further questions about the ESC website or the content of this e-mail, you may contact KCC by e-mail at The KCC telephone number is 606-526-7500 (7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. EST).