The Department of State has issued instructions for the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program for fiscal year 2012. The diversity visa program is an annual lottery open to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. If selected, the individual is permitted to seek lawful permanent residence (green card status). For fiscal year 2012, 50,000 diversity visas will be made available and entries must be submitted electronically between October 5, 2010 at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) to November 3, 2010 at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). See http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html for detailed information about the diversity lottery program and online application. Please contact our office for assistance.
Effective November 23, 2010, USCIS will increase immigration fees by an average of 10%. For example, the I-130 filing fee will be increased from $355 to $420 and the I-140 filing fee will be increased from $475 to $580. Any filings postmarked on or after November 23, 2010 will need to submit the new fees. To view the new fee schedule, see http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=5be73dc5cb93b210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=5b33aca797e63110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD.
Effective July 9, 2010, the Department of State revised its visa reciprocity schedule for China to allow for a 12 month, multiple entry visa for H visa applicants. This will allow H-1B visa holders from China to have multiple entries into the U.S. for a 12 month period. For more information, see reciprocity schedule for China at http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_4881.html?cid=3537.
The new visa bulletin is out at this link: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5145.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China which are at May 2006; EB-3 is at Jan. 2005 for all countries, except for India (Jan. 2002), China (Nov. 2003), and Mexico (April 2001); EB-3 other workers is at March 2003 for all countries, except India (Jan. 2002)and Mexico (April 2001); EB-4, religious workers, EB-5, and targeted employment areas and regional centers are all current. Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at April 2010.
As of August 27, 2010, the USCIS has received approximately 34,900 Bachelor's degree petitions and 13,000 U.S. Master's degree petitions. The USCIS will continue to accept H-1B petitions for FY2011 with an October 1, 2010 start date until the quota of 65,000 Bachelor’s degree petitions and 20,000 U.S. Master’s degree petitions is met.