Posted On: October 12, 2012

November 2012 Department of State Visa Bulletin

The new visa bulletin is out at this link: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5779.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 is current for all countries, except for India (Sept. 1, 2004) and China (Sept. 1, 2007); EB-3 is at Nov. 22, 2006 for all countries, except for India (Oct. 22, 2002), China (April 15, 2006), and Philippines (Aug. 8, 2006); EB-3 other workers is at Nov. 22, 2006 for all countries, except India (Oct. 22, 2002), China (July 1, 2003), and Philippines (Aug. 8, 2006); EB-4, religious workers, EB-5 targeted employment areas and regional centers, and EB-5 Pilot Programs are all current. Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at July 15, 2010 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of March 1, 1989.


Posted On: October 4, 2012

USCIS Introduces TN Filing Option

USCIS is now offering a new filing option for Canadians who are outside of the U.S. Effective Oct. 1, 2012, USCIS began accepting TN filings at its service centers. Currently, USCIS only accepts TN filings from those present in the U.S. who wish to extend their TN status or change their current status to TN. Canadian citizens will continue to have the option of applying for admission in TN status at a port of entry with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Additionally, please be reminded that Canadians who are outside of the U.S. also have the option of filing an L-1 petition with USCIS. They may also apply for L-1 classification and admission by presenting the L-1 application to CBP.

Posted On: October 2, 2012

Taiwan Becomes Eligible for Visa Waiver Program

On October 2, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Taiwan into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows travel to the U.S. without a visa for eligible individuals seeking to visit the U.S. for business or tourism for a period of up to 90 days. VWP travelers are required to apply for advanced authorization through a web-based system called Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

There are currently 36 other countries eligible under the VWP, and the VWP accounted for more than 60 percent of tourist and business travelers to the U.S. in FY2011. Records show that 243,186 visitors from Taiwan traveled to the U.S. in FY2011. Effective November 1, 2012, eligible tourist or business travelers from Taiwan with an approved ESTA will be allowed to enter the U.S. on the VWP.