Articles Posted in Immigrant Visas

Published on:

As of November 12, 2014, immigrant visa applicants at non-electronic processing posts will be instructed to submit photocopies of their civil documents by mail to the National Visa Center (NVC). When the appointment is scheduled, NVC will instruct applicants to bring their original documents to the interview for evaluation and final case processing. Original Affidavit of Support forms must still be submitted to NVC for initial evaluation. Applicants at designated electronic processing posts will continue to submit their documents via email.

For more information, please visit the Department of State website.

Published on:

On June 1, 2014, USCIS limited the validity period for all Forms I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to one year from the date of submission to USCIS. Applicants must also submit Form I-693 to USCIS within one year of the immigration medical examination. USCIS also will provide additional ways to submit Form I-693. As outlined in policy alert PA-2014-005, this updated policy applies to any Form I-693 supporting a benefit application that USCIS adjudicates on or after June 1, 2014.

Published on:

On April 21, 2014, the Department of State’s Visa Office made statements regarding what might be expected in terms of upcoming Visa Bulletin movement. Its comments included following:

Employment-Based 5th Preference China (EB-5):

• China EB-5 could retrogress later this year, possibly in August or September.

Published on:

House Republicans released a draft of principles on immigration reform as House GOP members gathered for their retreat to discuss their position on a range of issues.

Here is a synopsis of the draft on Immigration Reform:

Reforms to Employment-Based Immigration

Published on:

At a time when the prospects of the House taking up immigration reform legislation any time soon do not look promising, a new poll finds a solid majority of Americans favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“Today, 63% of Americans favor providing a way for immigrants who are currently living in the United States illegally to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements, while 14% support allowing them to become permanent legal residents but not citizens,” states a new report from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute. The report found the number of Americans supporting a pathway to citizenship is even higher when the question mentions certain requirements immigrants must meet in order to qualify.

The results show Americans have remained consistent on the issue for the past year; the institute found the same number (63 percent) in March and August.

Published on:

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the posting of a final rule in the Federal Register that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States under certain circumstances. The final rule establishes a process that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before they depart the United States to attend immigrant visa interviews in their countries of origin. The process will be effective on March 4, 2013 and more information about the filing process will be made available in the coming weeks at www.uscis.gov.

“The law is designed to avoid extreme hardship to U.S. citizens, which is precisely what this rule achieves,” USCIS Director Mayorkas said. “The change will have a significant impact on American families by greatly reducing the time family members are separated from those they rely upon.”

Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States to become lawful permanent residents must leave the U.S. and obtain an immigrant visa abroad. Individuals who have accrued more than six months of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver to overcome the unlawful presence inadmissibility bar before they can return to the United States after departing to obtain an immigrant visa. Under the existing waiver process, which remains available to those who do not qualify for the new process, immediate relatives cannot file a waiver application until after they have appeared for an immigrant visa interview abroad and the Department of State has determined that they are inadmissible.

Published on:

The new visa bulletin is out at this link: http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5572.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China (Nov. 1, 2007); EB-3 is at December 22, 2005 for all countries, except for India (July 22, 2002) and China (August 22, 2004); EB-3 other workers is at November 15, 2005 for all countries, except India (June 15, 2002), China (April 22, 2003); 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 February 15, 2009 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 August 22, 1988.

Published on:

The new visa bulletin is out at this link: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5560.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China (July 15, 2007); EB-3 is at December 8, 2005 for all countries, except for India (July 15, 2002) and China (August 8, 2004); EB-3 other workers is at September 15, 2005 for all countries, except India (June 8, 2002), China (April 22, 2003); 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 January 8, 2009 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 August 1, 1988.

The DOS also estimated the priority date cut-offs for the next few months with movement from two weeks to one month in some categories. Please see the visa bulletin at section D for the estimated movement.

Published on:

According to a recent New York Times article, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/us/13iht-immigration.html, the new approach of the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) towards I-130 processing that has taken effect today appears likely to substantially lengthen the amount of time that Americans living overseas must wait before bringing along their noncitizen spouses or children if they return to the United States.

The USCIS’ new approach towards the processing of a visa document known as the I-130-which allows the entry of a citizen’s alien relative-requires those abroad to now mail their petitions to a central office in Chicago. According to the USCIS, this system will be more “efficient and consistent and centralized,” as Americans in the United States with foreign-national relatives are currently required to file their petitions in Chicago as well. Authorities predict a maximum processing time of about five months, after which applicants apply to the U.S. State Department for the actual visa. But the current system for those abroad relies on in-person visits to U.S. consular or immigration offices and generally takes just one to three months.

The USCIS has been seeking a more efficient method of processing I-130 petitions after the State Department billed the agency for its I-130 work last year for a total of $3 million. The USCIS has said that the change “will increase the efficiency of the relative petition filing process and give USCIS more flexibility in managing its workload.”