Articles Posted in Immigrant Visas

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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On February 7, 2011, USCIS implemented expedited adjudication of approximately 36,000 Immediate Relative Petitions (Form I-130) that had been transferred from the California Service Center to the Texas Service Center back in November 2010. USCIS had hoped the redistribution of cases would have resulted in faster processing times, but instead many of these cases remain unadjudicated and beyond processing times. As part of USCIS’ expedite efforts, many of these I-130 Immediate Relative Petitions have been transferred back to the California Service Center for immediate adjudication. USCIS anticipates decisions to be reached on these cases by the end of February. Meanwhile, USCIS recommends monitoring one’s case status on-line at www.uscis.gov and contacting them at I-130Inquiries.Tsc@dhs.gov if no action is taken on the case by March 1, 2011.

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The new visa bulletin is out at this link: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4659.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China (China is 06/08/2005 and India is 02/01/2005); EB-3 is at 2001 or 2002 depending on the category; other workers are at 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 2006.

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The new visa bulletin is out at this link:http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4611.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China (China is 05/22/2005 and India is 01/22/2005); EB-3 is at 2001 or 2002 depending on the category; other workers are at 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 2006.

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The new visa bulletin is out at this link:http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4587.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China (China is 04/01/2005 and India is 01/22/2005); EB-3 is at 2001 or 2002 depending on the category; other workers are at 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 2005.

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The USCIS has issued an update reminding applicants to apply early for advance parole and refugee travel documents to ensure adequate processing. Advance parole is required for travel for applicants who have been granted Temporary Protected Status, applicants who have pending applications for adjustment of status, applicants with pending applications for relief under NACARA 203, applicants with pending asylum applications, or applicants with pending applications for legalization.

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The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that starting June 29th, the agency will once again offer premium processing services for alien workers applying for immigration via form I-140. Pursuant to 8 CFR 103.2(f)2, this rule change aims to eliminate backlog for I-140 form processing and speed up adjudication over these petitions.

Who can use this premium processing service, and who cannot?

Many visa petitioners can take advantage of this service. Those who can include:

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