Articles Posted in Green card

design-5467034_1280We are pleased to inform our readers that yesterday July 9th, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs released the August Visa Bulletin. In this blog post we breakdown the projected movement of the employment-based and family-sponsored categories in the month of August.


USCIS Adjustment of Status


For employment-based preference categories, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that in August it will continue to use the Final Action Dates chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.

For family-sponsored preference categories, USCIS will continue to use the Dates for Filing chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.


Highlights of the August 2024 Visa Bulletin


Employment-Based Categories

Final Action and Dates for Filing EB-2 and EB-3 India Advancement 

  • The Final Action date for EB-2 India will advance to July 15, 2012 and the Date for Filing to July 22, 2012
  • The Final Action date for EB-3 India will advance to October 22, 2012 and the Date for Filing to November 1, 2012

Other Categories

  • The Final Action dates and Dates for Filing for the remaining employment-based categories remain the same as the July Visa Bulletin

EB-3 Retrogression in September

  • The State Department warns applicants that the EB-3 Final Action date will likely retrogress or become unavailable in the September Visa Bulletin

Family-Sponsored Categories

Dates for Filing Advancements


F-2A Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents

  • F2A All countries will advance by seven and a half months to June 15, 2024 (from November 1, 2023)

F3 Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens

  • Except for Mexico and the Philippines, all other countries will advance by three months to January 1, 2011 (from October 1, 2010)

F-4 Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

  • F4 Mexico will advance by two days to April 30, 2001

Final Action Date Advancements


F-2B Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents

  • F2B Mexico will advance by one week to July 15, 2004

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Source: Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Gage Skidmore

A estas alturas ya habrás visto los titulares de las noticias. Ahora analicemos la nueva acción ejecutiva histórica del Presidente Biden sobre inmigración y vayamos al meollo de todo lo que necesitas saber sobre esta orden diseñada para mantener unidas a las familias y brindar más oportunidades a los Dreamers.


Proceso para Promover la Unidad y Estabilidad de las Familias– Legalización de cónyuges Indocumentados de Ciudadanos Estadounidenses


Hoy, 18 de junio de 2024, el Presidente Biden anunció un nuevo proceso que permitirá la protección y legalización de los cónyuges indocumentados de ciudadanos estadounidenses que hayan residido en los Estados Unidos durante al menos diez años a partir del 17 de junio de 2024.

En virtud de la autoridad ejecutiva del Presidente, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS), en coordinación con los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS), crearán un nuevo programa discrecional de “permanencia temporal” para que los cónyuges indocumentados de ciudadanos estadounidenses legalicen su estatus mientras permaneciendo en los Estados Unidos.

Aquellos que sean aprobados después de la evaluación caso por caso de su solicitud por parte del DHS tendrán un período de tres años para solicitar la residencia permanente. A los elegibles se les permitirá permanecer con sus familias en los Estados Unidos y ser elegibles para una autorización de trabajo por hasta tres años.

Las personas deben cumplir ciertos requisitos de elegibilidad para convertirse en residentes permanentes legales (titulares de tarjeta verde) bajo este nuevo proceso,

A continuación se encuentran respuestas a preguntas frecuentes sobre esta orden ejecutiva.


Q: ¿Cuáles son los requisitos para que los cónyuges sean elegibles para solicitar el permiso de permanencia temporal y legalizar su estatus en los Estados Unidos?


Para ser considerado caso por caso para una concesión discrecional de permiso de permanencia temporal en virtud de este proceso, una persona debe:

  • Estar presente en Estados Unidos sin admisión ni permiso de permanencia temporal;
  • Haber estado presente continuamente en Estados Unidos durante al menos 10 años a partir del 17 de junio de 2024; y
  • Tener un matrimonio legalmente válido con un ciudadano estadounidense a partir del 17 de junio de 2024
  • No tener antecedentes penales que lo descalifiquen o de otra manera constituir una amenaza a la seguridad nacional o la seguridad pública y
  • Merecer un ejercicio favorable de discreción para recibir permiso de permanencia temporal

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Source: Flickr Creative Commons Attribution Gage Skidmore

By now you’ve seen the headlines in the news. Now let us break down President Biden’s historic executive action on immigration and get to the nitty gritty of everything you need to know about this order designed to keep families together and provide further opportunities for Dreamers.


Process to Promote the Unity and Stability of Families – Legalization of Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens


Today, June 18, 2024, President Biden announced a new process that will allow for the legalization of undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens who have been residing in the United States for at least ten years as of June 17, 2024.

By virtue of the President’s executive authority, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will create a new discretionary “parole in place” program for undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to legalize their status while remaining in the United States.

Those who are approved after DHS’s case-by-case assessment of their application will be afforded a three-year period to apply for permanent residency. They will be allowed to remain with their families in the United States and be eligible for work authorization for up to three years.

Individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders).

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding this executive order. 


Q: What are the requirements for spouses to be eligible to apply for parole and legalize their status in the United States?


To be considered for a discretionary grant of parole in place under this process, spouses of U.S. Citizens must:

  • Be present in the United States without admission or parole;
  • Have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024; and
  • Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history or otherwise constitute a threat to national security or public safety and
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion to receive parole

Q: Are Noncitizen Children of Undocumented Spouses eligible for parole?


Yes. In addition to undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens, their noncitizen children may also be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis under this process along with their parent, if they are:

  • Physically present in the United States without admission or parole and
  • Have a qualifying stepchild relationship with a U.S. citizen parent as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act as of June 17, 2024

To qualify as a stepchild under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the noncitizen child must be unmarried, under the age of 21, and the marriage of their noncitizen parent and U.S. citizen stepparent must have taken place prior to the child’s 18th birthday.


Q: How is this new parole program different from the current laws in place?


This new “parole in place” program will eliminate the need for spouses of U.S. Citizens to travel outside of the United States to legalize their status through what is known as an extreme hardship “waiver” process.

The “waiver” process is an extremely cumbersome and lengthy process that requires the undocumented spouse to depart the United States and be interviewed and approved for an immigrant visa overseas. Only once the visa is issued can the applicant return to the United States.

This process has unnecessarily torn families apart and created much fear and uncertainty among applicants forced to remain away from their families for prolonged periods of time. Many applicants are the sole providers for their families and take care of children with disabilities, making this process extremely difficult to bear.

This executive action will instead open a pathway to permanent residence by allowing eligible undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to adjust their status to permanent residence while in the United States, without requiring them to depart the country.

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joshua-sukoff-SYHi8oX0JC8-unsplash-scaledThis is a developing story

The world of immigration has been shaken up by new reports that the Biden administration intends to release a groundbreaking executive action on immigration. The President’s order could soon allow spouses of U.S. Citizens to legalize their status in the United States.

According to government officials speaking on condition of anonymity, full details of the executive action are expected to be released as early as Tuesday – the twelfth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If passed, it would be one of the largest immigration relief proposals in recent history.

Essentially, a plan has been in the works to create a program known as “Parole in Place” that would offer work permits and deportation protections to undocumented immigrants married to U.S. Citizens, so long as they have lived in the United States for at least 10 years.

Such a program would eliminate the need for spouses of U.S. Citizens to travel outside of the United States to legalize their status through an extreme hardship “waiver” process, that has posed obstacles for many to become legalized.

Instead, the program would open a pathway to permanent residence for spouses of U.S. Citizens to adjust their status to permanent residence from the United States, without having to depart the country.

If passed, the White House’s measure could benefit more than 1.1 million undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens, if they can meet the eligibility requirements.

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july-5404922_1280We are pleased to inform our readers that today June 10th, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs released the July Visa Bulletin. In this blog post we breakdown the projected movement of the employment-based and family-sponsored categories during the month of July.


USCIS Adjustment of Status


For employment-based preference categories, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that in July it will continue to use the Final Action Dates chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.

For family-sponsored preference categories, USCIS will continue to use the Dates for Filing chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.


Highlights of the July 2024 Visa Bulletin


Employment-Based Categories

Final Action Dates

EB-1 Aliens of extraordinary ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, and Certain Multinational Managers or Executives

  • EB-1 India will advance by eleven months to February 1, 2022
  • EB-1 China will advance by two months to November 1, 2022
  • EB-1 All other countries will remain current

EB-2 Members of the Professions and Aliens of Exceptional Ability

  • EB-2 India will advance by two months to June 15, 2012
  • EB-2 China will advance by one month to March 1, 2020
  • EB-2 All other countries will advance by two months to March 15, 2023

EB-3 Professionals and Skilled Workers

  • EB-3 India will advance by one month to September 22, 2012
  • EB-3 China will remain at September 1, 2020
  • EB-3 All other countries will retrogress by eleven months and three weeks to December 1, 2021

EB-3 Other Workers

  • EB-3 India will advance by one month to September 22, 2012
  • EB-3 China will remain at January 1, 2017
  • EB-3 Philippines will remain at May 1, 2020
  • EB-3 All other countries will advance by almost three months to January 1, 2021

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On May 13, 2024, the State Department announced record breaking milestones including the issuance of a whopping 5.2 million nonimmigrant visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide in the first half of fiscal year 2024 – more than any previous year over the same period.

In the past six months alone, 30 percent of U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide set all-time records for nonimmigrant visas issued.

In particular, travel and tourism has been a focal point for the State Department considering that international visitors contribute as much as $239 billion annually to the U.S. economy and support approximately 9.5 million jobs.

Some of the key highlights from the State Department’s announcement are as follows:

In the first half of fiscal year 2024:

  • Almost 4.1 million B visitor visas and border crossing cards were issued for tourists and temporary business travelers worldwide, with nearly two-thirds from Mexico, India, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, Colombia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

By the middle of fiscal year 2024, the State Department issued:

  • Approximately 134,000 visas for exchange visitor program participants and 115,000 visas for students. International students contributed almost $38 billion to the U.S. economy in the year 2022 and made up more than 335,000 jobs
  • A record breaking 205,000 visas were issued for temporary or seasonal workers in agriculture and other sectors
  • Almost 160,000 nonimmigrant visas were issued to airline and shipping crew members to support global transportation and supply chains—the second-highest half-year issuance record in this category in history
  • Almost 25,000 employment-based immigrant visas—75 percent more than same period in fiscal year 2019

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The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has published the June Visa Bulletin. In this blog post we breakdown the projected movement of the employment-based and family-sponsored categories in the month of June.


USCIS Adjustment of Status


For employment-based preference categories, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed that in June it will use the Final Action Dates chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.

For family-sponsored preference categories, USCIS will use the Dates for Filing chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.


Highlights of the June 2024 Visa Bulletin


Employment-Based Categories

The June Visa Bulletin shows no advancement in most employment-based categories.

  • The Dates for Filing chart in June remains unchanged from the previous months.
  • The Final Action Dates for EB-1, EB-2, and EB-5 remain unchanged.
  • Only EB-3 India will advance by one week.

Family-Sponsored Categories

For the family-sponsored preference categories, the Dates for Filing Chart remains unchanged from the previous month, with the exception of:

  • F2B Mexico will advance by 2 months to November 1, 2004
  • F3 Worldwide, China, and India will advance by 3 months to September 1, 2010
  • F4 Mexico will advance by 5 days to April 27, 2001

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If your case remains pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) beyond the posted processing times for your immigration benefit request, you may consider requesting assistance from the Ombudsman’s Office.


What is the USCIS Ombudsman?


The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) helps individuals and employers resolve difficulties they are experiencing with USCIS. The Ombudsman functions independently and is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Before an applicant can request for help from the Ombudsman, they must have contacted USCIS within the last 90 days and given the agency at least 60 days to resolve their problem. If a Congressional representative is already assisting you, the Ombudsman’s office cannot help you.

If USCIS does not resolve the issue (via submission of an e-request, or other communication method) the applicant can prepare and submit a case assistance request with the Office of the Ombudsman.

The most common issues the Ombudsman can assist with are:

  • Cases involving an emergency or a hardship that falls under the USCIS expedite criteria
  • Expedite requests approved by USCIS more than 2 months ago
  • Typographical errors
  • Improper rejections
  • Cases involving U.S. military personnel and their families
  • Aging out of eligibility
  • Undelivered USCIS notices or decisions
  • Transfers to the Department of State for approved petitions

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In this blog post, we cover the newly released Immigrant Visa Backlog Report published by the Department of State. April’s report provides the latest data and statistics relating to the processing of immigrant visa applications at the National Visa Center.

This data includes information about the number of documentarily complete immigrant visa cases currently at the National Visa Center waiting for interviews, the number of cases that were scheduled for interviews by the end of the month, and the number of immigrant visa cases still waiting to be scheduled for a visa interview after interview appointment scheduling was completed.


The April Immigrant Visa Backlog Report


According to the National Visa Center’s April Immigrant Visa Backlog Report there has been an increase in the overall immigrant visa (IV) backlog from 326,415 pending cases in the month of March, to 351,624 pending cases still waiting to be scheduled for a visa interview at the end of April. By comparison, in February, there were 338,256 pending cases waiting for interview scheduling.

On the bright side, the Final Action dates in the April and May Visa Bulletin have shown substantial forward movement for nearly all family-sponsored categories. This has enabled more family-based immigrant visa applications to become documentarily complete and receive interview scheduling at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the employment-based categories, which have remained stagnant with little to no forward movement in recent months.

Additionally, when comparing the March and April Immigrant Visa backlog reports, we can see that the number of immigrant visa applicants whose cases were documentarily complete and therefore ready to be scheduled for an interview at Consulates and Embassies increased from 374,532 (as of February 29, 2024) to 404,459 (as of March 31, 2024). Of these cases, only 52,835 applicants whose cases became documentarily complete were scheduled for interview appointments in April 2024. By comparison, only 48,117 applicants were scheduled for interview in March.

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If you are an EB-5 investor in a Regional Center project, you may be interested to learn of new information released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding Regional Center audits.

In March 2022, with the passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, Congress implemented new reforms designed to increase the oversight of Regional Centers to prevent fraud and abuse within the immigrant investor program.

Among these fraud prevention mechanisms, USCIS established the EB-5 Integrity Fund, funded by annual regional center fees and immigrant petition fees, to detect and investigate fraud and other crimes related to the program, ensure compliance, conduct regional center audits (every five years) and site visits (for each new NCE or JCE).

USCIS recently released information confirming that the agency must audit each designated regional center at least once every five years.


What is done during a Regional Center audit?


Audits are performed during a site visit which include a review of documentation required to be maintained by the regional center and a review of the flow of immigrant investor capital into any capital investment project.

Effective April 23rd audits will be utilizing the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, also known as the Yellow Book. The Yellow Book provides standards and guidance for auditors and audit organizations.


What is the purpose of Regional Center audits?


Regional center audits are conducted to strengthen the integrity of the EB-5 program by verifying information in regional center applications, annual certifications, and associated investor petitions.

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