Articles Posted in Green card

boliviainteligente-je6MW99qDhQ-unsplash-scaled

The January 2024 Visa Bulletin is finally here, and with it some big advancements for the employment-based preference categories in the New Year, specifically for India and China, and some promising forward movement in the Final Action Dates for EB-2 Worldwide and EB-3 Professional/Skilled Workers Worldwide.

For family-sponsored categories, the New Year brings big advancements in the Final Action Dates for F2A Mexico, F2 Worldwide, F2B Mexico, F3 Mexico, F3 Worldwide, and modest advancements for F4. The Dates for Filing remain the same as December.

Whether you are applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate overseas or applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States, you won’t want to miss these new updates.


Highlights of the January 2024 Visa Bulletin


Employment-based categories

  • EB-1 India: The EB-1 India Final Action Date will advance by three years and eight months, to September 1, 2020, and the Date for Filing will advance by a year and a half, to January 1, 2021.
  • EB-1 China: The EB-1 China Final Action Date will advance by four and a half months, to July 1, 2022, and the Date for Filing will advance five months, to January 1, 2023.
  • EB-2: The EB-2 Final Action Date for India will advance by two months, to March 1, 2012, and the EB-2 China Final Action Date will advance by approximately nine weeks, to January 1, 2020. Final Action Dates for the remaining countries in EB-2 will advance by three and a half months, to November 1, 2022.
  • EB-3 Professional/Skilled Workers: The EB-3 Professional/Skilled Worker Final Action Dates will advance by over 7 months for China, to September 1, 2020, and by one month for India, to June 1, 2012. Final Action Dates for the remaining countries in the category will advance by eight months, to August 1, 2022.

Continue reading

turtle-303732_1280

The release of the December Visa Bulletin has brought few positive changes for immigrants in both the family sponsored and employment-based preference categories. In this blog post, we share with you everything you need to know regarding the movement (or lack thereof) of the categories for the month of December.

Whether you are applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate overseas or applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States, you won’t want to miss these important updates.


Highlights of the December 2023 Visa Bulletin


Unfortunately, the December Visa Bulletin brings little to no changes across most employment-based categories and family-sponsored categories from the previous month of November. The Dates for Filing of all employment and family-sponsored categories remain unchanged from the previous month.

The Final Action Dates for family-sponsored categories also remain unchanged from the previous month.

With respect to the Final Action Dates for the employment categories, EB-2 China will advance by three weeks to October 22, 2019, and EB-3 China will advance to January 22, 2020. The Final Action Dates for the remaining employment-based categories remain unchanged from the previous month.

EB-4 Certain Religious Workers will become unavailable in the month of December.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart December 2023


For the month of December 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that the Dates for Filing chart in the December 2023 Visa Bulletin will continue to be used in determining eligibility for I-485 adjustment of status filings (green card filings inside the US).

Continue reading

flag-1524452_1280

A new family reunification parole process has been launched, this time for qualifying nationals of Ecuador.

Who is eligible?


Nationals of Ecuador petitioned by family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and who have received approval on Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to join their family in the United States may participate in this new parole process.

Parole will allow such nationals and their immediate family members to be admitted to the United States lawfully for a period of up to three years, while waiting to apply to become lawful permanent residents.

Qualifying beneficiaries must be outside the United States, must not have already received an immigrant visa, and meet all other requirements, such as screening, vetting, and medical requirements.


How does the family reunification process work?


The Family Reunification Parole process is initiated when the Department of State sends an invitation by mail or e-mail to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member whose Form I-130 is already approved. The petitioner is the person who has filed the Form I-130 petition with USCIS on behalf of the foreign national.

Continue reading

international-2681369_1280

In this blog post, we share with you an important update from the U.S. Embassy in Israel.

If you have a pending nonimmigrant or immigrant visa application awaiting an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem or U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv, you should be aware that visa services have been temporarily suspended at these missions due to the ongoing conflict in the region.

The U.S. Embassy in Israel will be focusing its resources to plan the evacuation and departure of U.S. Citizens from the region.

Starting October 13th, the government arranged charter flights to assist U.S. Citizens and their immediate family members to depart Israel.

U.S. citizens in need of assistance must complete the crisis intake form here.


Applying for a Nonimmigrant Visa at a Neighboring U.S. Consulate or Embassy


If you have an urgent need to travel to the United States and do not currently have a nonimmigrant visa, you may apply for your visa at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate other than Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.

You must contact the nonimmigrant visa unit at the neighboring Embassy or Consulate to determine whether they will accept your application as a third-country national.

The U.S. Consulates in Canada allow third-country nationals to apply for visas including Israelis. Alternatively, please check with the specific Consulate regarding their instructions for requesting expedited interview appointments for emergency travel. In most cases, once you have submitted your DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa application and paid the necessary visa fees on the U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Services webpage, you may request an expedited appointment. More information about expedites can be found on the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ portion of each country webpage by navigating to the bottom of the DOS Visa Appointment Service and selecting “Answers to Common Questions.”

Continue reading

november-5650854_1280

The November Visa Bulletin has arrived! In this blog post we share with you the changes that you can expect to see in the visa bulletin for the upcoming month of November.

Whether you are applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate overseas or applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States, you won’t want to miss these important updates.


Overview


What is the Visa Bulletin?


The Department of State releases the visa bulletin on a monthly basis, which summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers for that particular month in the employment and family preference categories. The purpose of the visa bulletin is to inform immigrants who are subject to the numerical quota system of when they are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status application. Applicants can determine their place in line by looking at the priority date on their underlying immigrant petition. Applicants with a priority date that is “current” on the Visa Bulletin can move forward with the immigration process, because that means a visa number is available to them.


What are the preference categories that are subject to the numerical limitations?


The Family Sponsored Preference Categories and their annual limits are as follows:

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

  1. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
  2. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

Continue reading

bingo-7318132_1280
We are excited to report that the Diversity Visa (DV) annual lottery registration period is now open for fiscal year (FY) 2025!

Online registration opened yesterday, October 4, 2023, at noon EST and will remain open until Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at noon EST. Registration is free to all registrants (only one registration per person is allowed) and is accessible online at dvprogram.state.gov.

Highlights

business-5851887_1280

It’s official. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that it will be increasing the validity period of work permits also known as Employment Authorization Documents (EADS) to 5 years, for certain categories of noncitizens who are employment authorized incident to their immigration status and those who must apply for employment authorization including:

  • Refugees
  • Asylees
  • Noncitizens paroled as Refugees
  • Noncitizens granted Withholding of Removal
  • Noncitizens with pending applications for Asylum or Withholding of Removal
  • Noncitizens with pending applications for Adjustment of Status (green cards) under INA 245
  • Noncitizens seeking Suspension of Deportation or Cancellation of Removal

Additionally, USCIS has released policy guidance clarifying that the Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) may be used as evidence of an alien’s status and employment authorization for certain EAD categories that are employment authorized incident to their immigration status or parole.

These changes can be found in the USCIS Policy Manual, and are also described in USCIS Policy Alert 2023-27 dated September 27, 2023.


What’s changed?


Previously, USCIS policy allowed for a maximum 2-year validity period of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for most categories of immigrants indicated above, and a maximum 1-year validity period for noncitizens paroled as refugees and those seeking suspension of deportation or cancellation of removal.

USCIS is now revising its guidelines to increase the maximum EAD validity period for these categories up to 5 years.

The purpose of increasing the validity period is to reduce the frequency in which noncitizens must file Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization to renew their work permits (EADs).

Continue reading

resume-1799954_1280

On September 20, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a fact sheet unveiling new actions to cut down the processing time of work authorizations filed by certain asylum seekers.

Starting October 1, 2023, USCIS will speed up the processing of Form I-765 Applications for Employment Authorization, (also known as EADs) filed by parolees who schedule an inspection appointment through CBP One. Such individuals are eligible to apply for employment authorization immediately.

USCIS aims to decrease average processing times for EADs from 90 days to 30 days for such individuals and will allocate more personnel and resources to accomplish this objective.

Additionally, USCIS seeks to decrease average processing times to just 30 days for EADs filed in connection with the Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parole programs.

Finally, to improve efficiency, USCIS will also be increasing the maximum validity period of initial and renewal EADs to five years for certain noncitizens, including:

Continue reading