Beginning January 10, 2011, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates will process visas differently. Under the new procedures, most applicants will go to Applicant Service Centers (ASCs) prior to their consular section interview. The ASC staff will collect the applicant’s biometric information that will be reviewed by the consular section prior to the applicant’s interview. ASCs …Read More
USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced the launch of a redesigned Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550) with new security features that will reduce fraudâpart of USCISâ ongoing efforts to enhance the integrity of the immigration system. USCIS anticipates that over 600,000 new citizens will receive the enhanced certificate over the next year. The redesigned certificate features …Read More
In October, the USCIS issued a memo to search social networks, such as Facebook, MySpace and similar international sites to check for fraudulent marriages using personal information on applicants. Here is a quote: The Internet has made it increasingly easier for people to get connected with each other whether that is with long-distance family, friends, …Read More
U.S. tax obligations can be a major consideration for lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) on assignment outside of the United States, and the recommendations made by tax advisors may conflict with the advice given by immigration lawyers. The tax laws do clearly offer certain benefits to lawful permanent residents living and working abroad, and …Read More
The Department of State announced that the 2012 Diversity Lottery Program registration period opened on October 5, 2010. Entries for the lottery must be submitted electronically between noon on October 5, 2010, and noon on November 3, 2010, Eastern Time.
This summer the USCIS submitted its report on fiscal year 2009 to Congress. Highlights from the report include: H1-B petitions filed decreased 15% from FY 2008 to FY 2009; H-1B petitions approved decreased 22% from FY 2008 to FY 2009; Approximately 48% of all H1-B petitions approved in FY 2009 were for workers born in …Read More
U.S. Customs and Border Protection today announced an interim final rule that amends Department of Homeland Security regulations to require travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries to pay operational and travel promotion fees when applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Beginning September 8, a fee of $4 will recover the costs …Read More
Residents of China may apply for a non-immigrant visa at any U.S. Consular Section in China, regardless of the province or city of residence. There are Consular Sections at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang.
Although the basic application process is the same, specific …Read More
Starting June 4, 2010, the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) will implement their new fee schedule for U.S. visas. Historically, there was a flat rate charged for most types of visas (last rate increase was $ 131 for all nonimmigrant visas). However, now, the USDOS has started a tiered system as follows: …Read More