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Immigration Law Blog

Monday, September 15, 2014

The O Visa: Entering the U.S. on the Basis of Extraordinary Ability

The challenges of moving to the U.S. permanently, or even temporarily in order to find work, are well known. There is another type of legal entry into the U.S. however, that is often comparatively easy if you can qualify for the criteria: temporary entrance by individuals with “extraordinary ability” as defined by U.S. immigration laws. 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Refugees & Asylum

Some immigrants to the U.S. are classified as “refugees” or granted asylum. Refugee status or asylum is granted to people who have been persecuted or are afraid they may be persecuted because of their political opinion, race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.

 


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Extreme Hardship Waivers: When Can They Assist in Overcoming Immigration Challenges?

Individuals wishing to enter and reside in the United States may be able to file an extreme hardship waiver with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to overcome challenges that would normally bar entrance. Perhaps counter-intuitively, extreme hardship waivers do not involve hardships faced by the individual entering the U.S. Instead, they involve the hardships that would be experienced by a citizen or lawful permanent resident who is already in the U.S. if a person outside the U.S. were barred from entry.


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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Exceptions to the US Entrance Visa Requirements

Normally, when foreign nationals want to enter the United States, they must obtain special authorization, called a visa which grants them permission to enter through the borders.  The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program through which foreign nationals may enter the United States without a visa.    

VWP designates specific countries whose nationals (citizens) may enter the United States without a visa, for a period of up to 90 days for the purposes of business or pleasure. 


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Sunday, June 15, 2014

H-1B Visa Program Basics

Each fiscal year, the H-1B provisions authorize approximately 85,000 foreign workers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis.

The H-1B visa program is intended to assist U.S. employers in securing workers with very specific education, training and experience to fill a company's workforce gaps. Employers who are otherwise unable to find workers with the business skills and abilities required for specific positions within their company can sponsor a foreign worker who fits the qualifications for the position the company is seeking to fill.


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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Immigration Lotteries and Visa Caps in the United States

The United States limits the number of people who may enter the United States – either temporarily or permanently – by imposing limits (or caps) on the number of certain types of visas that will be issued during a given year.  Because the number of temporary and permanent visa petitions is almost always higher than the limit, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducts lotteries and random drawings to decide which petitions to process.  Other types of visa petitioners are not subject to random drawings but may have a waiting period before their petitions will be processed.

 


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

USCIS H1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2015 To Be Accepted Beginning April 1, 2014 – Yearly Quota Expected To Be Reached Within First Week

Please be advised that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2015 cap on April 1, 2014. Cases filed with the correct government filing fees will be counted as being accepted on the date of USCIS receipt, not the date of postmark.

The cap set by Congress for H-1B visas for FY 2015 is 65,000. There are an additional 20,000 petitions that will be accepted for processing for those individuals in possession of a U.S. Master’s Degree or higher, thereby making a total of 85,000 petitions that will be accepted for H-1B processing.


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Saturday, March 15, 2014

The R Visa: A Non-Immigrant Visa for Religious Workers

The R visa allows religious workers to enter the United States for up to five years to work in a religious occupation, for example as a minister, monk or nun.  The R visa is a non-immigrant visa, also known as a temporary visa.  An R visa does not mean that the visa holder may remain in the United States as a resident alien.  Nor does it mean that the R visa holder may engage in work other than the religious work authorized by the visa.


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Saturday, February 15, 2014

American Immigration Laws and Humanitarian Parole

A foreign national threatened by a humanitarian crisis in his/her home country may sometimes be allowed entry into the U.S. via a mechanism called humanitarian parole.

Humanitarian parole is defined as a legal status for persons “who do not meet the technical requirements for a visa but who may be permitted to enter the United States for a temporary period of time… on an urgent humanitarian basis.”  A second criterion (in addition to an “urgent humanitarian need”) for approval is for the admitted individual to provide a “significant benefit to the public if admitted to enter the U.S.”


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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Appealing a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Decision

For many foreign nationals wishing to enter or remain in the U.S., a decision made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be life changing.  While a denial of an application can be devastating in certain situations, it is not the final word in most immigration processes since, in most cases, the applicant can appeal the USCIS' decision.


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Monday, November 11, 2013

Immigration Process for a Foreign National Residing Abroad When Marrying a U.S. Citizen

Fiancé Visa

When a U.S. citizen is engaged to a foreign national who intends to reside in the United States, the U.S. citizen may apply for a K-1 “Fiancé" Visa.  The Fiancé Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which allows a foreign national to enter the U.S. with the express purpose of marrying a U.S. citizen.  The visa is issued by a U.S. Consular Post in the country where the fiancé resides.  

To obtain a Fiancé Visa, the U.S. citizen must file a Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of his or her foreign fiancé, known as the “beneficiary.”  


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