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Immigration Law Blog

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Effects of a Lay-Off on Employment-Sponsored Visa

The dragging economy has been tough on immigrants.  An overabundance of citizens looking for work limits the number of some types of visas, and instability in the job market limits the appeal of employment-based visas.  Many workers who have lost their jobs because of the economic slowdown have had to leave the United States in order to avoid violating the law and jeopardizing their ability to return to the U.S. in the future. However, some workers are finding ways to stay in the U.S. legally despite being laid off.

Read more . . .


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Eligibility for Employment Authorization Granted to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrant Workers

Effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship Immigration Services division will extend employment authorization eligibility to specific H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrant workers seeking employment-based permanent residence in the United States. 
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Friday, February 6, 2015

President Obama's Executive Action 2014

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of immigration-related executive actions.  These reforms will be implemented approximately 90 days from the date of the President’s announcement.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2016 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Opens October 1, 2014


Each year, the United States Department of State administers a Diversity Visa Program, a random lottery which awards approximately 50,000 immigrant visas ("diversity visas") to foreign nationals who meet the simple but strict eligibility requirements and are immigrating from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States.

Online registration for this year's lottery, the 2016 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2016), will begin on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 and will conclude on Monday, November 3, 2014.


Read more . . .


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.


Read more . . .


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.


Read more . . .


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