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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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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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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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Thursday, September 19, 2013

2015 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Opens October 1, 2013

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 2015 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2015), will begin on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 and will conclude on Saturday, November 2, 2013.


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Thursday, September 19, 2013

DS-260 – New Online Immigrant Visa Application Process

The Department of State and the National Visa Center (NVC) have recently made significant changes with respect to immigrant visa application process via consular processing.  Beginning September 3, 2013, immigrant visa applicants (with the exception of Diversity Visa Lottery and Cuban Family Reunification Parole applicants) are now required to apply online using a new electronic Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) instead of the previous paper Form DS-230.


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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Scheduling an InfoPass Appointment to Inquire About Your Immigration Case

InfoPass is a free service that lets you request information or inquire about your immigration case by scheduling an appointment with your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.  Please note that the main USCIS District Office for New York City immigration activity is located at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan, and there is an additional USCIS office located in Long Island City, Queens.  This service is available to anyone, and you do not technically need to be represented by an attorney.  However, if you do have an attorney, you should be sure to consult with him/her before engaging in any communication with the USCIS.


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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Types of Legal Entry into the United States

Foreign nationals may legally enter the United States by obtaining a visa. There are two types of visas: immigrant and non-immigrant. Immigrant visas allow foreign nationals to enter and reside in the U.S. for the long term. Non-immigrant visas are issued for limited periods of time and for specific purposes, such as tourism, business, study, temporary work or medical treatment.



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Monday, July 1, 2013

Differences Between Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visas

A U.S. visa is an authorization, typically in the form of a stamp inside a passport, which demonstrates that a U.S. consular official has determined that the traveler is eligible to enter the U.S. for the purposes stated in the visa. The United States issues two classes of visas, an Immigrant Visa and a Non-Immigrant Visa.

Choosing which visa to request is an important decision, and will largely depend on the reasons for coming to the U.S., as well as the visitor’s intentions regarding immigration. An Immigrant Visa is issued to aliens who intend to permanently reside in the U.S., whereas a Non-Immigrant Visa is issued to those who are coming to the U.S. for a specific, temporary purpose, such as travel, business, medical treatment, temporary work or study.


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