DOS provides information on how to
apply for 2007 DV Lottery
This is the link for detailed
information and instructions about the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery for
The USCIS provides an on-line count for H-1B and H-2B visa usage
Select this link
to read the USCIS current cap count for non-immigrant worker visas.|
USCIS publishes an inaugural newsletter titled USCIS Today
Select this link to read the inaugural issue.|
Notice dated May 24, 2005 on New H-1B Exceptions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced in May that it has received more than 6,393 H-1B petitions that will count against the Congressionally-mandated exemption cap for fiscal year 2005 established by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004. The new regulations, which took effect on May 5, 2005, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY 2005 and for future fiscal years.
Click here for detailed information..|
|New Permanent Foreign Labor Certification Program
||On March 28, 2005, the U.S. Department of Labor began processing the new
Permanent Foreign Labor Certification Program ("PERM") for employers to hire aliens to work permanently in the United States. Under the new PERM regulations, labor certification application must be submitted online.
certification application is expected to result in adjudication within 60 days
of filing. Additional information on the PERM program, including Employer Registration can be found here.|
Visa Classification For Some Australian Nationals
||On May 10, 2005, the United States Congress passed legislation on a new visa classification, the E-3 Treaty Professional. The legislation was signed
into law by President Bush on May 12, 2005. The visa is limited to Australian
nationals who receive a job offer from any U.S. employer to work temporarily in
a specialty occupation. The definition of specialty occupation is the same as
the H-1B classification. The new legislation establishes:
(1) an annual numerical limit of 10,500 E-3 visas for each fiscal year;
permits applications to be made directly with the US Consular Officers; and
permits filing for work permission with USCIS on behalf of dependant spouses.
For more information, click here.
New H-1B Procedures for FY 2005 and FY 2006
||In December 2004, Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which contains provisions affecting the H-1B and L nonimmigrant visa categories. Included among these provisions is the eligibility for the additional 20,000 H-1B numbers available to aliens having obtained a master’s or higher level degree from an U.S. institution of higher education. USCIS acceptance of petitions for these exemptions began on May 12, 2005.|
|Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005
|President's Proposed Temporary Worker Program
|Expedited Traveler Program through JFK
||On January 13, 2005, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge announced that certain frequent travelers to the U.S., subject to pre-screening and background checks, may be eligible for an Expedited Trader Program for entry through dedicated kiosks.|
|Visa Wait Times||
Visa processing times at U.S. Consulates and Embassies available.|
|USCIS Customer Services On-line||
USCIS expands on-line customer services, including case status processing dates and various case filings.
Posted: 10/14/04 15:30:15 EST
|New USCIS Photograph Specifications||
USCIS announces change in photo standards
Posted: 10/14/04 15:24:18 EST
|Electronic On-line Appointment System (INFOPASS) is Implemented for all USCIS District Offices.||
Electronic on-line appointment system (INFOPASS) is implemented for all USCIS District Offices.
Posted: 10/14/04 15:20:48 EST
|Online Filing Procedures expanded||
Online Filing Procedures expanded. To read more link to: http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/e-file_05_26_04.pdf
Posted: 06/29/04 12:51:58 EDT
|Backlog Elimination Strategy||
Backlog Elimination Strategy. To read more, link to: http://uscis.gov/graphics/aboutus/repsstudies/backlog.htm
Posted: 06/28/04 16:16:54 EDT
|New USCIS Application Fees||
New USCIS Immigration Benefit Application Fees effective April 30, 2004.
Posted: 04/23/04 11:22:51 EDT
|USCIS Fee History from 1989 to 2002||
USCIS fee history from 1989 to 2002
Posted: 03/19/04 10:18:00 EST
US-VISIT, which applies to non-immigrant visa holders, became operational in 115 airports and 14 major seaports on January 5, 2004.
US-VISIT is an enhancement to the admissions process at U.S. Ports of Entry – capturing digital “fingerscans” and photos
US-VISIT will permit the Department of Homeland Security to calculate the duration of a visa holder’s presence in the U.S. Such records will affect visa holders in a variety of ways such as: immigration benefit eligibility in terms of overstays; one-year abroad requirements for H-1B and L-1 visas; time recapture petitions for H and L visas; two-year residence requirements for H visas; physical presence requirements for substantial presence determinations under our tax laws; and, potentially in the future, LPR abandonment issues as well as time spent in the U.S. for naturalization purposes.
At this time, US-VISIT procedures do not apply to certain A, C, G or NATO visa categories, Visitor Waiver Program entrants (until October 26, 2004); Canadian citizens entering the U.S. in a status not requiring a visa, or U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents and U.S. citizens.
PROCEDURES FOR FIRST TIME ENROLLMENT IN US-VISIT AT PORTS OF ENTRY
1. An inkless digital “fingerscanner” will be used. Visitors with non-immigrant visas will first put the left index finger, then the right index finger on a glass plate that will electronically capture two fingerscans;
2. Visitors will also look into a camera and their digital picture will be taken;
3. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers will review the visitor’s travel documents, such as a visa and passport, ask questions about the visitor’s stay in the United States, and the travel documents will be scanned; and
4. Certain security database checks will be run.
The enhancements to the entry procedures add minimal time to the process – an average of 15 seconds in most cases.
US-VISIT Exit procedures will be phased in at air and seaports during 2004. At this time only two (2) Ports of Departure have US-VISIT Exit capabilities: Baltimore-Washington airport and Miami, Florida seaport.
US-VISIT Entry and Exit procedures at land borders will be phased in throughout 2004 and 2005.
Until US-VISIT Exit capabilities are fully implemented, it is important for those individuals who have entered the U.S. through a Port of Entry with US-VISIT Entry capacity to maintain a copy of travel records and other documents (i.e., copy of return trip tickets, itinerary, copy of I-94 card, car service receipts, credit card and hotel receipts, entry stamps to other countries, etc.) as proof of their exits through a Port of Departure without US-VISIT Exit operations.
It is also important that departing visitors affirmatively surrender their I-94 cards.
Posted: 02/17/04 09:44:18 EST
|BCIS Renamed USCIS||
The Department of Homeland Security's "BCIS" Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) has been renamed the "USCIS" (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service). Filing fee checks made out to USCIS, BCIS or DHS will be accepted.
Posted: 09/16/03 17:11:22 EDT
|H-1B Extensions Permitted Beyond Six Years||
On November 2, 2002, President Bush signed into law H.R. 2215, “The 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.” Included in the measure is a provision to aid foreign nationals in obtaining additional periods of H-1B status while a permanent residence labor certification application is pending with the Department of Labor. The new law permits an extension of an employee’s H-1B status beyond six year limit, provided a labor certification application for permanent residence was filed at least 365 days prior to the six year expiration date of the foreign national worker’s H-1B status. Qualified foreign national workers will be able to obtain H-1B status extensions in one-year increments while their labor certification applications are pending adjudication.
This provision is also applicable to foreign nationals who have already exceeded the six-year H-1B status period or have obtained another nonimmigrant status in the United States or have relocated abroad.
This provision is a positive development as it improves upon the relevant law previously enacted in 2000. That legislation had provided for H-1B status extensions for labor certification applicants beyond the sixth year only in situations where the labor certification had already been approved by the Department of Labor. Posted: 01/03/03 13:35:10 EST
|Change of Address For all Foreign Nationals||
Further developments to our article posted August 8, 2002, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has changed the mailing address as follows:
Immigration & Naturalization Service
Change of Address
P.O. Box 7134
London, Kentucky 40724-7134
Additional information can be found at:
Posted: 11/13/02 10:11:17 EST