Hello and welcome to the November 2012 Immigration Newsletter!
Not a lot of changes in the political arena since our last newsletter, right! At the end of what many experts predicted would be the closest and one of most hotly contested races that we have witnessed in the recent past, President Obama was voted back into office with a comfortable majority. Most importantly, based on surveys, voter turnout and exit polls, minority voters, many who are 2nd and 3rd generation Americans, contributed significantly to President Obama’s win. We wish him and his administration the very best. We also hope that the President and Congress heard the voters loud and clear that immigration reform is important and cannot be placed on the back burner any longer.
In some welcome news for H-1B, F-1 and individual L-1 visa applicants from India, the U.S. Mission in India, has announced the expansion of the Interview Waiver Program. Under the expanded program, eligible visa applicants who have had an H1-B visa, an individual L-1A or L-1B visa, and students returning to the attend the same school and program may have the visa interview requirement waived. The program will also include children who are less than 14 years old. This development would substantially benefit H-1B and L-1 visa applicants and it is hoped that we would see more visa categories being added to the list in the future. Note, however, that the decision to grant a waiver of the interview is still discretionary. Applicants who otherwise meet all the qualifications for the Interview Waiver Program may still be asked to attend an in-person interview. Moreover, applicants whose interviews are waived may still be required to appear for biometrics and must complete the DS-160 and pay all applicable fees.
The Department of State closed the registration for the Diversity Visa Program 2014 (DV 2014) on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). It is expected that DV-2014 entrants will be able to check the status of their entries as of May 1, 2013 through Entrant Status Check (ESC) on the E-DV website. Please remember that the DOS DOES NOT NOTIFY ENTRANTS VIA EMAIL, PHONE or MAIL. The Entrant Status Check is the ONLY method the DOS uses to inform applicants that they have been selected.
November also saw USCIS expanding the services offered under the e-Request system, a web-based tool that allows customers to inquire about applications and petitions submitted to USCIS. Among other uses, applicants can now use the e-Request system, to inquire about the status of their application or petition if it is outside of the normal processing time or to notify USCIS about an administrative error in a notice or document sent by the service.
VisaPro Team travels the world educating foreign companies and entrepreneurs about doing business in the U.S.
We are happy to share with you that our next stop is India. VisaPro Team is presenting an inspiring full-day workshop Doing Business in the U.S. – Successful Market Entry, Incorporation, Immigration and Tax Strategies at 6 major cities in India [New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai]. Our experts and attorneys share their knowledge about doing business in the United States – the legal requirements, challenges and opportunities, failures and successes, plus insights and practical advice about building lasting businesses. Key topics in the workshop include:
- Incorporation, Banking and Sales Strategies
- Successfully Preparing & Filing B-1, H-1B, L-1, O-1 and Green Cards
- Employment and Immigration Compliance
- Global Mobility and Staffing Challenges
- How to Avoid Costly Mistakes and Receive More Immigration Approvals
Reserve your place in this popular Workshop today. Seating at this highly interactive Workshop is limited.
Other Developments in Immigration Law:
December 2012 Visa Bulletin: EB-2 Priority Dates remain current for all countries other than India and China
In the recently published U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin for December 2012, the EB-2 priority dates remained current in respect to all countries other than India and mainland China. The EB-2 priority date for India remained at 09/01/04, and advanced from 09/01/07 to 10/22/07 in respect to mainland China. Meanwhile, the EB-1, EB-4 and EB-5 numbers continue to remain current for all countries, even as marginal advancement was seen in EB-3 priority dates. The DOS has indicated that EB-5 numbers for mainland China may need to be retrogressed for the first time during the current fiscal year if demand continues.
USCIS Publishes New Edition of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
USCIS has announced that the new edition of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, is now available on its website. USCIS has further informed stakeholders and users that editions dated January 06, 2010, and later will be accepted only until December 30, 2012. After December 30 2012, only the October 1, 2012 edition will be accepted.
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Our ‘Featured Video’ for this month titled, “TN- Mexico: NAFTA Visas for Mexican Professional Workers” explains how the TN visa for Mexican nationals is a very good alternative to H-1B visa and how Mexican professionals can enter the U.S. with greater ease. Please check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel to take advantage of another great service provided to you by VisaPro.
Also check out our In Focus article for this month titled “The P-1 Visa for Internationally Recognized Athletes: An Overview” in which we present an overview of the P-1 visa for athletes, including the basic requirements to be satisfied, application process, and key features of the P-1A visa.
Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Last month’s poll results indicate that a majority of respondents (62.50%) welcome the new visa processing system introduced by Mission India. We continue to appreciate that people take interest in the opinion question and cast their votes to give us their feedback. Keep it up! And continue to cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
We also congratulate Cynthia for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. While we received more than one correct response to the quiz question, Cynthia gave the best answer and won a free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. It’s time to get ready for this month’s quiz. If you know the correct answer your name might be featured in next month’s newsletter. All the Best!!!
See you next month with a lot more noise from the Immigration World!