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Immigration Reform Bill 2013

April 18, 2013 2 comments

Below is a summary of some of the changes proposed in the Immigration Reform Bill negotiated and proposed by the “gang of eight” in April 2013:

1. Pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who continuously live in US from Dec. 31, 2011

2. Pathway to citizenship for  immigrants deported for non-criminal reason with close family ties to US

3. No cap for work visa (H1B) for highly-skilled workers

4. Increase visa cap for low-skilled workers

5. Harsher punishment for employers who knowingly violate immigration policy

6. Strengthen border security and control

7. Visa for entrepreneur to start business

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – Continuous Residence

August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the criteria to qualify for deferred action as a childhood arrival is continuous residence. Continuous residence will not be considered interrupted is one’s absence is “brief, casual, and innocent.

According to USCIS guidelines, absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent if it was before August 15, 2012, and:

  1. The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
  2. The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
  3. The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings; and
  4. The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – Application Forms

August 17, 2012 Leave a comment

To apply for consideration for deferred action under the new policy, one must submit the following forms along with evidence supporting the applicant’s application.

1. Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals;

2. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and

3. Form I-765WS, Form I-765 Worksheet

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival – FAQ

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Who can apply for consideration for deferred action?

To qualify for consideration, one must meet the seven (7) criteria. The criteria are listed here.

When can application be submitted?

Application for consideration can be submitted starting Aug. 15, 2012.

What is the filing fee?

The filing fee as of Aug. 16, 2012 is $465.

Do I get a greencard if my application is granted?

No. If application is granted, applicant will be offered deferred action, which means that applicant will not be deported for two years. The applicant will also be able to work legally in the US. Applicant may renew this status at the end of the two year period.

Will I be place in removal proceeding if my application is rejected?

According to USCIS brochure, if your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except if DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.

Who Can Apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

August 16, 2012 12 comments

To qualify for consideration for deferred action for childhood arrival, one must meet the following criteria:

1. Born after June 15, 1981;
2. Arrived in the United States before the age of 16;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. Are currently in school, graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general educational development certificate (GED), or that you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces; and
7. Are at least 15 years of age at the time of filing, if you have never been in removal proceedings or if your case was terminated before your request.

Bona Fide Marriage Explained By New York Daily News

April 16, 2012 Leave a comment

In one of my previous post, I tried to explain bona fide marriage and list a set of documents needed to prove bona fide marriage. In the simplest term, bona fide marriage means that the marriage is real. Today, I came across this article published on April 13th, 2012 in New York Daily News which further explains this and answer some common questions about getting green card through marriage. Hope you find it informative and useful.

Changes in Fees for Visa Effective as of April 13 2012

April 13, 2012 Leave a comment

As mentioned in the previous post, changes to visa application fee is effective as of April 13th 2012. Today, the Department of State, DOS, issued clarification as to fees paid prior to the changes to the fees. To summarize:

Fees that will decrease are not refundable 

If you paid a visa fee before April 13, 2012 and that fee decreased, DOS cannot give you a refund.

Fees that will increase (only nonimmigrant fees)

If you paid your visa fee before April 13, 2012 AND, your visa interview is on or before July 12, 2012, you do not have to pay the difference between fee amount.

If your interview is after July 13, 2012, you will be required to pay the difference between the old and new fee amounts – no exceptions.

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