Posted On: December 30, 2011

Round-Up of Immigration Related Legislation (October - December 2011)

The following immigration-related bills were introduced into the House of Representatives and the Senate in October - December 2011 and summarized below by AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association):

Senate Bills

S. 1856
Introduced by Sen. DeMint (R-SC) on 11/10/11
Prohibits federal funding for lawsuits seeking to invalidate specific State laws that support the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Families First Immigration Enforcement Act (S. 1949)
Introduced by Sen. Kerry (D-MA) on 12/07/11
Provides for safe and humane policies and procedures pertaining to the arrest, detention, and processing of aliens in immigration enforcement operations.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics– STEM Visa Act of 2011 (S. 1986)
Introduced by Sen. Bennet (D-CO) on 12/13/11
Amends INA to promote innovation, investment and research in the United States.

Irish Recognition and Encouragement Act of 2011- IRE Act (S. 2005)
Introduced by Sen. Brown (R-MA) on 12/15/11
Authorizes the Secretary of State to issue up to 10,500 E-3 visas per year to Irish nationals.

House Bills

H-2A Improvement Act (H.R. 3232)
Introduced by Rep. Owens (D-NY) on 10/14/11
Includes within the H-2A nonimmigrant category an alien coming temporarily to the United States to work as a sheepherder, goat herder, or dairy worker. The bill also exempts an employer filing a petition to employ such a worker from the requirement to show that the position is of a seasonal or temporary nature.

Deport Convicted Foreign Criminals Act of 2011 (H.R. 3256)
Introduced by Rep. Poe (R-TX) on 10/25/11
Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to report quarterly to Congress regarding each country that has refused or unreasonably delayed repatriation of an alien. The bill also prohibits the Secretary of State, upon the passage of specified periods of time, from issuing certain nonimmigrant (including certain diplomatic) visas and immigrant visas to a citizen, subject, national, or resident of a listed country.

Haitian Emergency Life Protection Act of 2011- H.E.L.P. Act (H.R. 3297)
Introduced by Rep. Clarke (D-NY) on 11/01/11
Amends the INA with respect to V visa (spouses/children of LPR who come to the United States to wait for completion of immigrant visa process) nonimmigrants to include certain Haitian nationals whose petition for a family-sponsored immigrant visa was approved on or before January 12, 2010.

Foster Children Opportunity Act (H.R. 3333)
Introduced by Rep. Stark (D-CA) on 11/03/11
Requires state plans for foster care and adoption assistance to have procedures to assist alien children in the child welfare system achieve special immigrant juvenile status and LPR status before exiting foster care.

Visa Improvements to Stimulate International Tourism to the United States of America- VISIT USA (H.R. 3341)
Introduced by Rep. Hirono (D-HI) on 11/03/11
Provides qualifying nationals of China (PRC) with a five-year multiple entry/exit visitor visa. The bill also requires such persons to be screened through the automated electronic travel authorization system.

Enhanced Border Security Act (H.R. 3401)
Introduced by Rep. Mack (R-FL) on 11/10/11
Directs the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a counterinsurgency strategy to combat the operations of transnational criminal organizations in Mexico.

American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment, and Entrepreneurship Act- AGREE Act (H.R. 3476)
Introduced by Rep. Hanna (R-NY) on 11/18/11
Amends Internal Revenue Code to extend certain tax expenditure provisions for business taxpayers. Also, amends INA to eliminate the per country cap for employment-based immigrants and increase the per country cap for family-based immigrants to 15% of the total number.

Religious Worker Visa Reciprocity Act of 2011 (H.R. 3557)
Introduced by Rep. King on 12/02/11
Requires the country of origin of certain special immigrant religious workers to extend reciprocal immigration treatment to United States nationals.

Immigration and Naturalization Investment Ventures for Engineering, Science, and Technology- INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3692)
Introduced by Rep. Schiff (D-CA) on 12/15/11
Establishes an entrepreneur-based immigrant category for alien entrepreneurs who have completed or are in the process of completing a degree in Science, Engineering, Math or a technology-related field.

Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2011 (H.R. 3718)
Introduced by Rep. Keating (D-MA) on 12/16/11
Prioritizes certain returning workers for purposes of the numerical limitation on H-2B temporary workers.

New Illegal Deduction Elimination Act- New IDEA Act (H.R. 3720)
Introduced by Rep. King (R-IA) on 12/16/11
Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify that wages paid to unauthorized aliens may not be deducted from gross income.

H.R. 3761
Introduced by Rep. Thompson (D-CA) on 12/20/11
Amends the INA to protect the well-being of soldiers and their families

Posted On: December 23, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 23, 2011

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
After the I-129 was received by uscis for review from the DOS, it was on the post decision stage. now the uscis sent me an email that they mailed a duplicate copy of their decision on the case or the instructions to follow if it is still pending. My case is now on acceptance stage. why is my case back to acceptance stage?

Answer #1
When a case is returned by the DOS to the USCIS, the USCIS is afforded the opportunity to review the case and determine whether to uphold their original decision (approval) or to revoke the approved filing. If they decide to revoke the petition, the USCIS will issue to the Petitioner or Authorized Representative a Notice of Intent to Revoke outlining the reasons for revocation. It is the burden of the Petitioner or Authorized Representation to present evidence to overcome the allegations/reasons for revocation. Since the USCIS is reviewing the case, this could explain why the case status indicates ‘Acceptance Stage.’


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
How long does it typically take for the USCIS to review an H1 case that has been returned by the Department of State? When can we contact USCIS?

Answer #2
The USCIS has indicated that when cases are returned to them from the DOS, those cases are reviewed and processed when time and resources allow. Pursuant to the USCIS National Customer Service Center (1-800-375-5283), you may initiate a Service Request after waiting 180 days from the date your case is returned to the USCIS.


Question #3 – Travel
I am planning on traveling out of US for short trip. I heard from friends that I may not be able to obtain a new visa stamp for my recently approved I-129 and come back.

Answer #3
If you MUST travel on H-1B status, we recommend that you have the following: at least two months’ worth of pay stubs, a copy of the approved H-1B petition, an original employment verification letter, the original approval notice, and any other documentation that would demonstrate compliance with the laws governing the H-1B program and the establishment of a bona fide job opportunity, and a legitimate employer-employee relationship.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Any H-1B visas left under quota for this year?

Answer #4
The H-1B FY2012 Quota was reached on November 22, 2011, accordingly, you will have to wait until April 1, 2012 to submit an H-1B CAP petition for employment beginning October 1, 2012.


Question #5 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My Priority date will be current soon. I am prepared to file my I-485, what are the associated USCIS filing fees? Do I have to pay for EAD and AP separately?

Answer #5
You will need to make payment in the amount of $1,070.00 or less depending upon your age, which will cover the I-485 processing, the biometrics, the employment authorization document (EAD) processing and the Advance Parole document (AP) processing.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have a student on OPT currently working for my company. Her OPT will expire in July of 2012. I need to apply for her H-1B but wasn’t able to make it under this CAP. Will she have to return home prior to October 1, if I file her under the new cap in April 2012?

Answer #6
According to the regulations, an F-1 student who is the beneficiary of an H-1B petition and who has timely filed a Change of Status petition will have his/her status and work authorization (if in OPT) automatically extended until October 1st of the following fiscal year so that there is no “gap” between the time her F-1 stay would have expired and the October 1 start date for the H-1B.


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
My current H-1B visa expires on 1/14/2012 and I’ve filed for an extension in late October and received a receipt for it. Can I continue working without the new approval?

Answer #7
Yes, under regulation 8 C.F.R. §274a.12(b)(20), a person lawfully employed under A-3, E-1,E-2,E-3,G-5, H-1B, H-2A/B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1/O-2, P-1/P-2/P-3, R or TN status who timely files an application for extension consistent with 8 C.F.R. §214.1, is automatically given 240 days from the date of expiration. During 240 days, there is no INA 245(c) bar to adjustment of status.


Question #8 - Employment Based Immigration - Green Card
My priority date is current as of the January 2012 visa bulletin. I heard through various forum posts that we can call them and provide details of our case so that based on first come first call they would process and issue the GC faster, is this true?

Answer #8
You cannot call the USCIS to speed up the processing/issuance of your Green Card. Priority dates were established for this exact purpose. Each individual has a specific priority date which was issued to them when their Labor application was submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL). Only when the applicant’s priority date becomes current will the USCIS begin to process the applicant’s I-485 paperwork and thereafter may issue the Green Card.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Is an approved I-765 any indication that the I-485 is getting close to approval and would eventually be approved without a hitch or are they autonomous processes?

Answer #9
They are separate processes. Therefore, to put it simply, an approved I-765 is not an indication that the I-485 is getting closer to being approved.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – TN Visa
What is required to obtain a TN visa at the border? What documents do I need to have to get the visa?

Answer #10
You must establish that the position in question requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1. You will need to carry your educational documents (degree/transcripts/license, if applicable) and work experience documents (experience letters, resume, tax documents, etc.) to evidence your qualifications for the position. You will also need to present an offer letter and/or employment agreement from the company which clearly explains the position you are seeking to be employed in.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2012!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

Posted On: December 20, 2011

Updated List: SEVP Approved Schools as of December 16, 2011

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently updated the list of Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved schools. The schools listed have all been certified to participate in the program.

The program allows foreign students interested in obtaining an education in the United States to complete a visa petition, pay the required fee, attend a visa interview at a U.S. Consulate, and enroll in a U.S. College or University.

Interested Foreign students: There is a process in obtaining a student visa, but it is not a difficult one. The student must first obtain Form I-20 from the U.S. College or University from which he/she intends to enroll, pay the required visa fee (Form I-901) and contact a local U.S. Consulate/Embassy to schedule an interview. The SEVP procedures differ among U.S. Consulates/Embassies; contact your U.S. Consulate/Embassy NOW to determine its particular procedure on applying for a visa before planning for the interview.

Interested Schools: There is a separate process to obtain F & M Certification. Authorized school officials must obtain and complete Form I-17. An overview of the SEVP Certification process can be found on the ICE website. If approved, the school will be certified and allowed to issue Form I-20 to qualifying foreign students.

If you need assistance or an explanation of the SEVP/student visa, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Posted On: December 19, 2011

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 23, 2011

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, AZ SB1070, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, December 23rd, 2011. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: December 15, 2011

Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of December 1, 2011.

If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The current processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is 22 months; for an I-129 L1 Appeal - 22 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 32 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 35 months.

**Most other cases are within USCIS' processing time goal of 6 months or less.

Posted On: December 9, 2011

JANUARY 2012 VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the January 2012 Visa Bulletin.

The January 2012 Visa Bulletin still shows employment based third preference (EB-3) visas as oversubscribed while the employment based second preference (EB-2) is current for all areas of chargeability except for China and India.

There has been significant forward movement in the EB-2 category for the past 3 visa bulletin issues. We have received some reliable information from Charles Oppenheim, Chief, Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, DOS, that the upcoming advancement of the cutoff dates in EB-2 for India and China will advance again for the next several bulletin issues. We hope that the trend continues.

**The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.

Posted On: December 9, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, December 9, 2011

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
On my H-1B visa, because I am not yet a citizen of the United States, do I still pay federal taxes?

Answer #1
If you are in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant work visa, you pay federal taxes. As an employee of a U.S. company, the employer is responsible for withholding the applicable taxes from your paychecks in accordance with the laws. You must pay federal and state income taxes - You must report all wages, salaries, and tips even if you do not get a Form W-2 from your employer. You must also report all your taxable interest, including interest from banks, savings and loans, credit unions, etc., even if you do not get a Form 1099-INT.


Question #2 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am from Egypt and working as physical therapist from 10 years and I want to find job as P.T in USA. I am unlicensed P.T in USA. I need H1B Visa. Please answer me. Thanks.

Answer #2
The H-1B FY2012 Quota has been reached, accordingly, you will have to wait until April 1, 2012 to submit an H-1B CAP petition for employment beginning October 1, 2012. You will need to find a sponsoring employer to sponsor your H-1B petition. You will need to come to the U.S. to sit for a licensing exam before acquiring your PT license in the U.S. Once you have a sponsoring employer we can assist you, but we cannot assist you until you find a sponsoring employer.


Question #3 – Travel
My husband works under the visa f1/opt, my son and I have f2 visa. Recently, my husband's company began the process for H1b visa, current status, December 2011, is "initial review.” We would like to leave the country, during this month of December.My questions are: Do our visas and F opt, are still in effect and are valid, while the H1b visa is in the initial review? Can we leave the country and re-enter without any problem? We have the passport, I20 and I94 in order.

Answer #3
I would highly recommend not departing the U.S. while you have an application pending for Immigration benefits. If you do leave the country while your application is pending, the USCIS can consider your departure an abandonment of your case and hence will not approve the extension of status for you, requiring you to obtain visa stamping.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Any H-1B visas left for this year?

Answer #4
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced November 23, 2011 that it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2012. USCIS notified the public that November 22, 2011 was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions for FY2012. USCIS will reject cap-subject H-1B petitions that arrive after November 22, 2011.


Question #5 – General
If I am in the country on an H-1B visa and I decide to attend college here in the United States, can I continue to work for my H-1B sponsor?

Answer #5
There is a legacy INS letter that states that there is nothing that prevents an H-1B nonimmigrant from attending school so long as it is incidental to the H-1B status. The gist of it is that the main purpose of the individual's stay in the US has to be to work for the H-1B employer. Taking classes on the side will not interfere with that unless it becomes the main purpose. In other words, if it's not specifically prohibited by the regulations, it's permitted.


Question #6 – General
What is the difference between a person who applies for a first preference EB-1 and a person that applies for an H-1B?

Answer #6
The EB1 preference category is a Green Card preference category reserved for Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics; and Outstanding professors or researchers.
The H-1B is a temporary work visa for nonimmigrants; this nonimmigrant work visa is reserved for individuals who qualify for ‘Specialty Occupations.’ Specialty Occupations are defined as those that require a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.


Question #7 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Can an H-1B applicant change employers during the visa process?

Answer #7
Yes, an H-1B applicant is free to change employers during the visa process, changing H-1B employers is considered an H-1B transfer, and that petition would not be counted against the CAP, unless they are changing from a CAP EXEMPT employer to an employer who is not CAP EXEMPT.


Question #8 – General
What is the State Department Diversity Visa Program (DV-2013)?

Answer #8
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available up to 55,000 diversity visas (DVs) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.


Question #9 –H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
As a religious worker looking to apply for a visa, do I need to be sponsored by a religious organization prior to applying, or is that only necessary for other professions?

Answer #9
According to the Department of State, Religious workers include persons authorized, by a recognized employing entity, to conduct religious worship and perform other duties usually performed by authorized members of the clergy of that religion, and workers engaging in a religious vocation or occupation. The applicant must be a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit religious organization in the U.S.; the religious denomination and its affiliate, if applicable, are either exempt from taxation or qualifies for tax-exempt status; and the applicant has been a member of the denomination for two years immediately preceding applying for religious worker status. The applicant is planning to work as a minister of that denomination, or in a religious occupation or vocation for a bona fide, non-profit religious organization (or a tax-exempt affiliate of such an organization).There is no requirement that individuals applying for "R" visas have a residence abroad that they have no intention of abandoning. However, they must intend to depart the U.S. at the end of their lawful status, absent specific indications or evidence to the contrary. The applicant has resided and been physically present outside the U.S. for the immediate prior year, if he or she has previously spent five years in this category.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I am a medical professional, and I want to obtain an H-1B visa, what requirements are there for me to practice medicine in the U.S.? Do I need to pass any specialized examinations?

Answer #10
Depending upon your medical profession, you will need to pass any applicable examinations and also obtain the required license to practice in the medical field in the United States.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, December 23, 2011!
Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

Posted On: December 8, 2011

Countries with Limited or No U.S. Visa Services

When there are severe disturbances in countries, such as natural disasters, civil unrest, war, or security concerns, U.S. embassies can be forced to change the manner in which they provide their visa services. Currently, visa services are limited in Cote D’Ivoire, Finland, Montenegro, Netherlands Antilles, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

The U.S. Embassy Abidjan in Cote D’Ivoire is providing limited nonimmigrant visa services for applicants with emergency travel needs. The U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, Finland is undergoing renovations, but provides the options for appointments to be scheduled at the U.S. Embassy Tallinn in Estonia, while its services are limited. In Montenegro, priority is being given to Montenegrin students, business people, and emergency cases. They too offer appointments elsewhere, namely at the U.S. Embassy Podgorica. The U.S. Consulate General Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles is currently providing nonimmigrant visa services to applicants with Dutch passports, and only those who are applying for certain categories of nonimmigrant visas. For all other nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applications, they are being processesd at U.S. Embassy Caracas, Venezuela. The U.S. Consulate General Jeddah in Saudi Arabia is processing A, G, J, F, and B-1/B-2 visas for diplomats and government officials, employees and representatives to international organizations, government sponsored international exchange visitor programs, students, and businesses and tourists, respectively. Immigrant visa services for all residents of the country are provided at U.S. Embassy Riyadh and other nonimmigrant visa categories are being handled at U.S. Embassy Riyadh as well as U.S. Consulate General Dhahran. In Syria, U.S. Embassy Damascus is providing limited immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services.

Visa services are suspended in Minsk, Belarus until further notice, but nonimmigrant visa applicants resident in Belarus may apply in person at these suggested locations: U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russia; U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg, Russia; U.S. Embassy Warsaw, Poland; U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine; and U.S. Embassy Vilnius, Lithuania. Similarly, full visa services are suspended until further notice in Asmara, Eritrea, but nonimmigrant visa applications are being processed for limited categories including A, G, F, and J visas for diplomats and government officials, employees and representatives to international organizations, students, and exchange visitors, respectively. Nonimmigrant visa applicants residing in Eritrea may apply in person at these suggested locations: U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt, and U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya. Immigrant visa services for residents of the country are provided at the same locations. All visa services are suspended indefinitely at the U.S. Embassy Tripoli, in Libya.

The United States does not have diplomatic relationships with Iran or North Korea, therefore, there are no U.S. embassies or consulates in these countries. Immigrant visas for residents of Iran are processed at: U.S. Embassy Vienna, Austria; U.S. Embassy Ankara, Turkey; U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt, Germany (family-based applicants only); and U.S. Consulate General Naples, Italy. North Korea has no designated U.S. embassy or consulate to accept immigrant or nonimmigrant visa applications. U.S. Embassy Beijing, China has generally processed those requests from North Korea because it is the most convenient location.

Posted On: December 7, 2011

State Department Supports Global Travel Growth

The Department of State, being dedicated to the protection of American borders and the safety of American citizens, has 222 visa-issuing embassies, worldwide, that adjudicate millions of visa applications each year. The U.S. recognizes the importance of international travel to the American domestic economy and is taking steps to keep up with the demand for visas; a consular officer may interview over 100 visa applicants per day. Over 9.6 million visas were processed in the 2011 fiscal year. That is a 17% increase in processed visas from the previous fiscal year. The past five years has brought a 234% increase in visa issuances in Brazil, 124% increase in China, 51% increase in India, and a 24% increase in Mexico. The Department of Commerce reports that of the 60 million visitors to the U.S. last year, 35% entered with State Department issued visa. This international travel generated $134 billion in revenue and helped to support 1.1 million U.S. jobs last year. The Department of Commerce also estimates that by 2016, the number of U.S. visitors could reach 88 million.

In order to meet the growing demand of visas, more personnel and resources are being dedicated to visa adjudications especially in China and Brazil in the fiscal year 2012. In China and Brazil, 98 adjudicators are being hired, many of whom already speak Mandarin or Portuguese, as well as expanding facilities at which visas can be processed and applicants can be interviewed.

Student visa interview appointments have wait times less than 15 days. These visas are prioritized because of the social, intellectual, and economic benefits that foreign students bring to the U.S. Foreign students contributed almost $20 billion to the domestic economy in the 2009-10 academic year.

Procedures to expedite interview appointment for urgent business travelers have been established with U.S. officials working closely in more than 100 countries to cut down the processing times for business travelers. More than 3,500 business visa requests were handled by the United States State Department’s Business Visa Center facilities in fiscal year 2011.

Posted On: December 6, 2011

U.S. Department of State Expedites Student Visa Processing

The U.S. Department of State touched on the current efforts to gain attention from future international leaders to take advantage of stellar educational opportunities here in the United States, during International Education Week. The State Department also is aware of the social, intellectual, and economic benefits that foreign students bring with them to this country. That being said, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs expedites student visas for those qualified foreign students that will begin their academic program on time. The maximum wait for a student visa is less than 15 days, with the earliest application time for foreign students is 120 days before the academic program begins.

With a current emphasis on international education as a critical part of succeeding in the global marketplace, the Unites States has brought a 9% increase of international education during the 2010/11 academic year as well as $21.3 billion dollars into the domestic economy from foreign students.

An increase in international education promotes mutual understanding and respect between Americans and other international citizens.

Posted On: December 5, 2011

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, December 9, 2011

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, AZ SB1070, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, December 9th, 2011. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: December 1, 2011

Update on I-797 Approval Notices

USCIS Service Center Operations has confirmed that as of November 30, 2011, the California and Vermont Service Centers will once again send all original notices, including I-797 approval notices, to the G-28 attorney or representative of record.

The change will be implemented at the remaining service centers on or before December 5, 2011.