News

USCIS Transfers Certain Cases from Service Centers to National Benefits Center and Field Offices

USCIS has announced that certain cases currently being adjudicated at one of the Service Centers (Texas, Nebraska, Vermont, and California) will be transferred to the National Benefits Center or a local USCIS Field Office. These offices will be issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) when appropriate. The filing location for new petitions and applications has not changed. These changes are summarized in the following chart:

CBP Stops Stamping Forms I-20/DS-2019

As of Aug. 10, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) no longer provides admission stamps on Forms I-20/DS-2019 for prospective and returning international students and scholars (traveling with F, M, and J visas) seeking admission to the United States. This change makes CBP processes consistent with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) recent change to stop stamping Forms I-20/DS-2019.

The U.S. Embassy Announces a New Visa Processing System

The United States Embassy in India today announced it is implementing a new visa processing system throughout India that will further standardize procedures and will simplify fee payment and appointment scheduling through a new website at www.ustraveldocs.com/in. Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs, Julia Stanley, announced at a press conference here today that beginning September 26, 2012 U.S. visa applicants will be able to pay application fees via Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) or with their mobile phones.

Historic US-Russia Visa Agreement Enters Into Force September 9, 2012

A historic U.S.-Russia visa agreement will enter into effect September 9, 2012. The agreement will facilitate travel and establish stronger ties between Russia and the United States, as it will benefit the largest segment of travelers in both our countries: business travelers and tourists. Starting September 9, Russian and American travelers for business or tourism will be eligible to receive visas valid for multiple entries during a period of 36 months.

Substantiality of Investment for E-2 Visa Purposes. How Much is Enough?

Fitting a business plan into a regulatory framework is something every foreign investor hopes he never has to do. But fit it one must if the investment goal includes obtaining an E-2 visa.

One of the key requirements imposed on the E-2 visa applicant is to show that he or she has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital into a commercial (profit-generating) enterprise.

Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") decision - 10 year bar to reentry may not be triggered if departed with Advance Parole

In an April, 2012 decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") clarified long-standing issue of admissibility of aliens who departed the US under Advance Parole document issued by USCIS in order to facilitate return to resume Adjustment of Status application, who overstayed (remained without a valid immigration status) by a year or more.??

CHANGES TO E VISA PROCESSING LOCATION FOR ITALY

Effective December 1, 2011, all E visas applications will be processed in Rome. Therefore, all new E visa applications submitted after December 1, 2011 should be sent to the E Visa Section in Rome following the directions on the web. (http://italy.usembassy.gov./visa/vis/vis-6-en.html) All cases will be processed in the order received. All pending cases sent to Milan prior to December 1, 2011, will be processed to conclusion in Milan, in the order they
were received.

US Department of State Announces Expedited Student Visa Issuance Worldwide

On November 14, 2011, the US Department of State announced that all U.S. embassies and consulates will expedite visa processing for foreign students to ensure qualified students are able to begin their academic program on time. Worldwide, the maximum wait for a student visa appointment will be fewer than 15 days. Foreign students can apply for their visas up to 120 days before their academic programs begin.

DOS Restricts Caps J-1 Visa (Summer Work Travel Program) Participant Level and Implements Moratorium on New Sponsors

Effective January 1, 2012, the Department of State is restricting the size of the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1visa) category of Summer Work Travel to 2011 actual participant levels. The Department is also announcing, effective immediately, a moratorium on designation of new Summer Work Travel sponsor organizations.

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