Can a person in the U.S. on L-2 status attend school?
A person's L-2 visa status is typically dependent on that of the L-1 visa holder. As long as the L-1 visa holder maintains his/her status in the U.S., the L-2's visa status will remain current. L-2 visa holders may certainly attend school and in cases where they have an approved EAD, L-2 visa holders may also work. Just be aware that when submitting the L-2 visa to show status in the U.S., an employer, school, or even an immigration officer at the port of entry may ask to see the L-1 visa holder's documents showing their L-1 visa status as well.
For the first time since 2008, the USCIS has reached its statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year 2014, within the first week of the filing period. A sure sign that the economy has picked up, the H-1B cap has thousands of immigrant workers wondering where they stand in the system.
As of today, the USCIS released their official number of having received 124,000 H-1B cases for consideration. On Monday, April 7th, the USCIS began implementing a lottery system where all petitions received between April 1 - April 5, 2013, were entered into a computer generated lottery system and randomly picked to meet the 65,000 cap for regular cases and 20,000 cap for the advanced degree exemption.
On April 15, 2013, the USCIS will begin entering data for those cases that have requested the premium processing service.
If you are worried about how this will affect your current immigration status, please contact an attorney to discuss your options.
The Department of State has published the visa bulletin for the month of February. Below, you can find the visa number availability for Employment based visas. The following are the cut off dates for family based visas, released by The Department of State for the month of February 2013:F1 (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens):
China-mainland born- 1/15/2006
Others- 1/15/2006F2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents):
China-mainland born – 10/22/2010
Others- 10/22/2010F2B (Unmarried Sons and Daughters over 21 yrs of Permanent Residents):
China-mainland born -1/15/2005
Others – 01/15/2005F3 (Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens):
China-mainland born- 07/08/2002
Others- 07/08/2002F4 (Brothers and Sisters of Adult US Citizens):
China-mainland born- 04/15/2001
Others- 04/15/2001To see the visa bulletin for February 2013, please click here.
On January 9, 2013, The Department of State released the most current visa bulletin for the month of February 2013.
Employment based visas:
Current for all nationalities
China-mainland born cut off date- 1/15/2008
India-cut off date - 09/01/2004
Others cut off date – current
China mainland born -11/15/2006
The visa numbers are still current world wide for EB-4 and EB-5 applications.
Since 8/18/2010, the USCIS has imposed stricter rules with EB-1 applications. Thus, it is essential that you consult with an experienced attorney before you start the application process. There are two part of EB-1 evaluation process:
1. The applicant must meet the baseline criteria for the category; and
2. The applicant must provide evidence to demonstrate that he or she possess
the required high level of expertise for the immigration category.
We recommend that you file your petition as early as you can since by doing so you would have an earlier priority date.
A note from the USCIS:New fee allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas after individuals receive their visa packages from the Department of State abroad WASHINGTON
—On Feb. 1, 2013,U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States. This new fee was established in USCIS’s final rule
adjusting fees for immigration applications and petitions announced on Sept. 24, 2010.
USCIS has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee which allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS. This includes staff time to handle, file and maintain the immigrant visa package, and the cost of producing and delivering the permanent resident card. The implementation of this new fee is further detailed in a Federal Register
notice scheduled for publication tomorrow.
In order to simplify and centralize the payment process, applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States. DOS will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.
USCIS processes approximately 36,000 immigrant visa packages each month. Prospective adoptive parents whose child will enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague processes are exempt from the new fee.
For all the grad students out there:
For those of you interested, live stream is happening right now at: wwww.uscis.gov/live !
Starting at 10am EST today, USCIS will welcome 16 new citizens during a special ceremony commemorating the 149th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Steven Spielberg is giving the keynote address during the ceremony at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA and will be joined by Lincoln portrayer, James Getty.
For those of you who have had family members or friends taken by ICE or just have a hunch that they may have been picked up by ICE, there is available an online search system to access information of whether or not your loved one has been detained. By clicking on the link below, you can search for your loved one either by their A# or by using their biographical information.ICE DETAINEE SEARCH LINK
Credits: MOSCOW - SEPTEMBER 26: St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square is seen September 26, 2003 in Moscow. (Photo By Ian Walton/Getty Images)
On September 9, 2012, Russia and the U.S. began implementing a simpler visa processing program that will not only cut down on the amount of paperwork needed to apply for visas to the U.S., but also the extraordinary fees that were previously in place.
In an effort to build ties between Russia and the U.S., this new visa program will allow both countries to implement ease of movement and economic cooperation between the largest groups of travelers, namely business travelers and tourists applying for tourist visas. It was estimated that in 2011, nearly 159,000 business and tourist visas were issued to Russian citizens wanting to visit the U.S. Similarly, over 75,000 U.S. citizens travelled to Russia annually, the majority of whom require Russian tourist visas.
The agreement was first announced in July 2011 and was finally ratified by the Russia Duma and signed by President Putin in July 2012. September 9, 2012 was the first day that the agreement was placed into full effect. According to the Department of state, the agreement between the U.S. and Russia includes the following key provisions (duplicated from the US Department of State):
- Three-year, multiple-entry visas will be issued as the standard “default” visa for U.S. citizens visiting Russia and Russian citizens visiting the United States;
- Diplomatic and official visa holders on temporary assignments will receive one-year, multiple-entry visas;
- The agreement streamlines the visa issuance process by reducing the documentation required. For example, the Russian government will no longer require U.S. citizens to provide formal, “registered” invitation letters when applying for Russian business visas or visas for private visits, although applicants seeking Russian tourist visas must continue to hold advance lodging reservations and arrangements with a tour operator;
- Both sides have committed to keeping standard visa processing times under 15 days, although the circumstances of individual cases may require additional processing; and
- The $100 issuance – or reciprocity – fee for Russians issued U.S. visas for business or tourism (visa types B1/B2) will decrease to $20.
It is evident that this new procedure cuts down dramatically the process for applying for business and tourist visas between both countries. However, the intents of the visas still remain in place and those applying for these visas must be aware that they still may need to demonstrate proper intent for the visa. Since this is such a new program it is still unclear how easy of a process actually passing the visa interviews will be, at least until more people have undergone use of the new system.
Those of Russian decent make up a rather noticeable portion of people living in Houston. No doubt this new program will have a large effect on families and businesses with ties between Russia and the U.S.
Photo courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
On Thursday, August 23, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, with ten Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deportation Officers and ICE Immigration Enforcement Agents, filed a federal civil suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in Dallas. The law suit named Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, and ICE Director, John Morton, as the Defendants. The purpose of the lawsuit was to seek an injunction against a directive issued by Secretary Napolitano on deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. undocumented as children. The directive essentially ordered all ICE agents to stop placing certain illegal foreigners in the U.S. into deportation proceedings.The directive
was initially passed as an executive order by President Obama back in June of this year. Critics claimed that it was a political move in order for the President to obtain Hispanic votes. Whatever the reasoning behind the executive order, the Hispanic community has definitely been moved. In June, coinciding with the President’s executive order, Secretary Napolitano issued the directive to ICE agents to stop placing those affected by the order in deportation proceedings.
On August 15, 2012, the USCIS began accepting applications for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
The 10 ICE agents initiating the lawsuit claim that they have been put in a catch-22 situation. Either they break the law by not deporting illegal immigrants or they disobey their superiors by not following the Department of Homeland Security’s directives. The Defendant group of ICE agents are being represented by Kris Kobach, who has informally advised the Romney campaign on immigration. Kobach has been an active supporter of cracking down on illegal immigration, having written the controversial immigration laws currently being challenged in court in both Arizona and Alabama.
Undoubtedly, the outcome in court will rely on arguments of prosecutorial discretion. For those applying for deferred action, this case can definitely cause an uncertain future as to whether or not such an application would be in the applicant’s best interests.