Blog Posts in 2016

  • USCIS Increase in Fees

    On December 23, 2016, USCIS will increase the filing fees for many immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after December 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject the submission. Please find below a chart of fee increases for commonly filed petitions: Immigration Petition New Fee Old Fee I–129/129CW Petition for a Nonimmigrant ...
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  • Filing for Permanent Residency as a Refugee

    Refugees and asylees seeking shelter and sanctuary in the United States seem to be at the top of every headline in recent weeks as the conflict in Syria rages on. While many citizens wonder if the refugees will be forced to leave, the refugees themselves need to start thinking about how they can legally stay. Although it might not be common knowledge, people who have been refugees or held asylum ...
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  • Trump Administration's Immigration Plan Resembles 9/11 NSEERS Policy

    Donald Trump’s presidential campaign lost and gained voters over the divisive topic of immigration law reform. In late 2015, when the now-President-elect was first starting to catch major attention, the proposed idea was a blanket ban on all Muslims attempting to enter the country from many Middle-East nations. By the time Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, the plan had been curtailed and ...
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  • State Department Guidance on Nonimmigrant Visa Revocation Due to DUI

    The U.S. Department of State recently issued a Guidance Directive on September 2, 2016, regarding nonimmigrant visa revocations for those arrested and/or convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). This policy was initially implemented on November 5, 2015, and it mandates that consular officers revoke nonimmigrant visas of persons arrested for, or convicted ...
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  • No Eyeglasses in Visa Photographs (Effective November 1, 2016)

    The U.S. Department of State recently updated the photo requirements for visa applications. Previously, eyeglasses did not need to be removed when taking a visa or passport photograph as long as they were not causing a glare. However, starting from November 1, 2016, eyeglasses will no longer be allowed in visa photos. The other requirements remain the same: 2 x 2 inches in size, taken in the last ...
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  • Understanding Site Visits & H-1B Compliance

    In September 2008, USCIS issued a report on H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment. This report found that there was 20.7% rate of either fraud or technical violations in H-1B petitions . As a result, USCIS initiated the Administrative Site Visit and Verification program as an additional measure to verify information in certain visa petitions. Under this program, the USCIS Fraud Detection and ...
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  • Protecting Your Status with a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

    The Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) created a three-year bar and 10- year bar on re-entry into the United States for various immigration violations. Will you be applying for the provisional unlawful presence waiver to protect your status? At the Verma Law Firm , our immigration lawyers serve San Jose, the Silicon Valley, and the surrounding areas with knowledgeable and ...
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  • 6 Tips for the Marriage Green Card Interview

    6 Tips for the Marriage Green Card Interview When applying for a marriage-based green card, a U.S. Citizen ("USC") and the immigrant spouse (hereinafter referred to as "Beneficiary") must attend an interview with an Immigration Officer. Green Card interviews are held to ensure that the marriage is bona fide, in good faith, and the marriage was not entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining ...
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  • USCIS Accepting Inquiries into H-1B Extension

    Currently, USCIS is taking longer than 6 months to adjudicate H-1B Extension petitions and H-1B Transfer petitions. On April 21, 2016, USCICS announced that Petitioners may submit an inquiry to USCIS if their H-1B Extension or Transfer petitions have been pending for more than 210 days. In order to submit an inquiry, the Petitioner must 1) call the National Customer Service Center at ...
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  • USCIS Completed Initial Intake of all FY 2017 H-1B CAP Petitions

    On May 2 nd , 2016, USCIS stated that it had processed all H-1B cap petitions selected for FY 2017. USCIS will now start returning all H-1B petitions that were not selected in the lottery. USCIS requests that Petitioners only contact USCIS after they receive the Receipt Notices or the unselected petitions. USCIS is unable to project a definite date by when it will be returning all the unselected ...
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  • Alternatives to the H-1B Visa

    Obtaining a business visa for the United States can be tougher than it appears. The US Citizen and Immigration Services reached its quota of 236,000 H-1B petitions for the fiscal year of 2017 within the first week of opening the pool in April. On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated lottery to randomly select petitions for the general category cap and the advanced degree cap. As USCIS will ...
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  • USCIS Reaches FY 2017 H-1B Cap Within First 5 Days

    On April 7, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it reached its mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year 2017. Moreover, USCIS received more than 20,000 petitions under the U.S. advanced degree quota. USCIS will conduct a separate lotteries for the advanced degree category and for the regular H-1B quota. The lottery is a computer generated process that randomly selects ...
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  • Changes to Guidelines for F-1 Nonimmigrant Student Visas

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amended its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa guidelines for students who obtain degrees in in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from colleges or universities in the United States and who elect to pursue an Optional Practical Training (OPT). Effective May 10, 2016, the F-1 students who complete a STEM degree, and who have elected to ...
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  • USCIS Revises Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. Improvements to Form I-9 include the following: new fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers. The Department of ...
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  • Humanitarian Parole Fact Sheet

    Humanitarian parole enables an otherwise inadmissible individual to enter the United States temporarily due to urgent humanitarian reasons. Parole is not intended to be used to avoid regular visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures. Parole does not confer any permanent immigration status, but does enable a recipient to apply for and receive employment authorization. Humanitarian ...
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