Obergefell v. Hodges: Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriages Will Benefit Immigrants

Same_Sex_Immigration_BenefitsThe U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage will make it easier and less costly for many foreign nationals to obtain immigration benefits through marriage. In an historic 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled last Friday in Obergefell v. Hodges that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires states to license same-sex marriages, with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing that gay couples have a right to exercise “the fundamental right to marry.” Continue reading Obergefell v. Hodges: Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriages Will Benefit Immigrants

Event: USCIS Beijing Field Office Briefing

USCIS LogoOn July 6, the American Chamber of Commerce will host a presentation by James Chiang, Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Beijing Field Office. This office is responsible for adjudicating a wide variety of immigration-related petitions and applications, providing information services and issuing travel documents to people in various circumstances. Chiang’s presentation will cover topics important to U.S. citizens, permanent residents (i.e., green card holders), and the companies that employ them. Read more.

Visas Systems at U.S. Consular Posts in China Back Online

errorJune 23: Technical problems preventing issuance of U.S. visas by consular posts in China (Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang), have been remedied according to the State Department. Michele T. Bond, Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, previously stated that IT systems were interrupted due to a database problem not malicious hacking. Continue reading Visas Systems at U.S. Consular Posts in China Back Online

Kerry v. Din: Supreme Court Rules Embassy Need Not Tell U.S. Citizen Why Husband’s Visa Denied

supreme_courtThe U.S. Supreme court ruled on June 15th that a U.S. citizen wasn’t entitled to court review of her husband’s visa denial on terrorism grounds. The decision, in Kerry v. Din, bolsters the consular nonreviewability doctrine but stops short of definitively barring future challenges to visa denials. Continue reading Kerry v. Din: Supreme Court Rules Embassy Need Not Tell U.S. Citizen Why Husband’s Visa Denied

Issues for U.S. Expats Filing a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative

ExpatHere’s a reader’s question:

I am a U.S. citizen and have been living outside the U.S. for almost four years for study. I got married a year ago and would like to apply for my husband to immigrate. My question is, can I apply for him while I am outside the U.S.? I have not finished my study, and it is hard for me to go back to the U.S. just to file the forms. Continue reading Issues for U.S. Expats Filing a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative

USCIS Beijing and Guangzhou Field Offices Post I-130 Processing Times

USCIS-processing-times-1038Kudos to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for posting international offices’ case processing times online starting this week. This includes processing times for Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives, filed at the Beijing and Guangzhou Field Offices. Continue reading USCIS Beijing and Guangzhou Field Offices Post I-130 Processing Times

Quick Takes on U.S. and China Visa Law News

visa-law-news-briefsTrade Zone Eases Rules for Expats (China Daily, June 2): The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone will allow international students additional opportunities to work in China and cancel the maximum allowable age limit for foreigners applying for employment licenses, announced Sun Jiwei, head of Pudong New Area, at a press conference. / No detailed rules have been released. Shanghai’s current rules prevent employment by new graduates by requiring two years’ post-graduate work experience. They also set a maximum age of 55 for women and 60 for men. Continue reading Quick Takes on U.S. and China Visa Law News

Employment Authorization for H-4 Spouses: USCIS Publishes Updated Form and FAQs

Rosie with H-4 EADOn May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for employment authorization from certain H-4 spouses of H-1B temporary work visa holders. The final rule is in place. And USCIS has now published updated an updated form with instructions (rev. Feb. 13, 2015), filing tips, and FAQs. Continue reading Employment Authorization for H-4 Spouses: USCIS Publishes Updated Form and FAQs

China’s Refusal of Passports to Certain Minorities, Children without Hukous, and Others Impinges on Their Right to Leave and Return

Chinese PassportFor more than a decade, most Chinese have become increasingly accustomed to a hassle-free passport application process. But the right to leave and return (RLR) is still limited for certain minorities (including Tibetans and Uighurs), children without hukous, and dissidents. Denying passports to these groups only further marginalizes them and increases tensions by depriving them of opportunities for overseas education, connections, and jobs. Continue reading China’s Refusal of Passports to Certain Minorities, Children without Hukous, and Others Impinges on Their Right to Leave and Return