Dear USCIS: Digitize the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, Please

The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Citizenship an Immigration Services has spent more than $1 billion trying to replace its antiquated paper-based approach to managing immigration with a system of online forms. But a decade in, all that officials have to show for the effort is a single online form (I-90, used for renewing… Continue reading Dear USCIS: Digitize the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, Please

Must an Immigrant Visa Applicant Intend to Live in the U.S. Permanently?

Clients often ask whether to qualify for an immigrant visa (i.e., a green card) they must intend to move to the U.S. permanently. Take, for example, a father who owns a business in China. Can he apply for an EB-5 investor green card so that his teenage son can accompany him to the U.S., even… Continue reading Must an Immigrant Visa Applicant Intend to Live in the U.S. Permanently?

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

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

Event: USCIS Beijing Field Office Briefing

On 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… Continue reading Event: USCIS Beijing Field Office Briefing

USCIS Teleconference on Assisted Reproductive Technology Policies

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder listening session on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 1–2:30 p.m. (Eastern) about a policy update on assisted reportoductive technology (ART). This policy update (PA-2014-009) clarifies the definition of “mother” and “parent” under the Immigration and Nationality Act to include gestational legal mothers using… Continue reading USCIS Teleconference on Assisted Reproductive Technology Policies

USCIS Processing Times for Immediate Relative I-130s Improving

USCIS delays in adjudicating “stand-alone” Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relatives, on behalf of immediate relatives have been widely criticized. Processing times peaked in November 2013. USCIS claimed processing times were about 9 months, but the New York Times claimed they had reached 15 months. In November 2013, USCIS promised “concerted efforts” to bring down processing times. And as of… Continue reading USCIS Processing Times for Immediate Relative I-130s Improving

What’s the Child Status Protection Act?

The CSPA was enacted on August 6, 2002, to provide a remedy for applicants who would have otherwise aged out (turned 21) and lost the possibility of gaining an immigration benefit. The CSPA addresses problems with USCIS processing delays that are not within the control of children beneficiaries, which inevitably caused the beneficiaries to lose… Continue reading What’s the Child Status Protection Act?

U.S. Family-Sponsored Immigrant Visas

Keeping families together is our #1 priority. Our law firm represents clients worldwide with U.S. family-sponsored immigrant visas, and we’d like to become your trusted legal adviser. The first step is to schedule a consultation in person, by phone, or by Skype.

U.S. State Department Videoconference on Visas for Same-Sex Spouses

The Washington Blade hosted a live videoconference on visas for same-sex spouses on August 8. The topic is timely because Secretary of State Kerry just announced on August 2 that “effective immediately, when same-sex spouses apply for a visa, the Department of State will consider that application in the same manner that it will consider the… Continue reading U.S. State Department Videoconference on Visas for Same-Sex Spouses

USCIS Beijing Filing Instructions for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Reproduced below are instructions distributed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Beijing Field Office for filing the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. These local instructions supplement the official instructions on the USCIS website.

Visa Applications for Same-Sex Spouses at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China

In an historic ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that same-sex spouses are eligible for the same federal benefits—including immigration benefits—as heterosexual spouses. (I’ve blogged about it here.) Now, I’d like to explore what this means specifically for those applying for immigration benefits at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates in China… Continue reading Visa Applications for Same-Sex Spouses at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China

Nonimmigrant vs. Immigrant Visa–What’s the Difference?

U.S. law provides for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. Immigrant visas (i.e., permanent resident status or green cards) allow for indefinite residence in the United States. Most immigrant visas are issued on the basis of family sponsorship or through employment (including investment). In contrast, nonimmigrant visas allow entry only for a limited period an only… Continue reading Nonimmigrant vs. Immigrant Visa–What’s the Difference?