In July, I blogged about a Pew Research Center survey showing that Australia is the most popular destination for Chinese seeking to emigrate. Canada was ranked #2 and the U.S. #3. I theorized that the limited interest in emigrating to the U.S. is due to America’s current economic woes and plummeting international popularity because of… Continue reading Robert Kagan Says U.S. “Still No. 1”
Â It looks like the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing will open for consular services on Tuesday, October 28, 2008. The Embassy’s notice is here. The new location is No. 55 An Jia Lou Road.Â The entrance for consular services, including American citizen services and the visa section, is located at the Embassy’s east gate at… Continue reading New U.S. Embassy Opens in Beijing
H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Assessment, a study published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigraton Services last month, finds that small companies are more likely to violate the rules related to H-1B temporary work visas. This finding is unsurprising because–as my clients constantly remind me–the rules are hyper technical. They consist of hundreds of pages of… Continue reading USCIS Finds Small Companies More Likely to Violate H-1B Rules
On Sept. 22, 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a powerpoint presentation with updates on the EB-5 investor visa program for Fiscal Year 2008. Here are the highlights: 12 new EB-5 regional centers were approved. 1017 Forms I-526, Immigrant Petitions for Alien Entrepreneurs, were filed. 350 Forms I-829, Petitions by Entrepreneurs to Remove Conditions,… Continue reading EB-5 Investor Visa Update from USCIS
Â The U.S. State Department has announced it is searching for Philip Ming Wong, a fugitive who has been indicted for his role in a visa fraud scheme. “Operation Shell Games” Targeted Brokers Who Supplied Chinese Citizens with False Documents and Fraudulent Visa ApplicationsÂ United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)… Continue reading U.S. Visa Invitation Letters for Sale—$16,000 a Piece
If you had just one chance to gaze into a crystal ball, you probably wouldn’t use the opportunity to learn about the future of U.S. visa processing in China. So you’ll have to settle with glimmers of the future from a recently published U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Border Security: State Department Is Taking… Continue reading Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Possible Future Changes in U.S. Visa Processing
Recently, USCIS Service Center Operations offered an opinion on whether it’s possible to file a second visa petition if the first one was denied and is currently on appeal or a motion to reopen is pending:
In a July 2008 decision, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) made a fundamental mistake by concluding that it is not required to follow USCIS headquarters’ policy memos.  What ever happened to chain of command?
Got a tip? Some aspects of U.S and China visa policy and practice are local and/or not made public by government agencies. If you have a tip, share it here. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email–will not be published’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Title for Your Tip’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Details of Your Tip’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
According to the below news story, CanAm has signed up 150 Chinese seeking EB-5 visas to invest in a company that would loan money to the Philadelphia Convention Center. The investors already deposited their money–$500,000 each–in escrow, apparently as long as a year ago. The only problem is that the Convention Center doesn’t want to… Continue reading EB-5 News: Philadelphia Convention Center Investment Plan Falls Through
According to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, “[t]he average processing time for [security advisory opinion] clearances has increased to 6-7 weeks.” The increased processing time will apparently affect U.S. Consulates worldwide because it is due to a shortage of personnel in Washington, DC.
Australia is the best destination for emigrants, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center of 3,200 adults in China. The question posed was, “Suppose a young person who wanted to leave this country asked you to recommend where to go to lead a good life–what country would you recommend”? While there is… Continue reading Do Chinese Want to Live the Australian Dream?
Our law firm is often retained to represent clients where a U.S. Consulate has returned the visa petition to USCIS to consider revocation. This process is slower and less transparent than it should be. Still, this update explains that recently there have been some minor improvements in the process. These improvements were mentioned by Jonathan… Continue reading Update: Consular Recommendations to Revoke Visa Petitions
Today was the fourth time in four years that U.S. citizen fathers have told me that the Beijing office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has refused to accept immigrant visa petitions (Forms I-130) on behalf of their children. On all four occassions, USCIS stated reason for the refusal was that the fathers failed… Continue reading USCIS Beijing Office Refuses to Accept Fathers’ Visa Petitions
A map of schools approved for admission of students with F-1 visas has been posted on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcementâ€™s webpage. If you know where you want to live but need help choosing a school, this map will tell you what schools in that location have been authorized by the government to sponsor students… Continue reading Map of Schools Approved to Sponsor Students with F-1 Visas
To book an appointment at the U.S. Consulates in China to apply for a visa, normally the applicant must purchase a card with a PIN number at CITIC Bank and then call the Visa Information Call Center. PIN cards cost 54 RMB for 12 minutes of phone time or 36 RMB for 8 minutes. From… Continue reading U.S. Visa Information Call Center Unable to Book Appointments
From: Gary Chodorow Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:06 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Message from a Nitpicky Lawyer Dear USCIS Communications Office: I’ve read your recent announcement that “[e]ffective immediately, all petitioners filing stand-alone Form I-130s [Petitions for Alien Relatives] must file their petitions with the Chicago Lockbox (emphasis added). USCIS Press Room, USCIS Revising… Continue reading Don’t Be Misled by the USCIS Instructions for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
On Dec. 11, 2007, the U.S. and China signed a memorandum of understanding on group leisure travel from China to the United States. This MOU should be applauded because it lifts prior Chinese rules restricting the travel industry. Still, a question remains whether travel agencies designated by the China National Tourism Agency (CNTA) will receive… Continue reading Tourism Agreement Should Be Applauded, But Does It Create an Unfair Monopoly?
U.S. visa-issuing posts in China include the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the Consulates in Shanghai, Guanghzou, Shenyang, and Chengdu. In calendar year 2007, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in china issued 417,146 nonimmigrant visas, a 17% increase over 2006. The vast majority, 417,146 or 69%, were B1/B2 visas (visitors for business and pleasure). Student… Continue reading Visa Statistics from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing
NONIMMIGRANT VISA APPLICATION FEE WILL INCREASE TO $131 Effective January 1, 2008, the application fee for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa will increase from $100 to $131. Those applicants who paid the prior $100 application fee before January 1, 2008 will be processed without further payment only if they appear for a visa interview before January… Continue reading U.S. Visa Application Fee Increase