USCIS Finds Small Companies More Likely to Violate H-1B Rules

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

EB-5 Investor Visa Update from USCIS

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

U.S. Visa Invitation Letters for Sale—$16,000 a Piece

  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 Applications  United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)… Continue reading U.S. Visa Invitation Letters for Sale—$16,000 a Piece

Gazing into the Crystal Ball: Possible Future Changes in U.S. Visa Processing

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

Got a Tip?

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 [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email–will not be published’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Title for Your Tip’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Details of Your Tip’ type=’textarea’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]

EB-5 News: Philadelphia Convention Center Investment Plan Falls Through

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

Security Advisory Opinions Taking Longer

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.

Update: Consular Recommendations to Revoke Visa Petitions

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

USCIS Beijing Office Refuses to Accept Fathers’ 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

Map of Schools Approved to Sponsor Students with F-1 Visas

A map of schools approved for admission of students with F-1 visas has been posted on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’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

Don’t Be Misled by the USCIS Instructions for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

From: Gary Chodorow Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:06 PM To: uscis.webmaster@dhs.gov 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

Tourism Agreement Should Be Applauded, But Does It Create an Unfair Monopoly?

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?

Visa Statistics from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing

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

U.S. Visa Application Fee Increase

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