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

How to Improve America’s Image in the World

In a recent article in Slate, Fred Kaplan summarizes readers’ ideas of how to improve America’s image in the world: Many readers [point out] the rudeness and paranoia on display at U.S. embassies and customs desks. Americans living in Europe say that some of their friends, even those who studied in American universities, refuse to… Continue reading How to Improve America’s Image in the World

GAO Report: Growing Visa Demand a Challenge for State Department

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office highlights several challenges the State Department faces in keeping up with growing visa demand at consular posts in China. GAO, Border Security: Long-Term Strategy Needed to Keep Pace with Increasing Demand for Visas, GAO-07-847 (July 2007). INACCURATE ESTIMATES OF VISA APPOINTMENT WAIT TIMES One challenge is… Continue reading GAO Report: Growing Visa Demand a Challenge for State Department