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Trump Administration Issues Updated Travel Ban

Filed March 6, 2017 in Temporary Visas, under Immigration News , tagged ,

On March 6, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an updated Travel Ban Executive Order suspending travel for 90 days to the US for nationals of six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as a 120 day suspension of the US’s Refugee Program, effective March 16, 2017.

Some exceptions to the Travel Ban now include: US Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) or Green Card Holders; dual citizens of a designated country and a non-designated country traveling on a passport from a non-designated country; those with documents valid on March 16, 2017, or any date thereafter permitting travel to the US; and others (see below). more »

Department of State Clarifies Application of Travel Ban to Dual Nationals

Filed February 3, 2017 in Temporary Visas, under DoS and Visa Office , tagged ,

The Department of State issued an alert regarding the Travel Ban on February 2, 2017. This alert clarifies the Trump Executive Order of January 27, 2017, as it applies to dual nationals of a designated country and a country that is not on the Travel Ban list.

Despite this statement, we urge dual nationals of one of the 7 designated countries to seek appropriate legal counsel prior to any attempt to enter or leave the US to minimize any negative impact the Travel Ban may have.

Please see also bottom of page for updated information.

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Travel Ban Executive Order of January 27, 2017: Summary

Filed February 3, 2017 in Temporary Visas, under Immigration News , tagged ,

Travel Ban Muslim Ban Road ClosedThe Trump Administration issued an Executive Order on January 27, 2017, which, among other things, imposed a 90 day travel ban for nationals from 7 designated majority-Muslim countries.

The Travel Ban has suspended immigrant or nonimmigrant entry of individuals “from” one of 7 Muslim-majority countries. Designated countries now include Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.

In addition, the Administration indefinitely suspended visa issuance to individuals “from” one of the designated countries. The Order has also suspended admission of refugees to the US for 120 days. The Trump Administration has reserved the right to add to or subtract from the list of designated countries at any time.

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Online I-94 for Travelers Arriving at US Land Ports of Entry

Filed September 29, 2016 in Temporary Visas, under Immigration News , tagged
Online I-94, Train in motion

Online I-94, Train in motionTravelers arriving at US land border ports of entry can speed up US entry with an online I-94 application. The online I-94 application process involves providing biographic and travel information and paying a $6 fee up to seven days prior to entry. more »

Nonimmigrant Visa Wait Times in India

Nonimmigrant visa wait times India

Nonimmigrant visa wait times India (Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadadora Baroda - India)

Nonimmigrant visa wait times to obtain interview appointments at US Consular Posts in India have become extraordinarily long–some more then 90 days, according to AILA. Given this situation and the likelihood that it will continue indefinitely, nonimmigrant visa applicants in India may wish to consider visa processing in a third country. more »

FY2017 H1B Cap Reached

Filed April 11, 2016 in Temporary Visas, under H-1B Cap Count , tagged ,
Lottery Balls

H1B cap lottery FY2017As expected, on April 7, 2016, during the first week it began accepting FY2017 H1B petitions for an employment start date of October 1, 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the congressionally-mandated FY2017 H1B cap. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H1B petitions filed under the US advanced degree exemption. more »

Visa Waiver Restrictions Imposed

Filed February 19, 2016 in Temporary Visas, under Legislation , tagged ,
Visa Waiver Program No Entry

Visa Waiver Program No Entry

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed PL 114-113, which places new restrictions on usage of the US Visa Waiver Program (“Terrorist Travel Prevention and Visa Waiver Program Reform”).

These visa waiver restrictions include the following. Dual nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, and individuals who have traveled to one of those countries since March 1, 2011, can no longer use the Visa Waiver Program, and should obtain a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa at a US consulate abroad well in advance of travel to the US. On February 18, 2016, DHS added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the list of “countries of concern.” This addition precludes individuals who have traveled to Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 1, 2011, from using the Visa Waiver Program. However, restrictions on Visa Waiver Program travel will not apply to dual nationals of Libya, Somalia or Yemen at this time.

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Revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin and Revised Procedures to Determine Visa Availability

Filed September 28, 2015 in Green Cards, under DoS and Visa Office , tagged , , , ,
Waiting in line in rain

H-1B premium processing resumesOn September 25, 2015, the Department of State (DOS) published a revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin superseding the original October 2015 Visa Bulletin published September 9, 2015. The Dates for Filing Applications for some categories in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based preference categories have been adjusted to better reflect a timeframe justifying immediate action.

Applicants should use the September 25, 2015, revised charts when filing an I-485 adjustment of status (see Employment-Based Priority Dates and Family-Based Priority Dates). DHS will rely on this revised October 2015 Visa Bulletin rather than the bulletin published September 9, 2015, when considering eligibility to file an I-485 adjustment of status application. more »

H1B Extension Premium Processing Resumes

Filed July 13, 2015 in Temporary Visas, under USCIS and DHS , tagged , ,
H-1B premium processing resumes

H-1B premium processing resumesUPDATE: USCIS will resume premium processing on petitions for H1B extension on July 13, 2015. H1B extension premium processing has been suspended since the beginning of  summer 2015.

On May 26, 2015, USCIS began a temporary suspension of H1B extension premium processing until July 27, 2015. During this period, USCIS did not accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of stay for an H1B nonimmigrant. However, USCIS did continue H1B Extension premium processing of petitions filed with Form I-907 premium requests prior to May 26, 2015.

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Technical Problems Cause US Passport and US Visa Issuance Delays

Filed June 30, 2015 in Temporary Visas, under DoS and Visa Office , tagged
US visa issuance delays

US visa issuance delaysUPDATE: As of June 30, 2015, the Department of State (DoS) reported that US consulates and embassies were back online, and that the majority of the backlog created by the last few weeks’ technical issues with the overseas passport and visa systems has been cleared. Some online immigrant visa (IV) application forms are still having problems, however; but DoS hoped to have a fix in place by first week of July 2015.

Technical problems with overseas passport and visa systems is now causing US passport and US visa issuance delays overseas. This is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document or visa category. The Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) is now working urgently to correct these problems and restore the system to full operational status as soon as possible. However, no timeline is available for correction of this problem.

Specifically, individuals who submitted online visa applications or were interviewed for US visas on or after June 9, 2015, may experience US visa issuance delays. These problems are also delaying US passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015. more »

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