On 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 government has adjusted Dates for Filing Applications for some Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based preference categories 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 September 9, 2015, Visa Bulletin, when considering eligibility to file an I-485 adjustment of status application. more »
On January 13, 2015, a bipartisan group of Senators re-introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2015 (S.153), also known as the I-Squared Act (I-2 Act). Among other things, the I-Squared Act would increase the annual H-1b cap, provide for work authorization for H-4 spouses, allow for increased portability among employers and establish a number of provisions to allow green cards to be issued much more quickly. more »
President Obama announced to the nation US Immigration Executive Action on November 20, 2014. Prior to that time, the President requested US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to undertake a rigorous and inclusive review to inform recommendations on reforming the US immigration system through executive action.
The US Department of State has issued a fact sheet containing critical information for US citizens considering the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) abroad, the automatic transmission of US citizenship, passport issuance to minors and other important related issues. Among other things, the fact sheet notes that citizenship is not necessarily automatically transmitted in cases where Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has been used to conceive a child born outside of the United States. more »
Statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, July 1, 2013: “After the June 2013 Supreme Court decision holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, President Obama directed federal departments to ensure the decision and its implication for federal benefits for same-sex legally married couples are implemented swiftly and smoothly. To that end, effective immediately, I have directed USCIS to review immigration visa petitions filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.” USCIS Same-Sex Marriage FAQ Update of August 7, 2013, is below. more »
On July 2, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued some initial guidance regarding same-sex immigration benefits following the recent Supreme Court decision, United States v. Windsor, overturning Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, 2013. more »
Same-sex couples are now eligible to petition for marriage-based green cards and dependent visas on the same basis as opposite-sex couples. On June 26, 2013, in United States v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had prohibited the US federal government from providing federal benefits to same-sex couples. Since US immigration law is federal (national), prior to Windsor, DOMA prevented same-sex couples from seeking US immigration benefits based on marriage. more »
The edited text of the US Department of State’s first ever LGBT Travel Advisory is below.
Some countries provide legal protections to LGBT individuals. But, others do not, and a significant number even criminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations. Individuals convicted in these countries could be sentenced to prison, and/or be punished by fines, deportation, flogging, or even sentenced to death. Before choosing an international destination, LGBT travelers should carefully consider the laws and biases of their international destination and decide how open one can be regarding one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Personal judgment and knowledge of local laws and customs before one goes will help ensure your safety. more »
A group of US Senators introduced a Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform 2013 January 29, 2013, closely followed by the White House’s Blueprint for Immigration Reform 2013 (Full Text; Fact Sheet), introduced January 30, 2013. In addition, another group of US Senators have introduced the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013–I2– (I2 summary; full text of I2 Bill), a complementary plan for immigration reform that includes fixes for various legal immigration issues, including an H-1B cap increase, and changes in temporary visa and green card opportunities for those with STEM backgrounds, among other things. more »
The US Mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including the US Embassy Abu Dhabi and the US Consulate Dubai, is making the transition to a new appointment service for anyone applying for a nonimmigrant visa to the US.
Beginning January 6, 2013, US visa applicants will work online or via telephone with a service provider to schedule an interview, pay the visa application fee, and arrange for the delivery of documents and passports. The new appointment service will also allow US visa applicants to schedule a visa interview, pay the visa application fee and arrange for delivery of documents and passports. This new service will also allow applicants to schedule a visa interview with more flexibility and up to 6 months in advance of travel plans. more »