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 Visa Office (VO) of the Department of State has announced that EB-1 visa usage is at a record high, that EB-2 India is likely to go to 2006 next month and EB-2 China will be somewhat ahead of EB-2 India; and that EB-2 worldwide may be current in October or November. more »
The annual Immigrant Visa limits for FY2012 China EB-2 and India EB-2 have now been reached. On April 11, 2012, the United States Department of State (DOS) notified USCIS that they would authorize no further Immigrant Visas for those EB-2 categories. more »
The May 2012 Visa Bulletin announces EB-2 retrogression for India and China. Due to the rapid forward movement of the EB-2 cut-off date in recent months, demand for China and India EB-2 numbers increased dramatically during that period, and at a much faster rate than the US Department of State (USDOS) expected. Therefore, they have retrogressed the EB-2 cut-off date to August 15, 2007, in an attempt to hold number use within annual limits while maintaining availability for countries that have not yet reached their EB-2 per-country limit. more »
EB-2 priority dates for China (mainland born) and India for the remainder of FY2012 will retrogress substantially, according to Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the US Department of State Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting. More specifically, upon publication of the May 2012 Visa Bulletin, China and India EB-2 priority dates will retrogress to August 15, 2007. more »
EB-2 priority dates for India and China are likely to retrogress in the May or June 2012 Visa Bulletin, according to Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the US Department of State’s Visa Control and Reporting Division, which oversees visa priority dates. So, those with EB-2 priority dates that are current in the April 2012 Visa Bulletin should file the I-485 (the final stage of the green card process) as soon as possible to ensure acceptance before this probable retrogression.
Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 3012) passed in the US House of Representatives November 29, 2011, by a vote of 389 to 15, with considerable bipartisan support. The Act would eliminate the US employment-based per-country cap on green cards entirely by fiscal year 2015, and it also raises the family-sponsored per-country green card cap from 7% to 15%. After it passed, the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act then moved to the US Senate, where it was immediately halted the following day, November 30, 2011, by Senator Grassley (R-IA), who placed a hold on it. more »
As of June 29, 2009, I-140 Premium Processing Service will resume, with a few exceptions including the EB-1 Multinational Executive Manager and the EB-2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) categories. more »