Immigration Tools at Your Fingertips: Downloadable Guides You Can Use Today!

Thanks to our membership in AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), we can now provide you with some useful tools in the form of some very useful brochures that you can save and have at your fingertips whenever you feel uncertain about the path you might need to take in your immigration journey. If your immigration case belongs to one of the three categories below, you can download the appropriate brochure from its respective link. Stay tuned as we will keep updating our web site and Facebook page with new information regularly. As always, should you need specific answers to more specific questions, feel free to call us or use the chat app on this web site to get in touch with us right away.

  1. Investment Visas and Investment Risk: Must investments be put at risk to get an investment visa?
    Download the pdf guide now
  2. Green Card Processing Delays: after enduring the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, most U.S. embassies and consulates are not operating at full capacity. Find out how DOJ is prioritizing immigration applications and interviews. Download the pdf guide now.
  3. The Non-Immigrant Visa Waiver Process: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain non-immigrant applications have been subject to an interview waiver. This interview waiver process has been implemented more broadly at consular posts around the world and the requirements to qualify have been expanded. The brochure below will help familiarize you with the process. Download the pdf guide now.

Practice Alert: U.S. Citizens May Return to the U.S. on Expired Passports

AILA provides a practice alert on announcements by CBP and DOS that, beginning May 21, 2021, U.S. citizens will be able to return to the United States on an expired U.S. passport through December 31, 2021, if the traveler meets certain requirements. For a quick reference with sample materials and practical advice on legal issues related to citizenship and naturalization, order the downloadable AILA’s U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Law Toolbox

Returning to the US as a Citizen or Permanent Resident: Post Covid -19 Restrictions Checklist

Returning to the US after Covid restrictions

Checklists are always a most useful tool. Having assisted thousands of individuals in their immigration matters, I believe it is important to have a clear understanding of any potential pitfalls prior to traveling.  Here are some of items we cover in our office in our client preparation which I would like to share:

What are the major considerations and steps for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to US reestablish domicile and return to the US with their non-citizen family after Covid-19 travel restrictions have ended?

Planning is essential should you wish to file for family members to join you in the U.S. or travel back to the U.S. now that some of the travel restrictions have been lifted following Covid-19.  There will likely be tax considerations and other financial issues to resolve and clarify. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to think it all through and use a checklist such as the one below to gather your documents and evaluate the best approach to your personal situation.

A. First Step – Establish U.S. Domicile

1.​ The affidavit of support which is filed on behalf of the non-citizen wishing to immigrate to the U.S.   must be from the petitioning relative whether or not that Petitioner has US income or assets. The affiant must be domiciled in the U.S.for tax purposes.

2.​ If the Petitioner is domiciled abroad wishes to take up U.S. residence again they by taking steps to move there beginning with finding U.S. employment.

3. The Petitioner should locate a place to live.

4.​ The Petitioner can register any children in school.

5.​ The Petitioner should make arrangements to relinquish residence in the foreign country.

6.​ The Petitioner may enter the U.S. at the same time as the non-citizen with the intent to establish a US principal can establish domicile.

B. Second Step – Financial and Tax Analysis to Determine Household Size and Income Requirements for the Petitioner – the 125% guideline is determined based on household size. 

1.​ Count the number of people to be considered in the household size.  The household size includes sponsor, sponsor’s spouse, and sponsor’s children unless they are at least 18 and were not claimed as dependents.

2.​ Review tax returns of the Petitioner for last 3 years to determine whether they meet the 125% measurement.

3.​ Consult with a tax professional if Petitioner has not filed taxes during the last three years and bring any taxes up to date in accordance with the requirements.

4.​ If Petitioner’s income is not sufficient, they can provide evidence of other readily available assets to determinesufficiency of assets using:

a. Bank Statements for the last 12 months or statement from bank/financial officer

b. Stocks, bonds and cds with dates acquired

c. Other personal property

d. Real estate, including assets and income of other household members, may be provided

(Note- assets calculation formula – Formula for assets is as follows – asset value less offsetting liabilities must exceed the federal poverty guideline for the household number minus sponsor’s household income by at least 5 times. If the intending immigrant is the spouse or child of a USC (child over 18), the adjudicator may use 3 times the guidelines, rather than 5.)

C. Third Step – Determine Family Members’ Eligibility for Permanent Residence in the U.S.

1. Is the non-citizen an immediate relative of the U.S.C. For example, spouse, parent or child under 21?  If so, the application can be fast tracked.

2. Is the non-citizen an adult child or sibling of the U.S.C.?  If so, the Visa Bulletin should be consulted to determine visa availability and processing time.

3. Should the petition for the non-citizen be filed while the Petitioner still abroad?

4. What is the expected timing?

As always, since everyone’s case is different, we are here to assist you with your particular situation. Feel free to use our contact form HERE and provide us with more information (kept confidential) about your specific circumstances, along with your more personalized questions.

Photo credit: “airplane” by Kuster & Wildhaber Photography is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Venezuela Gets Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

“The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens.”
“It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crises.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Photo Credit: “Venezuela refugee women volunteering at Comedor Fundación Nueva Vida Cúcuta” by Cristal Montanez Venezuela is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022.

Accoding to dhs.gov web site, “this new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.”

Only individuals who can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 8, 2021 are eligible for TPS under Venezuela’s designation.

Eligible individuals will need to apply within 180 days for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Full details HERE

H-1B Registration Period Opens on March 9

USCIS announced that the initial registration period for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 H-1B cap will open at noon Eastern on March 9 and run through noon Eastern on March 25. During this period, prospective petitioners and representatives will be able to fill out petitioner and beneficiary information and submit their registrations.

A confirmation number will be assigned to each registration submitted for the FY 2022 H-1B cap. This number is used solely to track registrations; you cannot use this number to track your case status in Case Status Online.

Prospective H-1B cap-subject petitioners or their representatives are required to use a myUSCIS online account to register each beneficiary electronically for the selection process and pay the associated $10 H-1B registration fee for each registration submitted on behalf of each beneficiary. Prospective petitioners submitting their own registrations (U.S. employers and U.S. agents, collectively known as “registrants”) will use a “registrant” account that will be available soon. Representatives may add clients to their accounts at any time, but both representatives and registrants must wait until March 9 to enter beneficiary information and submit the $10 fee. Prospective petitioners or their representatives will be able to submit registrations for multiple beneficiaries in a single online session. Through the account, they will be able to prepare, edit, and store draft registrations prior to final payment and submission of each registration.

If we receive enough registrations by March 25, we will randomly select registrations and send selection notifications via users’ myUSCIS online accounts. We intend to notify account holders by March 31.

An H-1B cap-subject petition may only be filed by a petitioner whose registration for that beneficiary was selected in the H-1B registration process.

We will conduct public engagements and other outreach activities to ensure that representatives and registrants are familiar with the electronic registration process. 

Additional information, step-by-step registration instructions, and helpful videos are available on the H-1B Electronic Registration Process page.

Results Notifications

On March 31, USCIS will begin notifying employers as to which workers were selected in the lottery. For each person chosen in the lottery, USCIS will provide their employer with a selection notice.  If the person is selected in the H-1B lottery, the notice must be printed by the employer and submitted together with the person’s H-1B petition.

A registrant’s USCIS online account will show one of the following statuses for each registration:

• Submitted: The registration has been submitted and is eligible for selection. If the initial selection process has been completed, this registration remains eligible, unless subsequently invalidated, for selection in any subsequent selections for the fiscal year for which it was submitted.

• Selected: Selected to file an H-1B cap petition.

• Not Selected: Not selected – not eligible to file an H-1B cap petition based on this registration.

• Denied: Multiple registrations were submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for the same beneficiary. If denied as a duplicate registration, all registrations submitted by or on behalf of the same registrant for this beneficiary for the fiscal year are invalid.

• Invalidated-Failed Payment: A registration was submitted but the payment method was declined, not reconciled, or otherwise invalid.

H-1B Selection Process Rule Effective Date Delay

USCIS has also announced that DHS is delaying the effective date of the H-1B Selection Process final rule until Dec. 31, 2021. USCIS will apply the regulations currently in place (random selection) to the initial registration period, and, any subsequent registration period for the FY 2022 registration process that takes place before Dec. 31, 2021.

Additional information is available in the Federal Register notice