USCIS Announced New Online Tool Calculates Fees

USCIS has launched a new Online Fee Calculator to assist applicants calculating the correct fee amount when filing their forms with USCIS.

USCIS’ Online Fee Calculator will determine the exact filing and biometric fees an individual needs to include with their forms and will have the most up-to-date fee information. When using the Online Fee Calculator, applicants select a form, or combination of forms, and answer a series of questions. The tool then calculates the correct fee amount that the filer must submit.

USCIS accepts payment via check, money order, or credit card with Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.

If you need assistance with immigration, feel free to contact us at 913-717-7112 for a free consultation.

USCIS Updates Guidances and Policies for Benefits Applications

Be careful petitioners and applicants, your application for immigration benefits may be denied if you do not have all evidence to prove you are eligible. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) issued a new memo, to give its officers the right to deny visas if applications do not include all the necessary information when submitted.

CIS officers no longer need to first seeking additional evidence that might be needed to complete an application, or issuing a notice stating the intent to deny a request to adjudicate.

USCIS announced recently that it would also begin initiating removal/deportation proceedings against visa applicants who lack immigration status when their visa applications are denied.  For example, if you are are out of status when you applied for change of status, therefore, you are ineligible to change status, CIS will deny your application and start removal proceedings. Or you may be a F-1 student applying for the H-1b lottery, but due to all sorts of administrative delays, your H-1b is not adjudicate until your F-1 expired, and then unfortunately it gets denied and you are out of status. CIS can also place you in removal proceedings.

Despite CIS saying the new memos are “not intended to penalize filers for innocent mistakes or misunderstandings of evidentiary requirements,” it certainly feels that way. Immigration enforcement has always been the realm of ICE, not CIS. USCIS adjudications are often inconsistent and often arbitrary. Applicants have the choices to appeal CIS decision or to seek review, and such options will be lost.

DNA Testing Rules in Sibling Immigration Petition Cases

USCIS may suggest and accept DNA tests s evidence of a full-or half-sibling relationship

USCIS has updated its policy regarding direct sibling-to-sibling DNA testing. If USCIS determined primary evidence is unavailable or unreliable, USCIS may suggest and accept DNA test results from an American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) accredited lab as evidence of a full-or half-sibling relationship. In these cases, USCIS will consider DNA along with all evidence on record to determine if the requisite relationship exists.

A sibling relationship requires that the petitioner and beneficiary are, or once were, the children of at least one common parent. Primary evidence includes birth and marriage certificates. Secondary evidence includes medical records, school records, and religious documents. Affidavits sworn to by persons who were living at the time of and who have personal knowledge of the event to which they attest may also be accepted if certain conditions are met.

USCIS will consider results of DNA testing conducted by an AABB-accredited lab that reflect a 90 percent probability or higher that a full- or half-sibling relationship exists as probative evidence of the claimed relationship. Due to the variations within half-sibling relationship test results, any result for a half sibling below 90 percent will be deemed inconclusive. Where a result is inconclusive, an officer must continue to evaluate the remaining evidence in the totality of the circumstances. To the extent possible, DNA testing against the common parent(s) is encouraged.

兄弟姐妹移民申请案件DNA测试规则

美国移民局已更新其关于兄弟姐妹DNA测试的政策。 如果USCIS确定主要证据不可用或不可靠,USCIS可能会建议并接受AABB认可的实验室的DNA测试结果作为兄弟姐妹关系的证据。 在这些情况下,移民局将考虑DNA以及所有记录在案的证据,以确定申请人于受益人是否存在真实的兄弟姐妹关系。

兄弟姐妹关系的请愿者和受益人至少需要有一个共同父母。 主要证据包括出生和结婚证书。 次要证据包括医疗记录,学校记录和宗教文件。 亲戚朋友邻居也可以写信证明他们兄弟姐妹关系的了解程度。

美国移民局将考虑由AABB认证实验室进行的DNA测试结果,该结果必须反映90%或更高的兄弟姐妹关系概率,作为所声称关系的证明证据。由于半同胞关系测试结果的差异,任何半兄弟姐妹低于90%的结果都将被视为不确定证据。 如果结果不确定,美国移民局官员必须继续评估所有的剩余证据。在可能的范围内,移民局鼓励对共同父母进行DNA测试。

USCIS New Affirmative Asylum Interview Scheduling Order

USCIS will now schedule asylum interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

USCIS announced that starting January 29, 2018, the Asylum Division will give priority to the most recently filed affirmative asylum applications when scheduling for interviews. For the original post, see https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/affirmative-asylum-interview-scheduling. The asylum scheduling bulletin has been taken down.

USCIS will give priority to recent filings. USCIS says to do so will reduce the incentive to file for asylum solely to obtain employment authorization. USCIS says if the cases are processed quicker, it will allow the government promptly place such individuals into removal proceedings. USCIS will now schedule asylum interviews in the following order of priority:

  • First priority: Applications that were scheduled for an interview, but the interview had to be rescheduled at the applicant’s request or the needs of USCIS.
  • Second priority: Applications that have been pending 21 days or less.
  • Third priority: All other pending affirmative asylum applications will be scheduled for interviews starting with newer filings and working back towards older filings.

In addition, Asylum office directors may consider, on a case-by-case basis, an urgent request to be scheduled for an interview if such request is submitted. Source: USCIS Website

How to Apply for the 2019 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

DOS issued a public notice [Public Notice 10121] regarding the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program for 2019. ‘‘Diversity immigrants” are from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2018, 50,000 diversity visas (DVs) will be available. There is no cost to register for the DV Program.

Completing Your Electronic Entry for the DV–2019 Program. Submit your Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E–DV Entry Form or DS–5501), online at dvlottery.state.gov. DOS will not accept incomplete entries.

Applicants must submit entries for the DV–2019 DV program electronically at dvlottery.state.gov between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT–4), Tuesday, October 3, 2017, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT–5), Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Starting May 1, 2018, you will be able to check the status of your entry by returning to dvlottery.state.gov, clicking on Entrant Status Check, and entering your unique confirmation number and personal information.

DOS selectees through a randomized computer drawing. Diversity visa numbers are distributed among six geographic regions, and no single country may receive more than seven percent of the available DVs in any one year.

For DV–2019, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply, because more than 50,000 natives of these countries immigrated to the United States in the previous five years: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible.

 

Pew Research Center – Foreign Graduates Are Staying in the U.S. for Employment

International students choose to study in the U.S. for many different reasons, and many choose to stay and work after they graduate from U.S. colleges and universities. The Pew Research Center analyzed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data and found that more and more high-skilled foreign graudates find jobs in the United States under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The OPT program provides an important opportunity for foreign graduates to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months or 36 months, depending on their field.  Many students choose to take advantage of the OPT programs to utilize the skills they learned.

The Pew Research Center found that the federal government approved nearly 700,000 OPT applications between 2008 and 2014. Below are the interesting findings:

  • The annual number of OPT approvals rose from 28,497 in 2008 to 136,617 in 2014.
  • Many of those working in the U.S. under the OPT program go on to apply for H-1B visas to stay longer in the U.S.
  • Those with STEM majors had a higher employment rate (73%) than non-STEM majors (57%).
  • Foreign students from India and China accounted for more than half (57%) of all those who were approved for OPT.

To read the full report by Neil Ruiz: click here.

你现在抽到了H-1B签证,如何获得工作绿卡

今年10月1号就可以拿到你辛苦多年翘首以盼的H-1B签证。终于可以安心赚钱,报效父母了。但是如何可以长期永久的留在美国呢?毕竟来说,H-1B签证也只有6年期限。答案就是 – 你需要你的雇主为你申请绿卡!

大多数基于就业的请愿都需要美国劳工部 (Deparment of Labor) 的永久劳工证书和永久的全职工作机会。永久性劳动验证计划的运作通常被称为PERM Process。一旦永久劳工证书申请已经由DOL批准,雇主将需要向USCIS申请移民授权。

一般来说, 申请需要三个步骤 1) PERM永久劳工证书短缺证明; 2) I-140移民申请; 3)I-485调整身份或者领事程序申请移民签证。雇主在向劳动局提交永久劳工证书申请前,需要先证明你的岗位的工资应该是多少 (Prevaling wage determination) 。然后大约要三到四个月的时间刊登广告招聘,证明缺乏美国劳动人力 (good faith recruitment effort)。如果这些都成功了 – 表示没有其他人可以胜任你的岗位,你的雇主会提交劳工证书。劳动局通常需要六个月以及更多的时间来审批,然后才能知道结果。

永久劳工证书批准以后,雇主可以为雇员递交I-140移民赞助表格。 I-140表格一般也需要六个月左右处理,但是同时也可以要求加钱申请加速审理。这一步是没有悬念的。除非你在这个起劲啊想要转换工作,或者你被炒鱿鱼了,那你需要找一个有经验的移民律师来分析你的情况。

I-140批准后,申请者需要按照排期表排到以后才能递交I-485调整身份表格。目前的中国排期一般需要两到三年左右。美国国务院每月都更新签证排期看板。也就是说,有H-1B签证的朋友需要尽早进行绿卡申请。在递交I-485调整身份表格之后,一般六个月左右绿卡就会下来了。

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工作就业移民的绿卡有很多种,最常见的是EB-2或者EB-3. 对于在美国读书然后找到工作留下来的留学生来说,这个两种是最常见的。

  • 就业移民:第二优先EB-2。 如果您是拥有高级学位或同等学历的专业的成员,或具有特殊能力的外国人,您可以获得基于就业的第二优先签证。
  1. 在高级学位子类别下,你必须证明你申请的工作需要高级学位,并且拥有这样的学位或同等学历(学士学位以及5年的实地工作经验)。通常,像官方学术记录那样的文件证明你具有高级学位就足够了。
  2. 如果你是一个在科学,艺术或商业方面具有卓越能力的外国人,你也可以申请EB-2。特殊能力文件通常包括,学术成绩,执业专业执照,至少10年的全职工作经验,对成就的认可等。
  3. 最后的一项是,国家利益豁免(NIW)。申请人不需要劳动认证流程,如果您的工作是可以对美国做贡献的。 国家利益豁免申请人通常需要证明特殊能力以及您的就业将大大有益于国家。此外,寻求国家利益豁免的人可以为他或她自己请求,不需要雇主参与。
  • 就业移民:第三优先EB-3。 EB-3类别是为熟练工人,专业人员或其他工人设计的。
  1. 在“Skilled Worker 熟练工人”的子类别中,您必须证明您的工作需要至少2年的培训或工作经验
  2. Unskilled Worker 不熟练工人的子类别,申请人展示执行非熟练劳动力的能力。
  3. 如果您寻求成为专业人士,您必须能够证明您拥有美国学士学位或同等学历,并且学士学位是进入职业的正常要求。经验不能替代学位要求.