On 05.17.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
Temporary visas are often called non-immigrant visas in the United States and they are available in a number of forms.
Different kinds of non-immigrant visas include:
- Work visas that allow people to work temporarily in the United States. One work visa (H-1B) allows people to eventually immigrate even though they have a non-immigrant visa. This is explained in greater detail below.
- Tourism visas allow people to visit the United States for work, to visit family members or to see the sights in the US. There are many beautiful places to go to in the United States and there are many tourism visas granted every year. There are some instances where you might not even need a visa to visit the US briefly.
- Student visas allow foreign nationals to study at qualified educational institutions in the United States. The US has a large number of highly qualified schools and many of which are world renowned.
- There are many other non-immigrant visas of many different types. Look to the USCIS website to find the non-immigrant visa that is right for your purposes.
Getting Temporary Visas
When you apply for a temporary visa you will need to provide certain information and documentation to demonstrate a number of things:
- Your identity. You must show that you are who you say you are.
- Your right to enter the US. A background check may be conducted to ensure that you are legally allowed to enter the United States.
- You must also show that you will leave the United States when your visa expires. When you get a non-immigrant visa, you cannot stay in the United States permanently. If you wish to become a permanent resident, you must leave the US and re-apply. An exception to this is the H-1B visa and the K-1 fiancé visa
On 05.16.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, or you already live in the country, it would be wise to know where to find immigration offices.
Depending on where you happen to reside at the moment is an important consideration in finding an immigration office. People who live outside of the United States will apply and correspond largely with field offices. Residents of the United States will communicate with local offices most often.
You can learn more about the difference between field offices and local offices in a separate article.
International offices are sometimes called field offices. They are located in foreign countries and communicate with foreign residents looking to immigrate to the United States. There are offices located in many different countries. A few countries have multiple offices to handle larger amounts of people.
It is important to remember that in order to have in-person meetings with immigration officers, you must first file for an appointment with INFOPASS. Most of the forms and benefits offered by the USCIS are available online and it is very likely that you won’t need to have an in person meeting, but if you do, you must use INFOPASS.
Local offices are found throughout the United States and serve every state in the union. Many larger cities will have multiple immigration offices available for its denizens.
Below are some pages about the most popular local office locations:
Of course these aren’t all of the USCIS offices, but just a smattering. For a full list of local immigration websites, the USCIS lists all of them on their website.
On 05.16.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
There is a distinct difference between the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and the NVC (National Visa Center).
The USCIS is a part of the Department of Homeland Security and only deals with immigration issues within the United States.
The USCIS accepts applications, appeals and fees for all kinds of immigration benefits.
They are also responsible for a significant part of the implementation and planning of immigration programs. They work very closely with the Department of Labor, the Department of State and the other organizations within the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that immigration programs are working as they are supposed to and that they are serving the United States as well as incoming immigrants.
The National Visa Center, often conveniently abbreviated to NVC, is a part of the United States Department of State, which is primarily concerned with goings on outside of America.
Immigrants looking to come to the United States will be asked to mail their applications, fees and other materials to a consulate or embassy in their jurisdiction. Once there, the NVC will take care of those applications.
USCIS vs. NVC
For immigrants wondering where they need to send their applications they should consider where they currently reside before writing the address on their application packages.
If you reside in the United States, for most cases you will be sending your applications to the USCIS.
If you live in any other country, you will send your application package to a local United States consulate or embassy for the NVC to take care of.
Keep in mind, though, that the USCIS offers many different services entirely online.
On 05.14.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
There are a few reasons for why the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may be contacting you. As an applicant for immigration benefits in the United States, the USCIS will be your primary contact for that entire process.
Scheduling an Interview
When you apply for immigration in the United States you will eventually be called into a USCIS office for an interview. At this interview, the immigration officer will confirm your identity and review your documents for suitability for immigration to the United States.
An immigration officer will contact you with your appointment date and it will be very important that you be prepared for your interview.
Request for Additional Information
During the application process, USCIS officials may want to see additional documentation before they continue to consider your case for immigration.
This will come in the form of a letter from the USCIS called a Request for Additional Information. Be sure to promptly respond to this letter with the requested information to ensure that your immigration process stays on track.
Failure to adhere to this request may result in additional delays in your application or to the cancellation of the request which would result in the loss of your application fee.
The USCIS is very interested in maintaining the integrity of the United States’ immigration system. By doing so they are able to grant immigration benefits to the people who need them and they keep the costs of the department lower for taxpayers.
The USCIS may contact you to investigate possibly fraudulent activities. For this reason it is incredibly important to maintain current and correct documents to show that you are not, in fact, defrauding the federal government.
There may be other reasons for the USCIS to contact you, but it becomes more and more case-specific at this point. The best advice that we can give you is to maintain correct documents and always cooperate with the authorities.
On 05.10.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
Keeping up with the news surrounding the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is absolutely indispensable for immigrants looking to live in America. With more information you’ll be better prepared to make decisions when applying for immigration benefits.
New I-9 Form
Form I-9 is an immigration form that is used by employers to verify the right to work in the United States for new hires. A new version of this form was released last month and on May 7 it became the only acceptable version of the document.
Generally when you are hired in the United States the employer asks you to first fill out an I-9 for their records. In order to fill out this form you need to supply a couple of forms of identification. These documents should show that you are who you say you are and that you have a legal right to work in the United States.
The USCIS will no longer accept previous versions of the I-9 form.
Entrepreneur in Residence Initiative
Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services spoke about the successes and purposes of the Entrepreneurs in Residence program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
The program, also commonly known as EIR is designed to bring in entrepreneurs from other countries to the United States so that they can start businesses which hire Americans. This program contributes to the continued recovery of the economy.
See more about the speech and some statistics related to the EIR program at the official news release from the USCIS.
On 05.09.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
What is H-1B Status?
H-1B status is a non-immigrant visa designation which is very popular in the United States. Not only does it confer the right to work in the United States to its holder, but it can also function as a dual intent visa. Dual intent visas allow people to enter the United States as a non-immigrant, but after a while, they can then apply for full immigration and a green card.
Like all other immigration benefits, it is very important to file for the H-1B visa correctly. Improper application can result in revocation of the visa, or removal.
How Do I Apply?
Recipients of the H-1B visa in actuality do very little in the application process for the visa, rather it is the employer who files on their behalf.
Employers have to go through a series of steps with the department of labor to ensure that there are no applicants already in the United States who can do the job. This process is called labor certification.
After the labor certification is granted the employer can then apply for the actual visa with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Quota System
Every year there are a limited number of H-1B visas available for issue. There are 65,000 available for the regular quota plus an additional 20,000 for applicants who are particularly well qualified with high degrees of education.
The popularity of this program tends to ensure that the visas are quickly issued. For example, in 2013 all of the available H-1B visas were issued within the first week of their availability!
When applying for this visa it is very important to plan ahead to ensure that the quota does not shut you out of the program.
On 05.07.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
INFOPASS is the online service that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) offers for immigrants to schedule an appointment at one of the many USCIS offices located throughout the country.
Really, there are very few circumstances where you would need to schedule an interview with the USCIS through INFOPASS.
Typically, when you are required to come in for an interview with the USCIS, the immigration officer will help you schedule the appointment.
However, if you wish to speak in person with an immigration official you may have to file for an appointment with INFOPASS. There are some instances where you may be able to walk into a USCIS office without an appointment, but most of the offices require that you first have an appointment. USCIS offices do not often have open-door policies.
Also, there is generally no reason to speak to immigration officials in person because every one of the applications can either be filed online or through the mail, negating the need for direct contact.
If you have trouble understanding the forms that you need to fill out, the USCIS provides many very detailed instruction articles for all of their immigration forms. There are also a number of helpful online resources from third party organizations which provide assistance in properly filling out forms.
The USCIS strongly recommends that you first pursue online options for filing for immigration benefits before you consider visiting one of the USCIS offices.
If you have a question or concern that cannot be resolved using the online features of USCIS.gov, please visit our blog to find helpful lists of USCIS offices in your area.
On 05.03.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
The receipt number issued to potential immigrants by the USCIS is also known as the priority date.
This is the date on the upper right hand corner of a receipted immigration petition and is the date when an immigration visa will become available for the filing applicant.
There is a great deal of demand from immigrants to come to the United States. Unfortunately, there are only limited numbers of visas accessioned by the United States congress for use every year.
This dynamic results in a backlog. This backlog can sometimes last for twenty years or more in some categories for some countries.
When you receive a priority date you can look at it much like you may look at a number given to you at a butcher. It is effectively your place in line while you wait for a visa.
In order to know how long you will need to wait you will need to consult the State Department’s Visa Bulletin. Normally the date listed on the Visa bulletin for a particular visa class is in the past. When your priority date surpasses the date listed in the Visa Bulletin a visa will then be available for you.
When the visa is available you can either apply for consular processing or adjustment of status in the United States.
On 05.03.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
May Day Immigration Reform Rallies
Amid immigration reform legislation circulating in congress people took to the street on Wednesday to urge the progress of reform.
In other parts of the world May 1, also known as May Day, is a labor holiday descendent from 19th century worker’s rights movements. However, in the United States, May Day is little more than another day. Labor Day is the American labor holiday and it takes place in September.
Nearly every major city had an immigration reform rally and march with local politicians coming out for moral support.
Democrats and Republicans have been making a bi-partisan effort to hash out an immigration reform bill in both the Senate and the House of Representatives since the beginning of 2013.
The bill will probably continue to circulate in Congress for the rest of the year as finer points of the bill are discussed.
Republicans are asking for increased border security to be an integral part of the bill and are willing to compromise on other reform issues.
Democrats, in a similarly cooperative vein, are willing to compromise on border security in exchange for a legal immigration path for the 11.5 million undocumented residents in the United States.
New Form I-9 Required
As of May 7, 2013 the new Form I-9 will be required for all new hires in the United States. This form is an immigration document created by the USCIS to confirm a person’s right to work in the United States. Proper identification must also be included.
Automation of Form I-94
Form I-94, the Arrival/Departure Card, which is issued to all new immigrants and non-immigrants in the United States will be automated. This process will proceed through May 21, 2013. The following locations will be the first to receive the new process:
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina,
- Orlando International Airport in Florida,
- McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas,
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport,
- Miami International Airport and
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
On 04.30.13 | In USCIS Blog, By USCIS Info
On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, the winners of the 2014 Green Card Lottery will be announced through the State Department’s website. By the end of the summer, the USCIS will receive an influx of immigration applicants from those lucky winners.
Although not all of the winners of the Green Card Lottery will be able to pass through the entire process, the chance afforded to them by the Diversity Visa program is often the only path to permanent residency for them.
Additionally, the acceptable countries-of-origin for the 2015 Green Card Lottery will be announced on May 1, and potential immigrants looking to apply for the lottery can begin to plan their registration process.
Only the citizens of certain countries can apply for entry into the Green Card Lottery. These countries are considered eligible if they have a disproportionately small number of immigrants coming into the United States in any of the past five years.
This is the part of the program where the term ‘diversity’ comes from. The intent of the program is to diversify the national profile of immigrants in the United States and give some folks, who might not otherwise have a chance to immigrate, the potential to migrate to the US.
Green Card Lottery registrants who filed in 2012 can use the confirmation numbers they received at the end of the registration process to check whether or not they have won a place in the Green Card Lottery.
Remember: the confirmation number and the name of the individual who is associated with the number must be entered into the website exactly.
Applicants are discouraged from attempting to recover their confirmation numbers by either re-applying or asking for a copy of the confirmation number from the Department of State. Re-applying for the Green Card Lottery will disqualify both applications. The Department of State does not retain records of applicants’ confirmation numbers.