Thursday, August 25, 2016

Visa Bulletin Filing Chart

     Since September 2015, the Visa Bulletin has been giving two sets of priority dates, “the final action dates” and the second set of dates “filing dates.”  So, if the visa bulletin shows a filing date that means that one can file application for adjustment of status if the priority date is prior to that date, but USCIS will not adjudicate the application until the priority date becomes current which is the final action date. Same way National Visa Center (NVC) begins processing cases as and when the date of filing is current but will not schedule the case for consular interview until the priority date is current as shown in the final action date. The advantage offiling early based on the filing date is that the person may apply for work authorization and advance parole early.
     But the Visa Bulletin also directs to “visit for information on whether USCIShas determined that this chart can be used. It is a little bit confusing.  Follow the instructions on that site to determine if the Application for Adjustment of Status can be filed in accordance with the filing Dates.  “IfUSCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for a fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, we will state on this page that you may use the Dates for Filing Visa Applications chart. Otherwise, we will indicate on this page that you must use the Application Final Action Dates chart to determine when you may file your adjustment of status application.”
     Now, USCIS plans allowing both employment- and family-based applicants to use the Visa Bulletin “Filing Date” chart at the beginning of FY 2017, meaning from on October 1, 2016. However, it is only a plan, and there is no guarantee. And even if the USCIS will go with the plan it might last only for several months only. So, review your case with an attorney to determine if you benefit from using "Filing Date" chart.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Expansion of Provisional Waiver : USCIS 601A Waiver

        USCIS passed new rule expanding Provisional Waiver (601A Waiver). So now eligibility for the provisional waiver will no longer be limited to the subset of statutorily qualified individuals who seek to immigrate as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and who can show that denial of admission will result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. Rather, this rule makes eligibility for the provisional waiver available to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for a waiver of the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.

Highlights of new rule:

·         New Rule allows individuals to apply for Provisional Waivers even if USCIS has a reason to believe that he or she may be subject to other grounds of inadmissibility.

·         New Rule eliminates the proposed temporal limitations that would have restricted eligibility for provisional waivers based on DOS visa interview scheduling.

·         New Rule allows individuals with final orders of removal, exclusion, or deportation to be eligible for provisional waivers provided that they have already applied for, and USCIS has approved, an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal, Form I–212.

·         A removal, deportation, or exclusion order must have been actually reinstated in order for an individual who has returned to the United States unlawfully after removal to be ineligible for a provisional waiver on that basis.

Good News : Visa Bulletin EB-4

     DOS Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division Charlie Oppenheim examines the September 2016 Visa Bulletin, and reports that the infusion of FY2017 visa numbers will make the employment-based, fourth preference categories for India and Mexico current this October. Mr. Oppenheim predicts that the final action date for EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will move to a date sometime in the summer of 2015, and possibly beyond. He also notes that he will continue to comply with the Obama administration's Visa Modernization Proposal by advancing the dates for the family-based categories as aggressively as possible in the first three quarters of the fiscal year.
      So EB-4 category becomes very attractive for lots of immigrants!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

2016 estate and gift taxes

The donor is generally responsible for paying gift tax.  The general rule is that any gift is taxable gift.  However, there is annual exclusion for each calendar year.  IRS announced 2016 Estate and Gift tax exemption. 
"It's official-for 2016, the estate and gift tax exemption is $5.45 million per individual, up from $5.43 million in 2015. That means an individual can leave $5.45 million to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax."
See an article in Forbes

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Temporary extension of EB-5 program

      In the beging of Ocober tHe Congress passed  the Continuing Resolution that includes a temporary extension of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. Although the extension allows the program to continue generating foreign direct investment and creating U.S. jobs through December 11 2015 it does not provide the investors with a long-term plan for EB-5 program. 
       Hopefully, in mean time the Congress will consider a long-term reauthorization bill that would make EB-5 program strong and be an integral part of the US immigration system that brings talented people to the US. 
       Members of Congress from both parties and both the House and Senate are negotiating in good faith to make it happened. 
       To check how EB-5 program is working now see
        For the list of approved EB-5 Regional Centers go to

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Temporary Protective Status for national sod Syria

USCIS announced that Monday, July 6, 2015 is the deadline for eligible nationals of Syria (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who do not currently hold Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to register for TPS. The redesignation of Syria for TPS runs from Jan. 5, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Green card document

Green Card is official document issued by USCIS that identify the holder as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The green card could be used for work authorization.
Usually, there is holder's signature in the left bottom corner of a green card. However, 
children under the age of consent or individuals who are physically unable to provide a signature are not required to provide their signature. 
Since February 2015, the signature requirement for people entering the United States for the first time as lawful permanent residents after obtaining an immigrant visa abroad from a U.S. Embassy or consulate is waived.  When a Green Card has been issued without a signature, the card will say “Signature Waived” on the front and back of the card where a signature would normally be located.