Articles Posted in USCIS

Lately there has been a push by the Obama administration and the USCIS to encourage and celebrate US citizenship. The USCIS launched a citizenship campaign to raise awareness about citizenship and education about the naturalization process. President Obama also utilized Citizenship Day, which occurred in September, to encourage legal permanent residents and those eligible for citizenship to start the naturalization process. The USCIS has also taken steps to ease the naturalization application process, which may help to speed the process for those seeking US citizenship. These pushes may be in an effort to increase the number of US citizens in time for the next presidential election.

us-flag-in-boston-1443856USCIS Launches Citizenship Public Education and Awareness Campaign

Part of Obama’s executive action for immigration reform established last November is to increase awareness and promote easy access to naturalization. To help meet these goal the USCIS has taken steps to promote citizenship. In July the USCIS launched a campaign to increase education and raise awareness about the importance of naturalization.

Also to make sure potential applicants are aware of their eligibility, the USCIS will begin electronically notifying lawful permanent residents who may be eligible to begin naturalization. A message will pop-up on the USICS website when the lawful permanent resident replaces or renews a green card which will notify the applicant that it may be time to apply for citizenship.

Obama Urges Lawful Permanent to Seek Naturalization

Only U.S. citizens will be allowed to elect the next US President. With the 2016 Presidential Election just around the corner, Obama has encouraged those eligible to become a citizen to begin the naturalization process. On September 17th, Citizenship Day, Obama released a video encouraging legal permanent resident to take the final step in the immigration process and become a US citizen.

The USCIS has made the naturalization process easier by allowing credit card payments for the naturalization fee. The USCIS will also expand mobile services to rural communities to boost access to its resources. This may ease the immigration process and increase the number of US citizens before the 2016 election.

According to the Department of Homeland Security over 700,000 persons were naturalized in 2013. With Obama’s urging to legal permanent residents to apply for citizenship and the steps taken by the USCIS to ease the naturalization process, it’s possible even more legal permanent residence will become citizens this year in time for the 2016 presidential election.

Naturalization Process

Naturalization is the process by which a person become a US citizen. A person can become a citizen at birth, derive citizenship through one’s parents or apply for naturalization. Generally those who apply for naturalization are required to take an English test and a test on US history and government. Once the naturalization process is complete the applicant is required to turn in the legal permanent resident card, if applicable. The new US citizen can then register to vote.

Contact

To discuss how to gain lawful permanent residence or how to apply for naturalization contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Khandewal has over 10 years experience with immigration law and is conveniently located in the Silicon Valley.

Cited Sources:

USCIS Expands Efforts to Highlight Citizenship and Immigrant Integration, September 17, 2015

Although sometimes the hardest part may be trying to get a visa, it can also be difficult just trying to keep it. Regular, everyday people can sometimes get charged for minor crimes such as DUIs, minor domestic disputes, car accidents, or even minor drug possession charges. This article will discuss what consequences such minor criminal actions can have for someone who is not a U.S. citizen.

The first thing to note is that the U.S. immigration laws has its own rules and definitions when it comes to crimes. Thus, it is not a simple matter of looking at the charges one is arrested for or convicted of and comparing it to the federal immigration law. Two of the major types of criminal categories the U.S. immigration system has is “aggravated felonies” and “crimes involving moral turpitude.” Thus, even a relatively minor crime could be considered a crime involving moral turpitude or aggravated felony. For example, if a non-U.S. citizen were to steal something and the maximum punishment was 1 year in prison, but the non-U.S. citizen was able to negotiate a plea bargain down to 6 months of imprisonment, it still may be possible that he has committed an “aggravated felony” under federal immigration laws. The receipt of stolen property could also be a “crime involving moral turpitude.” However, in general, aggravated felonies and crimes involving moral turpitude include crimes that are serious in nature and fall outside the scope of what most minor crimes people would commit.

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It is not uncommon for many families and business people to bring personal assistants with them while travelling to the United States. These people can be nannies, butlers, maids, cooks, chauffeurs, and others. These domestic workers may come to the United States under a B-1 visa if they and their employer meet certain qualifications.

The B-1 visa requirements for a domestic worker are tied to the immigration status of the employer. Unfortunately for legal permanent residents (green card holders), they may not bring a domestic worker under a B-1 visa under any circumstances. For U.S. citizen and nonimmigrant visa employers, however, the option is available to bring domestic workers under a B-1 visa if both they and their domestic worker satisfy certain requirements.

FOR U.S. CITIZEN EMPLOYERS

U.S. citizens themselves must meet a certain requirement before even considering bringing a domestic worker under a B-1 visa, which can be satisfied in one of two ways. One way to satisfy this requirement is to show that the U.S. citizen employer ordinarily resides in the U.S. and is traveling to the U.S. temporarily. Or, in the alternative, the U.S. citizen employer can satisfy this requirement by showing that he or she is subject to frequent international transfers lasting two years or more and who, as a condition of employment, is going to reside in the United States for a stay no longer than four years.

There is also a relationship requirement that must be satisfied between the U.S. citizen employer and the B-1 visa domestic employee. This requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways. One way this requirement is satisfied is by showing that the employer-employee relationship existed for at least 6 months prior to the employer’s admission to the United States. Or, in the alternative, the U.S. citizen employer has regularly employed a domestic servant in the same capacity while abroad;

The employee must also satisfy two requirements. First, the employee has had at least one year experience as a personal or domestic servant, which can be proven by producing statements from previous employers attesting to such experience. Second, the employee must have no other work, and will receive from the employer free room and board and round trip airfare as indicated under the terms of the employment contract.

FOR NONIMMIGRANT VISA EMPLOYERS

The above requirements apply only to U.S. citizens seeking to obtain a B-1 visa for their domestic workers. For nonimmigrant visa employers seeking to do the same, they have slightly different but still similar requirements to satisfy. As an initial matter, only nonimmigrant visa holding employers with the following visas are allowed to bring domestic workers under a B-1 visa in the first place: B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, Q, or R visas.

The domestic worker must satisfy slightly different requirements than what would be required if the employer was a U.S. citizen. The first requirement is a relationship requirement and can be satisfied in one of two ways. One way to satisfy this relationship requirement is by showing that the domestic worker has been employed outside the United States by your employer for at least one year prior to the date of your employer’s admission to the United States. Or, in the alternative, the employer-employee relationship existed immediately prior to the time of your employer’s application, and the nonimmigrant visa employer can demonstrate that he/she regularly employed (either year-round or seasonally) domestic help over a period of years preceding the time their application

In addition, the domestic worker must satisfy two additional requirements. First, the domestic worker has at least one year’s experience as a personal or domestic employee as attested to by statements from previous employers. Second, the domestic worker will have no other work, and will receive free room and board and round trip airfare from your employer as indicated under the terms of the employment contract. This is very much similar to the requirements for domestic workers working for U.S. citizens.

ALL B-1 DOMESTIC WORKERS

Regardless of whether the B-1 domestic worker is employed by a U.S. citizen or a nonimmigrant visa holder, the domestic worker must show the following:

  1. The purpose of their trip is to enter the United States for work as a domestic employee;
  2. They plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
  3. Their employer meets certain qualifications as stated above;
  4. They have evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  5. They have a residence outside the United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure their return abroad at the end of the contract.
  6. They are at least 16 years old.
  7. They are not related to the employer by family relationship.

The B-1 visa domestic worker cannot bring their family members as dependents. The family members must seek their own visa categories, such as a B-2 visa, and meet those requirements independently.

In addition to these requirements, the contract defining the relationship between the employer and the domestic worker must be carefully drafted to not only protect the rights of both the employer and employee, but also to meet USCIS requirements. In addition, the domestic worker must still obtain employment authorization.

If you have questions about visa options for your domestic worker or if you have general immigration questions, please contact our office today.

Despite the media attention surrounding immigration from Mexico, it’s important to remember that the United States shares a border to the north with Canada as well. Given Canada’s proximity to the United States, it is no surprise that there are some special requirements and restrictions for Canadians seeking entry into the United States, even though Canadians can receive status to all of the more common visa categories.

 

It is important to note  that there is a difference between a visa and a status. A visa is merely a placeholder in the line to obtain status. A visa is much like a plane ticket –you have a seat reserved on the plane, but a person can be stopped or prevented from boarding the plane for a number of reasons. Similarly, applying for a visa means a person is applying for a spot in line into the US, and receiving a visa that means the spot in line is secure. However, that same person may not be granted status despite having a visa and can still be turned away.

 

Thus, for Canadian citizens, they do not need a visa unless they are seeking E, K, S, or V nonimmigrant status. However, they must still obtain the status necessary. For example, although a Canadian citizen need not seek an F-1 visa to study in the United States, they must still satisfy all of the F-1 status requirements in order to study in the United States.

 

Also, under the Visa Waiver Program, Canadians can seek entry into the United States without a visa if they meet certain conditions. The travelling Canadian must be a Canadian citizen, not a permanent residence or other status under Canadian laws. If travelling by air or sea, the Canadian citizen must also show proof of a return ticket. The Canadian citizen must also be traveling to the United States for transit, tourism, or a short term business visit. They cannot seek extensions of their stay past the approved stay period, but can adjust status if based on marriage to a US citizen or an application based on asylum.

 

There is also a special TN status available to Canadians and Mexicans as well.

 

The TN status is similar to the H-1B status, but there are some advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that receiving TN status can be much faster as it can be dealt with at the border and not through USCIS. Also, it is not subject to any visa limitations, while the H-1B visa is subject to its visa cap. However, one disadvantage is that the TN status does not allow for the Canadian citizen to adjust status to a green card, while an H-1B visa does.

 

If you are a Canadian citizen and have questions about seeking entry in the United States or have general immigration questions, contact our office to consult with attorney Sweta Khandelwal.

The visa bulletin for December of this year has been released. This month’s visa bulletin has seen both modest and significant movement forward, as well as some unfortunate retrogression for certain visa seekers from India.

In the family categories, the biggest advancements were only by a measure of approximately two months. The FB-4 category for people from the Philippines, the FB-2B category for people from India, and the FB-2B from the “All Chargeability Areas” category (excluding mainland China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines) all moved forward by approximately two months. However, the other family based categories only experienced movement by a few days or a month, and in some instances there was no movement at all.

There was much more movement in the employment based categories, with some categories jumping ahead by a year. All of the categories that were Current (“C”) last month remained Current. The categories that experienced the most movement were the EB-3 and “Other Workers” categories for people from Mexico, China, and the “All Chargeability Areas” (excluding Mainland China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines). Each of these categories experienced a jump by a year. Unfortunately for people from India, the EB-2 category retrogressed by almost 4 years backwards. This is in part due to the high demand from the rapid advancements in this category in recent months, thus creating a backlog. The EB-2 category for people from India may not experience further advancements until May 2014.

FAMILY BASED CATEGORIES – DECEMBER 2013

Family-Sponsored All Charge -ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 15NOV06 15NOV06 15NOV06 22SEP93 01JUL01
F2A 08SEP13 08SEP13 08SEP13 01SEP13 08SEP13
F2B 01MAY06 01MAY06 01MAY06 01APR94 22MAR03
F3 08MAR03 08MAR03 08MAR03 01JUN93 22JAN93
F4 08SEP01 08SEP01 08SEP01 22OCT96 01JUN90

*NOTE:  For December, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01SEP13.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01SEP13 and earlier than 08SEP13.  (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

FAMILY BASED CATEGORIES – NOVEMBER 2013

Family-Sponsored All Charge -ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 22OCT06 22OCT06 22OCT06 22SEP93 01JUL01
F2A 08SEP13 08SEP13 08SEP13 01SEP13 08SEP13
F2B 22MAR06 22MAR06 22MAR06 01APR94 01MAR03
F3 08FEB03 08FEB03 08FEB03 01JUN93 08JAN93
F4 22AUG01 22AUG01 22AUG01 22OCT96 22APR90

*NOTE:  For November, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01SEP13.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01SEP13 and earlier than 08SEP13.  (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

EMPLOYMENT BASED CATEGORIES – DECEMBER 2013

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

08NOV08 15NOV04

C

C

3rd

01OCT11

01OCT11

01SEP03

01OCT11

08JAN07

Other Workers

01OCT11

01OCT11

01SEP03

01OCT11

08JAN07

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers and Pilot Programs

C

C

C

C

C

*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

EMPLOYMENT BASED CATEGORIES – NOVEMBER 2013

Employment- Based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

08OCT08 15JUN08

C

C

3rd

01OCT10

01OCT10

22SEP03

01OCT10

15DEC06

Other Workers

01OCT10

01OCT10

22SEP03

01OCT10

15DEC06

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th
Targeted
EmploymentAreas/
Regional Centers and Pilot Programs

C

C

C

C

C

*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

If you have questions about the December visa bulletin or if you have general immigration questions, contact our office today.

It is a stressful, but rewarding, time when a noncitizen finally begins their adjustment of status process to obtain a green card. Not only are many of the visa restrictions lifted, but it also allows for more frequent travel in and out of the United States. This article will explore some of the issues, however, of travelling with a pending I-485 adjustment of status application with USCIS.

The old law required a foreign national to obtain an Advance Parole document to travel outside the US while the I-485 was filed and still pending adjudication with USCIS. However H-1B, L, and K-3/K-4 (but not K-1/K-2) visa holders with a pending I-485/Adjustment need not seek advanced parole before travel. However, there is no harm in obtaining one, and in fact a memorandum put out by USCIS states that it is the alien’s prerogative to present either the advanced parole document or their H-1, L, or K-3/K-4 visa papers to evidence proper entry into the United States. If the noncitizen presents both, however, the reviewing officer should take the visa papers instead of the advanced parole document and inform the noncitizen that they don’t need the advanced parole document.

If the noncitizen re-enters the United States by using the Advanced Parole document instead of his or her visa papers, it does not negate their H-1B status. Thus, when a nonimmigrant is attempting to adjust status to obtain a green card, there is no break in the requirement to continuously maintain valid nonimmigrant status. For all intents and purposes, the H-1B status is continuously maintained and H-B beneficiaries have gone on to successfully obtain extensions premised on a valid underlying H-1B visa. Even if there were to be some question about this, the Act specifically creates a safe harbor exception for “technical violations,” which this situation would fall under. It would be incongruous for the noncitizen to be considered “out of status” when using an Advanced Parole document to re-enter the United States, but still allow him or her to obtain extensions on that H-1B visa.

If you have questions about your visa and the effect of obtaining an Advanced Parole document, contact our office today for more information or to speak with an attorney.

It is no secret that many immigrants are young students seeking to attend the United States’ top universities. Many of these universities are in California, but California universities’ out-of-state tuition rates can be prohibitively expensive. What is considered a “resident” for California university tuition purposes has some interplay with immigration laws. This article will explore some of them here, based on the University of California tuition guidelines.

For UC tuition purposes, California has two requirements to satisfy: a physical presence requirement and an intent requirement. However, for noncitizens who hold nonimmigrant visas (H-1B, F-1, etc.) there are a specific list of visas that will not be able to satisfy either of these requirements. Some common examples are B-1/B-2, F-1, F-2, or H-1B visas. These nonimmigrants must change their status to another visa type or adjust status to obtain legal permanent residence status (i.e., a green card).

However, even if one has a green card or have a qualifying nonimmigrant visa, it does not mean they automatically qualify for “residence” status under the UC tuition guidelines. They must still satisfy the two requirements set out above: physical presence and an intent to be a California resident. Sometimes, nonimmigrants and green card holders may spend significant amounts of time abroad for many reasons. Even if such a noncitizen buys a home in California and pays California taxes, the existence of other homes in other states or abroad may cause the University of California to question whether the student and his or her family intend to make California their home.

More specifically, a person must spend at least 366 days (1 day and 1 year) in California to satisfy the physical presence requirement. Some breaks for travel are acceptable, but large breaks in the 366 day requirement may cause problems with obtaining California residence status. Also, for the intent requirement, this is a fact specific inquiry that depends on each individual case. Some examples of documents that will help satisfy the intent requirement are sale records of previous homes, evidence of a place of residence in California, receipts, employment records, having a California driver’s license, and registering to vote in California. These are again just examples and an attorney should assess the entirety of the situation.

Another issue for young noncitizens attempting to become California residence for UC tuition purposes is the relationship they have with their parents. Often, even if the student lives in California, if the parents are residing elsewhere then it may prevent being considered a California resident. One way around this is to show that the student is wholly financially independent and need not depend on his parents for financial assistance, but this is a rare exception.

If you have questions about the effect your visa or your immigration plans may have on attending a University of California school, or if you have other immigration questions, contact our office today so that we may assist you.

The rise in the Employment Based-5th category visa (“EB-5”)’s popularity has led to a corresponding rise in the number of Regional Centers, which are USCIS designations to businesses that pool EB-5 Investor funds for larger investments. Despite the number of Regional Centers, establishing a Regional Center can be notoriously difficult and requires an expert team, patience, and navigating vague and undeveloped areas of law.

When filing for a Regional Center via the USCIS Form I-924, the most frustrating part may be the adjudication time. The adjudication process alone may take 9 months, but anecdotally some people have been experiencing longer adjudication times. However, in the most recent Policy Memorandum issued in May of this year, USCIS has indicated faster adjudication times of the I-924 Regional Center application if based on a hypothetical project.

A hypothetical project is one of three types of projects an I-924 application can be premised upon. A hypothetical project-based I-924 is adjudicated faster because it is petitioning to USCIS only the type or kind of projects the Regional Center will engage into. The I-924 application only meets bare minimum for approval and does not meet the requirements for deference of the project used. Due to this, a hypothetical project-based Regional Center application will not get the added benefit of deference to the project details.

An actual or exemplar project are the two other kinds of projects a Regional Center application can be based on. An actual project includes an actual EB-5 Investor’s I-526 application. This obviously comes with the risk of the EB-5 Investor’s adjudication hinging on Regional Center approval as well as the investor’s own I-526 adjudication. Thus an exemplar project is more often used, which provides a “real” (as opposed to a hypothetical) project but does not come with a real I-526 petition. This allows for adjudication for the project-side of the I-526 application as well, thus allowing for deference to the project details for all subsequent I-526 applications. Preparing the documents for an exemplar-level I-924 petition could take months or years of work and thousands upon thousands of pages depending on the size and scope of the project. However, this in turn allows for faster adjudication times for the investors.

The types of projects that Regional Centers are based on vary widely, but most are construction projects of various types. Condominiums, distribution centers, hotels, and single family houses have been built with the use of EB-5 funding made through a Regional Center. However, it takes more than money and an idea. The developer of these construction projects has usually been developing the project for years before considering financing through an EB-5 Regional Center. USCIS also requires an economic report detailing the number of jobs that must be created through the EB-5 investment as well as a compliant business plan. Many corporate documents may also have to be drafted, including private placement memoranda, loan agreements, operating agreements, and others.

As we have reported before, ensuring that a Regional Center is established property and continues to operate properly is becoming critical. At least two Regional Centers have been prosecuted by the Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors. This double pronged scrutiny by USCIS and the SEC helps protect foreign investors, but also highlights how Regional Center applicants need a team of immigration lawyers, securities attorneys, project experts, economics, and other professionals in order to ensure a smooth Regional Center adjudication and operation process.

If you are considering applying for a Regional Center, make sure to find an immigration attorney that is experienced in EB-5 and I-924 applications. Contact our office if you have questions today.

Although it may seem like Comprehensive Immigration Reform (“CIR”) has lost some steam, the push for CIR has continued its momentum and, if anything, has picked up more. Silicon Valley’s tech companies have recently renewed is support for CIR in the wake of the government shutdown.

Well known tech figures like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Steve Balmer of Microsoft, Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, Drew Houson of Dropbox, Andrew Mason of Groupon, and Reid Hoffman of Linkedin have formed a political advocacy group called “FWD.us” to use the power of technology in order to persuade Congress to get behind CIR. Part of their campaign includes trips to Washington, social media campaigns and a hackathon headlined by industry leaders. FWD.us has also partnered with a diverse array of other groups to rally support for CIR, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bibles Badges and Businesses, and the Partnership for a New American Economy.

The Hackathon in particular is of interest. Dubbed the DREAMer Hackathon and hosted at Linkedin’s Mountain View, California headquarters, it is specifically aimed at bringing together undocumented youth to work on tech projects under the advisements of Zuckerberg, Hoffman, and other tech executives.

On a separate front, the Consumer Electronics Association (“CEA”), one of America’s leading tech trade groups, is also planning a lobbying campaign for immigration reform.

There have been mixed signals coming from Congress about where the CIR bill is headed. In a speech on Thursday, October 17, President Obama said that CIR should be addressed by the end of his year. However, some tech figures believe that the fight for CIR may spill into 2014, and President Obama did admit that immigration reform may take a backseat to some of the ongoing fighting in Congress. The following Friday, President Obama announced his nomination for former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson as the head for the Department of Homeland Security, which houses USCIS and other immigration-related agencies. We hope that Johnson, as a known Democrat, will be a positive addition to the push for CIR.

As of now, the House Judiciary Committee has already approved a set of four immigration bills that dealt with issues ranging from E-Verify improvements to the SKILLS Visa Act to the agricultural guest-worker program. These isolated bills do more harm than good to address the problems of our immigration system.

Our office hopes that CIR will pass and will be a substantial step towards reforming America’s broken immigration system. As a nation of immigrants, it is only fair to reward those who have come to this country and have worked hard to work for America’s benefit. If you have any questions about CIR or if you have any other immigration issues, contact our office so that we may assist you.

The October visa bulletin has come with great gains for certain categories. Unfortunately, the trend may stop there as the November visa bulletin only shows moderate advancements.

One notable change is that the F2A family category (spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders) has slowed. Ever since August of this year, this category has remained current. However, as of October and even for next month in November, priority dates for the F2A category are set for early September. The other family-based green card categories have not moved substantially.

The employment based categories, however, have seen some moderate advancement. For Chinese citizens in the “Other Workers” category (unskilled workers who can perform labor for which qualified workers are not available in the United States), there was a movement in the priority dates, from June 15, 2004 to September 22, 2004, followed by a slight movement in November.  The most notable increase is for Mexican, Chinese, and other foreign citizens (except for citizens from India and the Philippines) in the EB-3 (skilled workers and professionals) and Other Workers categories. These categories saw a forward movement of up to three months. For example, Chinese citizens in the EB-3 category saw advancement in their priority dates from July 1, 2010 to October 1, 2010.

Hopefully, these moderate to substantial advancements will continue for these and other categories and that the government shutdown will not hinder these advancements. Please see here or the chart below for the Visa Bulletin for October and November of this year. If you have any questions about your priority date, obtaining a green card, or any other immigration issues, please contact us so that we may assist you.

October

Family-Sponsored

All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

1-Oct-06

1-Oct-06

1-Oct-06

22-Sep-93

1-Jun-01

F2A

8-Sep-13

8-Sep-13

8-Sep-13

1-Sep-13

8-Sep-13

F2B

1-Mar-06

1-Mar-06

1-Mar-06

8-Mar-94

8-Feb-03

F3

22-Jan-03

22-Jan-03

22-Jan-03

22-May-93

1-Jan-93

F4

8-Aug-01

8-Aug-01

8-Aug-01

15-Oct-96

22-Mar-90

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

15-Sep-08

15-Jun-08

C

C

3rd

1-Jul-10

1-Jul-10

22-Sep-03

1-Jul-10

15-Dec-06

Other Workers

1-Jul-10

22-Sep-04

22-Sep-03

1-Jul-10

15-Dec-06

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th

C

C

C

C

C

Targeted

EmploymentAreas/

Regional Centers and Pilot Programs

 

November

Family-Sponsored

All Charge -ability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

22-Oct-06

22-Oct-06

22-Oct-06

22-Sep-93

1-Jul-01

F2A

8-Sep-13

8-Sep-13

8-Sep-13

1-Sep-13

8-Sep-13

F2B

22-Mar-06

22-Mar-06

22-Mar-06

1-Apr-94

1-Mar-03

F3

8-Feb-03

8-Feb-03

8-Feb-03

1-Jun-93

8-Jan-93

F4

22-Aug-01

22-Aug-01

22-Aug-01

22-Oct-96

22-Apr-90

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

8-Oct-08

15-Jun-08

C

C

3rd

1-Oct-10

1-Oct-10

22-Sep-03

1-Oct-10

15-Dec-06

Other Workers

1-Oct-10

1-Oct-10

22-Sep-03

1-Oct-10

15-Dec-06

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th

C

C

C

C

C

Targeted

EmploymentAreas/

Regional Centers and Pilot Programs