J-1 hosts should review their policies and procedures in anticipation of unannounced site visits.The U.S. Department of State, Office of Private Sector Exchange, will begin conducting random J-1 host site visits during the coming weeks. These visits are part of a larger assessment of the intern and trainee categories of the J-1 program.What to Expect During a Site VisitThe representative from the Office of Private Sector Exchange who is conducting the site visit will ask to speak with the J-1 participant (intern or trainee) and his or her supervisor and will likely request a tour of the host company. It is very likely that the representative will also ask to see Form DS-7002, the training plan for the particular J-1 program being investigated, and will ask questions to determine how accurately the plan is being followed.The representative will be interested in the extent to which the J-1 participant is involved in American cultural activities, as cultural exchange is designed to be the … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of State to Begin Conducting Random J-1 Site Visits
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announced> that the U.S. Department of State would treat the visa applications of same-sex spouses in the same manner as those of opposite-sex spouses, ushering in an immediate policy change that reflects the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The new stance, which applies equally to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, provides formal guidance to U.S. embassies and consulates around the world and concludes the agency’s internal review of policies that were in conflict with the Court’s ruling. Prior to Secretary Kerry’s announcement, U.S. posts around the world directed same-sex visa applicants to wait for the agency’s determination before submitting their applications for processing. … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of State Formally Announces Policy Shift on Immigration Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses
On July 11, 2012, Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of Visa Control at the U.S. Department of State issued data for EB-5 visa usage in fiscal year 2012.The data shows that the top five countries using the EB-5 visa are:China – 3,710 EB-5 visasSouth Korea -335 EB-5 visasTaiwan – 106 EB-5 visasVenezuela – 82 EB-5 visasIran – 69 EB-5 visasThe top 5 countries account for 89% of all visa issuance. As readers of this blog know, the EB-5 category allots 10,000 visas annually to immigrant investors through the EB-5 category. With State Department predictions of approximately 6,200 to be issued this year, it appears that we may reach the EB-5 “cap” in the next few years, absent Congressional relief. … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of State Expects Record Number of EB-5 Visas to be Issued in 2012
On August 23rd, 2014, the U.S. Department of State made an announcement that as of that same date, immigrant visa numbers for Chinese nationals in the EB-5 category will become unavailable through September 30, 2014 which will mark the end of Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014). In line with the predictions made earlier in the year by the State Department, the maximum allowed number of immigrant visa has been used by the Chinese nationals in this category.What Are Immigrant Visa Numbers? A specific number of immigrant (permanent) visa numbers are allotted per fiscal year in each immigrant visa category, such as EB-5, for groups of nationals of various regions around the world, such as China. Immigrant visa numbers allow for a grant of conditional permanent residence to individuals applying for immigrant visas abroad or for adjustment of status in the U.S. based on their approved I-526 petitions.What This Means for Immigrant Visa Applicants At U.S. Consular Posts: For those … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of State Announces EB-5 Visas For China Unavailable Until October 1, 2014
On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of State will begin accepting requests to register for the 2016 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (DV-2016), also known as the Green Card Lottery. The Diversity Lottery Program provides a path for foreign nationals to become permanent residents of the United States regardless of whether they have a family member or an employer willing to sponsor them. This program is a success, facilitating the immigration of people from across the globe. If you meet the eligibility requirements and wish to secure permanent residence status in the United States, you should consider registration in the lottery.Registration begins October 1, 2014The State Department will open online registration for the DV-2016 Program on Tuesday, October 1, 2014 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and conclude on Monday, November 3, 2014 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4). Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and submit an application … [Read more...] about It’s Time to Register with the U.S. Department of State for the 2016 Diversity Lottery!