Friday, December 17, 2010

Filling Out The Form I-751

If you obtained your conditional green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will be required to use the form I 751 to apply to the USCIS to request removal of the conditions attached to your green card and receive a 10 year green card without any conditions attached to it.

The following steps takes you through the 7 sections contained in the form I 751 that you would be required to complete and file to effectively remove the conditions attached with your permanent resident card.

1. Information about you. Provide the name in full, legal name, mailing address and personal information.

2. Basis for the petition: If the application is filed for removing the conditions jointly with your spouse, check option “a”. If you as a child are filing an indepent petition, check option “b”. If you are not filing a joint petition and requesting a waiver, check any one of the remaining options.

3. Additional information about you (applicant). If you have ever been known by any other names, list them. Also list out the date and place of your marriage, spouse's date of death (if applicable). If none applies write N/A and check yes or no for the remaining questions.

4. Information about the spouse or parent. Provide the details about your spouse (or parent, if you are the child filing independently) through whom you gained your conditional residence.

5. Information about your children. Provide for the full name, birth date, alien registration number (if any) and current status for each of your children in this part of your form I 751.

6. Signature. Affix your signature and print your name and date of the form I 751. If you are filing jointly, your spouse should also sign the form I 751.

7. Signature of person preparing form I 751 : If its a third party, which could be a lawyer, that had prepared the form for you, he or she should sign in this section. If you completed the form by yourself, you may write “N/A” on the line provided for affixing the signature.


1. Type or print legibly which should be done using a blank ink. The form I 751 can be filled out online using an Adobe reader, or you may also fill out the form I 751 manually.

2. If necessary, attach additional sheets. If an extra space is required to complete a question, attach an addendum with your name, ARN (Alien Registration Number), and date at the top of the page. Make sure to indicate the question number and sign and date the page.

3. Make it a point to answer all the questions. If a particular question is not applicable to your current situation write N/A. If the answer to the question is none write as “None”

4. If you are married to your US citizen spouse, and are still living together, you will be eligible for naturalization if you have established the 3 year residency requirement. Even if the form I-751 is still pending, USCIS will not approve your citizenship application until the form I-751 is approved. You may file form N-400, but there may be some delay.

Friday, December 10, 2010

B1 And B2 Visas for US

Family VisasIt is an elusive dream for many people to travel to the US. Every year, a huge number of people visit the US on various visas that are available. The US is said to be the land of dreams as there are many places of visit and enjoy. But traveling to the US is not as easy as going over to Asia or Europe. Just a visit to the US would become possible only with the visitor visa.

B1 Visa and B2 Visa:

The B1 and B2 visas are generally issued simultaneously . B1 visa is used by the travelers for the purpose of business and B2 visa is used by the travelers for the purpose of tourism or pleasure. In cases where you are already holding a B1 visa and there after you wish to travel around the US to visit places, then it is not necessary to go for a fresh visa, the old one will hold good.

The B1 visa is a non immigrant visa and as mentioned, is generally for business related issues .It can be any business related to academics, technical, professional or commerce-related conventions and definite-dated conferences. Further, if a person intends to attend any issues related to property and estates in the US, visitor visa is the right choice. Any bargaining on business deals or consultations in the US can be done with the help of B1 visa .This visa is favorable for any event related to sports or tournaments.

The B2 visa is generally for tourism purposes, is also called the Medical Treatment Visitor Visa or the Vacation Visa, and is another non immigrant visa and is filed if you wish to enter the US for anything related to pleasure or health. Further, it is used by people who would like to visit their family, ones who wish to participate in the social and community activities which are held in the US and also applicable for the dependents of the US armed forces who are assigned duty in the US on a temporary basis and amateur group of entertainers or athletes.

Before the B1 visa and B2 visa are granted, the individual who is applying for visas should be able to prove that he/she has a permanent status in the home country and his visit to the US is only temporary. The following are the general requirements while applying for visitor visas - proof of:

*The purpose of the trip
*Permanent residence in the home country
*To show that you have binding ties like property in the home country
*That you are not engaged in any business activity
*Financial resources so that you have enough funds to meet the expenses during your stay in US.

On entry into the US with a B1 visa or B2 visa, the individual is granted up to 6 months to remain in the US (the maximum allowable is 6 months). As long as the visitor maintains his status, there is a possibility of extending his status up to six months. Generally visitor visas should be applied from the country in which he/she is a resident of by showing the sufficient evidence of social, family or economic ties to his/her country of residence .

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Student Visas- An In Depth Look

All of us have the equal advantage and opportunity to excel in the field of education. But earning a degree in an American university, there are opportunities galore not only in this country but also all around the world. This being the reason, there are many who strive hard to obtain education in the US. Every year there is a significant number of students who opt for colleges and universities in the US, as many of them in the US are well recognized by the entire world.

Types of student visas:

The US student visas are generally applied for at the US consulate or Embassy for the students who wish to study in the US. The application for visa can be filed after receiving the form I 20. This form I 20 is issued by the university confirming that the applicant is a student of the university which basically admits the student into the US. There are 3 types of student visas.

F-1 visa
: This is the most common type of student visas. This is only meant for students who use to enroll themselves in an university or college for educational purpose and also to study the English language

M-1 visa: This is used by the students for the vocational or non academic study in the US university.

J-1 visa: This is generally for cultural exchange and educational programs and is commonly known as the exchange visitor visa.

US Student visas can be applied for 90 days before the date of registration of the I 20 form which was issued by the university. In case of not arriving at the institution at the mentioned date an extension from can be obtained. Generally the student visas are issued in few weeks or even hours after the submission of the application. The issuance of the visa depends on the various factors like the US consulate and time. There may be cases where the visa can be denied in which case the applicant has to follow-up with the US consulate.

The general requirements to apply for student visas include the Form I 20 which is the confirmation from the university and should be submitted along with the student visa application. It is always mandatory to know the English language and a proof has to be submitted. It can be a TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) report. Apart from this the most important aspect is the proof of the financial capacity to meet the educational expenses . The funds of the sponsor can also be shown as a proof of the financial expenses. The US embassy generally gives importance to all the proof submitted in the affidavit. In case the financial support was from the financial institution in the form of a scholarship, it should be mentioned in the I 20 form and if it from the home country, the bank statements should be provided as proof. Finally, proof that you have come only for the purpose of the education should be submitted to the US consulate. On confirming all these the the passport will be stamped by the consulate .

US is the ideal place for students who have the urge to study in one of the recognized universities and settle there. Though the journey towards this seems to be exciting and easy, a lot of patience is required during the whole process.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How To Obtain H1B Visa?

Generally a person who wishes to seek entry to United States must obtain a visa. A visa is an official travel document used to enter another country. There are various types of visas issued to people to enter United States based on the purpose of the entry.

If you wish to enter United States for employment purpose, you must obtain a visa with work permit in the United States. United States offers two working visas such as H1B and H2B visas . The H1B working visa is a non-immigrant visa category. H1B visa allows a foreign national to be sponsored by a US company for a period of six years . This H1B visa is mainly designed to be used for people who fall under the category called Specialty Occupations. The Specialty Occupations requires a high degree of specialized knowledge (usually this requirement can be met by having a 3 year degree or 3 years' equivalent post-graduate experience) in areas such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, and other occupations

To be eligible for the H1B visa, you must satisfy the requirements by the immigration law. The first requirement is that there must be a job offer for you in the United States. You must be then sponsored by the employer of the company or entity in the United States. Also, the US employer who sponsors you must provide a certification that the position requires a skilled person from a specialty occupation.

H1B Visa process

The process of applying for the H1B visa is a four step process:

• The first step is that you must be employed by the US employer who will be the sponsor
• The US employer must file a petition for you with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)
• The USCIS will process the petition and they will decide on the approval or denial of your application.
• If the petition is approved, then you are allowed to work in the United States for the US employer who petitioned you.

The petition for H1B must be filed properly because any small error in the application will lead to the denial of the petition.

To apply for a H1B visa, the US employer must first file a Labor Condition of Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL). The LCA filed by the US employer with the DOL provides information about the company in US and agrees based on certain working conditions. The U.S. employer must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the prevailing wage earned by similarly employed workers. After the approved LCA is returned by the DOL, the sponsor can file a petition for a H1B visa with the USCIS with proper supporting documents.

You must also provide the required supporting documents which includes the degree certificates and mark sheets and various other relevant documents.

Approximately after 4 to 10 weeks, USCIS will send a Notice of Action to the US employer. This indicates that the application is in process. If the USCIS is satisfied with the petition and the documents provided, they will send an Approval Notice of Action within 30-90 days of the receipt notice. Any decision on the petition will be notified in writing.

Friday, November 19, 2010

How Will I know The Time To Remove Conditions On My Residence

Picture this. It's almost two years since the time you immigrated to the United States to live a wonderful life with your spouse. You have your green card based on your marriage to a US Citizen spouse, you're working and happily settled in your new found home.

Lets pause here and go back to the time you were issued your green card. Green card obtained on the basis of marriage to a US Citizen has a condition attached to it. USCIS, the official machinery of the Unites States Government has put up measures in place to be sure that your marriage is not a sham and that your green card obtained on the basis of your marriage to a US citizen is not fraudulent.

So how to do you go about removing the conditions attached with your green card. The following details will help you out.

Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence:

To remove the conditions attached with your green card you need to file the Form I-751 immigration form. The I 751 immigration form is used to petition the USCIS to remove the conditions attached with your green card. Lets now analyze in depth your conditional green card as it is popularly known.

If your card was obtained based on your marriage to a US citizen you will be issued a conditional green card which is valid for 2 years.

By law, you are required to remove the conditions before the expiry of the stipulated two years. If you do not, then you tend to become out of status in the eyes of the USCIS.

I 751 Immigration Form and Process Involved:

  1. File the I 751 immigration form within 90 days preceding the expiration date on your green card. It has to be noted here that this date is the date when your conditional residence expires.

  1. Complete the I 751 application and do not forget to include all the supporting documents that will serve as evidence of a bona fide marriage relationship.

  2. Mail the completed package with the relevant fee to the USCIS which has jurisdiction over your area

  3. USCIS will mail you a confirmation receipt which will extend your green card status by one year.

  4. Have this receipt with your green card as it is the only proof of your legal status.

  5. Keep up with your scheduled biometric appointment with the USCIS.

  6. If need be you might be called for an interview. The date and time will be informed to you by the USCIS.

  7. Once your I 751 immigration form is approved, your new green card will be mailed to you. Your new green card will be valid for the next 10 years. Your green card will then have to be renewed every 10 years and in the interim, if you fulfill certain eligibility criteria you may also think of becoming a US citizen.

One should always be mindful of the fact that the conditions attached with your green card are to be removed with the I 751 immigration form and to have your green card current to relish and enjoy the work, life and other numerous benefits in the US.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Standing Proud With Our Newest Citizens, Honoring Our Veterans | The White House

Today is Veterans Day, a day reserved to express our solemn and immeasurable appreciation for the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. We recognize the sacrifices that service members make each and every day for our great nation, sacrifices that are to be forever honored. That in America volunteers enlist in service of our country is a unique source of pride. The principles of freedom, justice, and equality form the foundation of our nation. Immigrants not yet citizens have joined our military and served with distinction alongside citizens in defense of these principles. Continue reading at Standing Proud With Our Newest Citizens, Honoring Our Veterans | The White House

Related Immigration Hottest News
1. Moving Forward: Elections Underscore Need for Progressive State Immigration Policies
2. Citizenship information meeting, Nov. 13

Friday, November 5, 2010

Employment Authorization Form I-765

Non US citizens who wish to work in the US should get authorization to work in the US. They can get authorization by filing the I-765 form which is the authorization for their employment. Though belonging to different national origin, aliens can work after the form I-765 is approved.

I 765 Application for Employment Authorization Document:

I-765 form or the Application for Employment Authorization Document is used by certain aliens to apply for an Employment Authorization Document. A valid Employment Authorization Document is issued in the form of plastic card which resembles a credit card. The information on the EAD card is all about the personal details of the alien who has applied like the name, sex, birth date, country of birth, alien registration number, recent photos, etc. So any foreign national with a valid EAD can work for an employer in the US.

Individuals can file I-765 form or Application for Employment Authorization by mail with the USCIS Regional Service Center closest to where they live. It can also be filed electronically. Each applicant should file a separate application, with the relevant fees and documents.

EAD can be applied for by certain foreign nationals like,

-one who has filed for a green card or Adjustment of status
-Spouses of L and E visa holders and spouses and children of J visa holders.
-Spouses and children of foreign government officials
-F1 and M1 students of certain categories
-B1 non immigrant employees of US citizens and foreign airlines.
-Foreign nationals of refugee and asylum status.
-Foreign nationals of V non immigrant status and who are under the temporary protected status.

The EADs issued by the USCIS are for different categories, like

*Renewal EAD- This is the EAD which is issued for the EAD that has expired and will be issued only under the same category.

*Replacement EAD- This is issued for the previously issued EAD that has been stolen, lost, damaged, or having erroneous information like mis spelled name etc.

*Interim EAD- This EAD is requested by the foreign employee, if his EAD has not been approved or denied within 90 days and it is 30 days for an asylum applicant.

Further, in case an individual has filed form I -485 application, which is the application to register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of status, on July 30, 2007 or after and paid for it as well, there is no necessity of a filing fee for I-765. Also the I 765 can be filed concurrently with the I-485 or filed separately at a later stage. In case of filing the I-765 form separately, then a copy of the I 797C,Notice of action should be submitted to show that the I 485 application has been filed.

The employment authorization document is a mere work permit and authorizes one to work in the US. Depending on the category, one has to file the I-765 form and take the advantage and right of working in the US, which is a dream for many of the foreign nationals.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

When Should An Employment Authorization Form Be Submitted?

Employment authorization in simple terms is called the 'Work Permit'. Authorization for employment is a serious process and should be followed per the US government criteria. Regardless of the national origin or citizenship, individuals working in the US should be authorized to work in the US. Non immigrants in US, who are on a temporary stay in the US and are eligible to apply for authorized employment and can file the form I 765, which is the employment authorization form.

I 765 Application for Employment Authorization Document.

An EAD is basically a document which proves that an individual is authorized to work in the US. In case of lawful permanent residents it is not necessary to file the form as the the green card itself is an authorization to work. There are different categories through which an individual applies for the employment authorization form. Depending on the category and the requirements, one has to file the form I 765. A few of the categories that can file the form I 765 are listed below:

*Non immigrants who have filed for lawful permanent residents or application of adjustment of status.

*F1 students seeking OPT in an occupation directly related to studies

*Spouses of E and L visa holders

*M1 students seeking Practical Training after completing studies

*Employment- Based Non-immigrant Categories:

-B-1 Non-immigrant who is the personal or Domestic Servant of a Non-immigrant employee

-B-1 Non-immigrant Domestic Servant of a U.S. Citizen

*Family- Based Non-immigrant Categories:

-K-1 Non-immigrant fiancé(e) of U.S.Citizen

-V-1 Non-immigrant

*People in refugee status and paroled as refugee

*People under temporary protected status or applying for it.

*Individuals who are dependents of foreign government officials

Types of Employment authorization form:

There are four types of EADs and the employers must recognize the available types and authorize the individual per the requirement.

  • Regular EAD or Initial EAD:This is the document that proves that the individual is authorized to work in the US

  • Renewal EAD: This EAD proves that the foreign employee has renewed work authorization under the same category through which he/she has initially purchased. It is important to file Form I-765 at least 90 days before the original EAD expires.

  • Replacement EAD: This document is applied in cases where the original EAD is lost, stolen, or mutilated or the original EAD contained incorrect information, such as a misspelled name or name change .Individuals applying for replacement documents can present the receipt for the Form I-765 as evidence of employment eligibility .

  • Interim EAD: If the USCIS does not approve or deny a foreign employee's EAD application within 90 days (within 30 days for an asylum applicant), the employee may request an interim EAD document which allow her to work for a limited period of time.

Not many know the fact that a work permit or an employment authorization document is very essential for an individual who aspires to work in the US. If the individual is eligible for the employment authorization form then he/she can get the assistance from the employer to help in submitting the form I 765 or the employment authorization form.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Immigration - Understanding The Process

A lawful permanent resident has the authorization to permanently live and work in the United States. As a proof of the permanent resident status the individual is given an identification or an authorization card which is commonly called as Green Card . There are many ways in obtaining permanent residence status in the United States. One such way is through Family Immigration. Family based immigration allows an individual to become a permanent resident through a family member who is a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident of United States. The United States allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to petition for their relatives to come and live permanently in the US.

Family Based Green Card

Obtaining a green card through family immigration is a two step process. The first step is filing the Family Immigration Petition form I-130 where the sponsor must establish a qualifying relationship with the immigrant. The second step is filing the green card application. The second step is not needed if the sponsor is a US Citizen and the immigrant is the spouse or parent or minor child who is currently in the US. Other immigrants who do not fall in this category must go through both the process .

If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, the applicant may be able to get a green card if he/she is the immediate relative or the family member of the US Citizen. If the applicant is the spouse (husband or wife), or the child (unmarried and under 21 years old), or the parent (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years or older) of a U.S. Citizen then they are called as Immediate Relatives. An applicant is called the Family Member of a U.S. citizen if he/she is an unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) , a married son or daughter (any age) or a sibling (brother or sister) of a U.S. citizen.

If the Family Member is a Permanent Residents, the applicant may be able to get a green card if he/she is the immediate relative of the Permanent Resident. If the applicant is the spouse of a Green Card holder, or the child (unmarried and under 21 years old / above 21 years) of a Green Card parents, then the applicant is called an Immediate Relative.

To sponsor a family member, the sponsor must meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • The sponsor must be either a US Citizen or a Permanent Resident of the US and a document must be provided as proof for such status.
  • must have a qualifying relationship with the immigrant.
  • must be willing to sponsor the immigrant by filing the family immigration form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
  • must prove that he/she will be able to support the immigrant and other sponsored family members financially at 125% above the mandatory poverty line.

If the applicant is inside US during the family immigration ins application process, he/she may qualify to adjust status to Permanent Resident without returning to their home country. Or if the applicant is outside US, then he/she may be eligible for Consular processing through a Consulate or through an US Embassy that has jurisdiction over their foreign place of residence.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Immigration Guidelines

Immigration basically refers to the movement of people from one country to another. People immigrate due to varied reasons. Some immigrate due to conflicts, some due to poverty and some may voluntarily immigrate and the process on the whole is a very complex issue. Perhaps one needs a lot of courage to move altogether to a new place considering the facts of new culture and norms and also the pressure to earn for a living in a pretty expensive place with meager savings as well. The guidelines are designed to maintain the economic needs and are pillars of a healthy economy.


The USCIS is a major backbone for all the immigration related issues. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services or the USCIS is a government agency which provides all services pertaining to immigration related issues and has been guiding the people. It is known for its profound services.

The progress of immigration laws has been very uneven during the past years. The laws were created by the independent colonies during the colonial times. Naturalization Act of 1790 made the first attempt to naturalize the foreigners, which later stopped by the Chinese Exclusion Act for the Chinese people from naturalizing and later the Immigration Act of 1924, straightened out the number of people (immigrants) to be permitted depending on the nationality. The Immigration and Naturalization Services, INS was created by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.

Initially the process was carried on by five departments of the federal government which are the Department of State, Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services. Later the immigration INS took the place of Department of Homeland Security, which enforces the immigration laws and guides the foreigners. This is again subdivided into three different departments, the USCIS, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection. This transition took place in the year 2003 due to the scandals in the year 2001. All functions of the INS was taken over by the Department of Home land Security, DHS due to the ineffectiveness of the INS. The ICE functions took over the US immigration and Customs Enforcement and the USCIS took over all the immigration related service functions.

The United States has been accepting more number of immigrants than any other country and hence the name, Land of Immigrants. Immigrating to the US has been a source of cultural change and population growth in the American history. In other words America has been energized by the immigrants who come from different culture and background. The USCIS makes sure that accurate and useful information is given to the people, by granting citizenship and immigration benefits and promoting awareness and thereafter ensure the unity of the immigration system. The USCIS plays a major role in processing the naturalization, refugee, asylum and the visa petitions, issuing employment authorization documents and granting permanent resident status. Effective and efficient processing of the applications is performed by the USCIS through the Application Support Centers and National Customer Service Center. Apart form these, the other goals of the USCIS include easy access to the resources and forms to the customers, secured information of the customers, providing customer oriented immigration benefits and information services, bringing a dynamic culture by promoting talented work force.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Extend or Change Non Immigrant Visa Status

Nonimmigrant status is one that is temporary in nature, whereas an immigrant status is permanent. B-1/B-2 visa status falls under non immigrant status. Work visas holders also fall under non immigrant status. B-1 visa is issued to one who enters U.S. temporarily for business whereas B-2 visa is issued to person who enter as a tourist, or as the dependent of a B-1 visa holder or other non immigrant visa holder.

Having a visa allows you to travel to the US port-of entry and there the permission to enter the US is decided. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are the authority who can permit or deny admission to the United States. At the port of entry, if granted entry to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security, US immigration inspector will provide Form I-94, the arrival-departure record in your passport. Per US immigration laws, you need to leave the United States if your I-94 contains a specific date. You can extend your visa status to stay longer than the date on your I-94 in the US if you were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa,

At times, persons who entered the US through a visitor visa might want to extend B-1/B-2 status or switch to B-1/B-2 status from another status. In such cases, the applicant must be able to show that the extended stay is temporary, and that he/she intends to return to his/her home country as soon as the status expires.

After the applicant entered on a valid mom immigrant visa, the application to extend or change to B-1/B-2 status is made through I-539 immigration form. The reason for requesting this extension should be justified. If the applicant is a tourist, then he/she needs to detail the places he/she will visit and the activities that are planned. If the applicant is a business visitor, he/she should furnish a letter from the host business detailing the reason for extension or change of status.

Ensure you file this application before your authorized stay expires. Certain cases might be excused if the delay in filing was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control and you need to prove this.

Why should I change my status ?

If you entered the United States as a tourist, but want to become a student, you need to get your visa status changed by submitting an application to the USCIS. You will be going against the US immigration ins laws if you do not apply to change your nonimmigrant visa status. You may also be removed/deported if you break U.S. immigration laws.

While filing I-539 immigration form for your extension, you can also include your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application. But all have to be in same non immigrant visa category. You can also include them in your I-539 immigration form if your spouse and children were given derivative non immigrant status. Derivative nonimmigrant status means based on your non immigrant status, your spouse and children were given nonimmigrant visas.

Friday, September 24, 2010

US Immigration Problems

Most of us are confronted with immigration problems both while in the US and outside the US. If you feel that your immigration problems were manifold at the borders than while in the US, think again. Here is why.

Lets start with those lucky ones who have got their green card through marriages. Not many are aware that there are underlying conditions attached with green cards obtained through marriage. If a green card has a two year expiration date it implies that the applicant is on a conditional permanent residence status. To remove the conditions attached with the green card, the applicant needs to file the the form I-751. The form I-751 must be filed during the 90 days immediately before the card is due to expire. In most instances this form is filed jointly by both the husband and wife to show the USCIS that they are together. However if this form is not filed on time there is an underlying risk of loosing his/her immigrant status and to compound to their immigration woes, his/her stay in the US will be termed as illegal.

Most of us are vary of the fact that green card plays a pivotal role in our daily life. The possession of a green card allows us to work, live and study in the USA without any problems. But the absence of one would leave us stranded in an immigration outpost or while renewing a drivers license. There have been many an instances were people have been stopped by immigration officials for not possessing a valid green card. So think again whenever you embark on a trip. Ask yourself the question, “Am I traveling with a valid card?”

There has been a steady influx of immigrants to the US over the years. These immigrants are in the US with varied visas. Per law, these immigrants are required to notify the USCIS of their change of address through the form AR-11 within 10 days. Post 9/11 USCIS has made it mandatory that all immigrants with the exception of US citizens should notify them within 10 days of them moving to the US their address and a change of address if any with the form AR-11. Failure to comply with this immigration INS rule would lead to harsh penalty which also includes imprisonment or removal from the US.

Individuals and employers are also confronted with serious problems arising out of the complexity of the immigration process. Though the Immigration and Nationality Act is the principal statute that governs the immigration laws in the US, there are myriad other laws, regulations, procedures and policies that would play a great part in the manner in which a foreign national may enter the United States, while seeking temporary status, green card or for that matter his US Citizenship too. Many of these immigration problems stem from the complexity and opaque nature of the immigration rules and the various agencies administering them.

Applicants filing with the USCIS continue to face lengthy and costly processes which adversely impacts their immigration prospects.

Friday, September 17, 2010

US Immigration Laws

Immigration means the movement of a foreign individual into a country to live on a permanent basis. Each individual who wish to enter a country must seek permission to enter the country and abide by the law. The immigration law refers to the government policies which handles the immigration to the United States. All the US immigration laws are handled by the United States Citizenship and Immigration services , commonly called as USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The USCIS performs many administrative services carried out by the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).

If an individual seeks to enter United States on a temporary basis or to stay permanently , he/she is required to have a valid passport and in most cases requires a visa by the law. The laws determine what a person must do in order to enter United states and stay for the authorized period of time. The individual who seeks to enter United States may enter with either immigrant or non – immigrant visa. An Immigrant visa is used by people who wish to travel to live permanently in US . Non- immigrant visas are issued to people who wish to travel to United States on a temporary basis for business or pleasure.

The USCIS is in charge to make sure the law is being followed by all immigrants and non – immigrants. This includes tracking of the illegal people in United States and ensures that the legal people follow the rules for becoming a permanent resident or a citizen of the United States.

Understanding immigration and its benefits

The law is regulated with the rights that the law will be followed by each individual. An immigration ins law judge may control or oversee the requests to become a US Citizen. To explain this clearly if a person in a refugee status wishes to obtain permanent residency based on the individual facing prosecution by race or nationality, and is permitted to obtain permanent resident status by the law, the immigration law judge may preside over the case to determine whether the individual truly deserves the amnesty.

If a person violates the immigration laws, penalties are decided per the rules either the person to be deported for entering United States illegally or to be prisoned if attempting to obtain citizenship or permanent resident through improper means.

Being an immigrant an individual is benefited in many ways. The individual may increase in cultural diversity, provide economic gains , increase in the standard of living in the part of immigrants, adopt a younger worker force , skilled workers in much needed sectors, obtain social security and various other benefits.

This also includes the national health law program where it provides health care or medicaid to all the employees , workers , people with disabilities and elderly people of the United States .

Immigration means more workers , more consumers and a larger economy for United States. This leads to lower process and much more increase in the purchasing power.

Even though immigration does have disadvantages such as poverty, education costs, increase in crimes , the positive outcomes of the immigration does outweigh the disadvantages.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What is Immigration test?

Immigration to US is a complex issue!Yes it is complex for those who do not understand the language and system in US. It is therefore important to have a thorough knowledge about the English language and the history of US,since the USCIS insists on an English test for those who migrate to US.

While applying for U.S. citizenship through naturalization, the USCIS administers an immigration test to all the applicants. This is a test to manifest the ability of reading, writing and speaking English and further judging the knowledge about the history and the government of the US .

After filing the US citizenship Application, form N-400, USCIS will send an appointment letter for fingerprinting. The applicant will be requested to appear at the local Application Support Center at the date and time listed on the appointment letter. After the back ground check USCIS will notify the applicant about the date, time and place of the interview. At the interview, the applicant will be given the immigration test. If the applicant passes the test he/she will receive a notification in the mail informing him or her to appear at a Naturalization Oath ceremony. At the ceremony, the applicant will take on oath of allegiance, receive a Citizenship certificate or naturalization certificate, and become a citizen of the U.S.

Immigration Test Questions:

Immigration test is your ability to read, write, and speak English and your knowledge of civics. This test is conducted by the USCIS officer during the interview. To test your reading skills, you will have to read one sentence correctly among the three and to test your writing skills you have to write one sentence correctly among the three sentences provided. Regarding your speaking skills, it will be judged during your interview on your citizenship application, the way you converse with the officials. Lastly, to judge your civics knowledge, you have to answer six questions correctly from the ten provided, so as to pass the test.

You will be given two chances in the above tests, both in English and civics tests and to answer all questions relating to your naturalization application in English. At your initial interview, if you fail in the above test, you will have to undergo a retest between 60 and 90 days from the date of your initial interview on the part you failed, either in English or in Civics.

All applicants are required to take the English language test and the Civics test, unless he/she qualifies for an exemption or waiver. Further if the applicant is above 50 years of age and he/she meets certain residency requirements, he/she does not have to take the whole immigration test but only the civics test in his language of choice and if the immigrant is more than 65 years of age he/she does not have to take the English test but should take a simpler version of the civics test in his language of choice

The main idea of the immigration test is to ensure that the applicant has adequate knowledge about the recent news and the US government. To get through the test, applicants can update themselves with information from newspapers, articles and books about history and prepare well ahead for the Immigration INS test.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Immigrant Who Voted Illegally on Road to Becoming a U.S. Citizen

Can an immigrant who resides legally in the U.S. on a work visa but who voted illegally in a presidential election year still become a naturalized U.S. citizen?

Yes, actually. Especially if the Department of Homeland Security sends a letter instructing him to request removal from the voter rolls.

That happened this summer in Putnam County, Tenn., where County Administrator of Elections Debbie Steidl says an immigrant who illegally registered to vote – and then voted – in 2004 is now seeking to become a U.S. citizen.

Steidl says the man gave her a form letter from the DHS instructing him to:

"Submit … evidence that you have been removed from the roll of registered voters. This can be accomplished by contacting your local election commission where you registered and voted. Submit a letter of explanation of why you registered to vote, and where you registered to vote, when you discovered that you were not a United States Citizen."

Read full story at

Friday, August 20, 2010

Immigration: the midterm battleground | Stewart J Lawrence

Republicans are running hard on the issue, but the Democrats' defensiveness may cost them dear with vital Latino votersCan the GOP win back the US Senate this November? Even three months ago, most political observers considered that a mathematical near-impossibility. Now, with Republicans all but certain to capture 44 seats, and another eight seats considered "toss-ups", it's not just a GOP fantasy.

In the latest state polls, Republican candidates are leading Democratic candidates, or running neck-and-neck with them, in six of the eight toss-up contests. In the other two, they trail by only a slight margin. Continue reading Immigration: the midterm battleground

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Friday, August 13, 2010

AP Enterprise: 3 states that offer licenses to illegal immigrants see surge in applications

Carlos Hernandez packed up his family and left Arizona after the state passed its sweeping immigration crackdown. The illegal immigrant's new home outside Seattle offered something Arizona could not: a driver's license.

Three states — Washington, New Mexico and Utah — allow illegal immigrants to get licenses because their laws do not require proof of citizenship or legal residency. An Associated Press analysis found that those states have seen a surge in immigrants seeking IDs in recent months, a trend experts attribute to crackdowns on illegal immigration in Arizona and elsewhere.

"It's difficult being undocumented and not having an identification," said Hernandez, of Puebla, Mexico. "You can use the Mexican ID, but people look down on it." An American driver's license is also a requirement for many jobs.


Friday, August 6, 2010

U.S. citizenship should demand more than birth

Commentary: It's time to change the law and require some other 'linkage'

By Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- What makes us citizens of the United States? Is it merely being born here? According to the U.S. Constitution it is.

But many people -- and I am one of them -- would like to change that. Let me be clear: I don't believe that we are interpreting the 14th Amendment incorrectly, as many people say that we are. (They say the amendment was only intended to apply to African Americans, and has been corrupted.)

I think that we, as many nations have done over the past two decades, need to update our immigration laws.

The U.S. operates on a "jus soli" basis, meaning that if a child is born on U.S. territory he or she can claim American citizenship. There are even reports of this being turned into a business. Hotels are reportedly now offering "birth tourism" packages. Apparently the child born in the U.S. could then be considered what some are calling an "anchor," making it easier for parents and relatives to acquire green cards. Continue Reading at


Amid immigration debate, Democrats battle GOP over Fourteenth Amendment

Fingerprinting fears by pro-illegal immigrant groups

Republicans want review of birthright citizenship

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Immigration Law: Protests Continue but Polls Show Majority Favor Law

Is the immigration law in Arizona favored by the majority of Americans? A nation-wide survey conducted in July indicates the amount of US residents desiring a decrease in immigration is now below 50%. The Gallup poll revealed that between 2009 and 2010 this amount has decreased by 5%. However, respondents mostly favored the harsh, new Arizona immigration law and opposed the government’s attempt to block it.

Read more:


Brewer Seeks Dismissal of Obama Challenge to Immigration Law

Nebraska City Suspends Voter-Approved Ban on Renting to Illegal Immigrants

Fingerprint for Rounding Up Illegal Immigrants?

Could Florida Be the Next Immigration Law Hot Spot?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Green Card Through Family

Family immigration is the process where you are sponsored by your family member for legal stay in the US. Green card gives you legal resident status in the US. With a green card, you can live and work in the US permanently. There are different ways through which you can get a green card. You can get one through employment or through the Diversity Visa lottery program. Family immigration is also possible where you can be sponsored by your US citizen or permanent resident family member for a green card.

Family based green card :

In the family based green card process, as a legal permanent resident, you can sponsor your spouse and unmarried children. But to sponsor your parents or siblings, you need to be a US citizen. You can get a green card by being the immediate relative or as a family member in a preference category. But who is an immediate relative in the family immigration context? You are a immediate relative if you are the child (unmarried and under 21 years old) of a U.S. Citizen or the spouse (husband or wife) of a U.S. Citizen or the parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years or older).

Whereas you will fall into the preference category in the family immigration context if you are the unmarried son or daughter (21 years or older) of a U.S. Citizen or a married son or daughter (any age) of a U.S. Citizen or a sibling (brother or sister) of a U.S. Citizen. So being an immediate relative or in the preference category will be an advantage in the family immigration process.

While sponsoring your family member, the US citizen or lawful permanent resident needs to file an Affidavit of Support. The US citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) needs to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with the concerned authority that is the USCIS. Once the petition is approved, the USCIS sends a notification to the US citizen or permanent resident who filed this petition and to the National Visa Center. There is a limit to the number of family-based immigrants in certain categories every year. So the petition will remain in the National Visa Center until an immigrant visa number is available. But here, the immediate relatives of the US citizen, namely parents, spouse and children have an advantage as they need not wait for this visa number as a number is made available as soon the visa petition is approved. The foreign relative will then be informed by the National Visa Center about the petition received and will also notify as soon as the visa number is available. So when the petition is approved, the foreign relative can apply for an immigrant visa at the US embassy or Consulate in their country which is called Consular processing. Whereas, if the foreign relative is already in the US, he/she can adjust non immigrant status to a permanent resident status as soon as the petition is approved by the USCIS. Here the foreign relative can complete the processing without even having to return to his home country.

You can also get a permanent resident card through special categories of the family immigration namely, being a battered child OR you obtained V non immigrant status OR born to a foreign diplomat in the United States to name a few.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

AZ Illegal Immigration Law Hearing Ends With No Ruling

Source: KVOA.Com

PHOENIX (UPDATED) - A federal judge in Phoenix didn't rule on whether to block Arizona's new immgiration law Thursday after two hours of testimony in the first major hearing in one of seven challenges to the strict crackdown.

The Phoenix police officer who filed the lawsuit could be fired if he doesn't enforce the law he has sued to block, an attorney told U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, who didn't say when she'd decide whether to halt the law before it takes effect July 29.

Attorneys for Gov. Jan Brewer told U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton that the lawsuit - filed by Officer David Salgado and the statewide nonprofit group Chicanos Por La Causa - should be dismissed because Salgado and the group lack legal standing to sue and that there's no valid claim of immediate harm.

But Salgado's attorney disagreed.

"He does have a real threat," attorney Stephen Montoya said. "They can fire him. That's enough."

Bolton is considering whether to block the law and whether to dismiss the lawsuit. She may not rule before the law is set to take effect July 29.

Hearings on the six other lawsuits, including one filed by the federal government, are set for next week. Continue Reading at

Snapshot of the latest news on immigration law

  • All 10,000 crime victim visas issued - KVOA TucsonAll 10,000 crime victim visas issued WASHINGTON - The government has issued all 10,000 visas available this year for immigrant crime victims who help authorities investigate and prosecute perpetrators.15 Jul 2010
  • Is the New Tanning Tax Racist? - Black VoicesIs the New Tanning Tax Racist? Filed under: News , The Economy Some are fuming over a new tax that was quietly introduced into recent healthcare legislation. The tax is a 10 percent levy imposed solely on those who use ultraviolet indoor tanning beds. The tax is expected to raise $2.7 billion for the economy. It is also designed to discourage the use of tanning beds, which are known to significantly increase the risk of skin ...15 Jul 2010
  • Small Ill. township makes English official language - KVOA TucsonSmall Ill. township makes English official language HOMER GLEN - A small northeastern Illinois township has made English its official language as a symbolic gesture supporting Arizona's controversial immigration law.15 Jul 2010
  • AZ illegal immigration law hearing ends with no ruling - KVOA TucsonAZ illegal immigration law hearing ends with no ruling PHOENIX (UPDATED) - A federal judge in Phoenix didn't rule on whether to block Arizona's new immgiration law Thursday after two hours of testimony in the first major hearing in one of seven challenges to the strict crackdown.15 Jul 2010
  • CWS Assists Haitians with TPS Deadline Extension (Lesley Crosson CWS Assists H) - Worldwide Faith NewsCWS Assists Haitians with TPS Deadline Extension (Lesley Crosson CWS Assists H) NEW YORK CITY - July 15, 2010 - Church World Service welcomed the U.S. government=E2=80=99s decision to give Haitians an additional six months to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and affirmed it would continue to reach out to Haitians in the United States with immigration legal information and assistance.15 Jul 2010
  • Judge hears arguments over Arizona immigration law - CNN Political TickerJudge hears arguments over Arizona immigration law A Border Patrol agent patrols the border in Nogales, Arizona. Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) – An attorney for a Phoenix police officer challenging the state's new immigration law argued in court Thursday that his client could be fired or disciplined if he doesn't enforce the law. Stephen Montoya countered the state's position that Officer David Salgado [...]15 Jul 2010
  • Officer Sues To Block Arizona Immigration Law - NPROfficer Sues To Block Arizona Immigration Law A federal judge in Phoenix heard the first challenge to Arizona's tough immigration law Thursday. The suit was brought by a police officer, who contends it asks him to usurp federal authority. Robert Siegel speaks to NPR's Ted Robbins, who was in court for the arguments.15 Jul 2010
  • Lowndes County Moves Into New Home - WCTV TallahasseeLowndes County Moves Into New Home The Judicial and Administrative Complex in downtown Valdosta is now occupied.15 Jul 2010
  • Valdosta Firefighters Prep for Rescue Missions - WCTV TallahasseeValdosta Firefighters Prep for Rescue Missions A team of south Georgia firemen are brushing up on their aircraft rescue techniques15 Jul 2010
  • Miss. in for immigration law changes? - Delta Democrat TimesMiss. in for immigration law changes? DARYL BELL darylbell@ddtonline.com15 Jul 2010
  • AZ immigration law gets first major court hearing - The Kentucky PostAZ immigration law gets first major court hearing PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix police officer could be fired if he doesn't enforce the state's new immigration law he has sued to block, an attorney told a federal judge Thursday in the first major hearing in one of seven challenges to the strict crackdown.15 Jul 2010
  • Judge hears arguments over Arizona immigration law - CNNJudge hears arguments over Arizona immigration law An attorney for a Phoenix police officer challenging the state's new immigration law argued in court Thursday that his client could be fired or disciplined if he doesn't enforce the law.15 Jul 2010
  • Court hears Arizona immigrant law challenge - ReutersCourt hears Arizona immigrant law challenge PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona police officer on Thursday urged a federal judge to stop a strict new state immigration law from going into effect in the first of a series of legal challenges to the controversial statute.15 Jul 2010
  • AM Doha Time - Gulf TimesAM Doha Time The television ratings for baseball’s All-Star game were abysmal but Bud Selig has other worries concerning the annual Midsummer Classic.15 Jul 2010
  • State Politics Fueling Michigan's Legal Support of Arizona's Immigration Law, Analyst Say - Fox NewsState Politics Fueling Michigan's Legal Support of Arizona's Immigration Law, Analyst Say Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox's move this week to rally nine states in support of Arizona's immigration law in federal court against the Obama administration could give him the edge in a tightly-contested gubernatorial primary against four other Republicans that is less than three weeks away.15 Jul 2010
  • Arizona Immigration Law Takes Spotlight in Florida politics - First Coast NewsArizona Immigration Law Takes Spotlight in Florida politics TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is joining eight other states opposed to the Obama Administration's lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law, which makes illegal immigration a state crime.15 Jul 2010
  • ACLU sends letter to Decatur City Council over immigration issue - WAFF 48 News HuntsvilleACLU sends letter to Decatur City Council over immigration issue DECATUR, AL (WAFF)- The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama is threatening to sue if the city of Decatur passes an immigration law similar to one passed in another Alabama town.15 Jul 2010
  • Sheriff Dever considers his own legal action over SB 1070 - The Sierra Vista HeraldSheriff Dever considers his own legal action over SB 1070 By Bill Hess Herald/Review SIERRA VISTA — Saying he will not wait for the federal court to find him and other Arizona county sheriffs not culpable when it comes to the state’s new immigration law, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said he may file counter-litigation against the ACLU . Joining him is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. Both sheriffs are strong supporters of Arizona Senate Bill ...15 Jul 2010
  • No Ruling By Judge In SB 1070 Lawsuit - CBS 5 PhoenixNo Ruling By Judge In SB 1070 Lawsuit A federal judge in Phoenix doesn't rule on a lawsuit to block Arizona's new immigration law after hearing two hours of testimony.15 Jul 2010
  • House Democrats Insert Gay Rights into Immigration Debate - Fox NewsHouse Democrats Insert Gay Rights into Immigration Debate House Democrats are trying to broaden support for immigration reform by reaching out to the gay and lesbian community with a provision in immigration legislation that would allow gay and lesbian Americans to bring foreign partners home to the United States.15 Jul 2010
  • Louis Provenzano: Obama Gets it Right in Arizona - The Huffington PostLouis Provenzano: Obama Gets it Right in Arizona As the Democrats begin to worry about the potential impact on fall elections of the Obama administration's lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law, this is...15 Jul 2010
  • Protesters meet with Dreier in regard to immigration issues - Fontana Herald NewsProtesters meet with Dreier in regard to immigration issues Protesters who support immigrants’ rights gather at the office of Rep. David Dreier. (Herald News photo by Alejandro Cano) After seven months of demanding a personal meeting, six immigration and human rights advocates finally met with Rep. David Dreier (R-San Dimas) on July 8 at his congressional district office.15 Jul 2010

15 to 30 mins old
  • Judge in SB1070 suit warned of law's impact - Arizona Daily StarJudge in SB1070 suit warned of law's impact The state and its taxpayers will suffer if there is any delay in enforcing Arizona's new immigration law, an attorney for Gov. Jan Brewer told a federal judge today.15 Jul 2010
  • Rants raising money for immigration law - KTIV Sioux CityRants raising money for immigration law DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Former Iowa House Speaker Christopher Rants says he'll use a nonprofit foundation to raise money for the legal defense of an Arizona immigration law being challenged by the federal government.15 Jul 2010
  • New TIME Poll: Full Results - Time MagazineNew TIME Poll: Full Results Based on a survey of roughly 1,000 adults conducted during July 12 and 13, here are the results of a TIME poll on the state of political play in America.15 Jul 2010
  • Ariz. Immigration Law Hearing Ends With No Ruling - CBS 5 PhoenixAriz. Immigration Law Hearing Ends With No Ruling Arizona shouldn't have to suffer from the country's broken immigration system when it has 15,000 police officers who can arrest illegal immigrants, state attorneys argued Thursday in the first major hearing on challenges to a strict new immigration law.15 Jul 2010

30 to 60 mins old

1 to 2 hours old