Expats Returning to the United States Face Challenges in the Immigration System

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

Last week, the Houston Business Journal reported on a growing trend of American expats returning to the Houston area to meet the demand for experienced and skilled employees in Houston’s growing energy sector. While these returning expats might be United States citizens with no immigration issues themselves, they often face challenges related to their family members.

HBJ: Expats Returning to Houston Due to Energy Sector Growth

Posted on July 27, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The Houston Business Journal reported Wednesday that large numbers of expatriates are returning to Houston due to growth in the energy sector. With many of these expats come spouses and stepchildren who will need to apply for lawful immigration status in the United States. An experienced immigration attorney can assist with these processes.

SCOTUS: Aged-out Children Cannot Use Old Priority Date with New Petition

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The Supreme Court issued its holding in Scialabba v. Cuellar De Osorio holding that children who turn 21 during their immigration process - or their parents' immigration process - must go to the "back of the line" and wait all over again to immigrate. The Court split 5-4 in favor of the U.S. Government's position that people who have waited years, sometimes over a decade, for a greencard have to go back to the beginning of that process and start over if they "age out," or turn 21 before they are eligible to apply for greencards. This decision is especially disheartening in light of severe backlogs in the family immigration system and makes the need for reform of both our family and employment-based immigration systems even more acute.

Washington State District Court holds that TPS is "Admission" for Purposes of Adjustment of Status

Posted on June 05, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has held that a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an "Admission" for purposes of Adjustment of Status - the process of applying for Permanent Residence or a "green card" in the United States.

USCIS Limits Validity of Form I-693 Medical Examination Record

Posted on June 02, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced last week that beginning June 1, 2014, it will limit the validity period for all Forms I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to one year from the date of submission to USCIS. This new policy applies to any Form I-693 filed with an application that USCIS adjudicates on or after June 1, 2014

Department of State Releases June 2014 Visa Bulletin

Posted on May 10, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The Department of State has released the June 2014 Visa Bulletin. Some changes include:

DOS Visa Office Comments on National Visa Center Fees

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

Charlie Oppenheim of the U.S. Department of State Visa Office indicated to members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that the National Visa Center (NVC) is requesting payment of NVC fees 8-12 months in advance of the date that an applicant's priority date is expected to become current.

5th Circuit: 245(i) Does Not Waive Fraud Under 212(a)(6)

Posted on April 17, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The Fifth Circuit issued a published decision holding that a person seeking to adjust status to Permanent Resident who has committed fraud under INA § 212(a)(6) may not adjust status under § 245(i). The applicants in question were seeking to adjust status to permanent resident based on an approved employment-based petition, but had originally entered the U.S. with visas bearing other people's names. This is considered fraud under INA § 212(a)(6). Thus, while the applicants' time out of status might have been waiver under § 245(i) and an illegal entry would have been waived under § 245(i), the fraud committed when entering the U.S. is a separate matter. If the applicants had also been eligible for fraud waivers under INA § 212(i), they might have been able to adjust status in the United States.

DOS Releases May 2014 Visa Bulletin

Posted on April 09, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The U.S. Department of State released the May 2014 Visa Bulletin. F-2A remains stuck at September 8, 2013 for most areas of the world, with Mexico slightly behind on April 15, 2012. In the Employment-based context, EB-3 and Other Workers for the Philippines has moved up a few months to November 1, 2007, and the EB-3 and Other Workers categories remain at October 1, 2012 for people of all other nationalities. EB-3 China remains ahead of EB-2 China. EB-2 India has moved up one month to November 15, 2004.

April 2014 Visa Bulletin Released!

Posted on March 10, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The U.S. Department of State has released the April 2014 Visa bulletin. In the Family-Based categories, F-2A (spouses and minor children of permanent residents) is holding at September 8, 2013 for much of the world, In the Employment-Based categories, EB-3 (professionals holding at least a bachelor's degree) Rest-of-World, China and Mexico have progressed to October 1, 2012, while EB-3 India remains backlogged to September 15, 2003 and EB-3 Philippines is backlogged to July 15, 2007.

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