January 5, 2005 USVISIT
Program Takes Effect: Fingerprinting Required For All Visitors to
US Ports of Entry
Visitors traveling to the US, including those
from visa waiver countries, will now be fingerprinted at US border
points of entry like airports and land crossings. Currently 115
airports and 14 seaports are fingerprinting visitors. For more information
about the process and points of entry where the program has taken
effect, visit the Department
of Homeland Security's website.
6, 2005 US Extends Protected Status for Salvadorans Thru
The US Department of Homeland Security has
announced it will extend Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans
for an additional eighteen months, through September 9, 2006.
January 3, 2005 H2B
Visa Cap Reached for Temporary/Seasonal Workers
October 10, 2004
Application Dates Set for Next Green Card Lottery (DV-2006)
October 10, 2004 V-2
Visa Children May Stay in US Beyond 21st Birthday
June 25, 2004 Non-immigrant
visa renewals discontinued in US. Last day to submit application
and documents is July 16, 2004.
August 7, 2003
International travelers who stop over
in US airports must now possess a valid U.S. visa. Read more here.
July 29, 2003 More
than 600 US colleges and universities may have missed the SEVIS
(Student Exchange Visitor and Information System) application deadline.
This may cause problems for some foreign exchange students this
fall when they try to enter the U.S.
July 21, 2003 Temporary
Protected Status (TPS) Extended for Somalian Citizens.
TPS has been extended by one year, to September 17, 2004.
Deadline to apply for this extension by September 19th, 2003.
May 20 , 2003 NOTICE
TO TPS Victims of Hurricane Mitch:
DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR TPS EXTENSION IS JULY 5, 2002 Temporary
protected status for Nicaraguan and Hondurans will be extended for
eighteen months. But you must apply for this extension.
May 19, 2003 US
Visitors Subject to New Strict Inspections at Airports
January 2003 INS
Splits into Two New Agencies, the BCIS and the BBS in the wake of
January 8, 2003
USCIS Announces New Rule
for the Adjustment of Status of Certain Nationals from Vietnam,
Cambodia and Laos.
October 28, 2002.USCIS Announces Case Status Online. Interactive feature
will let visa applicants check their status on the internet.
September 11, 2002 The
National Security Entry-Exit Program, or NSEERS, requires temporary
foreign visitors from 21 countries to register in person with the
April 8, 2002 USCIS proposes
tighter restrictions on tourist, business and student visas.
June 1, 2001 the
USCIS established interim regulations for applying
for adjustment of status for certain classes of undocumented individuals.
May 3, 2001 the USCIS extends TPS status for Nicaraguans and Hondurans displaced
by Hurricane Mitch to July 5, 2002
March 2, 2001 The
Bush Administration allows certain Salvadorans currently residing
in the US to apply for Temporary Protected Status
December 21, 2000 The LIFE
Act extends adjustment of status deadlines under Section 245(i)
to April 30,2001 - important news for immigrants who may have
entered, worked or stayed illegally in the U.S.
December 21, 2000 - LIFE
act provision creates 2 new visas, bringing families closer together
while their visa applications are processed
October 17, 2000 President Clinton
Signs H-1B Visa Bill Upping Quotas
October 3, 2000 Senate Passes High-Tech Visa Bill
June 2, 2000 H-1B Workers Group Lobbies for Law Changes
May 10, 2000 TPS Extension
Filing Period BegINS for Hondurans, Nicaraguans
April 15, 2000 Naturalization
Applicants: Change of Address Toll-Free Number
March, 2000 Clinton Administration
Extends NACARA Amnesty Deadline
March 21, 2000 H-1B Petition
Deadline for FY2000
August 9, 1999 Portugal,
Uruguay, Singapore added to Visa Waiver Program
July 1, 1999 H and L Visa
Holders Exempted from Advanced Parole Filing
April 8, 2002
The USCIS proposed significant changes to rules governing
visitors and students, including an interim rule taking effect immediately
which would prohibit visitor visa (B) holders from pursuing a course
of study prior to obtaining approval of a change to student status.
The new regulations will also reduce the maximum length of stay
for B visa holders from one year to six months, limit the conditions
for granting an extension of stay, and reduce the minimum stay for
tourist visa holders.
June 1, 2001
The USCIS announced new interim regulations for applying
for adjustment of status under several sections of the Legal Immigration
and Family Equity, or LIFE, Act. This procedure is popularly known
as "late amnesty" and the USCIS estimates
that almost half a million undocumented aliens may be eligible to
apply for it.
However, the new regulations apply only to those undocumented individuals
who are already parties to one of three lawsuits (CSS, LULAC
or Zembrano). These lawsuits were filed in
response to a 1988 legalization program which, the parties assert,
caused certain immigrants to be improperly denied legalization or
incorrectly discouraged them from applying.
Are you eligible for "late amnesty"? Find out by clicking
May 3, 2001
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced
today the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras
and Nicaragua for a period of 12 months until July 5, 2002. The
extension of TPS for Hondurans and Nicaraguans is effective July
5, 2001 and will remain in effect until July 5, 2002. This extension
applies to approximately 105,000 Hondurans and 5,300 Nicaraguans
who have already registered for TPS.
The re-registration period begINS upon publication of the rule
in the Federal Register, which is expected next week, and continues
for 90 days from the publication date.
To learn more about Temporary Protected
Status, click here.
Hondurans and Nicaraguans currently registered under TPS who desire
an extension must re-register by filing both the TPS application
(Form I-821) and an application for employment authorization (Form
I-765) with anUSCIS Service Center. For re-registration, there is
no fee for Form I-821. However, a $100 fee must accompany Form I-765
if an applicant requests employment authorization. If the applicant
does not require employment authorization or already has employment
authorization, Form I-765 is still required but no fee is necessary.
These forms are available from the toll-freeUSCIS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676,
and from the USCIS Web site, www.USCIS.gov.
An applicant may request a waiver of TPS-related application fees
by submitting proper documentation of inability to pay.
March 2, 2001
The Bush Administration has granted certain Salvadorans who
have resided continuously in the US since February 13, 2001 the
opportunity to apply for Temporary Protected Status, which would
grant them the ability to live and work legally in the US for up
to 18 months and obtain temporary working papers.
To learn more about Temporary Protected
Status, click here.
December 21, 2000
President Clinton signed into law the LIFE Act, or the Legal
Immigration and Family Equity Act Amendments. This law will benefit
many immigrants who were previously ineligible to adjust their status
to permanent U.S. resident.
The LIFE Act benefits those who have entered the U.S. illegally,
worked in the U.S. illegally, or overstayed their temporary visas
illegally but are otherwise eligible to apply for a green card,
through family, employment, investment in a US business, etc.
As long as these immigrants can prove they were in the U.S. on
the date of the bill's signing (December 21, 2000), they may submit
a petition to adjust their status to permanent resident until April
30, 2001. Previously the law, called Section 245(i), applied only
to those who had submitted their petitions on or before January
The law requires these new applicants to pay a $1,000 filing penalty
with their application.
December 21, 2000
The new LIFE Act (see above for more info)
also creates 2 new temporary visas designed to enable families to
live together while awaiting the outcomes of their green card applications:
The V Visa - for spouses and children under 21 of green card holders,
who have applied for residency under the family
preference 2A category. Previously 2A applicants had to wait
4-6 years while their applications were processed before being allowed
to join their relative in the U.S.
The extended "K" Visa - for spouses of U.S. citizens
and their children who have applied to become permanent residents.
The extended K visa allows such relatives to live and work in the
U.S. indefinitely while awaiting the outcome of their applications.
This visa may only be applied for outside the U.S.
October 17, 2000
Clinton has signed a bill (S2045) which will increase the number
of H-1B visas issued to foreign workers to 195,000 per year over
the next three years. The new law also gives more flexibility to
current H-1B visa holders seeking to
change jobs as well as those attempting to adjust their status to
that of permanent resident.
The law will double the fee an employer petitioner
must pay from $500 to $1,000 in order to pay for high-tech job training
for American citizens.
October 3, 2000
The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill (95-1) to provide
nearly 600,000 new visas for workers sought by the high-tech industry.
The bill raises the yearly H-1B visa quota to 195,000 from 115,000
per year, and would exempt from the cap foreign graduates of U.S.
master's or doctoral programs or foreign workers at U.S. colleges.
President Clinton is expected to sign the bill into law before leaving
June 2, 2000
An H-1B workers advocate group, the Immigrants
Support Network, is lobbying Congress for less restrictive laws
and quotas concerning H-1B visa holders attempting to gain permanent
residency (green cards). Read more about this important issue
in an article at the San
Francisco Chronicle website (sfgate.com).
May 10, 2000
TPS (Temporary Protected Status) extensions for Honduran
and Nicaraguan refugees may be filed atUSCIS Centers
beginning May 11, 2000 through Jun 9, 2000. Only those who were
residing in the United States prior to December 30, 1998 and were
eligible under the original TPS designation are eligible to apply
for the extension. Spouses and children of aliens may also apply
for the extension, as long as they meet the original TPS eligibility
April 15, 2000
Naturalization applicants:USCIS change of address service is now available by calling
a toll-free number: 800-375-5283
Central American amnesty application
deadline has been extended for those applicants eligible under NACARA
( Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act).
March 21, 2000
The Immigration and Naturalization Service is no longer
accepting H-1B visa petitions for employment for Fiscal Year 2000.
The next earliest time to submit a petition will be October 1, 2000
(for FY 2001). The cap on H-1B visas for FY 2001 has been set at
107,500, slightly less than for the previous year. For more detailed
information on this subject, click here
to head to the USCIS website.
August 9, 1999
Citizens of Portugal, Singapore and Uruguay may travel to the
US without a visa for up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Pilot
Program (VWPP). To see the other members of the VWPP, click
-No change of visa status allowed
-No visa extension past 90 days
-Travellers under the program are prohibited
to work or study in the US
-If entering by air or sea, travellers must have a round-trip
ticket with a carrier that has signed a VWPP treaty with the US
To learn more about visa waivers, click here.
Other Participating Countries: Andorra,
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein,
Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San
Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.
USCIS interim regulations taking
effect July 1, 1999 exempt H and L visa holders applying for adjustment
of status (Form I-485) from having to apply for advance
parole in order to re-enter the country, as long as they have
not obtained an employment authorization document (EAD) and used
it to to accept employment with an employer other than the original
employer sponsor. In that case their status changes to "adjustment
applicant" and they must apply for advanced parole.