Legal Services From the Nation's Capital Since 1998
-Our Immigration Practice-
The key to understanding how immigration works is knowing that there are many different agencies and bureaus of the government involved. Each agency has its own rules and expectations.
The main United States agency involved in immigration is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and under DHS jurisdiction, there are multiple Bureaus. The most common is the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), charged with the primary work of adjudicating requests for naturalization as American citizens, processing adjustment of status to lawful permanent residents (Green Cards) based on family and business petitions, and changing the status of foreigners visiting the country on a temporary basis -- such as students and tourist.
The main agency involved in the immigration process outside the United States is the Department of State (DOS). It is the DOS that is in charge of the Consulates, and the agency that supervises interview protocols of foreign nationals who want to visit the United States. The DOS issues Non-Immigrant Visas (NIV) and Immigrant Visas (IV). The State Department is also in charge of overseeing the visa quota allocations. Every month it posts the Visa Bulletin on their webpage www.travel.state.gov. The State Department is also in charge of the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery which allows up to 50,000 families to emigrate to the United States every year. The DV Lottery is free, and opens every October for approximately two (2) months.
These two agencies are completely different in the way they treat foreign nationals. The main concern is that people outside the United States are not entitled to legal counsel. Lawyers have no power at the U.S. Consulates. So it is very important that people seeking a visa are properly prepared for their interview and understand how the Consular Officer will review the file.
-IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS ON VISAS-
H1B VISA 2018
USCIS Updated on April 12th, 2016 that they have received over 236,000 petitions for FY 2017 quota and the lottery was completed on April 9th.
Important Documents for H1B Petition to meet the filing day.
1-Labor Condition Application (LCA): You must submit a copy of certified Department of Labor LCA (Form ETA 9035) at the time you file your petition. Keep Department of Labor LCA processing times in mind when preparing the H-1B petition and to plan accordingly. If the LCA is certified for multiple workers, you must provide the name and USCIS case receipt number of any foreign worker who has previously used the LCA.
2-Evidence of Beneficiary’s Educational Background: You must submit evidence of the beneficiary’s education credentials (with English translations when applicable) at the time you file your petition. If the beneficiary has met all of the requirements for a degree, but the degree has not yet been awarded, you may submit the following alternate evidence: A copy of the beneficiary’s final transcript; or A letter from the registrar confirming that the beneficiary has met all of the degree requirements. If the educational institution does not have a registrar, then the letter must be signed by the person in charge of educational records where the degree will be awarded. If you indicate that the beneficiary is qualified based on a combination of education and experience, please provide substantiating evidence at the time you file your petition.