March 2010

Your TAXES and IMMIGRATION Consequences

It is that time of year again . . . to pay your dues to Uncle Sam! But besides just being the only certainty along with death (as the adage goes), taxes can also be necessary for your immigration status. Let us explore how paying, or not paying, your taxes can affect your status in the United States.

Extension of Religious Visa Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2010, signed by the President on Oct. 28, 2009, extends the following USCIS programs until Sept. 30, 2012:

The special immigrant visa category for non-minister religious workers covers those within a religious vocation or occupation and also applies to accompanying or ‘following-to-join’ spouses and children of non-ministers. USCIS will continue to receive and process Form 1-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, based on Form I-360 petitions.

Saving a Dying Petitioner's Last Wish, Part II

In our previous newsletter, we announced that Congress recently approved, and President Obama signed into law, legislation which would allow a beneficiary to pursue his petition for permanent residence, even if the petitioner dies during its pendency. We promised to provide you more specific update in the upcoming issue.

Under the previous rule, a widow(er) had to have been married to his or her late U.S. Citizen spouse for two years in order to self-petition. The new law removes this requirement. Also, the same law applies to widow(er)s residing abroad.

Notably, all the other traditional requirements for a widow(er) remain in force. For example, the applicant must prove that the marriage to the deceases U.S. citizen was bona fide and not simply for immigration benefits, that he or she has not remarried and he or she is otherwise admissible to the U.S.

The expansion of widow(er) benefits is an equitable immigration remedy for those who had good intentions but were unfortunate to lose their loved ones.

In This Issue

Newsletter Issues


The H-1B Visa: Background & UPDATES

The H-1B Visa is a valuable employment-based petition. This article seeks to inform our readers of some basic aspects of this visa, while also advising of its complexities. The article also contains some important updates.

New Form I-485 for Adjustment of Status

USCIS has presented a new Form I-485 for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. This new form version is dated December 3, 2009, and the prior versions will not be accepted after March 29, 2010. Also, there are some changes in the filing locations for this application. Before filing any applications, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

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