September 2010

A Success Story: Using the B Visa

Recently, our firm was contacted by the agent of an international pop star who needed to travel to the U.S. urgently for a major performance. He wanted to perform immediately in order to raise funds for a humanitarian cause. The problem: The performer did not have a P-3 visa, which is for a performer of a culturally unique program. Applying for a P-3 visa would take time, and time was a luxury that this philanthropic artist could not afford.

Update on the DREAM ACT

In September, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attached The DREAM ACT bill to the Defense Department authorization bill in hopes passing the much awaited law. The bill needed 60 votes to survive for the next round of consideration. However, the bill was rejected by a 56 to 43 vote.

The DREAM ACT, which refers to "The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act," is a bill that was drafted many years ago. The bill purports to legalize the status of young, undocumented immigrants if they attend college for two years or join the military. The immigrant must have arrived in the U.S. while under the age of 16 and have resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years before the enactment of the law. Also, the person must not have been convicted of serious crimes.

This proposed law is aimed at helping those children who were either brought to the U.S. illegally or fell out of legal status. It encourages them to gain education and to serve our country in a meaningful way, while barring those who are convicted felons.

The DREAM ACT legislation may be reintroduced to Congress. In order to show your support for this important legislation, contact your Congressman and Senator Reid's office.

In This Issue

Newsletter Issues

REMINDER: More Permanent Residency Visas Become Available!

In our previous newsletter, we advised our readers that more visas have become available for certain categories of permanent resident applicants. We want to reiterate the importance of this news.

This development is crucial for many permanent residents who have petitioned for their spouses and children. Traditionally, such petitioners have had to wait many years for the visas to become available for their family. However, according to the latest visa bulletin from the U.S. Department of State, visas for these beneficiaries are now only a few months backlogged. According to the October visa bulletin, the Department of State is processing visas for spouses and children of permanent residents that were filed in April 2010! This is a significant improvement in the backlog.

But be careful:

  1. This reduction in the backlog will not necessarily last long. Take advantage of it as soon as you can.
  2. Visa availability does not mean that one's unauthorized stay in the U.S. is excused.

However, there may be additional remedies for one's unauthorized stay.

In order to determine whether you, or someone you know, benefits from the visa availability, contact an experienced immigration attorney immediately!

Immigration Filing Fees Go Up

Yet again, the USCIS is raising its filing fees. Effective November 23, 2010, the filing fees for most applications will increase by an overall average of about 10%.

After a commentary period, USCIS adopted the new fee structure due to a budgetary shortfall. This will be the second fee increase since the year 2007.

If you are considering filing an immigration application, consult with an attorney immediately regarding your eligibility, and file before November 23rd.

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