Application Procedures

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Current PERM Processing Times as of June 1, 2015

The US Department of Labor tags a case once it is certified, denied, withdrawn or denied or certified-expired (they expire 6 months after approval so file your I-140 within that 6 months).  Trackitt posts statistics about DOL here:

The latest update on PERM processing time as of June 1, 2015 is as follows:

Read more . . .

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Applicants Beware!

Unauthorized practice of law is an issue in every practice area of law. The practice, however, is especially common in the area of immigration law. Unauthorized individuals who represent themselves as immigration attorneys and notarios often take advantage of immigrants who are not knowledgeable about the legal issues in question, nor about standards governing the practice of law in the United States. A great deal of harm can result from going to a notario, who is not a licensed attorney and who may not have the correct knowledge of immigration law.

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, AILA’s DC UPIL Committee held a presentation on this issue and taught the attendees, many of whom were Brazilian and Jamaican nationals, the importance of hiring an attorney as well as the dangers of using a notario.

Foreign nationals who need assistance with their immigration matters should always seek assistance from a licensed attorney knowledgeable on immigration law, rather than a notario, to prevent harm to their legal status and cases.  And, please report unlawful notario fraud to an organization under the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) at

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Third-Country Nationals’ (“TCN”) Processing in Canada “Extremely Limited”

Last week, Department of State (“DOS”) informed American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) that “due to increasingly heavy demand by Canada-based visa applicants, the seven U.S. visa processing posts in Canada are extremely limited in their ability to accept TCN cases during the peak demand period of June, July, and August. Canadian posts encourage such applicants to seek appointments elsewhere in the world, such as in the applicant’s home country.  Canadian posts will offer increased appointment availability for TCNs during non-peak processing times, such as October and November, and January through May.”[1]


Mexico, with ten posts (Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, or Tijuana), is a possible alternative.

  • TCNs who do not reside in Mexico and who seek to renew their visas in any category other than B1/B2 (pleasure/business) and H2 (temporary worker) can apply in Mexico. 

“NOTE – The applicant must apply to renew in the same visa category and cannot apply in a different category.”[2]

  • TCNs should keep in mind that they may need to acquire a visa to visit Mexico.


Istanbul, London and Paris are some of the alternative locations for TCN processing this summer, so long as the applicant has proper documentation to lawfully enter the countries where the processing posts are located.  Acceptance of processing by a consulate is always optional. 

We also remind clients that failure to be issued a visa in the third-country will result in a trip directly onward to the home country if the visa stamp is otherwise expired/invalid for US reentry.

[1] "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14060447 (posted Jun. 4, 2014)"

[2] “Who Can Apply,” Embassy of the United States Mexico,


Thursday, June 12, 2014

RFEs Issued to Refresh Medicals (I-693) Pending Over One Year

Effective June 1, 2014, USCIS is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFE’s) on Adjustment of Status Applications submitted for the green card asking applicants to submit a new Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record if the I-693 has been pending at US CIS for more than one year.  We note that the Medical Examination does not have to be less than one year old.  But, long-pending green cards will need to refresh their Medicals.

In the Policy Alert (PA-2014-005) issued on May 30, 2014, USCIS also restates that applicants must submit Form I-693 to USCIS within one year of the immigration medical examination, and, interestingly, that USCIS will provide additional ways to submit Form I-693.[1]

[1] “USCIS Issues New Policy on Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record” (posted May 30, 2014),

Friday, April 25, 2014

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: Leaving the US while Advance Parole Application [I-131] is Pending

Question: I was granted asylum status 3 years ago. Based on that, I filed I-485 [application for adjustment of status] with an I-131 form for advance parole. On 08/23/11 my current Advance Parole will expire. I already filed for a new Advance Parole and did the biometrics [fingerprints] two month ago – but my new AP is still pending. I am supposed to leave the country in a week.

Is it possible for my husband to mail the AP letter after he receives it? Or do I have to pick it up in person? Is it going to affect our I-485 applications if I leave before getting the AP letter? Please, help!

Answer: I would wait for the AP. The general rule is if you travel before the advance parole document is issued, the I-485 application will be deemed abandoned. See Form I-131 Instructions, Page 4, Section 3 [Advance Parole Document], Part E, which states: If you travel before the advance parole document is issued, your application will be considered abandoned, if: (1) you depart the United States; or (2) the person. Seeking advance parole attempts to enter the United States before a decision is made on the application.

See link:

There are some exceptions for certain individuals in H, L, K or V status AND restrictions for asylees [I believe focused on traveling to the country of claimed persecution].

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I-9 Compliance Resource Center

I-9 Compliance Services and SSNs
With our I-9 Compliance services, we help US and international companies on US soil with their Workforce compliance systems. Our job is to interpret the I-9 Work Authorization laws, anticipate fines and discrimination pitfalls, teach methods for compliance, prepare for government audits and partner in visa matters during the hire of non-US workers. Clients request our legal services at several junctures: 

  • Organizing I-9s in-house
  • Learning how to complete an I-9
  • Determining if E-Verify is for a company, with consideration for FAR (federal acquisition contract clause)
  • Dealing with SSA No-Match letters
  • Getting a Notice of Inspection (NOI) from the government for an “I-9 Audit”
  • Doing an Internal I-9 Self-Audit to assess potential fines in system as is, clean up I-9 files

Read more . . .

Friday, March 14, 2014

Q & A: EAD/AP Combo Card

Question: I have an I-485 (adjustment of status) application pending, based on a labor certification filed 6 years ago. I am waiting for my priority date to become current. I work in H-1B status, have an H-1B visa AND a valid EAD (employment authorization document) and AP (advance parole/travel document). My EAD and AP will expire soon. Now that USCIS is issuing a convenient “combo card” combining the EAD and AP into one card, will I get a combo card when I apply to renew my EAD and AP?

Answer: You are only eligible for an EAD/AP combo card if both applications (I-765 and I-131) are filed simultaneously, and both the EAD and AP documents are within 120 days of expiry. Below please find a link to the USCIS Policy Memorandum, on the subject of issuance of the combo card.

Friday, March 7, 2014

House Hearing on Foreign STEM Graduates

On October 5, 2011, the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a hearing  to discuss whether the U.S. should reform its immigration policies to retain more foreign graduates of American universities’ advanced degree programs in the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering and math.    

Inside Higher Ed’s article, “Reverse Brain Drain,” provides coverage of the hearing:  
...foreign students are dramatically outpacing their American counterparts in the STEM fields.  In 2009, half to two-thirds of all Ph.D.s in related fields and almost half of all engineering and computer science master’s degrees awarded by American colleges were earned by foreign students...
Because only 140,000 total employment-based immigrant visas are available each year, with only 7% of that number available to each country, the United States is not absorbing these foreign graduates into its workforce.  Backlogs have grown to the point that some green card seekers could spend a lifetime waiting for permanent residency.  According to the article:

Read more . . .

Friday, February 28, 2014

Preparing for the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

Congratulations! You have received a notice from the USCIS (former INS) instructing you to appear at a local US immigration office for a green card interview!   Amidst the excitement of getting your green card, you might be worried about appearing in front of immigration authorities to answer questions about your relationship.  What if you or your spouse stumble? What if one of you doesn't recall what face cream the other one likes!?!  

Beyond what you say or don't say, know that government officials will look at the unspoken and largely be able to tell if the relationship is real, and whether you are happy or unhappy with each other that day.

When you receive the interview notice, put the time and date on the calendar for yourself AND your USC spouse, because your spouse will be required to attend the interview, too.  Review all the questions and answers to the application forms I-130, I-485, G-325 and I-864 that you filed.

Read more . . .

Friday, February 21, 2014

EFFECTIVE 11/18/2011: U.S. Department of State halts issuance of ALL F, M, J visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

UPDATE:  F, M, J Visa Issuance Has Resumed!

"Effective immediately, in order to ensure maximum data integrity and consistency, DoS has temporarily halted the issuance of ALL F, M and J visas at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates."

"SEVP plans to circulate additional broadcast messages upon receipt of any updates or changes regarding this issue."

This message impacts anyone seeking an F-1 (academic student); M-1 (vocational student); or J-1 (exchange visitor) temporary visa from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy located outside of the United States.

Read more . . .

Friday, February 14, 2014

Q & A: Need to file GC under EB2 - Company norms forcing me to file EB3

Question: I have 4 Yr Bach Deg in Comp Sci Engg and close to 10 yrs Exp in the same company out of which 4.3 Yrs was in India. I was transferred to the US (now on L-1 'A' visa) in Aug '06 to the US through the same Employer and have been here since then. My company is skeptical to file my GC in EB2 stating that 5 yrs experience has to be gained before I was transferred to the US (which is considered my petitioning employer branch).

I want to understand how I can file under EB2? Should I wait until 10 yrs exp since I see this as one of the clauses?? OR
Should I file now and PORT into EB2 after 10 yrs Exp in the same company (counting India + US exp in the company) OR
USE any of MY Client accolades or awards since I manage a very CRITICAL portfolio)

Read more . . .

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Practice Areas | Immigration for Corporations | Immigration for Individuals | I-9 Compliance | EB-5 Investor Visas | E-1 and E-2 Visas | H-1B Specialty Workers Visa | L-1 Company Transfer Visas | Permanent Residence | U.S. Citizenship | | About Us

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