Stay up-to-date on business immigration news with Monty & Ramirez LLP.
Stay up-to-date on business immigration news with Monty & Ramirez LLP.
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White House to Enhance Security Measures for Visa Waiver Program
On November 30, 2015 the White House issued this release:
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits visa free travel for 20 million visitors per year to the United States for citizens of 38 program partner countries around the world. VWP utilizes a layered system of security to detect and prevent terrorists, serious criminals, and other potentially dangerous individuals from traveling to the United States. These layers of security include comprehensive screening of VWP travelers prior to departure for the United States, at various points throughout the traveler’s journey, and upon arrival at U.S. ports of entry.
Over the past year, the Administration has taken a series of steps to enhance the significant security measures in the VWP. In the wake of the attacks in Paris, the administration is announcing additional actions today that will further enhance and accelerate these changes. Additionally, the Administration is working closely with Congress to provide statutory authority for many of these security enhancements, which will further improve our ability to implement and enforce the changes."
For more information on these changes, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at info@montyramirezlaw.com.
Change Your Address with USCIS. It is the law – Not an option.
Do you have a case pending with USCIS, and you recently moved? Remember to change your address to continue receiving notices and documents related to your case. Most non-U.S. citizens must report a change of address within 10 days of moving within the U.S. or its territories, though there are certain exceptions. To update your address, file Form AR-11, Change of Address, or use the online Change of Address tool available at www.uscis.gov. Both options are free.
For more information on how to effect these changes, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at info@montyramirezlaw.com.
EB-5 Petitions Spike Amid Program Uncertainty
The number of EB-5 visa petitions received in the last fiscal year hit a new high, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a recent report, with applicants rushing to file while lawmakers mull potential changes to the immigrant investor program. The Nov. 18 report showed USCIS received 14,373 petitions in fiscal year 2015, up 31.6 percent over last year. The data also showed that almost half, 45.7 percent, of petitions were submitted between July and September due to the expected expiry of the program on September 30, 2015. It has since been temporarily renewed until December 11, 2015 while legislators decide the changes to be implemented.
Under the current rules, EB-5 projects in target employment areas, or areas with at least 150 percent of the national unemployment rate, require a $500,000 minimum investment, while other projects require a $1 million investment. But a major sticking point in the legislative negotiations involves raising those thresholds to $800,000 and $1.2 million respectively.
Another looming concern is the number of applications on USCIS' backlog, a number that has been steadily increasing as the program’s popularity grows. The agency said it had 17,367 petitions pending at the end of September, up 40 percent over the year before.
For more information on these changes, please contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at info@montyramirezlaw.com.
SAVE CaseCheck Now Easier for Benefit Applicants
On September 9, USCIS enhanced SAVE CaseCheck to make it easier for people applying for federal, state or local benefits to check the status of their immigration verification case.
Benefit-granting agencies may need to verify a person’s immigration status to process an application. The SAVE Program lets them do that, and CaseCheck lets applicants monitor the progress of the request.
Until now, to run a CaseCheck query, applicants had to obtain a case verification number from a participating SAVE agency. Now, they can enter their date of birth along with a number from one of these immigration documents:
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
  • Form I-94 stamp in an unexpired foreign passport
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Employment Authorization Card
This update of CaseCheck will mean more convenience for applicants, and save time for benefit-granting agencies.
The January 2016 Visa Bulletin has arrived!
The Visa Bulletin for January 2016 has been released by the Government. For more details, go to http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2015/visa-bulletin-for-january-2015.html.
If you have questions about the January 2016 Visa Bulletin, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Monty & Ramirez LLP at 281-493-5529 or via email at info@montyramirezlaw.com.
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