Follow Us:

Posts Tagged ‘green card’

USCIS to Expand In-Person Interview Requirements for all Employment-based Applicants, Asylees & Refugees

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017


As of Oct. 1, 2017, applicants that have filed to adjust their status in the USA to permanent residency will undergo an in-person interview.   This is pursuant to Trump’s E.O. 13780, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorists Entering the US” and part of the Trump plan to apply “extreme vetting” to immigrants and visitors coming to the USA.

USCIS states that the categories of visas that require interviews will expand in the future, calling it “an incremental expansion.” Although the in-person interview is not a new procedure, the USCIS has been waiving the interview requirement for many employment-based adjustment of status applicants because the interviews tended to cause a backlog in processing and waste valuable resources (personnel, time and funding).

USCIS is already taking a very long time to process several types of petitions and applications.The mandatory interview requirement will almost certainly lengthen the already long wait times for green cards. The result will likely be over a hundred thousand more USCIS in-person interviews per year.   Here is a link to the Press Release

We encourage all applicants to discuss the timing of their cases with their immigration provider before deciding to adjust to permanent residency (green-card) status inside the USA.

Expressing our point of view, for more on this.

New I-551 “ADIT” Stamp

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

For those of you who have not seen the new I-551 Permanent Residency passport stamp, (also referred to as the“ADIT Stamp”), we link below to it. The stamp has stars in the four corners; on the left margin the vertical letters, USDHS, and on the right margin the vertical letters, USCIS.

An “ADIT” Stamp is added to a passport or an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) as temporary proof of residence. To alleviate inconvenience to our customers, USCIS continues to aggressively pursue technological improvements to allow the prompt issuing of permanent alien resident cards (“green-cards”) without the need to issue these temporary stamps.—NEW–08-09

TN Solution for Canadian & Mexican Nurses & Physical Therapists

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

With the immigrant visa (“green card”) annual quota being severely backlogged thereby resulting in a long and unpredictable waiting list and H-1B visas generally being unavailable for nurses, the search continues for nurses and physical therapists for faster ways to enter the United States to commence employment in their professions. Fortunately, under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), nurses and physical therapists who are citizens of Canada and Mexico have a possible solution. The TN classification or visa pursuant to NAFTA is quicker and easier than the green card process, is not subject to annual quotas and is not subject to prevailing wage and other labor condition application (“LCA”) requirements.A registered nurse requires a state/provincial license or Licenciatura Degree. A physical therapist requires a Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree or a state/provincial license. In addition to the above credentials, the applicant must present a Canadian or Mexican passport and a letter from the prospective employer in the U.S. that contains a job description and the anticipated length of stay and salary. A VisaScreen certificate is required in all cases. All TN non-immigrants are subject to the laws of the state of intended employment regarding professional licenses, but will not need to acquire the relevant license prior to admission to the U.S. However, the nurse or physical therapist must obtain the appropriate professional license from the state of intended employment prior to commencing employment.

A Canadian citizen may present the application package, described above, directly to an immigration officer at a U.S. port of entry at the time of entry. The immigration officer will make the determination as to whether the applicant is admissible as a TN. No prior petition approval is required. No visa is required from a U.S. consulate either. Upon admission to the U.S., the Canadian citizen will be issued a Form I-94 for a period not exceeding 1-year, which will be marked “multiple entry” and can be used for future entries to the US during its validity.

A Mexican citizen submits the application package described above directly to a U.S. consulate as part of an application for a TN visa. The consul makes the determination as to whether the applicant is eligible for a TN visa. Upon admission to the U.S., the applicant will be given a “multiple entry” Form I-94 for a period not exceeding 1 year.

Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of the TN can be issued TD status or TD visas to accompany or follow to join the TN. A TD dependant is not permitted to work in the U.S. but may attend school.

TN classification or a TN visa requires non-immigrant intent. As long as nonimmigrant intent continues to exist, the TN classification or TN visa can be extended in 1-year increments.

Obtaining permanent resident (“green card”) status for a TN can be challenging. Because of the strict non-immigrant intent requirement of a TN, the limited validity period of 1-year for a TN and the lengthy immigrant visa-quota waiting period, there generally is not enough time to complete the green card process before it becomes necessary to extend the TN for another year. If the green card process is started for a TN, there very likely will be problems extending the TN and/or re-entering the U.S. after travel abroad. TN physical therapists may be able to resolve this issue by changing status to H-1B (a dual intent status) before starting the green card process. Unfortunately, H-1B status is generally not available to registered nurses. Future legislation may address the quota issues and help resolve this issue.

Update on Retrogression

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

The U.S. Department of State recently released the March 2008 Visa Bulletin, which indicates the availability of immigrant visas (green cards) for the month of March 2008. Dramatic advances in the cut-off dates occurred in the EB-3 category (the category that covers nurses) for Philippines (more than 2 years), India (almost 3 months) and all countries except China, India, Mexico and Philippines (more than 2 years). This sudden advance in the cut-off dates is an effort by the State Department to guarantee that the full annual quota of immigrant visas is used before the end of the current fiscal year (September 30, 2008). In addition, the State Department, by making more immigrant visas available earlier in this fiscal year, is attempting to avoid the chaos and confusion that resulted near the end of the last fiscal year in July 2007 when the remaining supply of unused immigrant visas were suddenly made available to all countries in all categories. It must be noted, however, that the March 2008 Visa Bulletin warns that if the expected increase in immigrant visa usage materializes; future cut-off date movements could slow or stop.

We remain hopeful that new laws will be enacted soon to decrease the present waiting periods for nurses to immigrate to the United States. We base our hope on the fact that the current critical shortage of nurses in the U.S. demands immediate action so that the U.S. healthcare system can continue to operate effectively. In addition, in the past, new laws have been enacted to address the shortage of nurses in the U.S. by allowing more foreign nurses into the U.S. Finally, several legislative solutions have been and continue to be proposed and debated.

Various groups of healthcare employers, nurse recruiting companies, and related entities and persons are presently lobbying for a legislative solution. The present focus is on short-term immediate relief for nurses. In addition, long-term permanent relief is being pursued. Specific proposals include exempting nurses from the annual immigrant visa quota restrictions, increasing the number of immigrant visas available in the EB-3 quota category that applies to nurses and creating a new nonimmigrant visa to allow nurses to come to the U.S. immediately to start work while waiting for the immigrant visa process (“green card”) to be completed. Hospitals and nurse recruiters in the U.S. are encouraged to contact their Senators and Congressmen to express their support for these legislative efforts to relieve the current shortage of nurses in the U.S. by speeding up the process to bring foreign nurses to the U.S.

Contact Your Senator Today!

By: Thomas J. Joy, Esq.