January 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
|Hong Kong Special Admin||54|
|United Arab Emirates (UAE)||92|
|Central African Republic||3|
|Congo, Democratic Republic||3,445|
|Sao Tome and Principe||0|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||83|
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA
|Antigua and Barbuda||9|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||7|
|Saint Vincent and The Grenadines||16|
|Trinidad and Tobago||175|
|Papua New Guinea||0|
January 12, 2012 § 4 Comments
Anyone wishing to come to the US should first get a US visa that will be placed in his/her passport or on the travel document issued by his/her country of citizenship. However, some foreigners can come to the US without a visa if they are able to satisfy the conditions needed for a visa-free travel. US citizens do not need a US visa for travel. However, when they are traveling overseas, they might need a visa that is issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit. Under such circumstances, it is important you know the visa requirements well before you travel. You can know the requirements by checking the Country Specific Travel Information.
A US visa will help you travel to a US port of entry, airport or land border crossing. Note that having a visa does not mean that you are permitted to enter the US. It only means that a US Embassy or Consulate overseas abroad has established your eligibility to enter the US for that specific purpose. Remember that you need the permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector to enter the United States. These inspectors will decide your admission to the US and also for a specified status and particular period of time.
US immigration laws have clearly defined the type of visa you require, per the intention of your visit. The intention of your visit will generally decided whether you need an immigrant or non immigrant visa. If you wish to enter the US and live there permanently, you will need an immigrant visa. On the other hand, if your purpose of your travel is only for a temporary period, you need an non-immigrant visa. There are many types of non immigrant visas that will help you enter the US. The main purpose of your visit and other facts will have the final say in what type of visa you have to get. Gather enough information about the type of visa you require to enter the US. Also remember to familiarize yourself with the steps that you have to take while applying for a visa at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Visa Waiver Program
As mentioned earlier, some foreigners can come to the US without a visa. There is the visa waiver program, that was brought into act with an idea of removing unnecessary barriers to travel to the US, to incite the tourism industry. It was also introduced to allow the Department of State (DoS) to concentrate consular resources in other areas.
Travelers who qualify under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) can also apply for a visa, if they want to. To qualify under the VWP, travelers have to satisfy a few eligibility conditions to facilitate their travel without a visa. Note that not all travelers will be eligible for this program. Travelers under the VWP should have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before their travel. They will be screened at the port of entry into the US, and be enrolled in the DHS’s US-VISIT program.
January 8, 2012 § 1 Comment
Naturalization can be simply termed as the process where a foreign national becomes an American citizen voluntarily. There are many eligibility requirements you need to satisfy prior to applying. You have to be a permanent resident (green card holder) for five years and it is three years if you are married to a US citizen and still living with the US citizen spouse.
Other significant requirements include fulfilling continuous residence and physical presence. If you are not married to a US citizen, you should have resided in the US for a continuous period of five years after getting into the US as a permanent resident. If you are married to a US citizen, the period is reduced to three years after admission to the US as a permanent resident.
If you are married to a US citizen, you should have been physically present in the US accumulatively for eighteen months within three years prior to the date of applying for citizenship. If you are not married to a US citizen, you should have been physically present in the US accumulatively for thirty months within five years before the date of filing the application. This requirement is cumulative but not continuous. There are other requirements as well.
What is the Declaration of Intent and who should file?
In certain cases, lawful permanent residents (LPR) are required to submit a Declaration of intent when they file their naturalization application. Though not mandatory for all applicants, some states want this to be submitted if the LPR wishes to conduct business or engage in certain professions in that state.
A LPR who is at least 18 yrs old can file this declaration. Make note that the applicant has to be in the US while filing the form. Form N-300 is the form used to file Declaration of Intention and it has to be filed with the USCIS.
Your application has to be complete and free from errors. Place a copy of the permanent resident card in the package. Two passport sized photographs are also mandatory. It has to be taken within 30 days of applying and if it is a digital photograph, it should be at least 3.5 mega pixels. Pay attention to all such details.
Information regarding the supporting document list is detailed in the instructions pages that accompany the form. Mail the entire package to the USCIS Lockbox facility at Dallas. If you opt for express mail or courier, send it to the USCIS lockbox facility at Lewisville. I f you like to receive e – notification for your submitted application, complete Form G-1145E and include it in the package.
A check or money order for $250, the submission fee has to drawn on a US bank or other financial institution payable to the US Department of Homeland Security. Do not use Initials DHS or USDHS Read the filing instructions carefully before filing. If you send a check, it will be converted into electronic funds. The USCIS will make a copy of the check and destroy the original one.
January 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
On January 1, 2012, USCIS brought about a change in the filing locations for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Petitioners are now required to mail their I-130 Forms to either the Chicago Lockbox or the Phoenix Lockbox, depending on where they currently reside in the US. This move is aimed at balancing workloads between the two USCIS offices and to provide more effective processing of Form I-130.
The change is only for stand alone I-130 applications. Note that there is no change in filing locations when submitting Form I-130 and Form I-485 together. If you are filing both these forms together , you can mail them to the Chicago Lockbox facility. If you are abroad and there is no USCIS office there, you can also continue to file at the Chicago Lockbox facility. However, if you in a foreign country where there is a USCIS office, you can send your I-130 form either to the Chicago Lockbox or at the international USCIS office where you currently live. Ensure that you are filing at the correct location. Sending your form to the incorrect address will unnecessarily delay the process. You can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to know the correct filing location.
In addition to the update stated above, USCIS is magnifying the filing process for certain forms related to naturalization and citizenship (N-Forms). Starting Oct. 30, 2011, applicants will be filing the N Forms at a secure Lockbox facility instead of the local USCIS offices. This would streamline the way forms are processed, speeding up the collection and deposit of fees and also improve the consistency of the USCIS intake process.
Beginning Oct. 30, 2011, applicants have to submit these forms directly to the appropriate Lockbox beginning. Though forms received between Oct. 30 and Dec. 2, 2011, will be forwarded to the USCIS Lockbox facility, forms received after Dec. 2, 2011 will be returned to the applicants with further instructions on how to re-file at the USCIS Lockbox facility. Forms N-336, N-600 and N-600K will be handled by the Phoenix Lockbox facility. Form N-300 will be taken care by the Dallas Lockbox facility.
Make sure you read the form instructions carefully before filing your form so that you are filing the correct form type at the correct location. Applicants submitting the wrong form type will not get a fee refund. They will be required to re-apply using the correct form and pay a new fee.