Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the August 2021 Visa Bulletin and goes over Charlie Oppenheim’s predictions for movement and retrogression in the family based and employment sponsored categories for August and September 2021.
Keep on watching to find out more!
What is the Visa Bulletin?
Every month, the Department of State publishes the Visa Bulletin which contains important information regarding immigrant visa availability for family based and employment sponsored preference categories. The Visa Bulletin indicates when statutorily limited visas are available for issuance to prospective immigrants based on their individual priority date and preference category.
Essentially, the Visa Bulletin governs the availability of visas and outlines limitations. By statute, the government imposes an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000 immigrant visas (visa quota). The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000 immigrant visas.
In what order are visas issued?
Family-sponsored and employment-based preference immigrant visas are issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition on behalf of each has been filed (priority date).
Spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the National Visa Center (NVC) immigrant visa backlog and current NVC processing times in the month of June. Stay tuned for updates on the Department of State’s plan to reopen Embassies and Consulates worldwide, and information on how Consular posts will be prioritizing visa issuance in the next few months for F-1 students, H-1B workers, H-4 spouses, and J-1 Workers.
Want to know more? Keep on watching for all the details.
The National Visa Center’s Backlog
As many of you know, last year the Department of State made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend routine visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consular posts worldwide to prevent the rapid spread of the Coronavirus. The suspension was necessary to adhere to local regulations such as the mandatory quarantines and social distancing required to contain the virus. Although Embassies and Consulates are now following a phased resumption of visa services framework, limited resources and local country conditions in some regions have prevented Consular posts from providing routine visa services as before. Most Consular sections are not operating at normal capacity, and are prioritizing visa appointments for emergencies, mission critical visa services, and immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens including K fiancé(e)s.
Despite the issuance of this Executive Order, Embassies and Consulates have not been able to return to normalcy and routine visa services have remained suspended. Consular officials are still refusing to issue visas for individuals that remain in the lower tier of immigrant visa prioritization, including family preference, employment preference, and diversity immigrant visa applicants. This has prompted hundreds of individuals to join numerous class action lawsuits to force the government to intervene.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick provides an important update from the National Visa Center regarding immigrant visa processing times, the status of Embassies and Consulates reopening, and expedite request information for immigrant visas.
The information provided in this video is based on the minutes of a meeting that took place between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the National Visa Center (NVC). In this meeting the NVC answered many of your burning questions regarding the resumption of visa services at U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide, current immigrant visa processing times, and expedite request information.
Want to know more? Just keep on watching.
NVC & AILA Questions and Answers on Consular Processing
What has the NVC responded regarding Consular Processing at Embassies and Consular posts worldwide? How will NVC handle cases that are documentarily qualified? In what order will applicants be scheduled for immigrants?
Check out the Q & A below to find out.
Q: What is the volume of immigrant visa cases currently being processed at NVC?
A: During FY 2020, NVC reviewed and processed 77,000 cases per month.
Q: What was the number of non-immigrant K-1 visas processed on a monthly basis at the NVC in FY 2020?
A: Every month the NVC processed 2,500 K-1 visas during fiscal year 2020.
Q: Of all cases processed at the NVC how many applications are represented by attorneys?
A: 25% of all cases at the NVC are represented by attorneys
Q: How is the NVC handling cases that are documentarily qualified but unable to move forward due to U.S. Embassies and Consular posts that have not yet resumed normal processing?
A: The NVC is continuing to schedule cases only for posts able to conduct interviews.
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick provides an important update for international students studying in the United States during the upcoming Fall semester.
Stay tuned to find out more.
On July 6th international students were shocked to find out that the federal government introduced new guidelines preventing students from attending schools with online instruction only during the Fall 2020 semester.
The new guidelines, released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), provided that students enrolled in schools with online only instruction would not be issued visas, and CBP would not permit these students to enter the U.S. from abroad, despite rising Coronavirus cases nationwide. Additionally, the announcement stated that students already in the United States enrolled in an online only study program would need to transfer to a school providing hybrid or in-person instruction, in order to remain in lawful status in the United States. Students who failed to transfer would be required to depart the country immediately.
Fortunately, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) stood up for international students nationwide and swiftly filed a lawsuit against the government to prevent the guidelines from being enforced. The lawsuit sought a temporary and permanent court order/injunction to stop the government from enforcing any part of the new guidelines on students and universities.
The judge in that case had scheduled an emergency hearing on July 14th to hear oral arguments from the universities and the government.
In a surprising turn of events, just before the hearing was scheduled to begin, the judge announced that the government reached an agreement to rescind the new police in its entirety.
From the Court Docket: Harvard and MIT vs. DHS/ICE re: International Students
“Hearing held on 7/14/2020. The Court was informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution to the combined temporary restraining order/preliminary injunction motions. The Government has agreed to rescind the July 6, 2020 Policy Directive and the July 7, 2020 FAQ, and has also agreed to rescind their implementation. The Government will return to the March 9, 2020 and March 13, 2020 policy.”
Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we will give you our top 10 tips on how to successfully obtain an F-1 student visa or J-1 Trainee visa.
There are generally two ways to apply for a U.S. Visa. If you are residing lawfully in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa classification (such as a tourist visa) you may apply for a change of status by filing Form I-539 Application to Change Nonimmigrant Status with USCIS. If you are residing abroad however you must apply for your visa at a U.S. Consulate near you.
Regardless of your application method, there are several important tips that can help you successfully obtain your F-1 or J-1 visa.
Proof of Strong Ties to your home country
One of the most important aspects of the application is providing documentary evidence that your stay in the United States will only be of a temporary nature and that you will depart the United States at the end of your student visa or trainee program. To show that you intend to remain in the United States only temporarily, you must provide proof that you have obligations/ties to your home country that require your eventual return.
What types of evidence can be provided to fulfill this requirement?
There are a variety of different types of evidence that can be provided to show strong proof of ties home. The most common types of evidence include proof of residence abroad, proof of employment abroad or a future job offer that will require you to return to your home country, enrollment in an academic program to be attended in the future, military obligations abroad, property ownership abroad, business operations or business ownership abroad, evidence of familial obligations, etc.
All non-immigrant visa applicants must show that they have the financial ability to support their stay during the duration of their student or trainee program. This can be shown by providing your most recent bank account statements to prove that you have sufficient capital to support your stay.
Alternatively, applicants may provide proof of sponsorship. For purposes of sponsorship, the applicant must have a friend or relative who meets the income requirements sign Form I-134 Affidavit of Support. The sponsor must sign a statement that they will be financially responsible for the applicant’s expenses throughout the duration of their stay in the U.S., and the sponsor must also provide supporting financial documentation showing their ability to sponsor the applicant.
Knowledge of the English Language
In order to obtain a F-1 or J-1 visa, you must demonstrate at your consular interview that you have at least a basic command of the English language to be able to effectively participate in your student visa or trainee visa program.
Please note: You will need to be able to speak for yourself at the time of your interview. You will not be allowed to bring a parent, relative, or anyone else to speak for you at your interview.
Explain how your program of study will relate to your future career in your home country
At the time of your interview you must be prepared to explain to the consular officer how your chosen program of study or training relates to your future career in your home country. For example, if you have chosen to study hospitality management in the United States, you may wish to explain to the officer that you plan to work in the hospitality industry in your home country, and your US degree in hospitality management will help you be an attractive candidate for employers in your home country.
This will increase your chances of success at the time of your interview.
Be clear and concise
Remember that you only have a limited amount of time to speak to the consular officer and show that you qualify for the visa. All of your answers to the officer must be clear and concise. Answer exactly what the officer is asking, nothing less nothing more.
Do not bring voluminous documents to your interview. Be organized and bring only documents that are necessary for your interview.
In this video we cover a new USCIS policy that can have devastating consequences on students who overstay their duration of stay in the United States, or otherwise violate their status. This new policy will change the way F-1, J-1, and M students, accrue unlawful presence in the United States, for visa holders have violated the terms of their visa by not attending school or engaging in unauthorized employment.
In the year 1996 Congress passed legislation that previously governed how an individual on a non-immigrant visa type such as an F-1 visa, could accrue unlawful presence. Pursuant to this legislation, visa holders who overstayed for more than 180 days, could be subject to a 3-year bar, while visa holders who overstayed for more than one year, could be subject to a 10-year bar.
Typically, individuals who travel to the United States on a non-immigrant visa type receive an I-94 arrival/departure record and a stamp in their passport indicating the length of their authorized stay in the United States. Failure to abide by the duration of stay results in an immigration violation of the terms and conditions of a non-immigrant visa type.
F, J, and M students are unique in that these individuals do not receive a definitive length of stay within the United States, and instead are issued an I-20 (for F students) or DS-2019 (for J students) that denotes their authorized stay as “D/S” or “Duration of Stay,” meaning that the individual’s stay within the United States is not confined by any particular date, but instead depends upon the conclusion of that individual’s program of study or authorized employment.
While students on an F-1 visa type could violate their status by failing to go to school, they could not accrue unlawful presence within the United States because of the D/S designation. This class of individuals could only accrue unlawful status at the time of being apprehension by an immigration official or by court judgment.
In this video, our clients speak about their unique experience with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your first time consultation.
In this video Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick takes you on a tour of our law office located at 1502 Sixth Avenue in sunny San Diego, California on the corner of Beech Street and Sixth Avenue. Come and visit us today. We offer first time consultations to meet your immigration needs.
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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq., explains the F-1 student visa application process by examining a successful student visa case. For more information about the F-1 student visa please click here. For a first consultation please contact our office.
A student visa is a good option for foreign nationals who wish to enroll in a short course of study that is more than 18 hours per week. The F-1 visa is a temporary visa that allows a foreign national to pursue their academic studies and/or enroll in a language training program. First time student visa applicants must attend an in-person interview at a U.S. consulate abroad if they are living outside of the United States. Please note that each U.S. embassy and consulate has its own interview procedures for student visas. Please visit the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate near you for more information.
Requirements for a student visa
To qualify, an alien must meet the following requirements:
The student must be enrolled in an academic education program, not a vocational-type program;
Educational institution must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
The student must be enrolled as a full-time student at the institution;
The student must be proficient in English or be enrolled in courses leading to English proficiency;
The student must have sufficient funds available for self-support during the entire proposed course of study; and
The student must maintain a residence abroad which he/she has no intention of giving up
The student must demonstrate that they have legitimate obligations to return to their home country by providing sufficient proof of ties home such as a letter of future employment, proof of assets, proof of insurance payments, etc.
For more information about this program, please contact our office.
In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., explains why we do what we do at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. For more information about our office and the services we provide please click here.
Since 2004, we have efficiently and conveniently served our clients located across the United States and around the world through the use of cutting-edge technology and other innovations, always maintaining the personal connection you have come to expect from us.
You can express your interest, or schedule an appointment by emailing us at email@example.com. We are excited to expand our ability to help many more of you, as you seek to achieve your American dream of living and working in this great country, a nation of immigrants.
Looking back, it is hard to narrow the reasons for our firm’s success. So much goes into that, but the main three ingredients have to be the lawyers, staff and clients. I am amazed at the enduring relationships we have with our clients.
Our office has been blessed with a staff that is motivated, efficient and very capable. I also think it important that they are compassionate for our clients’ issues – this is more than a job for us all – it is a calling.
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