Articles Posted in Family sponsorship

Are you waiting for your priority date to become current on the visa bulletin? Then you won’t want to miss this blog post covering the release of the August 2024 visa bulletin.

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains what you can expect to see in terms of the movement of the family-sponsored and employment-based visa categories in the month of August.


USCIS Adjustment of Status


For employment-based preference categories, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has confirmed that in August it will continue to use the Final Action Dates chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.

For family-sponsored preference categories, USCIS will continue to use the Dates for Filing chart to determine filing eligibility for adjustment of status to permanent residence.


Highlights of the August 2024 Visa Bulletin


Employment-Based Categories

Final Action and Dates for Filing EB-2 and EB-3 India Advancement 

  • The Final Action date for EB-2 India will advance to July 15, 2012 and the Date for Filing to July 22, 2012
  • The Final Action date for EB-3 India will advance to October 22, 2012 and the Date for Filing to November 1, 2012

Other Categories

  • The Final Action dates and Dates for Filing for the remaining employment-based categories remain the same as the July Visa Bulletin

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Are you seeking to financially sponsor someone who wants to immigrate to the United States?

If so, you will be interested to know that all immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens and individuals falling in the family-based preference categories, are required to submit the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support to obtain permanent residency in the United States.

The form is signed by the U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident petitioning for the intending immigrant to show they will have the adequate means of financial support while in the U.S. and will not seek financial benefits from the U.S. government.

By signing the affidavit of support, you are accepting financial responsibility for the applicant seeking to immigrate to the United States.

In this video, we share with you everything you need to know regarding your responsibilities and obligations as a financial sponsor of the affidavit of support.

Overview


Who Signs the I-864 Affidavit of Support


The I-864 Affidavit of Support must be completed and signed by the U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident who is petitioning for the intending immigrant (also known as the primary sponsor).

The affidavit is essentially a contract between the petitioner and U.S. government, which establishes that the petitioner has enough income or assets to financially support the intending immigrant. Its main purpose is to ensure the alien does not become a public charge on the U.S. government.

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In this video and blog post, we discuss a recent Supreme Court decision finding that U.S. Citizens do not have a fundamental right in having their noncitizen spouses admitted to the United States.

What is this ruling all about?


Department of State v. Muñoz

On June 21, 2024, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision in Department of State v. Muñoz that U.S. citizens petitioning for their foreign spouses do not have a constitutional liberty interest in their spouses being admitted to the country.

What’s worse, the court upheld the doctrine of consular nonreviewability, which says that there can be no judicial review of a consular officer’s decision finding a visa applicant inadmissible, except in a very limited class of constitutional cases.

About the Case


The plaintiff in the case, Sandra Muñoz, married her husband, a Salvadoran citizen in 2010, and shared a U.S. Citizen child with him. Thereafter, her husband applied for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate in El Salvador so that they could live together in the United States and sought a waiver of inadmissibility. He denied having any gang affiliations despite being heavily tattooed.

After undergoing several interviews, the consular officer denied his application, citing §1182(a)(3)(A)(ii), a provision that renders inadmissible a noncitizen whom the officer “knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in” certain specified offenses or “any other unlawful activity.”

The plaintiff’s husband assumed that he had been denied a visa based upon the erroneous finding that he was a member of the gang MS-13. He denied being a member and requested the Consulate to reconsider its findings.

After the consulate refused, they appealed to the Department of State, which ultimately agreed with the consulate’s determination.

The couple then sought Congressional intervention and sued the State Department, claiming that they violated the plaintiff’s constitutional liberty interest in her husband’s visa application by failing to give a sufficient reason why he was inadmissible under the “unlawful activity” bar.

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In this video, we share some big news recently announced by the Biden administration.

The President has issued a new executive action on immigration that will soon allow undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens to apply for permanent residence without having to depart the United States, if they have resided in the United States for at least ten years as of June 17, 2024.

Who does this apply to?

This order applies to undocumented spouses of U.S. Citizens who entered the country without inspection and have continuously resided in the United States since their entry.

Later this summer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will implement Biden’s new program called “parole in place” which will allow such undocumented spouses to apply for their green cards.

Those who are approved for “parole in place” will be given a three-year period to apply for permanent residency. During this period, spouses can remain with their families in the United States and be eligible for work authorization.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the State Department’s release of the June 2024 Visa Bulletin. Learn all about the changes we are seeing in the family-sponsored and employment-based categories for the month of June in this video.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart June 2024


For the month of June 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to use the Dates for Filing Chart for all family-sponsored preference categories, and the Final Action Dates Chart for all employment-based preference categories, when applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States.


Top Highlights of the June Visa Bulletin


Employment-Based Categories

Unfortunately, for the employment-based categories, the June Visa Bulletin shows no movement.

  • The Dates for Filing chart in June remains unchanged from the previous months.
  • The Final Action Dates for EB-1, EB-2, and EB-5 remain unchanged.
  • Only EB-3 India will advance by one week.

Family-Sponsored Categories

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick provides a new update regarding the recent increase in the Immigrant Visa backlogs, which grew to more than 25,000 additional cases in the month of April alone.

To find out why this is this happening and what can you expect, please keep on watching.

Did you Know? Every month the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) publishes an Immigrant Visa Backlog report, which provides data and statistics relating to the current status of worldwide visa operations, including the number of documentarily complete immigrant visa cases currently at the National Visa Center waiting for interviews, the number of cases that were scheduled for interviews at the end of each month, and the number of immigrant visa cases still waiting to be scheduled for a visa interview after interview appointment scheduling was completed at the end of the month.


Overview


According to the Department of State’s Immigrant Visa Backlog Report for the month of April 2024, there has been a substantial increase in the immigrant visa (IV) backlog rising from 326,415 pending cases in March to 351,624 cases in April —  nearly a 10% increase amounting to a jump of 25,209 additional cases added to the backlog in just a one-month period. 

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Did you know? The May 2024 Visa Bulletin was recently released by the Department of State. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks about the exciting movement we are seeing in almost all the family-sponsored categories in the month of May, and what we can expect to see for the employment-based categories in the coming months.


Adjustment of Status Filing Chart May 2024


For the month of May 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to use the Dates for Filing Chart for all family-sponsored preference categories, and the Final Action Dates Chart for all employment-based preference categories, when applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence in the United States.


What Can We Expect to see in the Month of May?


Family-sponsored categories


FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES


The Final Action Dates Chart for the family-sponsored categories advanced for nearly all categories as follows:

  • F1 Mexico will advance by 5.5 months to October 15, 2001
  • F1 Philippines will remain the same at March 1, 2012
  • F1 All other countries will advance by 4.9 months to July 8, 2015
  • F2A Mexico will advance by 2.8 months to November 8, 2020
  • F2A Philippines will advance by 8.7 months to June 1, 2021
  • F2A All other countries will advance by 8.7 months to June 1, 2021
  • F2B Mexico will advance by 4.3 months to March 1, 2004
  • F2B Philippines will remain at October 22, 2011
  • F2B All other countries will advance by 4.3 months to April 1, 2016
  • F3 Mexico will advance by 10.4 months to July 22, 1999
  • F3 Philippines will advance by 1.8 months to August 1, 2002
  • F3 All other countries will advance by 3 months to January 1, 2010
  • F4 Worldwide and China will advance by 1.4 months to July 22, 2007
  • F4 India will advance by 1 month to January 15, 2006
  • F4 Mexico will advance by 3.3 months to January 22, 2001
  • F4 Philippines will advance by 2.8 months to September 8, 2003

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick touches upon an important debate in immigration law, is it better to keep your green card or apply for U.S. Citizenship once you are eligible to do so?

This video will explain the types of circumstances in which an individual may prefer to maintain his or her green card and opt out of becoming a U.S. Citizen.

To learn more about this important topic, please keep watching.


Overview


Differences between U.S. Citizenship versus Permanent Residence


U.S. Citizenship


Applying for U.S. Citizenship leads to a variety of legal rights and privileges that are not available to permanent residents (green card holders). For some, these benefits are a compelling reason to apply for citizenship to have access to the wide variety of opportunities that are only available to naturalized citizens.

Some of these benefits include but are not limited to:

  1. Having the Right to Vote in state and federal elections
  2. Applying to federal jobs that are only available to U.S. Citizens such as law enforcement positions, and occupations that require a high security clearance such as working in the defense industry or for the U.S. military
  3. Sponsorship of Family Members: U.S. Citizens can petition to immigrate their immediate relatives to the United States without being subject to the numerical limitations of the Visa Bulletin. Permanent residents on the other hand may only petition for certain relatives and such applications are subject to numerical limitations.
  4. International Travel Benefits: U.S. Citizens may also engage in international travel without having to worry about placing their legal status in jeopardy. Unlike citizens, permanent residents must maintain continuous residence and physical presence in the United States, or risk losing their immigration status
  5. Criminal Offenses: Certain criminal offenses can lead to the deportation of a green card holder as well as other serious issues including being permanently barred from entering the U.S. that do not affect U.S. Citizens in the same manner.

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Have you ever wondered why new immigration cases are being approved faster than older pending cases? If so, then you may be interested to learn why this is happening, as well as how the review process is conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and what you can do if you are facing this situation.

If you would like to know more about this topic, we invite you to watch our video.


Overview


Q: My case has been pending with USCIS for several months. I have recently learned that USCIS has been giving recently filed cases priority over older cases, why is that?


USCIS Review Process


To understand this issue, let’s first discuss how USCIS accepts and reviews cases once they are received by the agency.

After you submit your application including your forms and filing fees, the first thing USCIS will do is input the receipt of your application into their system and send a notice to you by mail confirming the date your materials were received and accepted as a complete filing. This receipt is known as the Notice of Action.

USCIS will create a new file and assign a case number to your application which will appear on your Notice of Action, which you can use to check the status of your application on the USCIS website and by telephone.

Your case will then be sorted and routed to the appropriate service center or field office that will oversee the evaluation of your application. The office that will be given jurisdiction over your case is determined by a number of factors including but not limited to, your case type, agency workloads, and the date of receipt.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz6vWTjLjuQ

If you are going through the immigrant visa process and are waiting for your interview to be scheduled at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas, then you won’t want to miss this important video. Attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares the latest updates regarding the operational capacity of U.S. Consular posts and Embassies worldwide as of March 2024.


Overview


As the spring and summer months are approaching, U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide are accelerating the processing of immigrant visas to reduce the visa backlogs.

As we have seen, the Department of State has advanced the Final Action Dates for most employment-based categories in the April Visa Bulletin. Additionally, significant advancements were also made in the March Visa Bulletin for the family-sponsored categories.

These advancements will keep the Department of State busy in the coming months, as more and more immigrant visa cases that are documentarily complete are scheduled for interviews at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide for those with current priority dates.

As our readers will know, during the height of the Coronavirus outbreak, there was an enormous demand for visa interviews, but not enough interview slots for applicants to be scheduled. But now things are improving.

As a reminder, please remember to tune into our monthly videos where we analyze the Visa Bulletin, explaining the availability of visas for family-sponsored and employment-based preference categories, numerical limitations, and how to know when your priority date is current during any given month.

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