Articles Posted in Permanent Residents

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, 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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Are you interested in self-petitioning for a green card (permanent residence) in 2024? If so, you won’t want to miss this important video.


Overview


Did you know that it is possible to apply for a green card on your own through a self-petition and avoid the process of getting a U.S. job offer? In this video, we discuss the top three ways you can apply for permanent residence without a U.S. company sponsoring you and without a U.S. job offer.


Option #1: Employment-Based First Preference Category, EB-1A Aliens of Extraordinary Ability


The first immigrant visa classification we will discuss is the EB-1A visa. This immigrant visa is suitable for individuals who have attained “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim in their field.

Those who qualify for the EB-1A category can self-petition for their visa on their own. They do not need a U.S. job offer nor employment sponsorship to apply for permanent residence.

EB-1A is Current on the Visa Bulletin 

Additionally, as of June 2024 the EB-1A category remains current on the Visa Bulletin for all countries except India and China, which means that most applicants will not need to wait to apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence so long as the category remains current. For nationals of India and China please see the EB-1A wait times on the June 2024 Visa Bulletin.

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Did you know that you can apply for a green card without a job offer or even sponsorship from a U.S. employer?

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick tells you all you need to know about the EB-2 National Interest Waiver, an employment-based green card option for professionals who are working in an area of national importance to the United States government.

This video focuses specifically on how engineering professionals can qualify for the National Interest Waiver, which is one of the most popular ways to obtain permanent residence in the U.S.

For more information, please keep on watching.


Overview


If you are an engineer that has earned an advanced degree (baccalaureate or higher) or have exceptional ability in your field of engineering, then you may be eligible to self-petition for a green card by applying for the EB-2 National Interest Waiver.

Unlike the EB-3 employment-based green card which requires employment sponsorship, the EB-2 National interest Waiver allows an individual to self-petition for their green card.

This provides applicants with the freedom and flexibility to apply for permanent residence on their own without having to undergo the lengthy labor certification process with a U.S. employer.

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Did you register for the Diversity Visa Lottery in fiscal year 2025? If so, then you won’t want to miss this important video where attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares how you can check the status of your entry online to know whether you have been chosen to apply for a Diversity Visa (DV). Checking the status of your entry is an important step in the application process because the State Department does not notify lottery winners directly.

Learn more about how to check your status in this video.


Overview


Earlier this month, the State Department selected the winners of the fiscal year 2025 Diversity Visa lottery. Registrants can now check whether they have been chosen by navigating to the 2025 Entrant Status Check webpage.

To check your status, you will need to have your confirmation number, enter your last/family name, and year of birth.

Once you have confirmed that you have been selected in the DV lottery, the State Department webpage will include detailed information on how and when you must apply for permanent residence in the United States.

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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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