Articles Posted in Tourists

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the top 5 reasons a U.S. immigrant may be subject to deportation in the year 2024 and how to avoid falling into these circumstances.

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


Overview


There are several reasons that may lead immigration to start the process of deporting an immigrant from the United States to their country of origin. Removal may occur because of certain actions undertaken by the foreign national that violate the immigration laws of the United States.

One of the most common scenarios is where the foreign national did not have the right to be in the United States in the first place. But this is not the only reason a person may be subject to deportation. Other reasons may include crossing the border illegally or even overstaying a U.S. visa beyond your authorized period of stay.

Here we discuss the top 5 most common reasons that may lead to deportation.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new press release shared by the Department of State which provides insights on the status of visa operations worldwide during fiscal year 2023. The report highlights that from October 2022 through September 2023, DOS issued more than 10 million visas worldwide, with half of U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world issuing more visas than ever before.

In this post, we provide a summary of the agency’s impressive achievements and visa statistics over the past fiscal year.

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


Overview


According to the press release, the Department of State hit a near historic record, issuing more than 10.4 million nonimmigrant visas worldwide in fiscal year 2023.

Nearly 8 million visitor visas were issued for business and tourism – more than in any fiscal year since 2016.

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In this post, we share exciting news for Israeli nationals. The U.S. government recently designated Israel as the 41st country to join the Visa Waiver Program (also known as ESTA) effective November 30, 2023.

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses what this means and how it can benefit you.

If you want to know more about this exciting news, please keep on watching!


Highlights


To travel under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) you must:

  • Be a citizen or eligible national of a Visa Waiver Program country.
  • Not be in possession of a visitor’s visa.
  • Your travel to the USA must be for 90 days or less.
  • You must plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure.
  • Not be inadmissible to the USA nor previously denied a U.S. visa

Overview


Did you know that the United States operates a Visa Waiver program? This special program allows nationals from participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes without a U.S. visa, for a period of up to 90 days. Temporary stays under the Visa Waiver Program cannot be extended for periods longer than 90 days.

Recently, Israel was given the privilege of participating in this program. That means that starting November 30th Israeli nationals will be able to apply for travel permission to the United States online using the Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA). Once approved, this travel permission is valid for a period of two years once it has been issued. You cannot travel to the United States until your ESTA has been approved and issued to you.

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Would you like to know how you can renew your U.S. visa in 2023? If so, then this video is right for you.


Overview


Your U.S. visa has expired and now it’s renewal time. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the general process of applying to renew your U.S. visa in 2023 at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas.

Please note that there are hundreds of different U.S. visa categories that have their own eligibility criteria and renewal requirements. The information provided here does not, and is not intended, to constitute legal advice. To obtain legal advice on your particular facts, case, or circumstances, please consult with a licensed immigration attorney.

For visa specific information and documentary requirements, applicants may contact their closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.


Visa Renewal Steps


Here are the main steps that any applicant must take when renewing their visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

Step One: Make sure that you qualify for your U.S. Visa Renewal

First and foremost, regardless of your visa type you must be prepared to provide documentary evidence to the Consular official to prove that you remain eligible for the renewal of your visa.

For example, if you are renewing a student visa you must provide your updated Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status to show that you remain eligible to study in the United States. If you are applying to renew your tourist visa, you must continue to demonstrate your eligibility such as proof of temporary stay, strong ties to your home country, proof of sufficient finances to cover your temporary stay, etc.

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Have you ever wondered what you need to do if your passport containing a U.S. visa inside is lost or stolen? We’ve got you covered. In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains everything you need to know about this important topic.


Overview


So, you’ve successfully managed to pass your Consular interview, and now you’ve received your U.S. visa in your passport. Let’s imagine that you, like thousands before you, manage to lose your passport containing your U.S. visa inside, or have it stolen.

What should you do in this situation?

First and foremost, foreign nationals must remember that their passport and visa is an official travel document. You cannot enter the United States without having such documents in your possession to demonstrate your country of citizenship and legal status in the United States.

Before even falling into this predicament, foreign nationals should always make a copy of their passport biographic page, U.S. visa, and admission stamp or paper I-94 (if applicable) as soon as they have arrived in the United States.

Foreign nationals who have entered the United States temporarily on their valid visa, and later lose their passport, can remain in the U.S. for the duration of their authorized stay, as printed on their admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.

If you were issued a paper Form I-94 and it was lost or stolen, you must have it replaced immediately.

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Are you going through the immigrant visa process, waiting for your interview to be scheduled at a Consulate or Embassy overseas? Then this video is right for you. We will provide the latest updates including which Consular posts are open, their processing times, and which posts are experiencing long wait times as of June 2023.


Overview


Embassies and Consulates around the world are beginning to ramp up their processing of immigrant visas, with the hiring of additional personnel to reduce the visa backlogs.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, immigrant visa cases have been warehoused at the National Visa Center (NVC) while awaiting interview scheduling at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. Due to the high demand for visa interviews, most Consular posts have not been able to accommodate the majority of applicants who are still waiting for their appointments to be scheduled.

Unfortunately, the National Visa Center (NVC) is not able to forward cases to Embassies and Consulates until they have received confirmation that the post has available interview slots.

This is the case even if your case is documentarily qualified and even if your priority date is current on the Visa Bulletin. Your case cannot be forwarded to the Embassy or Consulate until they have confirmed that an interview slot is available for you.

On the other hand, if your case has not been documentarily qualified (meaning all documentation has been received by the NVC), or your priority date is not current on the Visa Bulletin, then your case will not be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview.

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Are you or a family member interested in applying for a B1/B2 Visitor Visa to the United States? Would you like to know some useful tips that may help you schedule your tourist or non-immigrant visa interview appointment faster in 2023?

If so, then this is the right video for you! Learn all about this important topic and how you can minimize visa interview wait times with our helpful tips.


Overview


The Department of State recently announced that they will be allowing B1/B2 visitor visa applicants and certain other types of nonimmigrants, the ability to schedule their visa interview appointments outside of their home country at some select American embassies as a third country national (TCN).

For example, if you are a foreign national of a country experiencing very high visa demand such as India, China, etc., you may be allowed to schedule your visa interview appointment in another country as a third country national (such as a neighboring country with shorter waiting periods).

This new announcement will be useful for applicants who have been waiting over a year to get a tourist visa interview appointment in their home countries.

U.S. Embassies in India are now encouraging certain applicants to apply for their tourist visas at Consular posts such as Bangkok, Thailand, which is among the U.S. missions where Indian nationals can get an appointment for B1/B2 tourist visas in 2023 outside of India.

As an example, the current wait time to get a B1/B2 tourist visa interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is about 30 to 35 days, compared to a wait time of over one year at most missions throughout India. This will benefit Indian nationals who are already residing in Bangkok, or who have the ability to travel there for their appointments.


Non-immigrant Visa Processing for Third Country Nationals


A third-country national (TCN) is a citizen of a “third” country that seeks to apply for a non-immigrant visa type in a country where they are not ordinary resident (and where they do not hold citizenship) with their third-country passport.

Certain U.S. Consular posts and Embassies accept and process non-immigrant visa applications from third-country nationals. For instance, non-immigrant visas for Ukrainian and Russian nationals may be processed and scheduled at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.

Likewise, Pakistani nationals who had their cases at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, have been able to transfer them to U.S. Consular posts in neighboring countries for interview scheduling.

While this practice has been occurring for at least the past year, previously it was not widely available for non-immigrant visa types, because U.S. Consular posts required applicants to maintain residency in the countries in which they applied.

Due to the growing non-immigrant visa backlogs caused by the pandemic, U.S. Embassies and Consulates have shown greater flexibility in allowing third country nationals to seek appointments outside of their home countries, despite not residing there. This is the case especially in countries with substantial visa delays like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. Foreign nationals from these countries can apply for their B1/B2 tourist visas and non-immigrant visas in neighboring countries where interview wait times are much more reasonable.

As the summer approaches, applicants simply cannot afford to wait over a year for a visa interview appointment. Therefore, applying as a third country national outside your home country, can greatly improve your chances of receiving an interview appointment in much less time with fewer headaches.

If you found this information helpful, please share it with a friend or family member.


Contact us. For help applying for a non-immigrant visa as a third-country national, we invite you to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.


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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains the process for a United States Citizen to petition his or her parents for a green card, through adjustment of status (for those lawfully residing in the U.S.) or Consular processing (for those residing overseas).

If you want to know more about the eligibility requirements to do so, and how long it is currently taking for USCIS to approve green card applications for parents, please keep on watching.


Overview


Every year, thousands of people apply for green cards in different categories. One of the most common filings are green cards for parents of U.S. Citizens.

First, let’s discuss the requirements to file your parent’s green card.

To file the green card petition for your parents, you must be a U.S. Citizen that is 21 years of age or older. As proof of your qualifying family relationship to your parent, you will be required to provide a photocopy of your birth certificate.

As the petitioner (the U.S. Citizen family member filing the green card application with USCIS), you will also be required to file what is known as the I-864 Affidavit of Support. Form I-864 is your contract with the U.S. government promising to provide adequate financial support for your parent until they become a U.S. Citizen. As part of this process, you must prove to the U.S. government that you meet 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines according to your household size by providing verification of employment, and income verification documents.

Finally, your parent must intend to reside in the United States upon approval and issuance of their green card.


Procedure to Apply for the Green Card


There are generally two ways to immigrate your parent to the United States depending on where they are living: (1) adjustment of status or (2) consular processing.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares some very exciting news for nonimmigrant visa applicants. The State Department recently announced that they are dramatically speeding up visa wait times for interview appointments starting with nonimmigrant visas for students, temporary workers, and tourists.

If you want to know more about this important update just keep on watching!

Did You Know? U.S. Consulates and Embassies consider requests for expedited visa interview appointments on a case-by-case basis for those who meet the expedite criteria, including those with urgent travel needs, emergencies, urgent humanitarian needs, those working for nonprofits who are furthering cultural or social interests for the U.S., those whose work is in the U.S. government or national interest, etc. To understand the expedite process, please visit the website of your closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.


Overview


On December 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs held a live broadcast on YouTube, where Julie M. Stufft, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, discussed the status of immigrant and nonimmigrant visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.

In the broadcast, she highlighted some important revelations, indicating that not only are visa wait times improving at U.S. Consulates and Embassies overseas, but nonimmigrant visa interview appointments are being made available much faster than ever before for tourists, students, and certain temporary workers.

Some of the Key Points she raised are as follows:

  • The State Department has successfully reduced visa interview wait times with a median global wait time of just 7 weeks for a B1/B2 tourist visa appointment at most U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide.
  • Similarly, the Statement Department has reduced wait times to only 7 days for F-1 students and certain temporary workers at most U.S. Consulates and Embassies Worldwide.
  • Visa processing capacity is recovering much faster than initially projected thanks to policy and processing innovations implemented in 2022.
  • In many countries, the State Department issued more tourist visas in 2022 than before the pandemic, including at some of the busiest Consulates in the world such as Mexico and Brazil.
  • The State Department issued more student visas in 2022 than in any recent year.
  • Visas for airline and shipping crewmembers were prioritized to support global supply chains, with the State Department issuing more than 250,000 crewmember visas in 2022.
  • Pre-pandemic processing times were exceeded for crewmembers since June of 2022.
  • State Department posts overseas adjudicated about 40 percent more visas for seasonal workers in 2022 when compared to 2019, before the pandemic.

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Many of our followers have been asking a very important question, what does a visa “refusal” mean and what is 221(g) Administrative Processing?

The situation unfolds something like this. You’ve applied for a non-immigrant visa and have attended your Consular visa interview. After attending your interview, you check the status of your visa on the State Department’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) webpage, and you see the dreaded words “Refused.”

What does this all mean and what can you expect if you find yourself in this predicament? In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick walks you through the meaning of a “refusal” and how you can still be successful in obtaining a visa despite this obstacle.


Overview


Applicants for nonimmigrant visas can check the status of their visa cases by visiting the State Department’s Consular Electronics Application Center CEAC launch page .

To check your status, you must enter your DS-160 confirmation number and the Consular location (Country and City) where you were interviewed.

The DS-160 confirmation number can be found on the DS-160 confirmation page and starts with AA followed by 8 digits.

Once you have successfully entered the online CEAC visa check system, you will receive one of the following results:

(1) Application receipt pending


If you have submitted your online non-immigrant visa application (DS-160), it has not yet been processed into the visa system. At some locations, your application will remain in this status until you appear for an interview or until your application is ready for review. Please see the Embassy or Consulate website for information on the next steps required for visa processing.

Meaning: 

The application data has not been entered into the Embassy system.

For interview cases, the application will remain in this status until the applicant appears for an interview.

For mail-in cases, this means the Embassy has not received the application.

(2) Application Received


Your case is open and ready for your interview, fingerprints, and required documents. If you have already had your interview, please check your status after two business days. If no interview was required, please check back in two business days for the updated status of your application.

For mail-in cases: The visa application has been received by the Embassy and is undergoing review.

This also includes cases that are pending for additional documents

(3) Administrative Processing


Your visa case is currently undergoing administrative processing. This processing can take several weeks. Please follow any instructions provided by the consular officer at the time of your interview. If further information is needed, you will be contacted. If your visa application is approved, it will be processed and mailed back within two business days.

This status includes:

  • The visa issuance process (visa has been approved but not yet printed)
  • Pending for additional documents/information

(4) Issued


Your visa is in final processing. If you have not received after 10 working days, please see the webpage for contact information of the Embassy or Consulate where you submitted your application.

Meaning:

The visa has been issued

(5) Refused


A U.S. consular officer has adjudicated and refused your visa application. Please follow any instructions provided by the consular officer. If you were informed by the consular officer that your case was refused for administrative processing, your case will remain refused while undergoing such processing. You will receive another adjudication once such processing is complete. Please be advised that the processing time varies and that you will be contacted if additional information is needed.

This includes cases that are:

  • Pending for additional documents/information
  • * Administrative Processing (See below for details)
  • Cases with a waiver request pending.
  • Denied under Section 214(b) of the INA.
    • For E-visa new company registration cases: The visa application has been received by the Embassy and is ready for review. Please wait for further instructions from the Embassy or Consulate. Processing time for new company registration typically takes at least 3 weeks.

For the purposes of this video, we will focus on what the visa status “refused” really means.

Applicants can receive a visa “refusal” for a number of different reasons.

In many cases, applicants are left confused upon seeing a visa “refusal,” especially where the Consular officer has told the applicant that their visa has been approved following their visa interview. In other situations, applicants have received a “refusal” after following the Consulate’s instructions to submit documents via dropbox (for instance for applicants seeking H-1B visa stamping). Applicants who have been told their cases have been placed in 221(g) administrative processing also receive a visa “refusal.”

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