US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has redesigned the Green Card and Employment Authorization Document (“Work Permit”) to enhance the security features of those cards.

The new cards were supposed to be issued beginning May 1, 2017, but some people receiving cards after that date will receive a card using the old design. The reason is that USCIS wants to use all its inventory of old cards before issuing cards with the new design. read more

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Yes, many people will now be required to give a police certificate. As of March 6, 2017, any new immigrant visa case that begins processing at the National Visa Center will be subject to the new policy if the person is 18 years old or older and has resided in Mexico for more than 6 months since turning the age of 18. Normally, the National Visa Center requires applicants who are 16 years of age and older to provide a police certificate, but for the moment the Mexican authorities will only provide a certificate to those applicants who are 18 or older. read more

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Government officials can always ask a lawful permanent resident to give up his or her permanent residency and green card, but it is also lawful for you to say no and not surrender your permanent residency or green card.

Normally, a government official only requests that a person voluntarily sign a form, the I-407-Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, when the official believes the permanent resident has abandoned his or her residency by word or action. read more

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President-elect Trump has said he wanted changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) of which the United States, Mexico, and Canada are signatories. NAFTA allows certain professionals who are citizens in these countries to work in the other countries if they qualify under the agreement. read more

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Deferred action is the use of prosecutorial discretion to defer a removal action against a person for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status but grantees who are in economic need can apply for employment authorization. President Obama’s administration used this discretionary power for persons who came to the United States before his or her 16th birthday. Removal actions are deferred for two years under this program and employment authorization lasts the duration of the deferred action. read more

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The US government does not have a set scale about how much investment is needed to obtain an E-2 visa, but it does require the investment to be “substantial.” A substantial investment would be an investment with enough money to purchase an established business or if creating a new business, enough money to cover the costs of establishing the business. Additionally, the investment needs to be enough to make certain the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the business. read more

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USCIS Fees Will Increase December 23, 2016

Earlier this year USCIS proposed an increase in most fees associated with immigration applications and benefits. This week the new prices were published. The new pricing will be effective December 23, 2016.

USCIS publishes its pricing using Form G-1055. That form with current pricing can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/g-1055.pdf. The new pricing will only start to be shown on Form G-1055 on December 23, 2016. read more

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If you need the Form I-94, record of admission, to prove you lawfully entered the US, it can currently be found at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94.

In the future, the address of the site may change, but you should be able to find the I-94 admission record on the website of the US Customs and Border Protection agency. read more

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Congress made the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program to allow immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States a chance to obtain an immigrant visa, which would lead to permanent residency upon entry to the United States using that visa. For the United States fiscal year 2018, there will be 50,000 diversity immigrant visas available. read more

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Many times there is a relationship, but the two do not have to be related. Each process is different or independent. If you qualify, you may apply for a green card with or without an H-1B. Sometimes they seem related because many employees who obtain a green card through an employer have also had an H-1B through the same employer, but that is not always the case. read more

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