Re-entry Permits: The Basics on Preserving Your Green Card During Long Term Travel

While the vast majority of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents and Conditional Residents (green card holders) reside permanently in the U.S. after obtaining their status, there are instances when an individual may need to spend an extended period of time outside the U.S.   A good rule of thumb to follow is if you plan to be out of the U.S. for longer than 183 days in a year, you should consult an experienced Immigration Attorney regarding the best way to protect your status while you are gone. One such strategy may be to obtain a Reentry Permit.    By obtaining a reentry permit, a green card holder can establish that they do not wish to abandon their permanent resident status. What is a Reentry Permit? A Reentry Permit is a travel document issued to lawful permanent residents and conditional residents who must reside outside of the U.S. for more than six months. Who needs Reentry Permit? Lawful permanent residents and conditional residents require Reentry Permits to reenter the country after an absence from the U.S. of more than six months. How do I file for Reentry Permit? You must file Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document, complete with supporting documentation, photos […]
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Immigrant Visa Application

Step 1- A sponsor in the U.S. files a petition with the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS).  Generally speaking, to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative, U.S. lawful permanent resident, or by a prospective employer, and be the beneficiary of an approved petition filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to move on to the next step. Step 2- Once USCIS approves the petition, they will send the petitioner a Notice of Approval, Form I-797.  USCIS then forwards the approved petition to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. Step 3- NVC completes its processing and forwards the case to Universal Visa Services. Step 4- Once Universal Visa Services receives the file from NVC, we will complete pre-interview processing and schedule an interview appointment. Step 5- USV will prepare you for the interview and ensure that you have all the proper documentation. Step 6- The applicant appears at the consular officer for a visa interview on the scheduled date.  For many people, the prospect of being interviewed by a consular officer can be stressful.  However, for those who are prepared, an immigration […]
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Non-Immigrant Visa Application Process

Below is an overview of the steps needed to apply for a non-immigrant visa.  To ensure the approval of your application, all aspects of the process must be followed exactly.  Universal Visa Services can take the worry out of these tasks as well as completing them as expeditiously as possible.  Additionally, we can provide you with a visa assistant to accompany you to the interview. Step 1- Photograph A digital photograph is required for while applying for a US visa. The photograph must meet certain criteria including dimension, format and resolution. UVS will assist you in finding a photographer in your area. Step 2- Complete US visa application form online Visitor visa application (form DS160) must be completed in the English language. All questions must be completed thoroughly and accurately. Universal Visa Services will ensure that your document is prepared correctly and that all of your substantiating paperwork is in order. Step 3- Pay Fee Depending on the type of USA visa you are applying for, the USA visa fee may be different. Depending on your country of origin the payment process and mode of payment may vary. Universal Visa Services will assist you with this process. Step 4-Make your […]
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SEVP Approved Schools as of December 28, 2010

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently updated their list of Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved schools. The schools listed have all been certified to participate in the program.  The program allows foreign students interested in obtaining an education in the United States to complete a visa petition, pay the required fee, and attend a U.S. College or University. Interested foreign students are invited to schedule a consultation to discuss the process. Page Summary:  ICE releases updated list of SEVP approved schools.
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SEVP Certification

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) School Certification Branch (SCB) is responsible for evaluating petitions submitted by insititutions wishing to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security for attendance by nonimmigrant students. Nonimmigrant students who come to the United States to pursue full-time academic or vocational/technical training are usually admitted in one of two nonimmigrant categories: F-1 includes academic students in colleges, universities, seminaries, conservatories, and academic high schools, other academic institutions, Fine Arts, and language training; or M-1 includes vocational, technical training, flight schools, and non-academic schools. Certification Criteria Institutions must meet the following basic requirements for SEVP certification.  The institution: must be a bona fide school; must be an established institution of learning; must possess the necessary facilities, personnel and finances to conduct instruction in recognized courses of study; must currently be engaged in instruction at the time of filing and NOT at some point prior to final adjudication. Additionally, Institutions applying for M classification (vocational AND technical training), must have programs which meet for a minimum of 18 hours per week, if the program is primarily classroom instruction, or 22 hours per week if the program is primarily lab work.  English language schools must have programs that meet for a […]
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