First Time Entry with An Immigrant Visa

Whether you are pursuing a marriage based green card, immigrating for your work, or being sponsored by a family member, obtaining a visa to enter the United States can be a time-consuming, stressful, and frustrating process. Every step of the way...
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What is Direct Consulate Filing?

Direct Consulate Filing (DCF) is an expedited process through which a United States citizen living oversees can petition the government for an immigrant visa for his or her immediate relatives. DCF requires that, instead of sending an I-130 petition back to the United States, the citizen sends it to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which he or she is residing. It is important to note that this procedure is not offered at all consulates and embassies and to date, the government has not issued a list of available consulates that offer this service. The DCF requirements are modest. In order to file a Form I-130 Petition through DCF, the Petitioner must have U.S. Citizenship and have lived abroad for a minimum of six months. DCF may also be available in extenuating circumstances such as members of the military facing deployment, emergency situations, situations involving the health or safety of the petitioner, and when it is in the national interest of the U.S.  Ultimately, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate handles the visa petition directly and decides the immigrant’s eligibility for a green card. This is the advantage of DCF: I-130 applications are handled directly by a U.S. […]
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A Proposed Solution to the Green Card Backlog

A new bill has just been introduced in both houses of the United States Congress that would make a dramatic change to the current immigration system by scrapping the per-country limit on green cards. Bill HR 1044, also known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, proposes that green cards be issued by category and date, as opposed to the current system which allows a limited number of green cards per country.  Those who drafted the bill believe that the change will help to reduce the backlog in countries like China and India where applicants wait years for their approved applications to amount to U.S. employment. Chinese applicants currently have a backlog of 67,031 approved employment-based petitions, while Indian applicants have 306,601. By eliminating the per-country limit, the new bill will provide green cards to applicants on a first come, first serve basis, which will result in applicants from countries with the most applicants, like China and India, dominating the market. This change to the immigration system may be on the horizon because the bill seems to have a good chance of passing. HR 1044 has bipartisan support in Congress, as well as the support of tech giants like Google, […]
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Part 4 of 4: U.S. Tax Requirements for Green Card Holders

**Please note: The purpose of this series is to provide general information on immigration tax issues commonly raised by our Canadian clients. Berardi Immigration Law does not practice U.S. tax law. Any information herein is for general informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice. To ensure compliance with U.S. tax regulations, you should speak with your tax or financial adviser to assist you in all financial implications for your time spent in the U.S.** Dear Berardi Immigration Law, I’ve had my green card for three years now.  This past year, I’ve been living and working in Canada for a temporary job assignment.  I have a valid re-entry permit, so essentially the government has given me permission to live outside the U.S.   Since my income is earned in Canada, can I file my U.S. tax return as a non-resident?  Sincerely, Green Card Holder Living Abroad There is a common rumor circulating that the number of days you spend in the U.S. determines whether or not you are considered to be a tax resident, but this is only true for people who are in the country as nonimmigrant visitors or workers.  (Read Part 1 of […]
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