Understanding the Visa Bulletin

The government has placed statutory limits on how many people can immigrate to the United States each year, so once you submit your application, you may have to wait until there is a visa available in the category you applied for. Each month, the Department of State (DOS) issues a visa bulletin, which indicates when visas are available based on your priority date and country of birth. Your priority date is the date that your petition was approved by USCIS. If a labor certification was required with your petition, the priority date is the date when the certification was accepted for processing by the Department of Labor.  What chart do I use? The visa bulletin contains two charts for each visa category with different dates: final action dates, and dates for filing applications. If filing via Adjustment of Status, USCIS will determine which chart controls in a given month. If filing via Immigrant Processing, the National Visa Center will reach out once you can begin these steps. In general, the green card cannot be issued until the final action date is current. Visit the USCIS website here to determine what chart you should use.  What do I do when my […]
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Featured Client of the Month: Peter Hapak

Peter Hapak is a long-standing client of Berardi Immigration Law. Peter’s relationship with Berardi Immigration Law began when he decided it was time to settle permanently in the United States due to many of the opportunities available here. He decided to apply to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States after spending years working in the U.S. on a work visa as a photographer. With the assistance of our firm, Peter’s petition for a green card was approved. This allowed Peter to further pursue his career in the United States with greater flexibility and ease.  After many years as a green card holder, Peter decided it was time for the next step: citizenship. After our team’s professional and successful handling of his green card application, Peter decided once again to work with the team at Berardi Immigration Law. We were able to successfully handle Peter’s nuanced case and navigate the various questions he had relating to the process, his application, and any concerns along the way.  Applying for any type of immigration benefit can feel stressful and leave applicants on edge. Peter’s favorite part about working with Berardi Immigration Law was the constant updates he received from our […]
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Certain Conditional Permanent Residents Eligible for Interview Waiver

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently provided updated guidance for officers regarding waiving the interview requirement for a Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence.  Conditional permanent residency is granted to qualifying foreign nationals who have been married to their qualifying spouse for less than two years. After a period of two years, a conditional permanent resident must petition to have these conditions removed or face losing their Green Card entirely, as this conditional card cannot be renewed. Generally, in order to complete the process necessary to remove conditions, an officer must interview a conditional permanent resident. However, there are some exceptions, which the recent guidance delves into.   According to USCIS, officers have some discretion to decide if they can waive the interview requirement. They are required to follow certain criteria to make a judgement of whether the interview should be waived or if it is necessary. A USCIS officer must be satisfied that the following conditions are met: The officer is able to make a decision based on the current record because it contains sufficient evidence regarding the bona fides of the marriage and the marriage was not entered into fraudulently for the purpose of avoiding U.S. immigration […]
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Featured Client of the Month: Joerg Kuehnelt

Berardi Immigration recently helped Joerg Kuehnelt obtain a green card. Before working with Berardi Immigration, Joerg had worked with an attorney who he felt lacked experience and did not fully understand the application process. Ultimately, he was denied the visa because he did not sufficiently qualify for that particular type of visa. He then turned to Berardi Immigration who represented his employer on immigration matters.  Berardi Immigration was able to secure Joerg an L-1 visa through his employer, and then he was able to apply for his green card. Joerg was “happy that Berardi took my concerns seriously and provided extra care to ensure I do sufficiently qualify for a U.S. visa before applying.” He was also impressed that “Berardi took the time to understand my job profile and feed that into the application to ensure it represents my duties correctly. In addition, they took extra care to explain the process and requirements to me so I did feel comfortable submitting my application.” Now that he is a green card holder, Joerg is looking forward to “being able to work a couple of hours on the side as a barista in a top-notch coffee shop. I had great coffees in […]
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USCIS Updates Medical Exam Procedures

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it would be updating the policy regarding the time period during which a Form I-693 submitted in support of a related immigration benefits application is considered valid. This update supersedes any previous guidance on this topic.  USCIS uses Form I-693 to determine whether or not a foreign national applying for an immigration benefit in the U.S. is inadmissible under health-related grounds. USCIS designates civil surgeons across the country who are responsible for conducting immigration medical examinations. Civil surgeons will then record the results of the examinations on Form I-693.  USCIS is updating the way the current validity period is calculated. This update aims to enhance operational efficiencies and reduce the need to request updated Form I-693 from applicants. This updated policy will take effect November 1, 2018. Once this policy is in effect, a Form I-693 will only be valid when a civil surgeon signs it no more than 60 days before the date an applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit and USCIS adjudicates the application within two years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature.  If you are interested in immigrating to the United States, […]
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Featured Client of the Month: Reza Kamran

Berardi Immigration recently helped Reza Kamran obtain a Green Card in order to work for a company in the United States. Reza was thrilled to receive a job offer from a company in California but was unfamiliar with immigration firms and the process. Originally, Reza worked with the company’s internal corporate immigration lawyer. Unfortunately, this application was denied at the border, leaving Reza without work authorization. Fortunately, Berardi Immigration Law was able to step in and assist Reza with both damage control for his denial and suggest another preferable course of action. Based on Reza’s qualifications and individual circumstances, an employment-based Green Card was determined to be the best fit. This application submitted by Berardi was successful, and Reza and his family are currently in the United States. Reza is excited to continue living and working in the U.S.  Reza was impressed by his interactions with everyone at Berardi Immigration Law. The professionalism and knowledge of the entire team especially stood out. Reza was glad that “Berardi was fully prepared to not only speak on my behalf but ensured that the documentation case was air tight.” Furthermore, the team at Berardi “was always there to support and recommend the best […]
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Certain AOS Applications Can Be Filed Early in the Month of October 2018

USCIS has announced that for the month of October 2018, applicants for adjustment of status in both the family-based and employment-based categories may file their I-485 applications according to the Filing Date Charts. This means that you may file your I-485 application before your priority date is current, a huge benefit for many as this enables applicants and their dependents to obtain Employment Authorization and Advance Parole travel permits.  Here is an example of why this is an important opportunity: Your green card category is EB-1 for Persons of Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Professors and Researchers, or Executives/Managers of International Companies. Your priority date is January 1, 2018. In October 2018, the priority date for EB-1 Worldwide will be April 1, 2017, which means you are months away from having a current priority date. However, the Filing Date Chart for Worldwide EB-1’s in October 2018 is June 1, 2018. Because USCIS has allowed applicants to use the Filing Date Chart in October, you and your dependents will be able to apply for adjustment of status this month. In this instance, there is no need for your priority date to become current in order to file.  If you have questions on how […]
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