Lawful Status, Authorized Stay and Unlawful Presence: Related, But Unique Concepts You Need to Know

Lawful status, period of authorized stay, and unlawful presence are all terms that in the immigration context, refer to related, yet unique concepts. It is crucial to understand these concepts as they can have a major impact on the success of one’s immigration case or petition.  Lawful Status All U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals have lawful status in the United States. Lawful status is not restricted only to citizens and nationals. Foreign nationals who have been allowed to enter the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis also enjoy lawful status within the U.S. For example, a legal permanent resident or a foreign national holding an H-1B visa will also have lawful status. For foreign nationals, lawful status is generally demonstrated by two prongs: a valid I-94 and acting within the confines of their issued visa. An unexpired I-94 shows that a foreign national has entered the U.S. legally through inspections. Additionally, a foreign national must adhere to the parameters of their visa. For example, with a few exceptions, a student in the U.S. on a F visa must not work to remain in lawful status.  Authorized Period of Stay While the term sounds interchangeable with lawful status, a period […]
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Client of the Month: Mark Jones

Berardi Immigration Law is happy to have recently helped Mark Jones acquire U.S. citizenship! Mark is a long-standing client of Berardi Immigration Law (BIL); in fact, he was one of Rosanna’s first clients upon the founding of the firm in 2005! The firm has assisted Mark through the process of applying for his marriage-based green card all the way through citizenship. Mark originally chose to work with our firm thanks to BIL’s attention to detail and personal interest in his case. Mark and his spouse decided to continue working with BIL as a result of our firm’s unwavering support, as well as consistent results.  Mark and his spouse enjoyed their time working with BIL. Once they were married, they contacted our firm to begin the process of first obtaining a green card. When it was eventually time to apply for citizenship, they knew they wanted to work with our team again. They had complete confidence in the entire team’s knowledge and expertise, as well as our long-term commitment to Mark’s case. The team’s personal touch helped make what can be a stressful process manageable and streamlined. Mark felt fully prepared for his final interview and aced the exam. Attending Mark’s […]
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Schedule A Nurses and Physical Therapists: A Fast Track to an Employment-based Green Card

Foreign nationals looking to obtain a green card to immigrate to the U.S. who work as either nurses or physical therapists may qualify for a special form of expedited processing. As a result of significant shortages of U.S. workers, the Department of Labor (DOL) established nurses and physical therapists as Schedule A shortage occupations. Schedule A is a list of pre-certified occupations that the DOL has determined that there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available. This allows foreign nationals to skip the lengthy labor certification process which tests the job market and start working in the U.S. sooner. In order to take advantage of the Schedule A classification, workers in these occupations must have a full-time job offer from an employer. Both nurses and physical therapists must provide proof of licensing or certification qualifications. Employers are responsible for completing the Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker as well as a completed, but uncertified Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) labor certification petition. Furthermore, parties must comply to DOL rules throughout the process.  Process Overview Step One: Prevailing Wage Determination and Notice of Filing A Prevailing Wage Determination must be prepared and filed with the DOL. The […]
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American Consulate in Toronto Implementing New Appointment Scheduling System for E-Visas

On December 5, 2017, the American consulate in Toronto implemented a new appointment scheduling system for E-visas. The new system is strictly a processing change that will allow the consulate to receive and review E-visa applications before the applicant schedules an in-person interview. Compared to the old system, which permitted applicants to schedule an appointment before submitting an application or supporting documentation, the new appointment scheduling system is anticipated to speed up processing times. When an E-visa application is submitted under the new system, it will be sorted into two processing streams based on the time needed to review the required documentation. First-time applicants and any individual wishing to renew the registration status of their E-visa company will be offered a “deferred interview” appointment. Also, keep in mind that first-time applicants and those wishing to renew the registration status of their E-visa company must apply in Toronto and will be provided with instructions on how to electronically submit their application and supporting documents to the U.S. Consulate in Toronto via [email protected] In addition, an applicant will still be required to create an appointment profile and pay the necessary visa application fee online, but the interview will be deferred until applicants […]
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DOS Annual Report Reveals 4,367,052 Visa Applicants are Waiting in Line

In October, the Department of State (DOS) asked the National Visa Center (NVC) to report the totals of applicants on the waiting list in the various numerically-limited immigrant categories. Applications for adjustment of status which are pending at USCIS offices are not included in the tabulation of the immigrant waiting list data which is provided below. As such, the following figures only reflect petitions which the DOS has received and do not include the significant number of applications held with the USCIS offices. The following figures have been compiled from the NVC report submitted to the Department on November 1, 2016, and show the number of immigrant visa applicants on the wait list in the various categories subject to numerical limit. All figures reflect persons registered under each respective numerical limitation, for example, the totals represent not only principal applicants, but also their derivative spouses and children. Family Sponsored Preferences Category & Number as of November 1, 2016 Family first: 310,884 Family second total: 700,212     2A Spouses/Children: 276,839     2B Adult Sons/Daughters: 423,373 Family third: 781,810 Family fourth: 2,466,667 TOTAL: 4,259,573 Employment-based Preferences Category & Number as of November 1, 2016 Employment first: 3,801 Employment second: 14,370 […]
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August 2016 Visa Bulletin: Retrogression for EB-1 India and China and EB-2 Worldwide

According to the Department of State’s August Visa Bulletin, cutoff dates for final issuance of an immigrant visa will be imposed for EB-1 India and China and for EB-2 worldwide, as projected last month. The cutoff dates for EB-1 India and China have been set at Jan. 1, 2010, while cutoff dates for EB-2 worldwide have been set at Feb. 1, 2014. According to the Department of State, it was necessary to implement this retrogression given the high demand for classification in these categories. It anticipates that these categories will be current again in October, the first month of fiscal year 2017. India and China will not be subject to the new EB-2 worldwide cutoff dates. Instead, the final action cutoff date for EB-2 India will advance by two weeks, to Nov. 15, 2004, while the final action cutoff date for EB-2 China will remain unchanged, at Jan. 1, 2010. In the EB-3 category, final action cutoff dates for professionals, skilled workers, and other workers will advance by two weeks for India, to Nov. 8, 2004, by three months for the Philippines, to May 15, 2009, and by two weeks for all other countries except China, to March 15, 2016. […]
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New U.S. Embassy in Nine Elms, London

Slated for completion in late 2016, the new U.S. Embassy in the Nine Elms area of Wandsworth is a current project that will produce a modern, welcoming, safe, and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century. The design of the new facility was opened up to competition and Philadelphia-based architects, Kieran Timberlake, earned the winning design in 2013. The New London Embassy (NLE) is under the care of the Overseas Buildings Operations with a dedicated team based in London. The project is entirely funded by the proceeds of sales of other U.S. Government properties in London, not through appropriated funds. “We are proud to be putting down roots in Nine Elms. And we’re proud to provide an anchor for more businesses and jobs, bringing thousands of new neighbors to fuel economic revitalization here.” (Ambassador Barzun, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. at the groundbreaking ceremony). If you are interested in applying for a U.S. visa, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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