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April Visa Bulletin: What Are the Big Changes?

The U.S. State Department recently released the April Visa Bulletin for this year. Every month, a visa bulletin is released that provides important information about filing dates for immigrants that are attempting to get an Adjustment of Status.  The bulletin helps summarize the availability for immigrants numbers during April for “Final Action Dates” as well, which help inform immigrant visa applicants of when they should assemble and submit the appropriate documents to the National Visa Center.

How Does the Visa Bulletin Work?

Immigrants should make sure they are comparing their priority date (when their green card petition was received) and the final action date listed on the bulletin given for their visa category and country of origin. If the priority date and final action date match, you will receive a visa number and you can adjust your status. It’s important to check the bulletin every month because the final action date will either move closer to your priority date, or it could unfortunately retrogress backward. If the category is current, that means that your visa number will be available once your petition is processed and reviewed. For April, there are a few important advancement dates and retrogressions in the employment-based categories.

What is an Employment-Based Category?

You can get an immigrant visa through your employment in the U.S. Most of the time, you’ll need a job offer from a U.S. employer. There are preference levels (EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3) relevant for this month, as well as chargeability areas (China, India, the Philippines, Central America, and Mexico). 

What Does the April Visa Bulletin Reveal?

The final action dates moved around a bit for the employment categories for this month.

EB-1 category: For people born in China and India, the dates went from being current in March 2018, to back to January 2012 for April of 2018. This is a huge retrogression of over six years, which means that the EB-1 category is not a reliable option for Chinese and Indian people seeking status in this preference level. The dates for Central America, Mexico, and the Philippines are current.

EB-2 category: For China, the dates moved forward nearly 8 months (from December 2013 to August 2014). India, unfortunately, only progressed by one week (in December 2008) for the EB-2 category. Central America, Mexico, and the Philippines are current.

EB-3 category: For professionals and skilled employees born in India, China and the Philippines, there’s good news. India’s dates rocketed ahead by over one year, China moved 6.5 months and the Philippines advanced by 8 months.

If you would like to keep up with more visa and immigration news, keep in touch with our immigration law resources online, or contact the law office of Sweta Khandelwal directly.

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How to Help a Family Member Acquire a Visitor Visa

The United States prides itself on being an extremely diverse country where people from all over the world have started new and prosperous lives. Many times, people who have recently immigrated to this country will still have family members living in their country of origin who will want to visit. There are many types of visas that a person can apply for, so it might be confusing as to which visa your family member should get if they’re interested in visiting you.

How Do I Help My Family Member Get a Visa?

A citizen from a foreign country who wants to enter the United States must obtain a visitor visa. Usually, it will be a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay if it’s just for a visit or vacation. This kind of visitor visa is called a Tourism and Visit visa under visa category B-2. Once it’s established what type of visa your family member needs to acquire, then you can walk them through the application process. First, inform your family member that they will need to prove, under U.S. law, that they are not presuming to be an intended immigrant, but instead are just visiting temporarily. Any evidence might be required, such as an intended purpose of their trip, what specific time period they will be visiting, proof of funds to cover their expenses during their trip, and confirmation that they have a residence outside of the U.S. and any other proof of binding ties that they will have to leave the U.S. at the end of the visit. Then, they can apply for their visitor visa at the nearest U.S. embassy or Consulate in their country. Make sure they apply for their visa way in advance of their travel departure date. They will have to pay a non-refundable visa application fee, and then have an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. There will be wait times for the interview appointment and the visa processing, so the earlier your family member can do everything, the better.

The process for a temporary visa application is complicated, especially if you’re trying to help a family member in another country. One of the fundamental pillars of immigration law is family unification, and our immigration attorneys will do anything it takes to keep your family together. Our team of immigration attorneys at the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal are here to help you through the process and answer any questions you have. Contact us to get you or your family member started.

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