DS-260 Problem with Online System

National Visa Center has reported experiencing technical difficulties with their online system related to the access of electronic immigrant visa application (Form DS-260) as well as the Online Choice of Address and Agent form (DS-261), as well as the ability to make and process immigrant visa fee payments electronically. The State Department has released guidance indicating that it is aware of the Ds-260 problem and is working to fix all the online issues. (more…)

Immigration Lawyer Explains Affidavit of Support

Immigration Lawyer Explains Affidavit of Support

An affidavit of support is a document that must be completed by all petitioners for family-based and some employment based sponsorship. In the affidavit of support, the petitioner or sponsor sign to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. Since the requirements are so stringent and an incorrect affidavit of support can lead to a denial of an immigrant visa petitions, it is recommended to seek legal assistance from an immigration lawyer. (more…)

Tips for Submitting DS-260 – Immigrant Visa Application

Before issuance of an immigrant visa, all applicants are required to electronically submit Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) – formerly Form DS-230. Many immigrants do not have access to computers and are not Internet savvy; hence the transition from a paper form to web-based form has not been easy for many with pending immigration petitions at the U.S. Embassy.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Visa Bulletin & Processing Time for Family & Employment Immigrant Visas

VISA BULLETIN FOR AUGUST 2019

(Updated 07/14/2019)

What is the “Visa Bulletin”?  It shows how long people in a given category have been waiting for an immigrant visa based on country of birth and preference category.  Since immigrant visas (or green cards) to the U.S. are numerically limited  and there are more immigration petitions filed than visas available, a backlog (or wait time) is created.

What does the “Priority Date” represent?  For family petitions, this is the date the Form I-130 was received by immigration.  For employment petitions, this is the day that the government received the employer’s PERM application. However, if a PERM application is not required, the priority date is the date the government received an EB visa petition (Form I-140 or Form I-526).

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES 

“1st” refers to the First Preference in Family-Based Immigration category, i.e., unmarried children of U.S. citizens over age of 21;

“2A” refers to the first subcategory of the Second Preference in Family-Based Immigration category, i.e., spouses or unmarried children under age 21 of permanent residents;

“2B” refers to the second subcategory of the Second Preference in Family-Based Immigration category, i.e., unmarried children of 21 years of age or older of permanent residents;

“3rd” refers to the Third Preference in Family-Based Immigration category, i.e., married children of U.S. citizens; and

“4th” refers to the Fourth Preference in Family-Based Immigration category, i.e., brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

Immediate family members of U.S. citizens, i.e., spouses, parents and unmarried children under age of 21, are not subject to the numerical restriction of visa quotas.

A.     Application Final Action Dates for Family-Sponsored Preference

Family-Based All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
China-Mainland Born India Mexico Philippines
1st 07/01/12 07/01/12 07/01/12 08/01/96 02/22/08
2A* Current Current Current Current Current
2B 01/01/14 01/01/14 01/01/14 06/01/98 04/01/08
3rd 06/22/07 06/22/07 06/22/07 12/01/95 10/01/97
4th 10/01/06 10/01/06 09/15/04 01/01/97 05/01/98

Note:  On the chart above, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants.  Immigrant visa issuance are authorized for only applicants/beneficiary(ies) whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed above.

B.     Dates for filing of Family-Sponsored Visa Applications – These dates indicate when immigrant applicants (present in the U.S. legally) can mail adjustment of status applications without having to wait for their priority dates to become current.

Family-Based All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
China-Mainland Born India Mexico Philippines
1st 03/01/13 03/01/13 03/01/13 11/01/99 08/22/08
2A* 06/01/19 06/01/19 06/01/19 06/01/19 06/01/19
2B 09/01/14 09/01/14 09/01/14 02/01/99 11/01/08
3rd 12/22/07 12/22/07 12/22/07 07/15/00 04/01/98
4th 12/15/06 12/15/06 05/15/05 12/15/98 11/01/98

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.      

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”.

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

A.     Application Final Action Dates for Employment-Sponsored Preference Cases

Employment-Based All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
China-Mainland Born El
Sal-
vador
Gua-
temala
Honduras
India Mexico Phili-ppines Vietnam
1st 07/01/16 07/01/16 07/01/16 01/01/15 07/01/16 07/01/16 07/01/16
2nd 01/01/17 01/01/17 01/01/17 05/02/09 01/01/17 01/01/17 01/01/17
3rd 07/01/16 07/01/16 07/01/16 01/01/06 07/01/16 07/01/16 07/01/16
Other Workers 07/01/16 11/22/07 07/01/16 01/01/06 07/01/16 07/01/16 07/01/16
4th Current Current 07/01/16 Current 07/01/16 Current Current
Certain Religious Workers Current Current 07/01/16 Current 07/01/16 Current Current
5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)
Current 10/15/14 Current 10/15/14 Current Current 10/15/14
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
Current 10/15/14 Current 10/15/14 Current Current 10/15/14

B.     Dates for filing of Employment-Based Visa Applications – These dates indicate when immigrant applicants (present in the U.S. legally) can mail adjustment of status applications without having to wait for their priority dates to become current.

Employment-Based All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
China-Mainland Born El
Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
India Mexico Philippines
1st 09/01/18 10/01/17 09/01/18 10/01/17 09/01/18 09/01/18
2nd Current 02/01/17 Current 06/01/09 Current Current
3rd Current 06/01/16 Current 04/01/10 Current Current
Other Workers Current 06/01/08 Current 04/01/10 Current Current
4th Current Current 09/01/16 Current Current Current
Certain Religious Workers Current Current 09/01/16 Current Current Current
5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)
Current 11/15/14 Current Current Current Current
5th
Regional
Center
(I5 and R5)
Current 11/15/14 Current Current Current Current

Copyright © 2019, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. #GailLaw – All Rights Reserved

NEW On-line Immigrant Visa Application Requirement – Form ds260

Starting September 3, 2013, the Department of State will transition to an online immigrant visa application. Immigrant visa applicants will apply online using Form ds260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) – formerly Form DS-230.  Applicants will choose their agent online using Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent) – formerly Form DS-3032. Applicants will access both forms on the web at ceac.state.gov.

These forms replace the paper DS-230 and DS-3032 filed with the National Visa Center in anticipation of processing for an available visa at the U.S. Embassy. The National Visa Center (NVC) may instruct some applicants who previously submitted Form DS-230 to submit Form DS-260 on-line. Only Diversity Visa and Cuban Family Reunification Parole applicants will continue to use the paper forms.

The implementation of Forms DS-260 and DS-261 is the next step in the Department of State’s creation of a secure and efficient online immigrant visa application experience.

Cases Pending at National Visa Center (NVC)

For those immigrant visa applicants who have a case pending with NVC already, NVC may instruct some applicants who previously submitted Form DS-230 on paper to submit Form DS-260 online.

Accessing Form DS-260 On-line

All answers, except as specially provided, must be in English, using English characters only. Applications submitted in any language other than English may be rejected, and you will be required to log back into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) and provide English answers.  You may save your partially completed DS-260 at any time by clicking on the “Save” button at the bottom of every page. If you need to step away, simply click the “Save” button to save your progress, and click on “Sign Out” in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. All data that you entered up to the point of clicking on “Save” will be stored until you are ready to continue completing the form. Once you submit your application, by clicking the “Sign and Submit Application” button on the “Sign and Submit” page, you will be unable to access your application again.

Pros and Cons

The negative drawback of implementing a completely on-line filing of the Immigrant Visa Application is that most immigrants abroad do not have access to a computer and are not computer literate.  This means that the immigrant would have to probably pay a service provider to complete the required DS-260 and DS-261 on-line, whereas in the past the immigrant could have completed these forms by hand.

The positive implications are that the Department of State is trying to save money and reduce cost associated with paper filings and handling all the papers mailed to their office.  I’m assuming with the new on-line requirement that the information will be uploaded directly into their database and reduce time and costs to input the information by hand.

Conclusion

The Immigrant Visa Application (formerly Form DS-230) now called Form DS-260 is required to be completed by every traveling immigrant seeking an immigrant visa from the U.S. Embassy.  It contains biographical questions about the immigrant’s employment history, education background, marital background, and where the immigrant wants his/her social security card and lawful permanent resident card to be mailed.  Lastly, it is the petitioner who usually receives the request from the National Visa Center for completion of the DS-260 (formerly DS-230) along with requests for police clearance, civil documents and affidavit of support.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.