Oct
15

Why is it taking so long to get my U visa?

The short answer is that visa numbers are limited and there’s a substantial waitlist.

Congress capped the number of U visas at 10,000 per year (INA § 214(p)(2); 8 C.F.R. § 214.14(d)(1)). This means that only 10,000 applicants may be granted U visas each fiscal year. Only principal applicants (U-1) are counted toward the 10,000 visa cap. Derivatives (U-2, U-3, U-4, and U-5) are not counted towards the cap. A backlog has developed because the demand for U visas exceeds the supply.

If you apply for a U visa today, you can expect to wait at least nine months for USCIS to determine whether...

Sep
15

Fact or Fiction: Can I Qualify for a U Visa if I was a Victim of a Crime?

Wilson Law Group is separating fact from fiction in a series of blogs to clarify some common questions and misconceptions of various topics in immigration law.  The short answer to the question above is "maybe".  There are several requirements for a U visa; each situation is different and needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.   

To be clear, being a victim of a crime alone does not qualify someone for a U visa.  It is more complicated than that.  Being a victim of a crime is just one of several requirements to qualify for a U visa.  Before discussing the requirements,...

Sep
3

Could Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Affect Me?

The news has been rife with headlines about President Obama taking executive action on immigration reform.  If he does take action, whom would it affect and when would it occur?

Like many years before, the Congress talked extensively about immigration reform this year, but failed to take any action.  What is different now is that President Obama has stated he will takesome sort of action on his own.

So, what can the President do without the Congress’s approval, and who will it affect?

The President cannot unilaterally change who can become a legal permanent resident or a citizen.  He...

Aug
22

USCIS Announces Ebola Outbreak-Related Immigration Relief Measures

Last week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the availability of limited immigration relief measures to nationals of three West African countries affected by the current Ebola virus outbreak.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013.  The virus has since spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone and become the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.  Experts report 2,473 suspected or confirmed cases, including 1,350 deaths, prompting WHO to declare a public health emergency of international concern.

In...

Aug
1

Visa Interview Waiver Program Continues to Expand & Streamline Nonimmigrant Visa Process

The Interview Waiver Program (IWP) was first introduced in 2012 as a pilot program in an effort to promote travel and tourism to the United States for certain nonimmigrant applicants.  The IWP was made permanent this year in 2014.  The criteria for the IWP is published in the Foreign Affairs Manual, although it is important tocheck the consulate’s requirements because they can vary. 

Generally, all foreign nationals applying for a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1/B-2, E, L, TN visa, etc.) must appear in person at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad for an interview by a consular officer. ...

Jul
14

Notario Fraud: Don’t Be a Victim!

Immigration law is extremely complex. It is important to have qualified representation because even a small mistake can have devastating consequences for you and your family.

Immigrant communities are particularly vulnerable to notario fraud. Notario fraud refers to people who offer legal advice, prepare immigration forms, or otherwise represent people before the immigration agencies when they are not qualified to do so. Generally, to practice immigration law, you must be a licensed attorney. A non-attorney who is specially authorized to represent immigrants by the Board of Immigration...

Jul
1

Breaking News Regarding USCIS Move

In addition to it not raining as much as was forecast for today, WLG has more good news! The USCIS office will not be moving to the outskirts of Bloomington near Eden Prairie!  Read all about it here.

Jun
16

Fact or Fiction: Can my U.S. Citizen Son or Daughter Apply for Me to Become a Permanent Resident?

Wilson Law Group is separating fact from fiction in a series of blogs clarifying some common misconceptions in immigration law.  We hope you find our clarifications helpful.  One common misconception is that a parent becomes automatically eligible for permanent residency once his/her child turns 21 and files a petition for the parent.  We wish it were that simple, but it is more complex.  To be clear, having a U.S. citizen son or daughter - even if s/he is 21 years old - does not automatically mean the parent is eligible for permanent residency in the U.S.  A parent certainly may be...

Jun
5

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson Announces Process for DACA renewal

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today announced the process for individuals to renew enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has submitted to the Federal Register an updated form to allow individuals previously enrolled in DACA to renew their deferral for a period of two years.

Read the News Release.

Jun
2

Team Bonding Outing

DW Team Bonding

Managing Attorney David Wilson's team of immigration assistants and attorneys enjoyed a team bonding extravaganza together last week.  

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