The latest immigration and visa news for the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and select European countries - straight from the leading immigrant advocates in the Philippines.
In November 2018, there were 314,299 applicants from the Philippines waiting for their immigrant visas in the various Family-sponsored categories. How many immigrant visas are actually issued every month at the U.S. Embassy in Manila?
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, refugees are most affected. Check which services are likely to be eliminated or taken over by the State Department
Being issued a visa is not the end but the beginning of an intended journey to the country of destination such as the United States. Know your obligations at a port of entry and even after being allowed into the country.
If you are in the U.S. or would be in the U.S. mainland or territories, the U.S. CIS issued a reminder that starting March 22, 2019 the new Form I-539 must be used. Failure to do so could result in refusal and deportation order.
The migration landscape of these countries are changing: doors open and close depending on the federal, state, regional or provincial needs. Take a quick self-assessment.
Similar bills have been introduced in the past. If enacted into law this year, IT workers from which countries would benefit?
Now you can compare the criteria of the five countries with permanent migration programs and check which country fits your skills or conversely which skills are needed in the country you intend to migrate.
See how processing times moved, improved or otherwise and have a clear idea of how long you may have to wait for specific petitions and applications filed with the USCIS.
Until the combined Houses of Congress come up with a spending bill that U.S. President Donald Trump will sign, there is a wall of uncertainty. Fear not, we have obtained a plan of action.
With 6 million petitions and applications received every year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services transfer cases when a particular office simply cannot cope with the workload. A transfer is then made. Check if your case is among those affected.
Check when you should have your interview schedule based on the FINAL DATE chart and know when you should have started submitting documents to start your visa application from the FILING DATE chart.
The H-1B visa lottery as we know it is no more. Instead, the new rule is a preference or priority selection system that gives applicants with Masters or advanced degrees the edge.
Despite the 14th Amendment guaranteeing birthright citizenship, President Donald Trump and the Republican Party peddle fish stories to the consciously gullible
You may watch our broadcast by clicking on the link below and also how priority dates affect you in my regular Monday column with the Manila Times
Starting September 11, 2018 if you do not have a complete or completed petition or application form, the USCIS can simply refuse your petition or application without requesting for further evidence.
If you intend to apply for a Non-Religious Worker Nonimmigrant Visa and Immigrant Investors, these two visas are expiring soon. Get the official info, below.
Redefinition of public charge and public benefits could cause refusals of applications for immigrant visas and permanent residency outside and inside the U.S.
Check both the FINAL and FILING Dates of your immigrant visa application and see how fast your category moved within a year and from last month's date.
July has been a very busy month for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - issuing policy guidance, and memorandum that affect nonimmigrants and immigrants alike.
Instead of just checking your priority date monthly, it is best to check how your specific preference category moved over a period of time, in this case for six years.
Finally the July 2018 visa numbers are out, albeit late. But here they are nevertheless. We have compiled the July visa numbers since 2014 so you could check how fast your category has moved in 4 years,
Filipinos and other internationally educated/trained Nurses usually pursue work or migration to the five countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the U.S.A. We have checked the most current requirements and are sharing this with our RN friends at no cost.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an increase of 11 .5 million jobs over the 2016-2026 decade. The unemployment rate in the U.S. has gone down to 4.1% and America has more jobs than workers. The basic question: how to get there.
Commercial drivers are in demand. Be sure to check if you could meet the requirements of a commercial driver in the State where you either have a potential employer or referral from family, friend, or workmate. Read below for more details.
Despite the rise of many study destinations, the United States still remains the top choice for international students. However, while there has been an overall increase, colleges reported decline in enrollment.
Today the USCIS announced a new policy on how F1, J1 and M1 visa holders in the U.S. would be considered unlawful - and therefore deportable. The guidance will go into effect on August 9, 2018.
If you have waited years for your visa interview, it would be sad to have your visa petition cancelled simply because you were not able to get your visa interview date on time.
Study your options because while you wait, you add years to your age which reduces the points and preference to pursue permanent work and residency.
Just patiently waiting for your priority date to be current would be a mistake. The State Department has started publishing two charts to let visa applicants when they should start preparing documents.
April this year (2018) the first batch of graduates of the Philippines' K to 12 program - theoretically work and world-ready - will be scanning the Want-Ads. Are there enough jobs at home or overseas?
The U.S. admits about 1 million immigrants yearly, a situation that President Donald Trump and the Republican Party considers unacceptable. A bill has been proposed to cut legal migration in half.
What effect will the change of Secretary have on visa allocation and issuance? Visa allocation, none. Issuance is another matter.
For visa applicants whose petitioners are elderly or in advanced age, the Filing Date chart should be monitored closely. Knowing when you can start processing is crucial especially if the petitioner's health and well being is compromised or the petitioner wants to return to the Philippines.
January 22, 2018 is the first working day and the date that would experience the first significant impact of the government shutdown. Will your petition, application, interview dates be affected?
Big winners are the F1 category: Over 21 unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens and F2A Spouses and minor children of green card holders.
The agencies under the U.S. President in charge of immigration and visas - temporary or permanent - now require additional documents, verifying information provided and taking more time before making a decision.
Within a year of taking office, U.S. President Trump issued orders banning travel to the U.S. from certain countries and purportedly supported proposed law to reduce legal migration. How do you get the visa you want under the current climate?
Could an Internationally-educated, licensed RN qualify for a work visa? If applying for an immigrant visa, how long would be the wait? Are the procedures the same or different for both visas?
Ready to fly or would you be on stand-by? Priority dates have advanced and retreated in previous months. If you are among the lucky ones, have a safe flight and start your immigrant journey.
Still confused on why the Visa Bulletin issues two charts on the Visa Bulletin every month? Read the official statement of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State. Ready? Get, set, document!
Immigrant visas to applicants in the Family and Employment-based categories are subject to monthly distribution within the per-country limits yearly. Check how many visas are issued in your specific category and check the visa movement for November 2017.
Want to know how fast you visa date is moving each year when U.S. fiscal year starts? Read on. We looked back at the dates for you so you can find your way through the thicket.
Voters in the Rust Belt States helped get Donald Trump to the White House, largely because of claims that immigrants are draining the U.S. economy, taking away jobs and using benefits they are not entitled to. This Global Cities Report show otherwise.
For Visa Watchers – those waiting for their love ones, family members to join them after that long awaited visa interview – the priority dates for September could finally end the “daily nights of being alone, and writing or emailing” as both petitioner and beneficiary maintain a long-distance relationship.
Immigrants are better off filing petitions now before getting another year older (and therefore less points) - especially for parents of U.S. Citizens - while improving one's English proficiency, obtaining a higher education or qualification.
With American businesses facing closure or significant losses for shortage of American workers applying for temporary, seasonal or one-time occurrence jobs, the Department of Homeland Security has authorized the issuance of additional 15,000 H-2B visas for foreign workers in addition to the existing 66,000 authorized by Congress.
Yes, we do provide a tally of how fast or slow priority dates moves in each of the Family and Employment-based categories. You may have to have a pen, pencil and writing pad or note ready to make some calculations or notes.
More than a million foreign nationals ;pursue studies in the United States. The countries with the largest number of students studying at U.S. colleges in 2016 were: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. Colleges and universities are hoping the travel ban will not affect the U.S.' attractiveness to international students.
The Ombudsman - independent agency watchdog of the Department of Homeland Security released its findings on how the Department is performing - or not performing - its tasks despite continuing price increases.
The State Department clarified which visas and visa holders could be affected by the Supreme Court ruling. The Department of Homeland Security still has to update its own guidelines. The March 2017 Frequently Asked Questions meanwhile - shown below - is a good indication of how implementation would be.
Read the official release from the State Department.
The U.S. State Department's list of immigrant visa applicants for November 2016 and two years before that show immigrant visa applicants from the Philippines had been declining. What could be the reasons why?
Canada beats the U.S. on spousal abuse and family reunification.
Why does it take so long for an immigrant visa to be issued? How many others are you competing with? We look at the official figures from the Department of State.
A U.S. consul may only refuse your visa application. The consular officers cannot revoke the visa petition in the case of study or work visas. The appeal or request for reconsideration may only be submitted to the agency that approved the petition - in this case the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
With orders from President Trump to increase and expand the scrutiny of U.S. visa applicants, knowing how to successfully navigate the U.S. Embassy visa application process is crucial. Bon voyage!
During the campaign period for presidency, Donald Trump said he wanted to clean up America's visa mess and return the legal immigrant visa numbers to the previous 400,000 level as opposed to the one million permanent resident cards the U.S. issues every year. That is good. Will the future years be?
The United States differs from Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia in that the U.S. government imposes restrictions on part-time work that international students are allowed to do.
These FAQs are for you whether you are still at the decision stage or completing your application for a U.S. student visa. This article deals with 7 main areas of concerns including the application process to finance-related questions and inadmissibility factors.
Are you planning to study in the USA but have questions about the U.S. Standard Optional Practical Training program? Read on to learn how you can stay back in the country up to 12 months post course completion.
Learn about your timeline for admission to the United States and when to depart after completing your course!
Even if you are accepted by a school, college or university in the United States and have been issued a Form I-20, you will still have to apply for your student visa at a U.S. Consular Post in your home country.
Use the Optional Practical Training program to lay the foundation to a successful career. Remain in the United States for 12 months after graduation!
International students in the United States who graduate from certain programs in the sciences, technology, engineering or mathematics, and related fields may have more opportunities to stay on in the country for additional training to jumpstart their career.
On May 10, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented a new extension for graduates of some eligible programs. Remain in the USA for a total of 36 months with the OPT STEM 24-Month Extension.
You can now gain valuable work experience while studying in the United States if your program incorporates practical training in its curriculum.
Yes, the visa allocation for this month – and for the remainder of the year – would still remain the same, despite the threat of President Donald Trump to bring down immigrant visa numbers to its historical figures – 400,000. Check whether you should have received your interview schedule for next month.
Instead of challenging the 9th Circuit Court suspending the Muslim ban, President Trump orders the Department of Homeland Security to expand the existing rules on express deportation of the undocumented in the U.S. and those with suspicious documents or demeanor at ports of entries
Check how the visa dates for your specific category - Family-sponsored or Employment-based - have moved in the last five years. This would give you an idea of when you should start preparing documents, or prepare for the interview or prepare for another five-year wait.
2016 was not migrant-friendly. Fear of immigrants occupying space and taking away jobs from a host country's citizens and legal residents saw migration in the spotlight- then turning into a bulls-eye. So, where to migrate in 2017 temporary or otherwise?
If you have a college degree in health, sciences and finance– and, if your degree is considered equivalent to the U.S. counterpart – 8 of the 10 fastest growing jobs for college graduates in the U.S. are in the health are in these fields, however...
Submitting an old or previous edition of a form could result in unnecessary delay or even refusal. Check the newest edition, below.
Will the current rules on visa applications change in the next 6 months? Not likely. But do not hold your breath for the remainder of next year.
If you feel that waiting for your visa interview date is like going through the eye of a needle, and you either have to shrink in size or get a giant size needle to know how long your wait would be, we have the answer: the Visa Bulletin movement for two years is here.
Two days before Christmas and fees for filing petitions as well as applications for U.S. benefits go up. And Donald Trump is not yet officially the President.
The Visa Bulletin Cut-off Date has become more complicated since October 2015. Get to know which cut-off date applies to your immigrant visa petition.
With 10 to 12 million Filipinos overseas – half of them as permanent residents – it’s no wonder there are tens of thousands of tourist, work, student and immigrant visas. Why are there many refused admission at ports of entry even as they hold valid visas?
Commuters in traffic-challenged cities around the world chart their routes through Waze™ and find so many routes to travel. Unlike that popular app though, there is no reliable visa-priority-date/traffic charter because no one can predict what may happen to other countries and the U.S. And remember, political and economic developments in and outside the U.S. affect the availability of visa numbers.
In a few weeks from now, filing a petition for your spouse, child, parent - even a fiancee wil cost more, including the fee for issuance of your green card which is paid with an immigrant visa application.
A Hillary Clinton administration may be immigrant-friendly, but if Donald ducks and dodges defeat as the U.S. Presidential candidate of the Republican Party, then illegal immigrants need to know their options.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are authorized to conduct random checks and interview arriving passengers all of whom should have valid visas. If the answers to the questions are not be consistent with those given during the visa interview, that could spell trouble.
We're taking a break from more serious immigration matters at the moment to take a look at one of the more trivial (but nevertheless important important!) aspects of traveling overseas: clothes.
An average of 500,000 students in the Philippines graduate from a four-year degree program every year. They were the ones who were able to cross the enrollment to commencement bridge. The next bridge, commencement to employment (local or overseas), can be a little tricky or rickety depending on when you get to it.
1.2 Million college and technical education students graduate every year. Almost the same number of applicants in 3,686 job fairs conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment. Only 30% got hired.
For the sons and daughters of petitioners who obtained their U.S. citizenship through military service in the U.S. during World War II, you can apply to be with the Petitioner now instead of waiting for years under the Advance Parole program of President Barack Obama.
Obtaining a US degree has never been this affordable.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics warns that less than 3 year from now, the U.S would be needing an additional 1.2 million RNs to meet the demands of the workforce and the $2.9 trillion healthcare industry. Yet, there has been no action to actively recruit nurses from overseas.
If only your eyes have hands, maybe they will try to move the priority dates faster. Since that is not the case, you may cast your glance to other options if your wait would be at least another 10 years.
The detailed instructions are shown as part of our advocacy program. If you need additional information or assistance, please call 02-634-8717 or call text 0917-529-8472 or email us your concern or case at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also watch the USCIS Video of USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez.
Next month's cut-off dates from the State Department came out a day after the rules for Advance Parole processing were published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. How are these dates and rules related?
New procedures in place. Do not be on time. Be early! Use your money. Not Uncle Sam's1 Register to Receive. Do not be in line. Be online! Do not be copy. Be original.
As long as you are an eligible US international student, you can work for 12 months under the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program. But if you graduate from specific academic programs, you may qualify for a 24-month STEM extension on your OPT, extending your stay in the US for 36 months.
Instead of waiting 15 to 25 years under the F1 or F3 category, qualified applicants may now apply to join the petitioner parent (World War II Veteran) with their minor children.
What factors have affected the ebb and flow of visa movement the last five years? Amidst the ethnic conflicts, threats of nuclear war the 60's maxim of "Make Love Not War" seems to be the best solution.
So, it's the weekend and you have a visa or migration question. Get the specific and detailed answer you need - FREE. Just Pay attention.
Beware of job offers through the internet. Do not get caught in the web of scams. U.S. employers intending to recruit foreign workers must comply with U.S. labor and immigration laws. A simple "job offer" direct to the applicant is not enough.
The 65,000 H-1B visas and 66,000 H-2B visas could face drastic changes, or at least stringent requirements if the incoming Trump administration makes good on its campaign promises to prioritize U.S. citizens and workers.
America is losing the battle for the hearts, minds and pockets of international students and the Department of Homeland Security has to move fast to save the sinking ship of the U.S. international education market.
The first day of April is barely a month away, but don’t let the proximity fool you – if you are filing for a U.S. working visa (H-1B) or waiting for your immigrant visa schedule and interview. Beware of offers too good to be true. We have the official visa dates for April 2016, and even a look back from 10 years ago.
If your priority date is NOT yet on CHART B, do not start obtaining documents in support of your immigrant visa application. You could end up paying twice to keep your documents current and qualify you for a visa interview. Dance on.
In 2015, international students contributed more than $30.5 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce; a record $17.5 billion to the Australian economy for the 12 months to the end of March 2015; $8 to 10 billion to Canada and more billions of tuition fees to educational institutions in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. So, if you were to choose, what would be your reasons to spend your (or your parent’s) funds?
A recent report by Manpower Group (Talent Survey 2015) shows employers globally are experiencing difficulty in filling job vacancies despite the availability of skilled workers and professionals worldwide. Read the reasons why.
Jobs that employers find hard to fill amidst the glut of skilled workers worldwide is a reminder of the Mariner's Rhyme - "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink."
You may call us for the fastest moving, the crawling categories and how each classification moved from last month (January) and from February of last year.
With December Priority Date applicants processing their documents over the holidays, it’s time to think ahead and be prepared for our January Petition holders. US Priority date petitions have seen movement for the month of January from last month’s dates.
Have you warmed up yet to the new system of reporting by the Visa Office on the priority dates each month? Check what you have to bridge before your time to cross comes.
The US grants permanent residency to applicants qualified and eligible in the Family, Employment, Investment or Other Categories whether the applicant is in or outside the United States.
With a few exceptions, all nonimmigrants (temporary visitors) to the United States are considered to be intending immigrants unless they can prove otherwise: The U.S. Embassy in Manila reports an 80% approval rate and therefore, a 20% rate of refusal for those applying for nonimmigrant/tourist visas.
An alien abductor would be a subject of an A not an X-File.
There are approximately 12-15 million illegal or undocumented immigrants in the U.S. including those who have overstayed their visas. Waiver is available but applying for one is better inside instead of outside the U.S.
A green card holder who has stayed outside the U.S. for more than 180 days or more could be considered as inadmissible. Permanent residents staying outside the U.S. for more than a year without a re-entry permit could be subjected to airport-to-airport proceedings.
Deportation is different from Exclusion. One is deported after being admitted into the U.S. after inspection at a port of entry. Exclusion is not being allowed to enter the U.S. at a port of entry.
An RN for example must have passed not only the NCLEX but also have the VisaScreen Certificate.
Most common and serious reasons? Not disclosing previous visa applications or stay in the U.S.; petitioner's status; civil or marital status, admission of charges all of which could have been prevented or waived.
Petitioners in the U.S. who are sponsoring their family members are required to submit a completed and signed Affidavit of Support - and report their latest , official tax returns not fish-wrap - to prove that the sponsored immigrants will not be receiving public benefits.
The expanded version -After announcing the posting of two priority dates for each of the Family and Employment-based categories starting October this year, the State Department's Visa Office revised the next month's cut-off dates.
Proposed changes will favor those who are already in the U.S. - lawful or not.
Until October of 2009, if either the petitioner or principal applicant dies, the petition also dies. The result is the automatic revocation of the petition. While the US Congress enacted this provision, the Policy Memorandum from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services was only published December 16, 2010.
Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.