All posts by Fong Ilagan, LLP

Department of State Visa Bulletin for June 2021 and Adjustment of Status Filing Charts from the Visa Bulletin

The U.S. Department of State earlier this month published their updated monthly Visa Bulletin for June 2021. The Bulletin, which can be seen in full here, details the availability of immigrant visa numbers during June 2021 for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications” and provides useful reference information for applicants, immigration attorneys and paralegals alike. For those who will consular process their immigrant visas at U.S. Embassies/Consulates abroad, the “Dates for Filing” chart indicates when the National Visa Center should notify immigrant visa applicants to assemble and submit their required documentation online. For further clarification of the information contained within this bulletin, please contact Fong Ilagan for assistance.

 

Department of State and USCIS Visa Bulletin Information

For those foreign nationals who are physically in the United States, USCIS dictates which Visa Bulletin chart to use for filing adjustment of status applications with USCIS. Here is the USCIS webpage for determining eligibility to file for adjustment of status: https://www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo.

USCIS has indicated to use the following charts during the month of June 2021:

Family-Sponsored Preferences:

First; (F1), Second (F2B only), Third; (F3), Fourth; (F4)

    • DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

Second (F2A only):

    • FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

Employment Sponsored Preferences:

First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth,

    • FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES

To stay posted on immigrant visa number availability under the various family-based and employment-based immigrant visa categories, you can receive a notification of each monthly Visa Bulletin published. You can subscribe to the Department of State’s email list by emailing: listserv@calist.state.gov and in the message body include “Subscribe Visa-Bulletin.”

 

To understand more about these categorizations please see the full Visa Bulletin for full descriptions of each preference category. If you have any questions about the dates published in the Charts, please speak to one of our specialized immigration attorneys at Fong Ilagan by calling us at 713.772.2300 or reach out to us by filling out our online contact form.

 

You can also find more information about Fong Ilagan’s specialist immigration services in each practice area on the following pages of our website:

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About U.S Immigration Status

Passport of USA (United states of America) next to a Guide for new Immigrants - Welcome to the United states and American Flag. Wooden Background.

Applying for residency or for citizenship in the United States is typically a long process. There’s so much to know about applying for residency and citizenship that you might not know exactly where to start. There are four different categories of citizenship status in the United States, so whatever category it is that you fall into, certain circumstances may affect you differently. 

 

Taking in all the information and doing your own research can be overwhelming, but with experienced immigration lawyers by your side, we can help you familiarize yourself with the process. Let’s discuss the different kinds of status in the U.S. and look into some questions surrounding the categories. 

 

U.S. Citizens

 

You are granted U.S. citizenship if you were born within the country. You may also have U.S. citizenship if you were naturalized through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Those who are naturalized must live in the United States for a number of years before being granted U.S. citizenship. You are able to work and exercise any rights you have as a U.S. citizen.

 

Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs)

 

LPRs are granted green cards, which authorize them to legally reside in the United States. Through a green card, they are also able to legally work in addition to living in the country. There are also conditional residents. Conditional residents can change to permanent status by filing Form I-751, with supporting evidence before their conditional residency expires. 

 

Temporary Visitor 

 

Temporary visitors, much like LPRs, are in the country legally, but they are here on a limited-time basis. Most temporary visitors come into the United States to enroll in college, for business or work, with their fiancees, or through temporary protected status. Those who apply for temporary visitorship typically are not seeking immigration to the United States. 

 

Undocumented

 

Those who are living and/or working in the country illegally are undocumented. This ultimately means that they were not given permission to reside or work in the United States and be deported back to their home country. If they are undocumented, they have no access to public benefits and do not have the rights that a U.S. citizen has. 

 

FAQs 

 

How can I apply for U.S citizenship if I am a lawful permanent resident?

 

Eligibility for citizenship depends on a number of things. USCIS requires that LPRs lived in the United States for anywhere from 3-5 years before applying for citizenship. It may be different if you are married to a United States citizen. 

 

What can I do if I would like to sponsor my spouse who is a foreign national?

 

It is best if you have your spouse with you in the United States under permanent residency so that they can apply for citizenship or simply change their status. Additionally, you must be in a solid financial standing that shows you can support you and your spouse should they be sponsored into the country. 

 

What can I do if I would like to sponsor a family member to come to the United States?

 

Similar to how spouses are sponsored, family members can be here either on permanent residency or temporary visitation in order to change their citizenship status in the United States. Oftentimes, the process works best for relatives who are close to the citizen, “immediate relatives” they are known as. It is important to be aware that being granted a visa can take several months and even years. 

 

If I am afraid to return to my country of nationality, what are my options here in the United States?

 

It is best to consult with an immigration lawyer so that they can determine the best path to take for relief. You may also be eligible to apply for asylum by providing substantial evidence that you are in danger if you go back to your home country. 

 

How can a criminal charge or conviction affect my immigration status? 

 

A criminal charge can be detrimental to your immigration status. Some people may even face the risk of being deported, depending on their status. If you are facing charges and are at risk of benign deported, contact a lawyer right away. 

 

Learn More with the Attorneys at Fong Ilagan 

 

We’re here to help those who are seeking immigration into the United States. Whether you are applying for citizenship or aim to sponsor your family, we want to be there to support you through the process. Contact us today to learn more about how you can get started with Fong Ilagan.

US Certificate of Citizenship, declaration of intention, fingerpirnt card, social security card, application for naturalization and port of arrival manifest with red, white and blue ribbon

Immigration Law Predictions for 2021 and Beyond

The new Biden administration has promised many things, one of them being reform for immigration laws. Immigration has been a rising subject with the government, especially in the last couple of years.

 

Late last year, Biden promised to tackle issues regarding immigration, in several aspects. The ability to deliver these promises may not come so easily, since the new administration is facing a number of factors.

 

There might be many roadblocks, but people all over the country are staying on top of these very possible changes. We look at the predictions for this year. 

 

Reestablishing DACA 

 

In 2020, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival was placed on a halt, but with a new administration, that halt won’t last for long. The new administration has announced their commitment to giving these children a path to citizenship that way they can work and attend school in the United States without fear that this could be revoked. This will have to go under legislative action to enforce reforms. This reform could also help provide migrants with more financial stability if it does go through. 

 

Making the Citizenship Test Easier 

 

Most people who apply for citizenship fear the test. They think it’ll be too difficult for them to pass or to apply for immigration into the U.S. Immigrant visa approvals averaged at 17% between 2016 and 2019. It goes to show that they weren’t as easily accessible. People were denied visas more than they were granted them. The new administration has pledged to work on this, to change the way green cards and visas work. Similar to DACA, this would require congressional approval, which can take plenty of time. 

 

Defunding the Wall 

 

The wall that the Trump administration funded may no longer be getting the money it was once receiving. In fact, the new administration wants to do away with the wall. This could end up saving the United States approximately $2.6 billion. Although, this could end up charging fees in terms of demolition, approximating to $700 million, so either way, some kind of money is going to have to be spent towards these efforts. 

 

Reinvesting in Refugee Programs 

 

Refugees and asylum seekers were barred from coming into the country for a while, mainly when the COVID-19 pandemic started to jump from one country to another. The new administration aims to find a way to help refugees and asylum seekers come in while also being able to follow safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. There are thousands of cases waiting to be heard, mainly from Mexico, which the new administration says that they will be working on shortly. 

 

No Longer Separating Children and Parents at the Border 

 

In previous years, several sources and large heaps of money were going into ICE facilities. With the new administration, this isn’t totally the case. The new administration has spoken about creating a task force for several efforts, one of them being, reuniting children with their parents. The zero-tolerance policy that was responsible for separating families could possibly be revoked sometime this year. No matter how long it takes, we can expect to see this soon. 

 

An End to Visa Suspensions 

 

In June of last year, non-immigrant visas were suspended, meaning specific immigrants were not permitted to cross United States borders. Visa processing should start operating as it was before this June sometime in 2021. The suspension applied to those under H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-I visas, including dependents. 

 

Speeding Up Processing Times 

 

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is infamous for taking up plenty of time when it comes to processing applications and providing them with entry if they do end up being permitted. In fact, the system in the United States, compared to other countries, is rather slow. For the new year, there is talk that processing times will be sped up to help all visa applicants. Since 2020 was a slow year for immigration, people are expecting major changes in 2021. 

 

Choose Fong Ilagan to Support You Through the Process 

 

If you’ve been thinking about applying for permanent residency or want to become a U.S. citizen, there is no better place than Fong Ilagan to get started. Full of reliable and hard-working attorneys, we can get you where you need to be. Contact us today to learn more about how we can initiate the process. 

 

Family of immigrants come to the united states

10 Interesting Facts About Immigration 

Immigration has shaped the United States and other countries in many ways. It’s safe to say that the more immigration we witness and experience, the more it impacts our way of life. We have reached a point where our economy, society, and the government are more diverse than it has ever been! And, of course, that’s something to be proud of. Although, some people aren’t aware of the basics when it comes to immigration, and that’s completely okay. We’re here to help with that. The experts at Fong Ilagan know everything there is when it comes to immigration. We want to share our knowledge with you. 

 

¾ of the U.S. Population: Naturalized Citizens and Authorized Residents Combined

Almost a decade ago, half of the U.S. population was made up of immigrants, despite their status. Now, in 2020, we can say the same, except the percentage has gone up by 25%. The vast majority of immigrants that make up that percentage have been living in the United States as either naturalized citizens or authorized housing residents for ten years or more. 

 

80% of Immigrants Come from Asia or Latin America 

More than a century ago, the vast majority of immigrants were coming from European countries. Now, most immigrants come from countries from Latin America or Asia, including India, China, Cuba, El Salvador, and Mexico. We still see plenty of European immigrants, but they do not compare to the numbers Latin American and Asian immigrants are bringing in. 

 

The Economy Grows at an Increasing Rate 

Researchers and analysts have found that immigration raises total economic output, thanks to the increasing number of workers who come to the United States as immigrants. More specifically, foreign-born workers contribute about two trillion dollars every year. That can also be estimated at 10% of annual GDP. 

 

High-skilled Immigrations Encourages Innovation 

Immigrants tend to work in fields that require advanced education, including STEM, which encourages research, professional work, school work and studies, and anything of the sort in all fields. This is due to the fact that immigrants bring ideas that may be different from native-born innovators, which in turn inspires more work and creativity. 

 

Additionally, They Push For More Job Availability 

Because more immigrants are coming in, this means that there is a large dependency on businesses that are essential for everyday life. Thus, employers must bring in more jobs when there is more customer traffic. Additionally, immigrants account for high numbers in taxes, which also supports tax-based jobs such as education. 

 

U.S. Immigration Does Not Account for Crime Rates 

Immigration is not a factor when it comes to analyzing rates of crime in the United States. In fact, it has been found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or to be incarcerated than native-born individuals. Also, crime rates are lowest in states that have higher numbers of immigrants. 

 

Immigrants Often Start Their Own Businesses 

In addition to encouraging job availability in the United States, immigrants often tend to start their businesses instead of looking for a job once they get here. Immigrants are twice as likely to create their own businesses than citizens born in the United States. 

 

More Immigrant Men Come to the U.S. Compared to Immigrant Women 

 

More immigrant men tend to come to the United States due to financial support and finding a job. Often, if these men have families, it will take a couple of years before they decide to sponsor their families. The families, most of the time, grow in their native country and then settle in the U.S.

 

Immigrants Are More Likely to Receive a Doctorate Than Natives 

As we mentioned earlier, immigrants are more inclined to complete advanced education as opposed to U.S. natives. With that being said, we see more and more immigrants receiving their doctorate, making them twice more likely compared to U.S. natives. 

 

Children of Immigrants Will Most Likely Work In the Same Occupations as Children of Natives

Although many immigrants establish their own businesses, their children are less likely to follow their paths. Children of immigrants are more inclined to take on jobs or employment that we usually find with children of natives of the United States, which, in turn, decreases their chances of working in the field of STEM. 

 

Contact Fong Ilagan to Learn More 

Fong Ilagan is always here to answer any questions you may have. Even more, we want to help everyone with their goals in terms of citizenship and lawful status. Contact us today to learn about how we can assist you. 

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