It’s that time of year again!

The 2015 Diversity Green Card Lottery program starts on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon (EDT) and ends on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon (EST).

Here's our top 10 things you need to know about the program.

#immigrationupdates #dvlottery

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

Top 10 Reasons to Participate in Green Card Lottery

1. Yes, DV Lottery really exists! The government has 50,000 diversity immigrant visas available for FY 2015.

2. Why should you do it? It’s free – you just complete your application online at http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html. There is no application fee, so don’t pay anyone to apply for you.

3. Online registration for the DV-2015 Program will begin on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and conclude on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 12:00 noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT). After the entry period opens October 1, the State Department recommends submitting early and strongly encourages applicants not to wait until the last week of the registration period to enter.

4. Do it, because you never know what might happen! You can’t rely on it, but you might just win and if you do, it’s one of the quickest ways to get a green card!

5. DV Lottery is based on country of birth, not country of citizenship. So, an Indian passport holder who was born in Malaysia can still apply!

6. Even if you have started an employment based green card application, apply anyway! Depending on your visa category, it may be quicker to get a green card through DV lottery than through the lengthy PERM Labor Certification process.

7. If you are married, make sure your spouse also applies! Why? You have two chances to win, instead of one! Don’t forget that the U.S. now recognizes same-sex marriages, so DV Lottery applicant may include same-sex spouses in their initial entries or add spouses acquired after their initial registration.

8. If you were born in a country that is not eligible to participate in DV Lottery, but are married to someone who is eligible, you can “cross charge” to your spouse’s country of birth. For example, a person born in India cannot participate in DV Lottery. But, if the person is married to someone who was born in Australia, the Indian national can “cross-charge” to the spouse’s country of birth (i.e. Australia) and can therefore also participate in green card lottery!

9. If your child is a high-school graduate, make sure s/he applies too! It won’t help you (i.e. a parent), but your teenager may be able to get their own green card!

10. Be careful of DV Lottery scams! There is no lottery application fee, so you do not need to pay anyone to submit an application. In addition, the State Department has warned the public that there has been a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Visa (DV) program (Visa Lottery) applicants. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. Applicants are encouraged to review the rules and procedures for the DV program program so that you know what to expect, when to expect it, and from whom.

While DV-2014 and DV-2015 applicants may receive an email from the U.S. government reminding them to check their status online through DV Entrant Status Check, they will not receive a notification letter or email informing them that they are a successful DV entrant. Applicants can only find out if they were selected to continue with DV processing by checking their status online through the DV Entrant Status Check at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/. Finally, remember that fees for the DV application process are paid to the U.S. Embassy or consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled appointment. The U.S. government will never ask you to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.

Diversity Visa Program: DV-2015 Instructions
Visas · Americans Traveling Abroad · Find a U.S. Embassy · A to Z Index · Visas Questions? What Is a Visa? U.S. Visa Policy · Visa News · Temporary Visitors to the U.S. · Travel Without a Visa · Visa Types for Temporary Visitors · Visa Wait Times · Visa Information for Temporary Visitors …

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October 2013 Visa Bulletin Is Out

The Visa Bulletin for October 2013 shows minimal progress in the employment-based (EB) category. Priority dates for EB-3 Philippines advances to December 16, 2006 (2 weeks), EB-2 Mainland-Born advances to September 15, 2008 (5 weeks), while the rest remains the same.

On the other hand, after staying current for 2 months – August and September – the F2A category (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents) now reflects a cut-off date of September 8, 2013.

The State Department notes that:

For October, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01SEP13.  F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01SEP13 and earlier than 08SEP13.  (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

#immigrationupdates   #visabulletin  

Visa Bulletin for October 2013
View as Printer Friendly PDF. A. STATUTORY NUMBERS. 1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during October. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and …

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USCIS Relaunches Customer Identity Verification (CIV)

Originally scheduled to go live in May 2013, the Customer Identity Verification (CIV) program begins implementation on Monday, September 9, 2013. CIV is a new USCIS tool, which verifies the identity of customers through the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology’s (US-VISIT’s) Secondary Inspections Tool (SIT). Once identity verification is satisfactorily completed, individuals will proceed to their interviews or be issued their immigration documents.  As initially announced, InfoPass customers and those who are present only to accompany applicants will not be subject to CIV.

#immigrationupdates  

USCIS – USCIS Implements Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices
USCIS Implements Customer Identity Verification at Field Offices. Beginning September 9, 2013, USCIS will employ a new verification tool called Customer Identity Verification (CIV) in its domestic field offices. Customers will now submit biometric data, specifically fingerprints and photographs, …

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It's not a good idea

Here's a recent OSC guidance for employers regarding pre-population of Section 1 of the Form I-9 with previously obtained information from the employee.

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

OSC Guidance on Pre-Population of Section 1 of the Form I-9

To avoid providing outdated or inaccurate information and depriving an employee with limited English proficiency (LEP) from understanding the accuracy of information on the form, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) discourages employers from pre-populating section 1 of the Form I-9 with previously obtained information from the employee.

"From the perspective of the anti-discrimination provision, OSC discourages the practice of an employer pre-populating Section 1 with previously obtained employee information. This practice increases the likelihood of including inaccurate or outdated information in Section 1 (for instance, from changes in legal name, address, or immigration or citizenship status). Outdated or inaccurate information in Section 1 may lead an employer to reject documents presented or demand specific documents for Section 2 purposes. This is particularly true if an employer does not provide an opportunity for the employee to review the information that was pre-populated and does not build in a method for making corrections. Further, if an employer uses the outdated or inaccurate information to submit an E-Verify query, a mismatch may result because the status or name in government databases conflicts with the employer's outdated information."

"Moreover, employers relying on previously gathered employee information may be more likely to overlook that a particular employee has limited English proficiency ("LEP") because Section 1 has been pre-populated by the employer. As a result, the employer may fail to provide that employee with translation or interpretation assistance in order to ensure the accuracy of Section 1 and in order to assist the employee in understanding the request for documents relating to Section 2."

#immigrationupdates #immigrationcompliance

www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/pdf/publications/TAletters/FY2013/169.pdf

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Legal Permanent Residents in CA May Soon Be Allowed to Serve as Jurors

Interesting update for permanent residents living in California.

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

Legal Permanent Residents in CA May Soon Be Allowed to Serve as Jurors

AB 1401 (http://goo.gl/3lgWEY), a bill that could make California the first state to allow "lawful permanent immigrants" to serve in the jury, clears the assembly floor (by a vote of 48-28), and heads to the Governor's desk for signature.

#immigrationupdates

California: Bill Would Allow Noncitizen Jurors
The legislation would make immigrants who are legal permanent residents eligible for jury duty.

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OSC Guidance on Pre-Population of Section 1 of the Form I-9

To avoid providing outdated or inaccurate information and depriving an employee with limited English proficiency (LEP) from understanding the accuracy of information on the form, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) discourages employers from pre-populating section 1 of the Form I-9 with previously obtained information from the employee.

"From the perspective of the anti-discrimination provision, OSC discourages the practice of an employer pre-populating Section 1 with previously obtained employee information. This practice increases the likelihood of including inaccurate or outdated information in Section 1 (for instance, from changes in legal name, address, or immigration or citizenship status). Outdated or inaccurate information in Section 1 may lead an employer to reject documents presented or demand specific documents for Section 2 purposes. This is particularly true if an employer does not provide an opportunity for the employee to review the information that was pre-populated and does not build in a method for making corrections. Further, if an employer uses the outdated or inaccurate information to submit an E-Verify query, a mismatch may result because the status or name in government databases conflicts with the employer's outdated information."

"Moreover, employers relying on previously gathered employee information may be more likely to overlook that a particular employee has limited English proficiency ("LEP") because Section 1 has been pre-populated by the employer. As a result, the employer may fail to provide that employee with translation or interpretation assistance in order to ensure the accuracy of Section 1 and in order to assist the employee in understanding the request for documents relating to Section 2."

#immigrationupdates   #immigrationcompliance  

Embedded Link

www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/pdf/publications/TAletters/FY2013/169.pdf

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New resources to help protect immigrant crime victims

New resources to help protect immigrant crime victims.

 


 

Posted in Updates

USCIS Warns Stakeholders of Recent Telephone Scams

Please beware of telephone scammers.

Originally shared by +Loke Walsh Immigration Law

USCIS Warns Stakeholders of Recent Telephone Scams

USCIS does not initiate a phone call to applicants for personal and any form of payment information. So if you get an unexpected call like this, just say: NO THANK YOU!

Message:

Dear Stakeholder,

In recent weeks, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) learned of a new telephone scam targeting USCIS applicants and petitioners. Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. The scammer poses as a USCIS official and requests personal information (such as Social Security number, passport number, or A-number), identifies supposed issues in the recipient’s immigration records, and asks for payment to correct these records.

If you receive a call like that, USCIS urges you to say “No, thank you” and hang up immediately.

USCIS never asks for any form of payment or personal information over the phone. Do not give payment or personal information over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. In general, we encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area.

If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, or report it to an appropriate state authority. (Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for information on where to report scams in your state.)

If you have a question about your immigration record, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, or make an InfoPass appointment by visiting our website at http://infopass.uscis.gov.

Kind Regards,

Public Engagement Division
US Citizenship and Immigration Services

#immigrationupdates

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection – Consumer Information
Before You Submit a Complaint. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, collects complaints about companies, business practices, identity theft, and episodes of violence in the media. Why: Your complaints can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing, …

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USCIS Warns Stakeholders of Recent Telephone Scams

USCIS does not initiate a phone call to applicants for personal and any form of payment information. So if you get an unexpected call like this, just say: NO THANK YOU!

The Message:

Dear Stakeholder,

In recent weeks, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) learned of a new telephone scam targeting USCIS applicants and petitioners. Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. The scammer poses as a USCIS official and requests personal information (such as Social Security number, passport number, or A-number), identifies supposed issues in the recipient’s immigration records, and asks for payment to correct these records.

If you receive a call like that, USCIS urges you to say “No, thank you” and hang up immediately.

USCIS never asks for any form of payment or personal information over the phone. Do not give payment or personal information over the phone to anyone who claims to be a USCIS official. In general, we encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area.

If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, or report it to an appropriate state authority. (Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for information on where to report scams in your state.)

If you have a question about your immigration record, please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, or make an InfoPass appointment by visiting our website at http://infopass.uscis.gov.

Kind Regards,

Public Engagement Division
US Citizenship and Immigration Services

#immigrationupdates  

FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection – Consumer Information
Before You Submit a Complaint. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, collects complaints about companies, business practices, identity theft, and episodes of violence in the media. Why: Your complaints can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing, …

Posted in Updates Tagged with:

CBP travel tips for your next trip abroad

CBP travel tips for your next trip abroad

 


 

Posted in Updates