The Last Chance Provided by Humanitarian Parole

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Today we are publishing an updated article on Humanitarian Parole on this site.  Many people are under the mis-impression that humanitarian parole only applies to medical emergencies. In fact, there are numerous situations that an application for humanitarian parole may be appropriate. For example, sometimes there are imperfections in US law which do not provide a legal solution for a situation which cries out for one.   Trying to fit a “square peg in a round hole” just will not work.  Well, sometimes, humanitarian parole can be the “round peg” that fits. For example, minor children who remain stuck in the home country after parents successfully adjusted status in the United States under the Diversity Lottery program. The law requires that the child receive a Diversity Visa by September 30. If he does not, then his parent would have to file an I-130 family immigration petition for him, which could take…

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Diversity Lottery Refusals

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We have just posted an in-depth article on this site about the various types of Diversity Lottery refusals – and how to prevent or challenge them.  At least 30,000 individuals go through Diversity Visa interviews every year – and don’t receive the visas.  Putting aside the approximately $10,000,000 in processing fees pocketed by the Department of State from unsuccessful applicants every year and millions more spent by these applicants in medical exams, travel, etc…, the article spotlights the veritable minefield of potential reasons for refusal.  One would think that the Lottery aspect of the Diversity Visa Program only applies to the selection – competing to be one of the less than 1% selected. But what many winners find is that even after selection the “Lottery” elements of luck and chance continue right up until September 30: until the visa is issued or denied or the application is not acted upon…

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FAQ on New Public Charge Rules – Part 1: Trouble ahead for Older Immigrants, Diversity Lottery Winners, and Immigrants without Job Offers, English Skills, or University Education

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What are the new Public Charge Rules? Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act makes inadmissible immigrants who are “likely at any time to become a public charge”.  Practically speaking, in the past, if the sponsor in the United States had sufficient income (more than the poverty level) or assets, then the immigrant successfully received the visa or adjusted status. Now, the focus will be on the immigrant him or herself. The examiner will consider the personal circumstances of the immigrant: is it likely that he or she will become a public charge at any time in the future?  The circumstances to be reviewed include age, health, family size, financial resources, education and skills, and sponsor.  In short, this rule will adversely impact the elderly or soon-to-be-retired; those with medical conditions; the less educated; those with large families; those with few job prospects in the United States; those who…

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Zombies and Petition Revocations

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What do zombies and petition revocations have in common?  Just when you thought they have died a permanent death – never to be seen again or heard from again – they come back to life, sometimes with devastating consequences. This came to mind when a former client, Alex, contacted me about his Diversity Visa case.  He won the Green Card Lottery, but when he went to the Embassy for his interview, he was told that his application would be put on hold until questions about his 1998 L-1 petition were resolved.  I  had represented him back in 1998, after the Embassy sent his L-1 petition back to INS because of a “fraudulent office address” and his inability to describe his subordinates at his L-1 visa interview.  We were able to resolve the fraudulent office address accusation at that time – the Embassy’s investigator had gone to the wrong (!) address…

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Hadi Deeb: Tsar-Consul of Uzbekistan

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They call him The Tsar.  And deservedly so. Who else can unilaterally, singlehandedly reinterpret Uzbek divorce law to deny numerous  Uzbek Diversity Visa applicants?  Who else can crush immigrant dreams using a variety of creative pretexts: disqualifying an applicant for failing to include a 3 day old baby (with no legal name) in a DV entry; a single woman for failing to include her nonexistent husband in her DV entry; a family for not including a second child in their entry, a child who was stillborn? Who else can have his staff ask a single woman applicant why she is not married or an infertile woman why she does not have more children? Who else can test an applicant’s knowledge of his third and fourth languages – i.e., not his native language and the language he learned in school – in black letter violation of the Department of State’s own…

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Call for Lottery Rejects on Photograph Grounds: Discrimination, Arbitrariness, Selective Enforcement

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With the DV-2016 registration period in full swing, this is a good time to raise awareness about potential pitfalls encountered by DV applicants.  Perhaps the most seemingly innocuous requirement – submission of a photograph with the entry – is the one most easily overlooked. The Diversity Lottery has several rules relating to the photograph submitted with the entry: 1) it must be on a neutral, light-colored background (dark or patterned backgrounds are not permitted); 2) it must be in focus; 3) no decorative items such as sunglasses or other items can detract from the face; 4) non-religious head coverings or hats are not permitted; and 5) the person must be looking directly at the camera.  But as is usually the case, the Kentucky Consular Center does not disqualify the entries at the time of intake during the registration period or after selection: it is only after the visa applicant is…

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Visa Delays

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US consular posts around the world are experiencing significant delays in printing nonimmigrant visas because of a software problem. The Department of State advises that visa applicants should expect delays of 10-14 days in the issuance of nonimmigrant visas. This is consistent with our experience; for example, a client was interviewed for a work visa on July 21 and issued his visa on July 31. The Department of State continues to process immigrant visas, including Diversity Lottery visas and emergency visas, quickly – within 2-3 days. Also, individuals with valid visas are not impacted because they do not need a new visa. Similarly, individuals traveling under the Visa Waiver Program are not impacted by the delays because they do not need a visa. However, nonimmigrant visa applicants will continue to be affected because, according to the Department of State, it will take weeks to rectify the problem. Bottom line: Nonimmigrant…

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DV-2015 Lottery Fever

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Congratulations to the winners of the DV-2015 Green Card Lottery. Against great odds, you were selected. Now comes the hard part. As you know, selection does not guarantee a visa. 125,514 individuals were selected for DV-2015 (out of 9,388,986 entrants), but only 50,000, including their family members, receive visas. Winners must receive their visas by September 30, 2015 or before the 50,000 quota or 3,500 country quota is exhausted. In general, the lower the case number, the earlier the interview and the better chances of receiving the visa before the elapse of the program. Interviews will commence October 1, 2014. The big difference in DV processing this year is that the selectees and their family members will submit their immigrant visa application online and no paper will be filed with the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC). Each Lottery visa applicant must meet the general requirements for admissibility to the United States….

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Bait-and-Switch, Department-of-State-Style

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The below article was recently published on the Immigrant Lawyer’s Weekly website – http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?2398-Article-Bait-and-Switch-Department-of-State-Style-by-Kenneth-White Yesterday, we wrote about how USCIS holds out the lure of green cards to foreign entrepreneurs, only to pull back the bait once the businessman has committed untold hours and funds to the development of a business in the United States. The Department of State is no slacker in the bait-and-switch game. It has used the Diversity Green Card Lottery as a means to reap a windfall by holding out the lure of green cards to those selected in the Lottery, only to turn away thousands of applicants after they have paid substantial application fees. The US Embassy in Tashkent is an excellent case study. After the DV Lottery drawing, the selected “winners” submit application forms to the Department of State’s Kentucky Consular Center (“KCC”). The KCC then invites selectees for immigrant visa interviews. At the…

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Office of Inspector General Report on Lottery Fiasco

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http://oig.state.gov/documents/organization/176330.pdf

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Press release: Filing of requests for preliminary injunction and class certification

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Please see the attached press release Thank you again for all of your support!

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Preliminary Injunction/Class Certification

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We have applied to the Court for a preliminary injunction and moved for certification of the class.  We will be posting a press release very soon providing more details.

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Litigation Update

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We will have some litigation news for you later this week. Please watch this space…

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Wall Street Journal

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Over the weekend there was a fantastic profile in the Wall Street Journal on Anna D., Stuart, Dieudonne, Alejandro, and Ugoo.  Please read it when you have an opportunity: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-lifestyle-arts-entertainment.html?mod=WSJ_topnav_lifeculture_main

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