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Over 15,000 Readers Across 140 Countries – Miami Visa Help Blog Thanks You, Readers


Miami Visa Help by Miami International Attorneys has just reached over 15,000 views by readers in 140 countries. We thank our interested readership on this niche topic and are glad to continue providing free legal information to those who need it.

If you have any issues that you wish addressed, please contact Miami International Attorneys, P.L., at abernhard@miapl.com, 786-566-1969, www.miapl.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Apply for a J-1 Visa Homestay Waiver and the No Objection Statement


How to Get a J-1 Visa Homestay Waiver and No Objection Statement

J-1 Waiver Application

Exchange visitors come to the U.S. to pursue short term work or study exchange programs. For many exchange visitors, a visit to the U.S. turns into an opportunity for long-term success in the U.S. Unfortunately, the U.S. generally imposes a requirement that J-1 exchange visitors return to their country for a minimum of two years before returning to the U.S.The two-year home country physical presence requirement can create what feels like an eternity of time between stays in the U.S., and thus many exchange visitors look for an option to stay.

What follows is a general tutorial on the procedure to apply for a waiver of the exchange visitor home-country physical presence requirement and a no objection statement from your embassy.

The application for a Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement requires payment of a $215 filing fee (on last review of USCIS policy). To apply for a J-1 Waiver, you must 1) complete the online J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application; 2) Mail your Waiver Application and Fee Payment; 3) Submit Supporting Documents; 4) Check your Waiver Request Status and Update your Contact Information; 5) Provide extra information if the WRD needs more information from you; 6) Wait the necessary processing time; 7) Receive the Department of State Recommendation and Final Determination by USCIS.

Complete a J-Visa Waiver Application Online

First, complete the DS-3035 J-Visa Waiver Application online. You will need the following documents and info:

  • You passport with your U.S. visas
  • Legible copies of all DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms
  • Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (G-28) (if applicable);
  • Names and dates of birth of any J-2 dependents (spouse or children) and/or the EV’s J-1 spouse;
  • I-94 Departure Record card (if you are still in the U.S.)
  • Alien Registration “A” number (if applicable).

We recommend that you prepare you answers to the following questions beforehand, and then cut and paste the answers into the online application. Otherwise, your session may time out (after 60 minutes) and you may lose your data.

You will be asked:

  • Full name;
  • Gender;
  • Date of Birth;
  • Country of Birth;
  • Citizenship Country;
  • Country of Legal Permanent Residence;
  • Case number if you have one;
  • Other names you are, or have been, known by;
  • The basis on which you are applying for a waiver (e.g. no objection statement from the home government; State Health Agency Request [know whether your government funded any portion of your program while under a “J” visa]; Request by an Interested U.S. Government Agency (IGA) [other or physician]; Exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident) spouse or child of exchange visitor; persecution);
  • Statement of Reason: please write a statement demonstrating why you are eligible to receive a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement of section 212(e) of the INA. The length of the statement may vary;
  • You current address, home and business phone number, fax number, and email address;
  • Verify your most recent U.S. city and state (if you left, the last place you were, or where you are now);
  • Enter Attorney Information (Law Firm or Organization Name; Address; City and State; Name of Attorney, Phone, fax, and email. Have your attorney’s G-28 Representation form ready);
  • Your mailing address (this is where you want the WRD to send correspondence, including your recommendation;
  • Your Exchange Visitor Program information;
  • You must enter for EACH DS-2019 or IAP-66 form of the exchange visitor starting with the most recent DS-2019. If you do not have all DS-2019 forms, contact your program sponsor to get a copy or a letter with the necessary information. If the program approval was on IAP-66, enter N0000000000 (10 zeros) for the Sevis number. Enter “00.4 digit subject field code number from the IAP (e.g. 00.254)” from the IAP-66 form for the Subject/Field Code;
  • SEVIS Number;
  • Program Number;
  • Purpose of the Form (new program; program continuation/extension; program transfer; follow to join; reinstatement request; replace/amend previous form; program sponsor statement; update financial information);
  • Whether any of your exchange visitor programs include U.S. Government funds, funds from your own government, or international organization funds;
  • Time not covered by DS-2019 for you;
  • Whether there is any period of time in the U.S. that is not covered by DS-2019 or IAP-66 form. Give an explanation, if yes;
  • J-2 Information for spouse and dependents: Full name, date of birth, country of birth, relationship, and J-1 case number;
  • First J-1 Visa information: Date, port of entry, state of entry, and issuing post (city)
  • Alien Registration Number (“A” number); and I—94 Number (no spaces);

Basis for Waiver

No objection statement. Without a no objection statement, applicants must satisfy the two-year foreign residence requirement of Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and return to his or her home country.

State Health Agency Request. If you are a foreign medical school graduate, who has an offer of full time employment at a health care facility and are working in an area experiencing a designated shortage of health care professionals, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver.  Please note, to fully qualify for a waiver on this basis, you must agree to begin employment at the health care facility within 90 days of receiving the waiver, and sign a contract to continue to work at the facility full time for no less than three years. Please note that the law permits only medical doctors to apply for a waiver on this basis.  However, if the exchange visitor’s government funded their program, the EV must also request a “no objection” statement from the country to which they are otherwise obligated to return.

Request by IGA. If you are working on a project for, or of interest to, a U.S. Federal Government agency, and that agency determines that your contribution and stay in the United States is vital to one of its programs, you may apply for a waiver.  Please be advised that your continued stay in the United States must be in the public interest. Please note that if you are a foreign physician who agrees to serve in a medically under-served area, please refer to the Federal Register Volume 62, No. 102 of May 28, 1997 for additional information.

Exceptional Hardship. If you, the exchange visitor, can demonstrate that your departure from the United States would cause exceptional hardship to your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child, you may apply for a waiver.  Please be aware that mere separation from your family is not considered to be sufficient to establish an exceptional hardship.

Persecution: If you believe that you will be persecuted upon return to your home country because of your race, religion, or political opinion, you can apply for a waiver.

Before submitting the application, verify that all of your information is correct. After you submit your information, a new case number will be generated for you. Once you hit the “display” button, your visa waiver packet will generate; save it first, then print it. Please see the attached sample print out.

Make a copy of all of your DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms; and a copy of the data page of the EV’s current passport containing your name and birth date. Wait for your WRD assigned case number and additional instructions using your SASE.  You should receive instructions to submit documents or other information.

Request a No Objection Statement

Your home country’s government must issue a No Objection Statement through its embassy in Washington, DC, stating that it has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two-year home-country physical permanent resident. Contact the consular section of your embassy in Washington, D.C. to request that a “no objection” statement be forwarded to the Department of State on your behalf.

To get your NOS, each country has different requirements. Consult your country’s embassy website to determine exactly what you need to submit. For example, you may need to submit the following:

  • A copy of your completed data sheet, including the “Third Party Barcode Page”
  • Your waiver case file number;
  • The number, place of issue and expiration date of your passport;
  • Payment of a fee by credit card or US Postal Money Order; and
  • A signed declaration made before and signed by a public notary in the following form: “I, [insert your name] do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am under no obligation, financial or otherwise, to return to [my home country] at the completion of my exchange in the United States of America under the J Visa program.”

Send all such documents required to your embassy in Washington, D.C. The letter of No Objection Statement will be sent to the U.S. Department of State Waiver Review Division after embassy processing.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

 

J-1 Visa Homestay Waiver and No Objection Statement


How to Get a J-1 Visa Homestay Waiver and No Objection Statement

J-1 Waiver Application

Exchange visitors come to the U.S. to pursue short term work or study exchange programs. For many exchange visitors, a visit to the U.S. turns into an opportunity for long-term success in the U.S. Unfortunately, the U.S. generally imposes a requirement that J-1 exchange visitors return to their country for a minimum of two years before returning to the U.S.The two-year home country physical presence requirement can create what feels like an eternity of time between stays in the U.S., and thus many exchange visitors look for an option to stay.

What follows is a general tutorial on the procedure to apply for a waiver of the exchange visitor home-country physical presence requirement and a no objection statement from your embassy.

The application for a Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement requires payment of a $215 filing fee (on last review of USCIS policy). To apply for a J-1 Waiver, you must 1) complete the online J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application; 2) Mail your Waiver Application and Fee Payment; 3) Submit Supporting Documents; 4) Check your Waiver Request Status and Update your Contact Information; 5) Provide extra information if the WRD needs more information from you; 6) Wait the necessary processing time; 7) Receive the Department of State Recommendation and Final Determination by USCIS.

Complete a J-Visa Waiver Application Online

First, complete the DS-3035 J-Visa Waiver Application online. You will need the following documents and info:

  • You passport with your U.S. visas
  • Legible copies of all DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms
  • Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (G-28) (if applicable);
  • Names and dates of birth of any J-2 dependents (spouse or children) and/or the EV’s J-1 spouse;
  • I-94 Departure Record card (if you are still in the U.S.)
  • Alien Registration “A” number (if applicable).

We recommend that you prepare you answers to the following questions beforehand, and then cut and paste the answers into the online application. Otherwise, your session may time out (after 60 minutes) and you may lose your data.

You will be asked:

  • Full name;
  • Gender;
  • Date of Birth;
  • Country of Birth;
  • Citizenship Country;
  • Country of Legal Permanent Residence;
  • Case number if you have one;
  • Other names you are, or have been, known by;
  • The basis on which you are applying for a waiver (e.g. no objection statement from the home government; State Health Agency Request [know whether your government funded any portion of your program while under a “J” visa]; Request by an Interested U.S. Government Agency (IGA) [other or physician]; Exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident) spouse or child of exchange visitor; persecution);
  • Statement of Reason: please write a statement demonstrating why you are eligible to receive a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement of section 212(e) of the INA. The length of the statement may vary;
  • You current address, home and business phone number, fax number, and email address;
  • Verify your most recent U.S. city and state (if you left, the last place you were, or where you are now);
  • Enter Attorney Information (Law Firm or Organization Name; Address; City and State; Name of Attorney, Phone, fax, and email. Have your attorney’s G-28 Representation form ready);
  • Your mailing address (this is where you want the WRD to send correspondence, including your recommendation;
  • Your Exchange Visitor Program information;
  • You must enter for EACH DS-2019 or IAP-66 form of the exchange visitor starting with the most recent DS-2019. If you do not have all DS-2019 forms, contact your program sponsor to get a copy or a letter with the necessary information. If the program approval was on IAP-66, enter N0000000000 (10 zeros) for the Sevis number. Enter “00.4 digit subject field code number from the IAP (e.g. 00.254)” from the IAP-66 form for the Subject/Field Code;
  • SEVIS Number;
  • Program Number;
  • Purpose of the Form (new program; program continuation/extension; program transfer; follow to join; reinstatement request; replace/amend previous form; program sponsor statement; update financial information);
  • Whether any of your exchange visitor programs include U.S. Government funds, funds from your own government, or international organization funds;
  • Time not covered by DS-2019 for you;
  • Whether there is any period of time in the U.S. that is not covered by DS-2019 or IAP-66 form. Give an explanation, if yes;
  • J-2 Information for spouse and dependents: Full name, date of birth, country of birth, relationship, and J-1 case number;
  • First J-1 Visa information: Date, port of entry, state of entry, and issuing post (city)
  • Alien Registration Number (“A” number); and I—94 Number (no spaces);

Basis for Waiver

No objection statement. Without a no objection statement, applicants must satisfy the two-year foreign residence requirement of Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and return to his or her home country.

State Health Agency Request. If you are a foreign medical school graduate, who has an offer of full time employment at a health care facility and are working in an area experiencing a designated shortage of health care professionals, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver.  Please note, to fully qualify for a waiver on this basis, you must agree to begin employment at the health care facility within 90 days of receiving the waiver, and sign a contract to continue to work at the facility full time for no less than three years. Please note that the law permits only medical doctors to apply for a waiver on this basis.  However, if the exchange visitor’s government funded their program, the EV must also request a “no objection” statement from the country to which they are otherwise obligated to return.

Request by IGA. If you are working on a project for, or of interest to, a U.S. Federal Government agency, and that agency determines that your contribution and stay in the United States is vital to one of its programs, you may apply for a waiver.  Please be advised that your continued stay in the United States must be in the public interest. Please note that if you are a foreign physician who agrees to serve in a medically under-served area, please refer to the Federal Register Volume 62, No. 102 of May 28, 1997 for additional information.

Exceptional Hardship. If you, the exchange visitor, can demonstrate that your departure from the United States would cause exceptional hardship to your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child, you may apply for a waiver.  Please be aware that mere separation from your family is not considered to be sufficient to establish an exceptional hardship.

Persecution: If you believe that you will be persecuted upon return to your home country because of your race, religion, or political opinion, you can apply for a waiver.

Before submitting the application, verify that all of your information is correct. After you submit your information, a new case number will be generated for you. Once you hit the “display” button, your visa waiver packet will generate; save it first, then print it. Please see the attached sample print out.

Make a copy of all of your DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms; and a copy of the data page of the EV’s current passport containing your name and birth date. Wait for your WRD assigned case number and additional instructions using your SASE.  You should receive instructions to submit documents or other information.

Request a No Objection Statement

Your home country’s government must issue a No Objection Statement through its embassy in Washington, DC, stating that it has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two-year home-country physical permanent resident. Contact the consular section of your embassy in Washington, D.C. to request that a “no objection” statement be forwarded to the Department of State on your behalf.

To get your NOS, each country has different requirements. Consult your country’s embassy website to determine exactly what you need to submit. For example, you may need to submit the following:

  • A copy of your completed data sheet, including the “Third Party Barcode Page”
  • Your waiver case file number;
  • The number, place of issue and expiration date of your passport;
  • Payment of a fee by credit card or US Postal Money Order; and
  • A signed declaration made before and signed by a public notary in the following form: “I, [insert your name] do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am under no obligation, financial or otherwise, to return to [my home country] at the completion of my exchange in the United States of America under the J Visa program.”

Send all such documents required to your embassy in Washington, D.C. The letter of No Objection Statement will be sent to the U.S. Department of State Waiver Review Division after embassy processing.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

what is a j1 visa


J1 Visa Summer Work Travel Basic Information

 

What is a j1 visa? According to the U.S. State Department, College and University students enrolled full time and pursuing studies at post-secondary accredited academic institutions located outside the United States come to the United States to share their culture and ideas with people of the United States through temporary work and travel opportunities. The Summer Work Travel program provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the U.S. during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and way of life in the United States.

 

UGA students at ASAP conference

UGA students at ASAP conference (Photo credit: Auburn Alumni Association)

 

There are generally four parties involved in a Summer Work Travel venture: (1) the Student; (2) the Sponsor; (3) the Host Employer; and (4) the U.S. Government.

 

For the first three parties, the U.S. Government provides the following requirements:

 

Basic requirements of Summer Work Travel Students

 

  • You must be sufficiently able to speak English, so that you can interact in an English speaking social and scholastic atmosphere;
  • You must be a post-secondary school student, enrolled in and actively pursuing a degree or other full-time course of study, at an accredited classroom-based post-secondary institution outside the United States;
  • You must have successfully completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary coursework; and
  • You must be pre-placed in a job (you Sponsor) prior to entry unless from a visa waiver country.

    Students

    Students (Photo credit: Editor B)

 

To apply for a J1 Summer Work Travel experience, a student should contact an official designated sponsor, as discussed below. The designated sponsors supervise the application process and are the main point of contact throughout the exchange program process. You should also familiarize yourself with the DS-2019 FORM (the “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.” This is the basic document used for administration of the exchange program. Designated sponsors are authorized to issue this form to prospective exchange visitors they have screened and selected for participation in the exchange visitor program. The Sponsor usually fills out the DS-2019 for you. After you have coordinated with a Sponsor and submitted the DS-2019, you will have to seek and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your country to obtain the J1 visa. The Consular Office then decides whether to accept you into the U.S. Summer Work Travel program.

 

 

 

Basic requirements for Summer Work Travel Sponsors

 

  • You must provide pre-arranged and fully-vetted employment to all participants who are not from a visa waiver country.

    Visa Waiver Program Countries

    Visa Waiver Program Countries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Provide all participants, prior to entry:
    • A copy of the Department of State Summer Work Travel Program Brochure;
    • The Department of State’s toll-free emergency hotline telephone number;
    • The sponsor’s 24/7 immediate contact telephone number;
    • Information advising participants of their obligation to notify their sponsor when they arrive in the United States and to provide information of any change in jobs or residence; and
    • Information concerning any contractual obligations related to participants’ acceptance of paid employment in the United States, if pre-arranged.
  • If you are sponsoring students from a Visa Waiver Program country, you must:
    • Ensure that participants entering the United States without prearranged employment have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their search for employment;
    • Provide such participants with information on how to seek employment and secure lodging in the United States before they depart their home countries; and
    • Provide participants with a job directory that includes at least as many job listings as the number of participants in their program who are entering the United States without prearranged employment.
  • You must undertake reasonable efforts to secure suitable employment for participants unable to find jobs on their own after one week;
  • You must inform program participants of Federal Minimum Wage requirements and ensure that, at a minimum, participants are compensated at the prevailing local wage, which must meet the higher of either the applicable state or the Federal minimum wage requirement, including payment for overtime in accordance with state-specific employment; and
  • You must maintain, at a minimum, a monthly schedule of personal contact with the program participants (in-person, by telephone or via-electronic mail), document such contact, and ensure that issues affecting the health, safety and welfare of participants are addressed immediately.

    Students

    Students (Photo credit: Fox Cities Book Festival)

 

The U.S. Government has a list of official designated sponsor organizations in each state. These Sponsors have official locations in a particular city, but many Sponsors can place Students anywhere in the U.S., regardless of the Sponsor’s official location. Florida currently (August 2013) has five Sponsors:

 

Janus International Hospitality Student Exchange; 2300 Corporate Blvd. NW, Suite 232, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (804-876-3888).

 

Walt Disney World and Walt Disney World Co.; Immigration Compliance Department 12450 State Road 535, W-113, 32830; Lake Buena Vista, FL (407-828-4626).

 

A Cultural Exchange Service, Inc., and Life Adventures, Inc.; 14258 Creek Run Drive, Riverview, FL 33579 (866-401-8910).

 

American Hospitality Academy; Attention Karin Morrison, 240 Key Honey Lane, Tavernier, FL 33070 (305-395-8881).

 

Requirements for Summer Work Travel Host Employers

 

  • You must provide participants the number of hours of paid employment per week as identified on the job offer and agreed to when the sponsor vetted the jobs;
  • You must pay those participants eligible for overtime worked in accordance with applicable state or federal law;

    Students Walking

    Students Walking (Photo credit: University of Denver)

  • Notify sponsors promptly when participants arrive at the work site and begins their programs; when there are any changes or deviations in the job placements during the participants’ programs; when participants are not meeting the requirements of job placements; or when participants leave their position ahead of their planned departure; and
  • Contact sponsors immediately in the event of any emergency involving participants or any situation that impacts the health, safety or welfare of participants.

 

Contact your local immigration attorney for help starting your J1 Summer Work Travel experience or to host a traveler.

 

 

 

Until next time. Stay tuned.

 

 

 


Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

 

The RFE – Request for Evidence


What is the RFE and how should I react to the RFE?

During you visa application, a USCIS adjudication officer will review or visa application. If the adjudication officer feels that something is insufficient in the visa application, the officer may issue an RFE letter. This usually spells delays, but such delays can be overcome.

Common circumstances for issuance of an RFE letter are: unclear descriptions in your application, missing documents in your application, and out-of-date documents or information in your application. The officer may also wish for you to provide an affidavit swearing to the bona fide nature of a relationship at the foundation of your application, or simply evidence of eligibility, vaccination, or birth country.

  1. As one can see, making a complete and correct first application is the key to avoiding the RFE letter. However, should you receive an RFE letter and feel that you application was correct, please be aware that some RFE letters are issued by mistake. Even if you think your RFE was issued in error, you should treat the requests seriously and respond in full.
  2. Do not panic. Please also keep in mind that an RFE is better than an NID (Notice of Intent to Deny). The RFE often times just means that an officer needs clarification, while the NID generally means that you must perfect your application or likely face denial.
  3. Should you receive an RFE letter, please ensure that you respond within the time-frame indicated in the request. If you ignore the time limits, you run a high risk of having your application denied. If you receive a denial, you may have to appeal or move to reopen your denied case. Appeals cost more time and money, and may have limited success.
  4. Moreover, pay close attention to the instructions and explanation in the RFE. The USCIS may give precise information regarding how to overcome the deficiencies in your application. Before answering, review the requirements of the particular visa, and be sure that you are not only meeting such requirements, but making apparent that you meet such requirements. You should try to organize your answer for the reader, and keep in mind that the reader’s mindset is to not let you in if you do not meet all of the requirements.
  5. Finally, patience is paramount. With patience comes politeness, and most immigration lawyers agree that a polite answer to an RFE is the safest route. Further, taking the time to make a full and complete response to the RFE, rather than sending your response in pieces, should be far more effective to achieve a positive result from your application.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

President Obama and Former Governor Romney Clash on Immigration Reform During Debate


During the presidential debate last night, former governor and Republican candidate Mitt Romney battled with President Barack Obama on Obama’s current immigration policy and any plans Mr. Romney may have for the future.

Immigration

Immigration (Photo credit: lcars)

President Obama was particularly harsh on Romney regarding Romney’s professed position on

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

immigration. Romney had originally taken a very hardline against immigration, criticizing President Obama’s reprieves for immigrant families. During the debate last night, Romney attempted to soften his line. Yet, Romney still promised reform of current immigration laws, if Romney is elected. In fact, Romney promised swift action against immigration: “I’ll get it done. First year,” Romney said.

Romney also supported a theory of self-deportation, which involves immigration laws so harsh that aliens will voluntarily leave rather than face the punishment. Romney stated that “self-deportation says let people make their own choice. What I was saying is, we’re not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation. Instead, let people make their own choice.” Perhaps it was an unfortunate use of the word “round up,” but Romney stood his ground.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama, taking the opposite side of immigration reform, stated that he supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Romney admitted that he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

President Obama, a supporter of the DREAM Act, which promotes a pathway to citizenship for children brought into the U.S. at a young age, pointed out that Romney would veto the DREAM Act.

Romney also supported an Arizona law that required employers to use electronic federal verification to verify all of their workers. Kris Kobach, Romney’s key immigration adviser, is actually one of the authors of Arizona’s recent tough immigration laws.

How each candidate will pan out with immigrant and former alien voters will be seen soon enough.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

MIA

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Where do nonimmigrant visas get their names?


Have you wondered where the visas get their names?

It’s a rather trifling matter, but the alphabetization of the nonimmigrant visa classes can create anonymity and an impersonal tone to the entire visa application process right from the beginning. Knowing where the visa names come from, and the foundation of their meaning, can make them seem less unfamiliar and less intimidating. Less intimidation means more comfort and confidence, which in turns makes your immigration experience more enjoyable and successful (we hope).

US Immigration and Customs at Shannon Airport,...

US Immigration and Customs at Shannon Airport, Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The root of the visa names is based on their placement in the INA Code (that’s INA for Immigration and Nationality Act, the major piece of U.S. law governing immigration in the U.S. – for more on the INA, see this article).

Welcome to Immigration 101

As with many pieces of legal code, the INA begins with a section 101, where all the major words used in the code are defined. Not surprisingly, this section is called “Definitions“.  Going from A to Z, Section 101(1) starts with “administrator”, and by 101(38), you’re at “United States”. Unfortunately, thereafter the alphabet is lost to later add-ons, such as the ever-extensive “aggravated felony” and the ironically forgotten “stowaway”.

Actuating Anonymity by Alliteration and Alphabetization of Areas

Logo of ICE

Logo of ICE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Section 101(15), one comes to the meaning of “immigrant”, which is defined by what it is not, rather than that which it is. Pursuant to Section 101(15), the term “immigrant” means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens: Ambassador, temporary Business or pleasure, Continuous transit, Deckhands and crewman, trEaty traders and investors, Foreign students, Government diplomat, Highly skilled workers, International exchange program people, Karat-laden fiancées, Long-term employees of foreign companies, Mixed studies vocational and nonacademic students, Non-separated families, extraOrdinarily able people, Photogs and athletes, Qultural exchange visitors, Religious visitors, Snitches, Trafficking victims, abUse victims, and permanent Visa families. Now obviously, some of the above alphabetization requires a stretch of the imagination. But the notion is there. A through V is the list of different ways you can be a temporary visitor of the U.S. under Section 101(15)’s definition of (non)immigration.

Ambassador,

Business or pleasure,

Continuous transit,

Deckhands and crewman,

trEaty traders and investors,

Foreign students,

Government diplomat,

Highly skilled workers,

International exchange program people,

Karat-laden fiancées,

Long-term employees of foreign companies,

Mixed studies vocational and nonacademic students,

Non-separated families,

extraOrdinarily able people,

Photogs and athletes,

Qultural exchange visitors,

Religious visitors,

Snitches,

Trafficking victims,

abUse victims, and

permanent Visa families.

Most of these apply to few people, and a few of these apply to almost everybody. We hope that our breakdown helps break down the wall of anonymity behind the nonimmigrant visa titles. Considering the alliteration employed, we have to imagine that even the drafters of the legislation hoped to bring a bit of personality to the code.

Best of luck.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Immigration Lawyer Miami

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Apply for a J-1 Visa Homestay Waiver and the No Objection Statement


How to Get a J-1 Visa Homestay Waiver and No Objection Statement

J-1 Waiver Application

Exchange visitors come to the U.S. to pursue short term work or study exchange programs. For many exchange visitors, a visit to the U.S. turns into an opportunity for long-term success in the U.S. Unfortunately, the U.S. generally imposes a requirement that J-1 exchange visitors return to their country for a minimum of two years before returning to the U.S.The two-year home country physical presence requirement can create what feels like an eternity of time between stays in the U.S., and thus many exchange visitors look for an option to stay.

What follows is a general tutorial on the procedure to apply for a waiver of the exchange visitor home-country physical presence requirement and a no objection statement from your embassy.

The application for a Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement requires payment of a $215 filing fee (on last review of USCIS policy). To apply for a J-1 Waiver, you must 1) complete the online J Visa Waiver Recommendation Application; 2) Mail your Waiver Application and Fee Payment; 3) Submit Supporting Documents; 4) Check your Waiver Request Status and Update your Contact Information; 5) Provide extra information if the WRD needs more information from you; 6) Wait the necessary processing time; 7) Receive the Department of State Recommendation and Final Determination by USCIS.

Complete a J-Visa Waiver Application Online

First, complete the DS-3035 J-Visa Waiver Application online. You will need the following documents and info:

  • You passport with your U.S. visas
  • Legible copies of all DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms
  • Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (G-28) (if applicable);
  • Names and dates of birth of any J-2 dependents (spouse or children) and/or the EV’s J-1 spouse;
  • I-94 Departure Record card (if you are still in the U.S.)
  • Alien Registration “A” number (if applicable).

We recommend that you prepare you answers to the following questions beforehand, and then cut and paste the answers into the online application. Otherwise, your session may time out (after 60 minutes) and you may lose your data.

You will be asked:

  • Full name;
  • Gender;
  • Date of Birth;
  • Country of Birth;
  • Citizenship Country;
  • Country of Legal Permanent Residence;
  • Case number if you have one;
  • Other names you are, or have been, known by;
  • The basis on which you are applying for a waiver (e.g. no objection statement from the home government; State Health Agency Request [know whether your government funded any portion of your program while under a “J” visa]; Request by an Interested U.S. Government Agency (IGA) [other or physician]; Exceptional hardship to a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident) spouse or child of exchange visitor; persecution);
  • Statement of Reason: please write a statement demonstrating why you are eligible to receive a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement of section 212(e) of the INA. The length of the statement may vary;
  • You current address, home and business phone number, fax number, and email address;
  • Verify your most recent U.S. city and state (if you left, the last place you were, or where you are now);
  • Enter Attorney Information (Law Firm or Organization Name; Address; City and State; Name of Attorney, Phone, fax, and email. Have your attorney’s G-28 Representation form ready);
  • Your mailing address (this is where you want the WRD to send correspondence, including your recommendation;
  • Your Exchange Visitor Program information;
  • You must enter for EACH DS-2019 or IAP-66 form of the exchange visitor starting with the most recent DS-2019. If you do not have all DS-2019 forms, contact your program sponsor to get a copy or a letter with the necessary information. If the program approval was on IAP-66, enter N0000000000 (10 zeros) for the Sevis number. Enter “00.4 digit subject field code number from the IAP (e.g. 00.254)” from the IAP-66 form for the Subject/Field Code;
  • SEVIS Number;
  • Program Number;
  • Purpose of the Form (new program; program continuation/extension; program transfer; follow to join; reinstatement request; replace/amend previous form; program sponsor statement; update financial information);
  • Whether any of your exchange visitor programs include U.S. Government funds, funds from your own government, or international organization funds;
  • Time not covered by DS-2019 for you;
  • Whether there is any period of time in the U.S. that is not covered by DS-2019 or IAP-66 form. Give an explanation, if yes;
  • J-2 Information for spouse and dependents: Full name, date of birth, country of birth, relationship, and J-1 case number;
  • First J-1 Visa information: Date, port of entry, state of entry, and issuing post (city)
  • Alien Registration Number (“A” number); and I—94 Number (no spaces);

Basis for Waiver

No objection statement. Without a no objection statement, applicants must satisfy the two-year foreign residence requirement of Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and return to his or her home country.

State Health Agency Request. If you are a foreign medical school graduate, who has an offer of full time employment at a health care facility and are working in an area experiencing a designated shortage of health care professionals, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver.  Please note, to fully qualify for a waiver on this basis, you must agree to begin employment at the health care facility within 90 days of receiving the waiver, and sign a contract to continue to work at the facility full time for no less than three years. Please note that the law permits only medical doctors to apply for a waiver on this basis.  However, if the exchange visitor’s government funded their program, the EV must also request a “no objection” statement from the country to which they are otherwise obligated to return.

Request by IGA. If you are working on a project for, or of interest to, a U.S. Federal Government agency, and that agency determines that your contribution and stay in the United States is vital to one of its programs, you may apply for a waiver.  Please be advised that your continued stay in the United States must be in the public interest. Please note that if you are a foreign physician who agrees to serve in a medically under-served area, please refer to the Federal Register Volume 62, No. 102 of May 28, 1997 for additional information.

Exceptional Hardship. If you, the exchange visitor, can demonstrate that your departure from the United States would cause exceptional hardship to your United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or child, you may apply for a waiver.  Please be aware that mere separation from your family is not considered to be sufficient to establish an exceptional hardship.

Persecution: If you believe that you will be persecuted upon return to your home country because of your race, religion, or political opinion, you can apply for a waiver.

Before submitting the application, verify that all of your information is correct. After you submit your information, a new case number will be generated for you. Once you hit the “display” button, your visa waiver packet will generate; save it first, then print it. Please see the attached sample print out.

Make a copy of all of your DS-2019 or IAP-66 forms; and a copy of the data page of the EV’s current passport containing your name and birth date. Wait for your WRD assigned case number and additional instructions using your SASE.  You should receive instructions to submit documents or other information.

Request a No Objection Statement

Your home country’s government must issue a No Objection Statement through its embassy in Washington, DC, stating that it has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two-year home-country physical permanent resident. Contact the consular section of your embassy in Washington, D.C. to request that a “no objection” statement be forwarded to the Department of State on your behalf.

To get your NOS, each country has different requirements. Consult your country’s embassy website to determine exactly what you need to submit. For example, you may need to submit the following:

  • A copy of your completed data sheet, including the “Third Party Barcode Page”
  • Your waiver case file number;
  • The number, place of issue and expiration date of your passport;
  • Payment of a fee by credit card or US Postal Money Order; and
  • A signed declaration made before and signed by a public notary in the following form: “I, [insert your name] do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am under no obligation, financial or otherwise, to return to [my home country] at the completion of my exchange in the United States of America under the J Visa program.”

Send all such documents required to your embassy in Washington, D.C. The letter of No Objection Statement will be sent to the U.S. Department of State Waiver Review Division after embassy processing.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

J-1 Waiver of Foreign Residence Requirement – How to Stay Past J-1 Deadline


We have had some recent interest in J-1 Visa Waivers. Here is the situation, and below find some of the possibilities.

THE SITUATION – The J-1 Squeeze

You are a J-1 Visa Exchange Student. Your duration of stay is coming to a close, and the deadline for your departure is fast arriving. You have made close friends, a significant other, maybe even a home here in the U.S., and the dreaded two year away period is looming. In two years a lot can happen – friends grow apart, couples separate, memories fade. Sometimes, it feels, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. If this situation sounds familiar, there may be some options to help you stay, or at least not have to stay away for two years.

YOUR OPTIONS TO STAY PAST J-1 DURATION OF STAY DATE

First, take a look at some of the options offered by the USCIS. The following are the main 5 waivers of the foreign residence requirement:

  1. No Objection Statement;
  2. Request by an Interested U.S. Federal Government Agency;
  3. Persecution;
  4. Exceptional Hardship; and
  5. Request by a designated State Public Health Department.

The No Objection Statement

Your initial step may be the easiest: just ask. The No Objection Statement is a declaration by your own government that it has no objection to you not returning to your home country to satisfy the two year requirement AND no objection to the possibility of you becoming a lawful permanent resident (an “LPR”) of the U.S.

According to the USCIS, your home country can just say it’s ok to not come home. If your home country’s government issues a “No Objection Statement” through its DC embassy to the Waiver Review Division, you may be able to waive out of your home stay. You can also try to have a designated ministry in your country send the NOS to the U.S. Chief of Mission, Consular Section at the U.S. embassy abroad.

If you want to start up the NOS process, go to the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov) and download the revised DS-3035, have it filled out and submitted to the Waiver Review Division along with any requisite fees (last checked it was $215). You should be contacted by the Waiver Review Division and given a case number and instructions to contact the consular section of your embassy in D.C. to request that a NOS be sent to the Department of State on your behalf. The USCIS will let you know if you were granted or denied the waiver, usually after about 8 weeks.

Persecution or Exceptional Hardship – The I-612 Application for Waiver of Foreign Residence Requirement

Maybe the NOS process did not work for you. Maybe leaving would create a familial disaster in the U.S. Maybe going home would be disastrous to your physical well-being. Before you apply for asylum or TPS, you may wish to fill out the I-612 Application for Waiver of Foreign Residence Requirement. The I-612 may be available on the grounds of persecution or exceptional hardship to your U.S. citizen/ LPR spouse or child.

To determine whether the I-612 Waiver applies to you, ask yourself two questions: 1) will I be persecuted upon return to my home country based on my race, religion, or political opinion?; and 2) do I have a spouse or child that is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident?

If the answer to either question is yes, you may have a good argument for an I-612 Waiver. You may wish to quickly call an immigration attorney in your area to determine the details of your eligibility. You may also wish to look up Section 212e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to familiarize yourself with the law on the subject. Jus type “Immigration and Nationality Act” into the search box on www.uscis.gov. There is a link to “(Legal Code)” at the bottom of the USCIS page on the INA law.

Request by an Interested US Agency OR State Public Health Department

If you are eligible for these latter two categories, you probably already know it, because a U.S. agency you are already working at is already requesting your prolonged stay.

The State Public Health Dept. Request is for foreign medical graduates who obtained exchange visitor status to pursue graduate medical training or education. These med students must meet three (3) requirements: 1) have an offer for full-time medical work; 2) agree to begin work within 90 days; and 3) execute a contract to keep working full time for at least three (3) years. These requirements are no small potatoes.

The Interested U.S. Agency Request is for those working on a project for or of interest to a U.S. agency. If the agency thinks your leaving would hurt U.S. interests, the agency itself may request a waiver for you.

If you think that any of these waiver options apply to you, you may wish to research further or contact an immigration lawyer for assistance. In the meantime, here are some other HELPFUL LINKS:

The Bureau of Consular Affairs provides this J Visa Waiver Online at https://j1visawaiverrecommendation.state.gov/

The Bureau provides an online application, a clarification survey, status checks, data change forms, and help creating your statement of reason.

The DS-3035 to start your No Objection Statement application is located at

http://travel.state.gov/pdf/ds3035.pdf

The instructions for the I-612 application for waiver of foreign residence requirement are located at

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-612instr.pdf

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Potential TPS Petitioners Take Precaution – considerations on letting your visa lapse


Potential TPS Petitioners Take Precaution! Before you let your status lapse, consider the options, the financial stresses, and the immigration risks.

We have recently been fielding questions regarding TPS filings and the effect of a TPS application on an alien’s current immigration status. Predominantly, these questions have involved individuals with nonimmigrant visas determining whether to renew their nonimmigrant status or risk lapse during an application for TPS.

Those seeking TPS should first note that a decision either granting or denying your TPS status may take 3 months or more. Thus, if your status is set to expire within the next 6 months, it may be worthwhile to renew rather than risk it.

Please also note that the USCIS states that where an alien has periods of time without lawful immigration status before or after being granted TPS, those periods of out-of-status or unlawful presence may adversely affect the alien’s ability to adjust to permanent status or attain other immigration benefits, depending on the circumstances of each specific case. Although the alien may petition for a waiver of inadmissibility (where based on unlawful presence), this is no safe bet. Moreover, there does not appear to be an express provision tolling the expiration of your current nonimmigrant status during your TPS application. What on-point equitable tolling there does appear to be, it seems to be dependent on a successful TPS application, a determination of prima facie eligibility, or government error.

If you still feel determined to risk living out-of-status, you may wish to research your options under INA Section 245i and 245k, cancellation of removal, or asylum. You may have other options if you are an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen. If you get into a bind (e.g. removal proceedings), you may also wish to research rules on equitable tolling of removal. But these efforts may be difficult routes to pursue.

Although having to renew your nonimmigrant status may be costly financially, consider the benefits: you may still file for other immigration benefits during TPS, including non-immigrant petitions, adjustment of status, asylum, or otherwise. TPS is considered lawful nonimmigrant status during its pendency, and thus does not affect other applications.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Visas – Info on Each Visa Available

Andrew John Bernhard, Esq.

Welcome to MiamiVisaHelp.com’s Blog!

Welcome to MiamiVisaHelp.com’s law blog … discussing everything visa from the perspective of those that have a need, desire, or tendency to move from country to country for the purpose of work, survival, education, living, play, and everything in between. Please feel free to send Andrew John Bernhard, Esq. a message! We are always trying to enhance your experience, and help all of us movers, migrators, immigrants, ex-pats and travelers have an easier, happier, and more satisfying experience in the often confusing world of U.S. Immigration. Please feel free to visit our friends at USImmigrationMiami.wordpress.com and TheMitochondrialMigrator.wordpress.com to see more from similar minded people like yourself! Most of all…ENJOY! - Andrew John Bernhard, Esq.

Miami Visa Help by Miami International Attorneys focused on immigration law in Miami and South Florida, discussing visas, citizenship, green cards, and immigration law news