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Posts Tagged ‘US Immigration India’

23rd November 2010

The administrator of this blog recently came across a press release from the United States Mission in India. The following is quoted directly from the press release as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

New Delhi – In an effort to make the visa application process more convenient for all Indians, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and Consulates General in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad now accept visa applications from across India at all visa facilities, regardless of the applicant’s home address or city of residence. This is part of Mission India’s ongoing effort to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States.

Following the opening of Consulate General Hyderabad in 2008, the U.S. Mission has looked for ways to best capture the dynamism of India’s growth across the nation. As a result, we also redesigned our consular districts. Therefore, effective immediately, our consular districts will be reorganized as follows: Embassy Delhi: Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bhutan; Consulate Mumbai: Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Diu and Daman, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli; Consulate Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh, Orissa; Consulate Chennai: Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands; Consulate Kolkata: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, West Bengal

U.S. Ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer said, “With these changes, we believe our Consulates General and our Embassy in New Delhi will be even better positioned to support and serve Indian visa applicants, as well as American citizens and businesses throughout India.”

Actions such as those noted above can have a tremendous positive impact upon those Indian Nationals seeking United States Immigration benefits as the ability to process such travel documents at any Post in India generally results in a great deal more convenience compared to the policy of keeping Consular jurisdictions mutually exclusive.

Each year, many Indian Nationals seek visa benefits of the United States of America. While some may seek US family visa benefits in order to reunite with loved ones. Other applicants seek non-immigrant visas for short terms stays in the USA. Still others seek employment based visas to the US such as the L1 visa. Meanwhile, there are some who opt to seek United States Permanent Residence by investment through use of the EB-5 visa program.

Policies such as the aforementioned one adopted by the US Mission in India should be applauded as this shows a sincere effort on the part of the Mission in India to take measures which may be beneficial to those seeking visas to America.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa India.

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15th November 2010

As mentioned previously on this blog, the United States dollar is weakening relative to other currencies as other economies around the world strengthen. In a recent report from Reuters in India:

Foreign funds have so far in 2010 bought shares worth a record $28.3 billion, in addition to last year’s $17.5 billion. The rupee has gained 5 percent so far this year.

In terms of international trade, the announcement of a declining dollar could be viewed negatively. However, a comparatively weak United States dollar could turn out to be a boon for those Indian nationals interested in making a qualified investment in the USA while also accruing the benefit of United States Lawful Permanent Residence.

The EB-5 visa program was designed to provide a travel document and Lawful Permanent Residence to those who make an investment in the USA which meets the eligibility criteria set forth by American Immigration authorities such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State. Those interested in obtaining an EB-5 visa should note that the investment in the United States must be substantial and should exceed at least five hundred thousand United States dollars ($500,000), or one million dollars (1,000,000) if the investment is not a “targeted” investment. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status means that the Indian national in said status has the right to reside and work in the United States permanently. LPR status is highly sought after by those in countries outside of the United States since the benefit is substantial, but immigration law may preclude many visa seekers from obtaining a travel document that confers Lawful Permanent Residence (also referred to as “Green Card” status).

Some individuals have posed the question: “Does the United States allow Citizenship by investment?” The simple answer is: no. However, the EB-5 visa could be viewed as a means of setting oneself on the “path to citizenship” by investment. This is due to the fact that an EB5 visa holder, who meets the legal criteria, may be able to apply for naturalization to US Citizenship after remaining in the United States for a statutorily prescribed period of time in lawful permanent resident status.

The American immigration process and the laws which support the United States Immigration system are complex and can be frustrating to those who are unaccustomed to American law and procedure. For this reason, some individuals and families opt to utilize an American attorney to assist with the process. That said, those interested in retaining professional assistance are well advised to check the credentials of those claiming expertise in American immigrations matters as only a licensed American attorney is entitled to provide advice and counsel in matters pertaining to United States Immigration law.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa India.

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23rd October 2010

Those American Citizens with Indian husbands or wives often research issues surrounding the US K-3 marriage visa category in an effort to make informed decisions about American travel documentation. Although the term “K-3 visa” has become a common buzzword used as a colloquial synonym for US Marriage Visa on the World Wide Web, the K-3 category was not always the widely utilized travel document for Indian-American couples reuniting in the United States as the Immigrant visa categories often referred to as CR-1 and/or IR-1 visas were once the only travel documents available to the spouses of American Citizens wishing to take up residence in the USA (note: the IR-1 visa category predates the CR-1 visa category as conditional lawful permanent residence status has not always been imposed upon foreign spouses of US Citizens married less than 2 years).

There was a rather significant backlog of Immigrant visa petitions at the agency now commonly referred to as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) when the K3 visa category was created by Congressional legislation sometimes called the “Life Act” which was signed and executed by President William Jefferson Clinton prior to leaving office toward the end of his term (the K-4 visa, similar to the K2 derivative visa attached to the K1 visa, was a derivative visa category also created by the “Life Act” to be utilized by the children of an Indian K-3 spouse).

Currently, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service does not have the backlog that it once had of Immigrant spousal visa petitions. As a result, the K-3′s utility has been increasingly marginalized as the estimated processing time for CR-1 visa petitions and IR-1 visa petitions has decreased. Relatively recently, the American State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) promulgated the policy that K-3 visa applications would be administratively closed if and/or when the adjudicated immigrant visa petition arrives at NVC before or with the supplemental K-3 visa petition. This policy has likely lead to some Indian-American married couples to seek Immigrant visa benefits rather than K-3 visa benefits as “administrative closure” precluded further processing of the K-3 visa petition and application.

Those interested in the K3 visa process or the Immigrant visa process are well advised to research all options prior to making any irrevocable decisions. Furthermore, those seeking immigration advice and/or representation should check the credentials of those claiming expertise in American immigration matters as only licensed American attorneys may practice American immigration law pursuant to U.S. law.

Fore related information please see: K3 Visa India or K1 Visa India.

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3rd August 2010

This blog frequently posts the holiday closing schedules of US Embassies and US Consulates overseas in an effort to forestall Americans or foreign nationals making an unnecessary and fruitless trip to the Post facilities of a US Mission abroad. The following is the holiday closing schedule for the United States Consulate-General in Kolkata, India as quoted directly from the official website of the US Consulate in Kolkata:

The U.S. Consulate General, the Consular/Visa Section, the Public Affairs Office at the American Center comprising of The American Library(AIRC), USIEF(United States India Educational Foundation) and the United States Foreign Commercial Service at Kolkata, India will observe the following American and Indian holidays in the year 2010.

DATE

DAY

HOLIDAY

TYPE

January 1

Friday

New Year’s Day

American

January 18

Monday

Martin Luther King’s Birthday

American

January 20

Wednesday

Shree Panchami

Indian

January 26

Tuesday

Republic Day

Indian

February 15

Monday

Washington’s Birthday

American

April 02

Friday

Good Friday

Indian

April 15

Thursday

Bengali New Year

Indian

May 31

Monday

Memorial Day

American

July 5

Monday*

Independence Day

American

September 6

Monday

Labor Day

American

October 11

Monday

Columbus Day

American

October 14

Thursday

Durga Puja(Saptami)

Indian

October 15

Friday

Durga Puja(Ashtami)

Indian

October 22

Friday

Lakshmi Puja

Indian

November 05

Friday

Kali Puja

Indian

November 11

Thursday

Veterans’ Day

American

November 17

Wednesday

Id-Ul-Zoha

Indian
November 25

Thursday

Thanksgiving Day

American
December 17

Friday

Muharram

Indian
December 24

Friday**

Christmas Day

American


*In lieu of Sunday , 7/4/10
** In lieu of Saturday, 12/25/10

Some of the popular reasons why American Citizens travel to a US Consular Post or a US Embassy overseas is to obtain new passports, visa pages, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, or notarizations from the American Citizen Services Section of the Consulate. Those seeking such services are well advised to check the operating hours of the American Citizen Services Section of the Consulate as well as the holiday closing schedule in order to forestall a futile trip to the Post due to unforeseen closure.

It should also be noted that many United States Embassies and United States Consulates allow those with business at the post to book appointments online. This provides the Consular staff with an opportunity to better prepare to provide appropriate services to those seeking Consular assistance abroad.

Those seeking a visa to the United States do not deal with the American Citizen Services section of most US Consulates and/or Embassies as American visa applications are generally adjudicated by either the Immigrant visa unit or the non-immigrant visa unit (generally for purposes of Consular adjudication of a visa application the K1 visa is considered an Immigrant visa).

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