In order to better serve our clients, we are changing the way we process J-1 visa applications. Effective January 1, 2014, we will no longer accept the paper version of our application.
We will be eliminating non-expedite service, and changing our processing times to 5 business days to review your application materials after you have submitted the completed online application and made payment. All applications will now be processed on an expedited timeline. This change in application processing corresponds with an increase in our fees. Our program fee will increase to $1,450, and we will charge an additional $450 as a non-refundable review fee that will be paid regardless of whether or not we issue the DS 2019. As is our current policy, if we deny your application and do not issue the DS 2019, we refund you all program fees ($1,450), insurance fees ($57/month per person), or the SEVIS fee ($180), but as of January 1, 2014 we will NOT refund the $450 application review fee.
We are also making several changes to the group insurance policy we offer to our J-1 participants and their dependents. Read the Insurance Group Policy Changes section below for more information.
Below is a summary of the different changes that will go into effect on January 1, 2014:
The immigration agencies rely on Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, in determining whether a marriage is valid for immigration purposes.As a result, lesbian and gay U.S. citizens and permanent residents are barred from successfully petitioning for their spouses.In addition, lesbian and gay noncitizens are precluded from obtaining other immigration benefits, including relief from removal, based on a marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.Recent developments, however, suggest that DOMA’s days may be numbered.Already, one district court has concluded that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, and the Obama Administration has decided it no longer will defend the law in federal court challenges.Read more...
Most right-wingers and health care reform haters have at least conceded that there's language in the House health care bill that explicitly excludes undocumented immigrants, but none of them are willing to swallow their pride and admit that Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-SC) blow-up was also factually incorrect. Republicans incessantly continue citing "loopholes" that they suggest actually do render President Obama a liar, or at the very least, misinformed.
Immigration Policy Center Updates 50 State Fact Sheets and Infographics
Released on Thu, Jan 12, 2012
Washington D.C. - Today, the Immigration Policy Center is pleased to re-release our 50 state fact sheets updated with the most current government and academic data available. In addition to the fact sheets, we have added 50 state infographics which highlight the top data points of each state in a graphic format.
The fact sheets and infographics are a synthesis of current government and academic data which highlight the growing economic and political power of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in each of the 50 states. These materials are free for download, printing and distribution, and can be shared via social media or on your website.
As Pennsylvania grapples with a budget deficit brought on by the current recession, state and local policy makers would do well to keep in mind that immigrant communities are a potent force for economic recovery.
Washington, D.C.—USCIS released in full the four remaining contested documents in a FOIA lawsuit brought by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) and Steptoe & Johnson LLP on behalf of AILA. The documents plainly describe - in more detail than documents previously released in this lawsuit - “fraud indicators” that result in greater scrutiny of certain H-1B applications. These documents are troubling evidence of a near presumption of fraud in H-1B applications submitted by small and emerging businesses and for certain types of positions at these businesses. The following documents were released:
The polling wars on immigration reform have officially begun. Today, the Center for Immigration Studies, which aims to restrict immigration to the United States and deport those who are here illegally, sent around the findings of a recent Zogby poll which finds that — surprise! — a majority of Mexicans say they think their friends and family would be more likely to come to the United States if the U.S. granted them permanent legal status. Never mind that no U.S. lawmaker is actually proposing to do that.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement
Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC), along with its co-counsel, recently announced a settlement of A.B.T., et al. v. USCIS, et al., a nationwide class action challenging the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). This FAQ addresses key questions related to the settlement agreement, such as: who is a class member; what policies and practices are changed by the settlement; how class members will benefit from these changes; when the changes go into effect; and how a class member can complain if the settlement is not properly implemented in his or her case.
The lawsuit was brought by the LAC, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Massachusetts Law Reform Project, and the Law Offices of Gibbs Houston and Pauw. For more information about the lawsuit, including a copy of the settlement agreement, visit the LAC’s Asylum Clock webpage.
Legalizing the status of the roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in this country would create jobs, increase wages and boost the sagging U.S. economy, an academic study released Thursday says.
Washington D.C. – The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP today filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them.
Each year, the government initiates immigration court proceedings against thousands of children. Some of these youth grew up in the United States and have lived in the country for years, and many have fled violence and persecution in their home countries. The Obama Administration even recently called an influx of children coming across the Southern border a "humanitarian situation." And yet, thousands of children required to appear in immigration court each year do so without an attorney. This case seeks to remedy this unacceptable practice.
"If we believe in due process for children in our country, then we cannot abandon them when they face deportation in our immigration courts," said Ahilan Arulanantham, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. "The government pays for a trained prosecutor to advocate for the deportation of every child. It is patently unfair to force children to defend themselves alone."