The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced its plans to impose a significant increase in the fee to file the application for U.S. citizenship (Form N-400) to take effect on July 30, 2007. Currently, the fee is $400, but it will increase to $675, an increase of 69%.
To obtain permanent resident status in the United States, you may opt for consular processing (where you apply for an immigrant visa through the Department of State and must attend an interview at a U.S. Consulate in your country of residence abroad) or adjustment of status (where you remain in the United States and file an application with USCIS). Each has its own set of pros and cons that you should be familar with before choosing which option is right for you. For more information, take a look at: A Comparison of Consular Processing vs. Adjustment of Status and How Consular Processing Works.
Adjustment of status and consular processing are two ways to request permanent resident status in the United States. Each option has its postives and negatives, and you should make sure you're aware of the differences before making your decision.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced its plans to impose a significant increase in the fee to file the application for U.S. citizenship (Form N-400). Currently, the fee is $400, and estimates for the proposed increase range from a hike to $600 or even $1,000. The agency anticipates that the new fee could go into effect as early as April 2007.
Five years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, U.S. colleges and universities are fighting to reverse what some consider an alarming decline in foreign student enrollment. Despite a tightening of visa regulations in the months immediately following the attacks, foreign student enrollment actually increased in 2001, in part because of students who already had applied or enrolled, but since then numbers have steadily declined.
Immigration SKIL Bill Aims to Increase US Access to Foreign Science, Tech, Engineering and Math Workers
The “SKIL Bill”, short for “Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership Act of 2006”aims to increase legal immigration of scientific, technology, engineering, and mathematics workers into the United States by increasing the quotas on the H-1B visa, eliminating green card caps for certain advanced degree holders, and streamlining the processing of employment-based green cards.
Jobs in the U.S. high-technology industry continue to grow and, at the same time, there continues to be a shortage of qualified American citizens and permanent residents to fill these tech and engineering jobs. Filling the gap provides an opportunity for foreign nationals who may qualify for the H-1B visa program. The fiscal year 2007 annual cap on H-1B admissions was already reached earlier in the year, however, H-1B visas for FY2008 will become available on October 1, 2007 and applications can be submitted as early as April 1, 2007.
An executive or a manager who meets the legal requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") §203(b)(1)(C) can immigrate to the U.S. expeditiously, without having to file a labor certification. In other words, neither the beneficiary nor his employer needs to prove a lack of qualified U.S. workers to the State Workforce Agency or the Department of Labor before the beneficiary is permitted to file his/her adjustment of status application for permanent residency in the U.S.
Consular processing and adjustment of status are two means to the same end: obtaining permanent resident status in the United States. If you opt for consular processing, you would apply for an immigrant visa through the Department of State and must attend an interview at a U.S. Consulate in your country of residence abroad. If you opt for adjustment of status, on the other hand, you would remain in the United States and file an application with USCIS. Because these two separate agencies each have their own procedures and set of governing rules, there are pros and cons to both options. You should therefore take various considerations into account before making what is often a difficult decision.
Any qualified candidate who can meet the legal requirements outlined below can expeditiously immigrate to the U.S. by filing his immigrant petition directly with BCIS. In other words, in these cases a prospective employer is not required to file a labor certification and prove a lack of qualified U.S. workers. However, a job offer by a U.S. employer is required and the applicant ("professor or researcher") must be outstanding in an academic field.