Monthly Archives: July 2007

DIRECT FILING OF IMMIGRATION BENEFITS

The following is not legal advice.  Please consult a qualified immigration lawyer to discuss the specifics of your unique situation.

Effective July 30, 2007 forms I-129F, I-131, I-140, I-360, I-485, I-765 and I-907  should be filed directly with the Service Center that will be processing them.  A June 21, 2007 update on the USCIS website describes the details of Direct Filing.  For information on where to file specific forms select the form on the USCIS website, on the upper right hand corner will be instructions for direct filing.

ONE COUPLE’S IMMIGRATION NIGHTMARE

An article that appeared in the Denver Post highlights the importance of being extremely careful when dealing with US immigration matters.  Things are not as straightforward as they seem and “honest mistakes” can trigger a nightmare situation.

I will soon be writing on immigration foreign travel restrictions for aliens.  However, as a general rule, call your immigration lawyer before making any international travel plans.

SUBSCRIBING TO IMMIGRANTCONNECT.COM

I asked our resident tech genius how readers could subscribe to this blog (as some of you have manged to do on your own), here’s what he had to say:

All they need to do is point their RSS reader to http://immigrantconnect.com/feed/.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication,”  and the idea behind RSS is that you won’t have to keep coming back to websites for updates.  Instead, a piece of software called an “RSS Reader” will do that job of checking the websites you specify for updates, alerting you when new articles are available, and then presenting the new articles in a succinct form.

Modern web browsers (such as Firefox and Internet Explorer 6), e-mail clients (such as Thunderbird), and some portals like My Yahoo! and Google already work as RSS readers.   For Outlook, there’s a free plug-in called RSS Popper, which you can download here:  http://rsspopper.blogspot.com/

Doesn’t sound “really simple” to me, but I welcome subscribers.

E-FILING USCIS FORMS

This is not legal advice. Please consult a qualified immigration lawyer to assist you with your specific case.

The following USCIS forms may be e-filed online: I-90, I-129 (some categories), I-129S, I-131, I-140, I-539, I-765, I-821 and I-907. Although the process is quite easy to understand, some may find the system to be rudimentary and it does have hiccups from time to time. Payment by credit card or through a bank account will be required before the completed form is accepted for filing. The system will generate a USCIS Receipt Number and instructions on where to send supporting documentation.

INCREASED USCIS FILING FEES GO INTO EFFECT TODAY

Just another reminder that the USCIS filing fees increase today.  However, until August 17, 2007, EB I-485 applications filed pursuant to the July 2007 visa bulletin must include the old application and fingerprint fees.  If an I-140 Petition is filed concurrently with an I-485 application, the I-140 must include the new fee and the I-485 and  interim benefit applications must include the old fees.  Packages submitted with the incorrect filing fees will be returned and may  result in the applicant being unable to refile for some time.  Please see the link to the new filing fees to the left.

TIME TO OFFER PERMANENT RESIDENCE TO GAY SPOUSES

I recently had the pleasure of attending my first gay wedding. It was as meaningful and special as any of the other weddings I have been to.  Families and close friends of the couple were gathered, vows were exchanged before a minister, and warm-hearted toasts were made by family members.

Despite the fact that same-sex marriage is recognized in Massachusetts, same-sex US Citizens cannot petition for permanent residence for their foreign-born spouses.  Most presidential candidates who I have heard oppose gay marriage would favor civil unions as an alternative.  Supposedly, this would give partners united in civil unions the same legal rights and obligations as married couples. Would this include the right to sponsor one’s foreign-born civilly united same-sex partner?  I have not heard anyone address this issue.
It’s about time that we progress to the level of Canada and many European countries that freely allow same-sex couples to marry and to reap the same benefits enjoyed by “traditional” married couples.