Debra R. Shpigler Co., LPA
DV-2003 LOTTERY ANNOUNCED
T he U.S. State Department announced that the mail-in period for the next Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2003) will run from October 1, 2001 to October 31, 2001. The DV Lottery makes 55,000 immigrant visas ("green cards") available each year to persons meeting certain eligibility requirements. Visas are allotted among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and no visas going to countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years.
Who may apply?
Natives from all countries except the following are eligible for this year's DV Lottery: Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.
When should you apply?
All entries must be received between noon on October 1, 2001 and noon on October 31, 2001.
How do you apply?
There is no specific form you must use, but each entry (and you may submit only one) must include certain information in a specific order. For details, call the State Department at (202) 331-7199 or go to http://travel.state.gov.
INS STARTS PREMIUM PROCESSING SERVICE
Worried about how long it will take to obtain a non-immigrant visa for a prospective employee? The INS has finally done something to help! Employers now have the option of requesting "Premium Processing" for certain employment-based visa petitions. Employers who file a new form and pay the Premium Processing fee of $1,000 (in addition to the regular filing fee that must be paid) are guaranteed 15-calendar day processing of their petitions. This means that the INS will issue an approval, request for additional evidence, or other notice within 15 calendar days after it receives the petition.
Currently, employers may request Premium Processing for the following classifications: E-1, E-2, H-1B, H-2B, H-3, L-1A, L-1B, Blanket L, O, P, Q, R and TN.
SECTION 245(i) MAY BE EXTENDED
T he Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act (the "LIFE"Act), which extended Section 245(i) of the Immigration & Nationality Act for people who filed a petition by April 30, 2001, may be extended again. A current proposal in Congress would give individuals who qualify for immigration benefits under this provision until April, 2002 to file an immigrant petition or application for labor certification. If this proposal becomes law, more people would be eligible to adjust their status in the United States. We'll keep you posted on the progress of this legislation.
This Immigration Bulletin is not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Debra R. Shpigler Co., LPA is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.