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H1B Visa: Who Pays Legal Fees?

June 14, 2013

H1B Visa Fees

Author: New York Immigration attorney Alena Shautsova

H1B visa is one of the most common visas which are used to employ foreign workers in the U.S. It allows  foreign specialists from a variety of occupations to be legally employed in the US, as well as provides for a dependent status for their family members.

The process of H1B visa starts with an employee finding an employer in the US who is willing and able to hire the employee; is willing to sponsor the foreign worker; and wait for him/her to get appropriate documents. There are filing deadlines which start from April 1 each year.If  the employer’s petition is granted, an employee will be able to start employment on October 1 of the year the application/petition was filed. Sometimes, however, the adjudication of the petition takes much longer, and the start date understandably will be delayed.
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Unlawful Presence And Citizens Of Canada

May 20, 2013

Unlawful Presence For Canadian Citizens

Unlawful presence is usually starts to run when a person, who is not a US citizen or US permanent resident overstays their visa or authorized stay. It does not start to run for holders of D/S I-94s, such as F-1 or J-1 students, for whom a USCIS officer or an Immigration Judge has  not rendered a decision as to termination of their status and that they have to leave the country.

However, the question remains as to the validity of status for those who came in the US without a visa, such as citizens of Canada who come to the US without being formally “admitted.”
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F-1 Travel During Cap-Gap Extension

May 16, 2013

F-1 Travel During Cap-Gap Extension

Author: Alena Shautsova

Holders of F-1 status who applied for H1B change of status and were selected for the next fiscal year, have their status automatically prolonged until October 1: the first day when they can legally accept employment in H1B category.

Many of them, however, would like to visit their home country before they start the new work life. Can they do so and come back in F-1 status?
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Employee Visa News From US Embassy In Mexico

January 16, 2013

Expedited Visa Processing for Employees

New program to facilitate business relationship between the USA and Mexico has been implemented that will speed up visa processing for employees:

“The United States Embassy is pleased to announce the expansion of its Business Facilitation Program (BFP) that allows access to expedited visa processing for employees of qualifying firms traveling to the U.S. on company business. The BFP will provide time-saving benefits for businesses whose employees need to travel to the U.S., and highlights the United States’ commitment to deepening trade and economic engagement with Mexico.

The BFP is open throughout Mexico and is available at all U.S. Consulates and the Embassy.  The BFP requires interested firms to register with the U.S. Embassy’s or Consulates’ Consular Section.

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New Visas To Russia Will Be Cheaper And For A Longer Period Of Time

September 27, 2012

Author: US visa lawyer Alena Shautsova

Recently, the US and Russia came to an agreement that they both will simplify the application process for tourist and business visas to these countries. The agreement will enter into effect on September 9, 2012. Please see Russian citizens may visit for specific instructions on how to apply for a U.S. visa.

Basically, to get a tourist or business visa to the US, a Russian citizen will need to pay $20.00 for visa (it was $100.00). Note that the $160 fee for application will still apply. The visa will be good for multiple entries during 36 months.

The agreement was reached due to the cooperation between the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

If you have immigration concerns, consult a skilled New York immigration lawyer and find out about your options.