Immigration Updates - July 2013

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Significant Update in Visa Activity

The Department of State has just released the August 2013 visa bulletin, which brings great news for many people waiting in line for visa availability in two important categories--(1) spouses and children of lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders) and (2) Indian beneficiaries of second-preference employment petitions.

The FB-2A Category for Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents is Current for Everyone

Under the August 2013 visa bulletin, the FB-2A category for spouses and children (unmarried and under 21) of lawful permanent residents ("green card" holders) is current for August for nationals of all countries, and is expected to remain current for the next several months .

A current priority date means that there is no backlog on this category, and that immigrant visas for this category are available. Spouses and children of permanent residents may be eligible to apply for permanent residency (a "green card") either through adjustment of status in the United States, or through consular processing abroad in their home country.

Notably, the immigration laws provide for different treatment of spouses and children of permanent residents from spouses and children of U.S. citizens for purposes of adjustment of status in the U.S., and there can be vital immigration consequences to departing the U.S. At Dyer Immigration Law Group, we will be glad to help you determine your eligibility for adjustment of status or consular processing, and to assist you in taking advantage of this exciting development.

Family-Sponsored

All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

F1

01SEP06

01SEP06

01SEP06

01SEP93

01JAN01

F2A

C

C

C

C

C

F2B

01DEC05

01DEC05

01DEC05

01FEB94

22DEC02

F3

08DEC02

08DEC02

08DEC02

01MAY93

01DEC92

F4

22JUN01

22JUN01

22JUN01

22SEP96

08JAN90

The EB-2 Category for Nationals of India Moves Significantly

Additionally, the August 2013 visa bulletin brings great news for nationals of India who are the beneficiaries of second-preference employment based (EB-2) petitions. Visa availability for employment-based petitions is based on the applicants' educational and professional status, or on special needs requirements as set forth by the Department of State. The EB-2 includes members of professions holding advanced degrees or persons of exceptional ability.

Although the worldwide EB-2 category had been current for some time, the EB-2 category for India had been stuck at September 1, 2004 since the October 2012 visa bulletin. In the just-released August 2013 visa bulletin, EB-2 India has finally moved-jumping over three years-to January 1, 2008. If you are an Indian national whose EB-2 priority date is now current, we will be happy to help you take the next steps towards permanent residency.

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born

INDIA

MEXICO

PHILIPPINES

1st

C

C

C

C

C

2nd

C

08AUG08

01JAN08

C

C

3rd

01JAN09

01JAN09

22JAN03

01JAN09

22OCT06

Other Workers

01JAN09

22MAR04

22JAN03

01JAN09

22OCT06

4th

C

C

C

C

C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

C

C

C

5th
Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers and Pilot Programs

C

C

C

C

C

The Supreme Court Finds the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is Unconstitutional and Same Sex Couples May Now Finally Pursue Federal Immigration Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in United States v. Windsor, finding that Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. DOMA had limited the word "marriage" in federal statutes to only heterosexual unions, leading to the denial of a multitude of federal benefits, including immigration benefits, to legally married same-sex couples. Now that Section 3 of DOMA has been struck down, individuals who are legally married in jurisdictions recognizing same-sex marriage will finally be eligible for a wide array of immigration benefits from which they were previously excluded, including permanent residency (a "green card") based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, fiancé(e) petitions by a U.S. citizen, derivative benefits such as inclusion in a spouse's immigrant visa ("green card") application or derivative status as the spouse of a non-immigrant visa holder, and relief from removal which requires a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.

If you are legally married in a jurisdiction recognizing same-sex marriage, we would be happy to discuss your immigration options which may help keep your family together.

Call us toll free at 1.877.377.1247 to schedule an appointment at our office in Richmond or Fredericksburg. We speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Swedish.

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