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Immigration Forms Completion Assistance Center (I.F.C.A.C.) (904) 672-8241

Green Card made easy

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Where Gabriel Dorcely answers to your Immigration questions. 
1. What is a visa? Name the different type and give examples of each.
In U.S., There are two types of visa classified into
                  a) Permanent visas
                  b) Temporary visas
The permanent visas officially called Permanent residence. It shows into the Alien Registration Receipt Card granted to those who are approved and successfully completed the process. Popularly, it is known as "Green card". such a visa classifies the alien as an immigrant and confers to such person the right to live and work for a renewable Ten (10) years in the United States of America.
Although the term "Green card" is not the official name of the visa, but becomes so familiar that it is even used in official proceedings to ease understandings, even in legal proceedings and legislative sessions.
The second class of visas is temporary and is subclassified into many categories. They are officially called non-immigrant visas. One difference in those two is that the Permanent visas are limited by law in the quantity the Government is authorized to issue while the Non-immigrant visas in most categories are unrestricted. The non-immigrant visas can be obtained very quickly, usually the same day the applicant submit the demand. each type of non-immigrant visas come with a different set of advantages or privileges. Each is identified by a letter such as B-2, F-1, R-1, H1B1, E-2, J-1. They also vary to the length of stay. For example with a J-1 visa, the beneficiary may stay for several years while with a B-2, no longer than six months, then the holder must depart the U.S.
2. How to apply for a Visa?
     For a non immigrant visa, the applicant must be out side of the U.S. and must obtain the appropriate form or forms available at the any U.S. consulate abroad. Each set of forms come with a sheet of instructions and the type of documents needed to support the application and the fee if any to process the application.
      For an immigrant visa, in many cases a petitioner under the legal jurisdiction of the U.S. must initiate the procedures by filing with the I.N.S. the related petition, whether or not the beneficiary is in U.S. or abroad. there are few cases where the beneficiary needs not a petitioner and may be abroad. in such case the petition will be filed with the U.S. consulate. an example of that is in the case of special immigrant provisions.
2a. And who can apply?
        Mostly for immigrant visas, when the petition is approved, the beneficiary will receive instructions on how to apply. for non-immigrant visas, anyone can apply within the requirements for the category they apply to.
2b. the different types  of visas.
      Immigrant visas: Temporary or conditional and Permanent (10years).
      Non-immigrant visas:
            A-1: Visas available to ambassadors, public ministers or career diplomats and their immediate family members.
            A-2: Other accredited officials or employees of foreign governments and their immediate family.
            A-3: Visas for personnel attendants or employees and their immediate family members of A-1. 
            B-1: Visas avaiable for business visitors
            B-2: Visas available for Tourist visitors and pleasures
            B1/B2: For both.
            C-1: Visas available for foreign travelers in transit in U.S.
            D-1: Visas available to crewmen of a boat or airlines who landed temporarily in U.S. and will depart with the same ship or airlines.
            E-1: Treaty trader visas. Available to only 42 countries that have trade treaties with the U.S. Haiti is not one of those country.
            E-2: Investors visas. Available to citizens of selected countries which have investors treaties with the U.S. This visa is given to key employees of investing companies fo such countries. there is some exception to the rule but for individuals seeking employemnt with American companies owned by people living in bangladesh, Cameroon, congo, Egypt, finland, Grenada, ireland, Morocco, Poland, Sri Lanka, senegal, tunisia, for Zaire and the slovaks Republics. Although, U.S. have no such treaty with Haiti, a national of Haiti who works for one of thess companies may obtain an E-2 visa as such. At this time, the U.S. are negotiating such a treaties with other countries including, Haiti, romania, Mexico, Armenia, bulgaria, bolivia, Venezuela, Jamaica, Nigeria, Uruguay, Hong-Kong, Hungary etc....
             F-1: This visa allow an alien to enter the U.S. and engage in certain activities which varies with the type of student you may be such as academic or language students.
             F-2: viasa available for immediate family members of those with a F-1 visa.
             G-1: Designated principal resident representatives of foreign governments coming to the U.S. to work for an international organization, their staff members and immediate family.
             G-2: Other accre
             H-1a: This visa is for temporary work available to registered nurses.
             H-1B: This visa is for temporary workers with specialty occupations.
             H-2B: this visa is for temporary workers in non-agricultural.Available to those coming to U.S. to accept a temporary or seasonal non-agricultural job from a U.S. employer but qualified with skills to do the required job.
             H-3: This type of visa is for temporary trainees, on the job training type from an american company. the purpose of the training is to further your career in your home country that doesnot have similar training program avilable.
             I:   this type of visa is available to bona fide representatives of the foreign press coming to U.S. to work solely in that capacity amd their immediate family members..
            J-1: Specific Exchange visitor program visa. You may be issued a J-1 visa in any of these categories, International visitors, foreign medical graduate students, Other medical related programs, employees of the International communictions Agency, Research assistants sponsored by the National Institute of Health, in general, trainee, scholar, teacher, professor, medical graduate.
            K-1: Available to fiancees of U.s. citizens.
            K-2: Minor children of those with K-1 visa. 
            L-1: intra-company transfers
            M-1: this a student visa also but only for vocational studies and is given for 18 months while the F-1 visa is given for the duration of your studies and extended time for practices or else related to your studies.
            N:    N visa is available to children of certain special immigrants.
            O-1: persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, athletics, science, business and education. Crated by the Immigration Act of 1990 it is a visa for highly specialized temporary work visa category. It is used with the P-1 cateory for certain outstanding workers in the sciences, the arts, business, entertainment, sports and education. It is given on individual performances. membership in a group is not by itself enough for qualification.
            O-2: this is a category available for those in support of an O-1, such staff members, domestics etc...
            P-1: The O, P and R visa are quite narrow in scope. the P-1 is given mostly to an athlete who is recognized internationally. such as if your team is invited  to a competition in the U.S., you must submit proof of previous participation in an international competition at home or abroad. P-1 is not available for individual entertainers but to the whole group that is recognized at the international level. an exceptio derive for circus personnel. they need not to satisfy the above requirements.
            P-2: this type of visa is gien to participants in reciprocal exchange programs, such as artists, entertainers.
            P-3: these are visas given to culturally unique groups.
            P-4: These are given to Accompanying relatives of those with P-1, P-2 and P-3 visas.
            Q-1: Available to exchange visitors coming to U.s. to participate in international cultural exchange programs.
            R-1: this type of visa is intended for religious workers. to a person who has been a member of a legitimate religious denomination for at least two years, and has a job offer in the U.S. to work for an affiliate of that same religious organization.
            R-2: R-2 visas are given to accompanying relatives of those with R-1 visas such as spouses and minor children.
            S-1 visa available for people who provide vital information to the U.S. government for which their live may be endangered.
            V-1 Vaisa avialable for spouse and minor children who have a pending immigrant visa application for at least three years.          

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This is one of the emails we receive from our readers regarding U.S. Immigration, mostly on educating about the issue, to help each of you who is not familar with the terminology used by Immigration officials. I reproduce it in its entirety for all of you; but I concealed intentionally the identity of the emailer until s/he grants us permission to publish it. there are more to know about visas but due to space and time constrain, we have chosen to answer those questions in the following manner, with the expectation, that will satisfy the need of our requester.
 ----- Original Message -----
From: x. xxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 10:08 PM
To: G. Dorcely
These are the titles I have in the "Immigration Talk Link"
3. How to apply for a work permit? who can apply? How much it costs?
          to qualify for a work permit one the applicant must be physically present in U.S. and in a lawful status whcih allow such a derivative benefit. To apply, the applicant must submit an application (form I-765) for an employment authorization document (EAD). The fee for the immigration process is currently $120.00 per application and free for the first application when based on a pending of a political asylum application. Every 2 years congress authorizes the Immigration Service to review the fee structure and make new proposal to either increase the fee or reduce it. this enable that gradually the cost of the service be transferred to the users of the service not on all the tax payers. The last increase was in February 2002, therefore we expect BCIS to increase the fee by at least $20.00 to $55.00 depending on the type of application. BCIS will always filed the new proposal with the Federal Register and proper time will be given to those who want to file on the current fee structure. Fees are payable to BCIS by money order if filed locally and by either money order or personal checks if filed with a Service Center.
4. What is Adjustment of Status? Who can apply?
    Any one physically present in the United States must be in a certain status. From being an illegal alien, entry withouth inspection, or be holder of an unexpired I-94 (Permit to stay). A person, with a non-immigrant status, may be willing to adjust the current non-immigrant status into an Immigrant status, therefore must submit an application (form I-485) for an adjustment of status. If approved, the new status will be a permanent resident or temporary resident. There are guidelines for each type of non-immigrant status.
5. How and when can I apply to become a citizen of the U.S.?
    How? by submitting an application (form N-400) and obtaining an approval. You will receive instructions from the INS office having jurisdiction over your place of residence to when and how to appear to take the oath and receive a certificate.
    When? Having physically and lawfully resided in the U.S. for five years as a permanent resident. except if you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen, in that case the length of residency is 3 years. having a good moral behavior. Having not vilolated any criminal law from shop lifting, child support to any higher criminal activity. If you are a minor with the above condition, special procedure may be contemplated. thak you for asking, feel free to forward any questions your audience may have to or visit the I.F.C.A.C. site at 
or the immigration news page at
Answer these for the xxxxx Site.

Immigration News Flash: 09/15/2004
Immigration activities for the Year 2003.
Did you know?
How many immigrants entered United States in 2003?
How many criminal immigrants have been deported?
How many people temporary entered U.S. in 2003?
USCIS Releases Immigration Statistics

The U.S Immigration office (USCIS) released its The Yearbook of Immigration
providing the latest immigration data for the year 2003. For those with
interest in immigration matters, the Highlights as summarized for 2003

Green Cards issued in 2003: (705,827)
2003 was lower than in 2002

Thirty-six percent (36%) of all immigrants were born in North
America (16 percent in Mexico) and 35% percent were born in Asia.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of all immigrants intended to reside in six
New York,
New Jersey,
and Illinois.

Nearly one of five immigrants intended to reside in
New York City  or Los Angeles.

Refugee arrivals increased in 2003 by 5% to amount 28,306 after declining by

61% from 2001 to 2002.

USCIS Asylum Officers approved 29 percent of asylum cases adjudicated in

Total of people who entered US legally with no green cards (nonimmigrant
admissions_ in 2003 (27.8 million)
decreased by .2 percent from 2002 (27.9 million). Half were
from four countries:
United Kingdom (16.3 percent),
Mexico (15.5),
Japan (12.9), and
Germany (5.2).

The Department of Homeland Security naturalized 463,204 persons in fiscal
year 2003;
forty-two percent were born in Asian countries, followed by 28 percent from
North American countries.

California was the intended residence of 29 percent of persons naturalizing,

followed by New York with 14 percent.

The number of deportable aliens located during 2003
declined 1.5 percent to 1.0 million.

The number of removals increased almost 24 percent to more than 186,000.

More than 79,000 criminal aliens were removed; Mexico led all countries of
nationality with more than 62,500 (79 percent).

For the entire report, see here. if you have acrobat reader installed.,0914-2003yrbk.pdf

No More Green Card Lottery?
55,000 Green cards were distributed to many countries which many people, otherwise, would not have a chance to get one. Why? because, the basis of immigrating in U.S. is through family at more than 75% of the availability of immigrant visas. the true name of the program was "Diversity Visa Program" also known as the DV.The House Immigration Subcommittee has voted to abolish the DV Visa Lottery. Surely, this is one of the effects of September 11 events. Now having said so, Will this really happen? the chances are with the odds, not you or you loved ones. but before it becomes law of the land, several steps must follow. First, the senators must cast a vote on the same subject. If the result is the same, with tiny differences, the joint committee will have to do the cleanup and the final resul;t will be sent to the White House and the President will have Sixty days to either signed it or reject it. If he rejects it, the bill will return to the Congress to adjust it and send it again to the white House. What will it mean to foreigners who want to move to the United States?It simply means that if you are not qualified through the traditional sponsors, you will lose your chance to experience life in the U.S.

By the way, This bill (H.R. 775) was introduced by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). If accepted, it would obliterate the diversity visa program, also known as the diversity lottery or green card lottery. This program was established to make sure that the U.S. could benefit from a diverse group of immigrants who all shared the American dream. For many, the green card lottery is the only possible chance they have to migrate to the United States.

Immigration laws are toughening up as a result of national security concerns, but what has this to do with national security? Seoptember 11 was a deliberate act of foreigners. We are closing or tithening this loop hole to prevent the same to happen again.

H.R. 775 was approved in the subcommittee by a 5 to 3 vote, then referred to the full judiciary committe for review. Those who voted in favor of the bill included Chairman John Hostettler (R-IN), Representatives Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Steve King (R-IA), and Melissa Hart (R-PA). Those who voted against the bill were ranking member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). this is virtually a vote on partisan line. It is clear that republican are not pro-immigrants while democrats are. Whether this issue goes to Congress remains to be seen. The upcoming presidential election in November may impact this event and the bill may die in subcommittee or if George bush is re-elected along with a Republican congress majority, the bill is a real bill for the DV prospects.

Anti-Immigration Measure Dropped
As reporte last week the passage at sub-committee leve a piece of legislation that would eliminate the DV Lottery program. Another one about ID cards has reache the floor of the House. The House of Representatives voted 222-177 against a spending bill that would have prevented financial institutions from accepting matricula consular I.D. cards as valid identification.These cards are recognized internationally as a valid form of identification, comprable to a consular registration card issued by the U.S. State Department to American citizens abroad. To reject them is to exhibit sheer prejudice, opponents argued.
The Sept. 14, 2004 vote was one of many recent defeats of anti-immigrant measures.
Lwa ki pa bon pou immigran pa passe nan kongres ameriken yan. Kom nou te di semen pase sou yon lwa ki ka elimine program Grinn Kat loeri ya nan sou-komite. Yon lot lwa arive nan sall depite yo pou fe kat didantite consul yo bay immigran yo vi'n ilegal. 222 Depite te vote kont lwa sa-a e 177 depite te vote pou li. Li pa pase. Se te nan yon Lwa sou bidje l'eta. Kat konsil sa yo, aksepte tou patou kom yon kat didantite valab, li tankou yon kat ke depatman d'eta bay sitwayen Ameriken nan peyi etranje. Depite ki kont echek sa-a, plede ke se bat vravo pou prejidis. Vote sa-a te pase nan jounen Madi 14 Septam pase ya e se te yon'n nan plizie echek moun ki kont imigran yo te pran.

1- 1996 Immigration legislation Handbook (1997ed).
2- Immigration made easy by Lawrence A.Canter & Martha S. Siegel
3- Personal notes of Gabriel Dorcely @1998-2002.