Diversity Lottery 2015 – What and When is it?

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes up to 55,000 diversity visas (DVs) available annually to randomly selected applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

A computer will randomly select applicants who apply beginning May 1, 2014. However, registration opens on October 1, 2013 and closes on November 2, 2013.


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State Department FAQ on Same Sex Immigration Benefits

In June, the US Supreme Court determined that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. Within days, the USCIS and several other federal agencies indicated that it would begin treating same sex married couples the same as heterosexual married couples. Although it was a bit longer in coming compared to the USCIS, the Department …

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Why Didn’t I Get My I-94 Card?

“Veterans” of the U.S. immigration system know that when a non-immigrant enters the United States, their passport is stamped and they receive an I-94 card that is often stapled into their passport. The I-94 card shows how long a person is authorized to remain in the United States and is suppose to be returned to …

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DOMA Struck Down – Its Impact on Same-Sex Marriage Visa & Immigration Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. In essence, the Court said that the Federal government could not treat legally married same-sex couples differently from other legally married couples. What Does This Mean For Immigration Purposes?

With this ruling, Gafner Law Firm is confident that the …

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Marriage Visa vs. Fiancee Visa

As an immigration lawyer who handles many marriage and fiancee visa applications, one of the most common questions that is asked of me is: should a couple apply for the fiancee visa or just get married and apply for the marriage visa?

For couples who do not care where or when they are married, this …

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Touring the United States on the Visa Waiver Program?

Touring the United States is a lifelong goal of many musicians and performing artists from throughout the world. When given an opportunity to perform in the United States, most take up the offer and are excited to be able to perform for their American fans and followers.

Immigration laws, however, are not often the first …

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Preparing for the Same Sex Marriage Visa

Currently, as of this writing, the immigration agency does not recognize same-sex marriages as eligible for the marriage visa leading to permanent resident. However, many believe that the immigration agency will begin to accept same-sex marriage visa applications in the near future. My personal guess is that the change will occur within the next …

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Electronc Border Searches

The United States is known the world over as a country of freedom and liberty. In fact, many consider it to be a country that values individual accomplishments and freedoms above all else. A part of that freedom is characterized by an individual’s right to privacy that protects him or her from unreasonable search and …

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How Many Photographs Are Included In An Adjustment of Status Application?

Do you know how many photographs should be included in an application to adjust status? Is it two? or four? six? Or none? What happens if you provide the incorrect number?

Often, immigration applicants, whether seeking family immigration or employment immigration, believe that a few dollars can be saved if they submit a petition without …

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Visa-Free Travel For Lawful Permanent Residents?

When a foreign national becomes a lawful permanent resident of the United States, he or she gains many rights and privileges. The two rights which all know are the ability to live and work in the United States permanently.

Perhaps one of the lesser known privileges that lawful permanent residents gain is the ability to …

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Proxy Marriage for Immigration Purposes?

For a foreign national and a U.S. citizen thinking of getting married, a not too uncommon question is, “Can we have a proxy marriage?” And their follow up question, “Will immigration accept the proxy marriage?” This question is a bit more common following a New York Times article highlighting proxy marriages in the immigration context. …

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Is Your Company I-9 Compliant?

Each year the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the Department of Labor (DOL) are increasing their audits of companies to see if they have correctly followed the procedure required to determine whether an employee is eligible to work in the United States. Until recently, most audits were directed at the industries that were …

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Playboy Playmate Faces Immigration Charges – And She is a US Citizen

In the sexiest story that you will ever read on this blog, a Playboy Playmate faces federal charges related to her alleged attempt to assist her boyfriend in illicitly entering the United States. The alleged story raises a number of issues that U.S. citizens and foreign national spouses/fiances/significant others should think about before doing anything …

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USCIS Issues EB-5 Petition Statistics- Large Growth In Initial EB-5 Applications

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) recently released updated statistics about how many EB-5 Investor Visa Petitions it has approved since the program started in 1991. The EB-5 immigrant visa allows qualifying investors (and certain family members) to gain permanent residency in the United States in return for a half million to million dollar …

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Immigrants with Marriage Problems

Unfortunately, not all marriages work out. This is true of marriages throughout the world – and is just as true for marriages between two U.S. citizens and marriages between a U.S. citizen and a foreign national. Unfortunately, when a marriage breaks up, a foreign national is often faced with intimidation and threats from the U.S. …

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