Q: Is it true that Democrats have recently introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress?
A: Yes, on May 4, 2004, as part of the Demo-cratic effort to provide comprehensive immigration reform legislation, The Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act (SOLVE Act) was introduced.
Q: If the SOLVE Act is passed, how will it help U.S. immigrants and non-immigrants?
A: The SOLVE Act includes many exciting provisions, including the following:
Earned Adjustment: It gives immigrants who have been in the United States for five or more years, and can demonstrate two years of aggregate employment and payment of taxes, a right to legalization;
Family Reunification: All immediate relatives, including immediate relatives of permanent residents, will be exempted from visa quotas. Immigrants waiting for more than five years will be entitled to a visa regardless of per-country limits on visas; and,
Temporary Worker Program: It establishes two worker visa programs (H-1D and H-2B) for workers in low-skilled positions. 250,000 H-1D visas shall be available for a period of two years and renewable for two additional terms for a total of six years. 100,000 H-2B visas shall be available for a period of nine months and renewable for up to 40 months.
Q: For the last three years I have been on H-1B visa that is valid till 2007. I got married to a U.S. citizen last month. I want to apply for Adjustment of Status (AOS) based on marriage. I live in San Jose, Calif., and my husband in New York. Since I am on H-1B visa I cannot immediately move to my husband’s place in New York without H-1B sponsorship. Should I file my AOS in San Jose or in New York?
A: You should file your AOS in the local USCIS office in San Jose, where you currently live. If you move to New York prior to your AOS interview, you should make a file transfer request because the San Jose office will then no longer have jurisdiction over the case. Remember that you have the burden of proof to solidify your marriage and the fact that your husband and you are not living together may have a negative impact on your case.
Q: I heard that I could schedule an appointment online to see a USCIS officer regarding my case instead of waiting in line for hours. Is that true?
A: Yes. The following site will allow you to schedule an appointment with USCIS (Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and San Bernardino offices) online. This will save you hours of waiting time to see a USCIS officer. https://infopass.uscis.gov/en/options.php
James E. Root, Esq., manages an exclusive immigration law practice with two offices in L.A. and Orange counties. (888) ROOT-LAW.www.RootLaw.com