Aug 2016

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced the creation of the Immigration Court Helpdesk (ICH) Program, which is intended to serve non-detained individuals in immigration proceedings. The primary goals of the ICH are to orient non-detained individuals appearing before the immigration court on the removal hearing process and to inform them about possible remedies and legal resources. For Fiscal Year 2016, Congress provided EOIR with funding to create these information helpdesks at the immigration courts with the highest backlog of cases. In identifying those immigration courts, EOIR examined the overall number of cases pending, the number of cases pending per immigration judge, and the average time cases have remained pending. The ICH will provide in-person information sessions, self-help assistance to individuals without counsel, and information on available pro bono resources to unrepresented individuals. The ICH was recently launched in five immigration courts: Chicago; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; and San Antonio. As of early August 2016, all sites are operational.


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Aug 2016

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing a new rule, which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so that they may start or scale their businesses here in the United States.

Read the advance version of the notice of proposed rulemaking: International Entrepreneur Rule. Once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 45 days from the date of publication to comment. To submit comments, follow the instructions in the notice.

Section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5), grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretionary authority to parole individuals into the United States, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. DHS proposes to amend its regulations implementing this authority to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. As described in more detail below, the proposed rule would establish general criteria for the use of parole with respect to entrepreneurs of start-up entities whose entry into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid growth and job creation. In all cases, whether to parole a particular individual under this rule would be a discretionary determination that would be made on a case-by-case basis.

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Given the complexities involved in adjudicating applications in this context and the need for guidance regarding the criteria for exercising parole in this area, DHS has decided to establish by regulation the criteria for the case-by-case evaluation of parole applications filed by entrepreneurs of start-up entities. By including such criteria in regulation, as well as establishing application requirements that are specifically tailored to capture the necessary information for processing parole requests on this basis, DHS expects to facilitate the use of parole in this area.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov.

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(special thank you to USCIS for this information)


Aug 2016

Immigrants all over the country are being targeted in scams. Don’t be one of the victims! Scammers may call or email you, pretending to be a government official. They will say that there is a problem with an application or additional information is required to continue the immigration process. They will then ask for personal and sensitive details, and demand payment to fix any problems.


Remember, USCIS officials will never ask for payment over the phone or in an email. If USCIS needs payment, USCIS will mail a letter on official stationery requesting payment.


If you receive a scam email or phone call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at http://1.usa.gov/1suOHSS. If you are not sure if it is a scam, forward the suspicious email to the USCIS Webmaster at uscis.webmaster@uscis.dhs.gov. USCIS will review the emails received and share with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.


Visit the Avoid Scams Initiative at uscis.gov/avoidscams for more information on common scams and other important tips. If you have a question about your immigration record, call customer service at 800-375-5283 or make an InfoPass appointment at http://infopass.uscis.gov.


Kind Regards,

USCIS Public Engagement Division

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Jul 2016

The United States doesn’t have an official language, yet many employers and employees across the nation believe that only English should be spoken in the workplace. Maybe you’ve heard complaints from workers who believe that their colleagues are talking about them in other languages to exclude or annoy them. They complain that it makes them feel uncomfortable.

Under both federal and state anti-discrimination laws, national origin discrimination in employment is prohibited. For that reason, you can’t ban other languages without a true business need to do so.

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However, you can have nondiscriminatory English-only rules that apply to specific circumstances in the workplace, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These circumstances generally relate to safety and the efficient operation of the organization. For safety reasons, it is permitted to require that English be used during emergencies or when performing job duties in areas where there may be fire or a potential for explosions. However, casual conversations that happen while employees are not performing job duties can’t be limited to English.

In terms of efficient operation of the business, a rule that English is to be used with customers or clients who speak only English makes sense, as does requiring English to be used during collaborative projects with co-workers. Again, when not working on such projects and certainly during breaks, English-only would not be deemed a business necessity.

So what about those employees who feel they are being talked about in other languages? Your diversity training should encourage respect for those who speak more than one language and should help create an awareness that people may speak another language to relax or feel closer to their heritage. This is just as natural as English-speaking Americans on assignment in another country enjoying conversations in their native tongue rather than always using a secondary language. Managers should fully support the employer’s policies on language use and ensure that no discrimination takes place within their purview.



Jul 2016
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The E-3 visa classification applies only to nationals of Australia as well as their spouses and children. E-3 principal applicants must be going to the United States solely to work in a specialty occupation. The spouse and children need not be Australian citizens. However the U.S. does not recognize De Facto relationships for the purposes of immigration, and to qualify as a spouse you will need a marriage certificate.

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In addition to the Electronic Visa Application Form DS-160, completed online (http://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ ) you may need to provide the following documentary evidence with your application for an E-3 Visa:

  • An approved Labor Condition Application (LCA), which the U.S. employer obtains from the Department of Labor. You are advised not to book an interview appointment until you have received this form.
  • Evidence of academic or other qualifying credentials as required under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 214(i)(1), and a job offer letter from the employer.
  • If your degree and higher-level qualifications are from an Australian institution, you do not usually need to provide certified copies or evidence of their U.S. equivalent, but please bring to your visa interview a copy of any certificates, and if possible, transcripts for the course of study. If your qualification(s) are not from an Australian institution, a certified copy of the foreign degree and evidence that it is equivalent to the required U.S. degree could be used to satisfy the “qualifying credentials” requirement, but you may prefer to wait until your visa interview to confirm whether this is necessary. You should take a copy of any certificates and transcripts to your visa interview, and if it is also necessary to produce certified copies of certificates and evidence of U.S. equivalence, you can send these to the Consulate after the interview, although your visa will not be approved until this is received. Likewise, a certified copy of a U.S. baccalaureate or higher degree, as required by the specialty occupation, would meet the minimum evidentiary standard.
  • In the absence of an academic or other qualifying credential(s), evidence of education and experience that is equivalent to the required U.S. degree.
  • A certified copy of any required license or other official permission to practice the occupation in the state of intended employment if so required or, where licensure is not necessary to commence immediately the intended specialty occupation employment upon admission, evidence that the alien will be obtaining the required license within a reasonable time after admission.








Jul 2016
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Port Parole is a unique authority reserved to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry. This authority is given to CBP by INA §212(d)(5), which allows CBP to “parole [individuals] into the United States temporarily and under such conditions as [DHS] may prescribe only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit…” This authority is used very sparingly where the applicant for admission is otherwise inadmissible to the United States but presents a compelling emergent reason for needing to come to the United States.

Port Paroles are not approved in advance of the person’s entry to the U.S. but a decision is made at the time of the applicant’s request for admission. However, applicants or their attorneys may call the port of entry in advance of making the formal request for a Port Parole to outline the basis for the parole request in writing, with any relevant supporting documents. The ports often appreciate this advance notice because it allows time for deliberation while the person is not waiting in the CBP office, and also permits the port to run the request up the chain of command to the relevant CBP Field Office for higher authorization, if needed.

Port parole is wholly discretionary; if it is denied, there is no formal appeals process.

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The only form used to document approval of the Port Parole is the I-94 Form issued to the applicant at the time of entry. The fee for the request is $65, but may be waived.

In short, Port Parole is a discretionary authority reserved for CBP with no appeals process; determinations are made on a case by case basis; and this remedy should be used only as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted.















Jun 2016

Attorney Brian Kenneth Johnson is a founding partner of Guerra & Johnson, P.C. The firm is devoted solely to immigration law at their offices in San Diego, CA and Houston, TX. Mr. Johnson recently received Board Certification in immigration and nationality law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He frequently speaks at colleges and universities on issues affecting students. Mr. Johnson has participated with the AILA Map Program and he is currently involved as the AILASan Diego Committee Chair on the Unauthorized Practice of Law and Pro Bono Efforts. He is a graduate of Rutgers College and the University of Houston Law Center.

Come hear experts and government speakers discuss the latest developments and hot topics in immigration.

In addition to a number of outstanding standalone substantive panels, several Mini Tracks provide in-depth learning opportunities in practice areas, including Due Process/Trial Skills, Federal Court Litigation, Worksite Enforcement, and EB-5. Further, the various immigration agencies will participate in the popular Government Open Forum sessions held on Thursday and Friday. Moreover, the Law Practice Management sessions will offer attendees, from any size practice, the opportunity to delve into practice management, business development, and marketing challenges.

Immigration 101: Essential Immigration Terms and Concepts

This session addresses the foundational concepts needed to prepare attendees for the in-person fundamentals tracks. Panelists will present a broad overview of the general principles, basic legal terminology, and key legal resources used within the practice of immigration law.

• Key Concepts: Immigrant vs. Nonimmigrant, Consular Processing, Adjustment of Status, Priority Dates, and the Visa Bulletin

• Critical Distinctions: Visa vs. Status, Visa Waiver or Visa Exempt, Violations of Status, Unlawful Presence, and Overstays

• Immigration Law Sources: INA, CFR, Memos, FAM, AFM, etc.

Jesse A. Lloyd (DL), Oakland, CA

Olsa Alikaj-Cano, Houston, TX

Barbara Bower, Pittsburgh, PA

Brian Johnson, San Diego, CA

This comprehensive program is geared toward the needs of newer attorneys or those new to the practice of immigration law. Covering all areas of immigration law, these sessions include procedures, processes, and practical instruction. Start off the conference on Wednesday afternoon with the New Attendee Orientation and the Fundamentals Boot Camp, which offer a road map to the conference and provide the basic foundation of immigration law needed to get the most out of the sessions. This year, the fundamentals track has been expanded, offering comprehensive training in each of the major practice areas: Family, Business, Removal/Asylum, and Humanitarian Relief. Each day is focused on a different area of immigration law: Family Fundamentals (Thursday), Removal/Asylum/Business Fundamentals (Friday), and Humanitarian/ Naturalization Fundamentals (Saturday). Attendees have the option to follow this track each day or jump into other tracks for more intermediate-level training. Either way, you receive the most up-to-date information available from seasoned practitioners. And don’t forget to ask questions!


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We serve the following localities: San Diego County including San Diego, Carlsbad, and Escondido; Los Angeles County including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Burbank, Hollywood, Van Nuys, Whittier, Woodland Hills, and Long Beach; Santa Clara County including San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale; Alameda County including Oakland, San Leandro, and Berkeley; Sacramento County including Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Folsom; and Orange County including Santa Ana and Anaheim.


Jun 2016


First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

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On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and “U” means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlierthan the cut-off date listed below.)

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
F1 22MAR09 22MAR09 22MAR09 08MAR95 01FEB05
F2A 15NOV14 15NOV14 15NOV14 01SEP14 15NOV14
F2B 08DEC09 08DEC09 08DEC09 08SEP95 01JUL05
F3 01DEC04 01DEC04 01DEC04 22OCT94 01MAR94
F4 08SEP03 01JAN03 01JAN01 15APR97 01JAN93

*NOTE: For July, F2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01SEP14. F2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are authorized for issuance to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01SEP14 and earlier than 15NOV14. (All F2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no F2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)


The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date in the chart below may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file applications, regardless of priority date.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which isearlier than the listed date may file their application.

Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 4.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
F1 01OCT09 01OCT09 01OCT09 01APR95 01SEP05
F2A 15OCT15 15OCT15 15OCT15 15OCT15 15OCT15
F2B 15DEC10 15DEC10 15DEC10 15MAY96 01JAN06
F3 01AUG05 01AUG05 01AUG05 01MAY95 01AUG95
F4 01MAY04 01MAY04 01MAY04 01JUN98 01APR93

5.  Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Employment-based immigrant visas as follows:

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We serve the following localities: San Diego County including San Diego, Carlsbad, and Escondido; Los Angeles County including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Burbank, Hollywood, Van Nuys, Whittier, Woodland Hills, and Long Beach; Santa Clara County including San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale; Alameda County including Oakland, San Leandro, and Berkeley; Sacramento County including Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Folsom; and Orange County including Santa Ana and Anaheim.



Jun 2016

Paraguay head coach Ramon Diaz will be hoping his team come away with a better outcome than in their opening game, a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

Although Paraguay has won just two of its last 13 games, it hasn’t lost a group-stage match in the Copa America since 2007. And it made it to the semifinals of the tournament a year ago.

Paraguay opened the Centenario on Saturday by playing Costa Rica to a scoreless draw in Orlando, Fla.

On 17 August 2015 the US Embassy in Paraguay will start the use of DHL courier service for the return of passports/visas at no additional cost to the applicants. For additional details, please see “Visa Document Courier Services“.

Most applicants are required to appear personally at the Consular Section to apply for a U.S. visa. However, certain applicants may be exempt from that requirement based on their age.

Applicants that do not need to appear in person must meet the following age criteria:

• Children under 14 years of age -a parent with a birth certificatemay apply on behalf of the child.

• Adults 80 years of age or older -a close relative may apply on behalf of the applicant.

Applicants who are not required to appear for a visa interview must:

• Register an account and scheduled an appointment through the web site or call center.
• Prepare the required visa application documents that consist of:

o The complete DS-160 visa application
o Applicant’s valid passport and any previous passports
o All appropriate documents
o MRV fee payment confirmation

Important: Applications dropped off at the Consular Section will not be accepted.

In some cases, the Consular Section will contact the applicant to request a personal interview.



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Jun 2016
colombia bench

Colombia team Coach Jose Pekerman is being more cautious, making it unlikely Rodriguez will play in Tuesday’s game with Paraguay at the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m. PDT, FS1, UniMas, UDN). Organizers expect a crowd of more than 40,000.

“I want to be optimistic. James is very important for Colombia,” Pekerman said after Friday’s game. “We also know he has a lot of desire to play. But I think the medical professionals know to what extent he’ll be running a risk.”

The U.S. Consulate in Bogota, Colombia is available to process non-immigrant visas including visas for artists, athletes, coaches, soccer players, trainers, nurses, physical therapists, tourists, visitors, business visitors, entrepreneurs and many others.

Check out the full schedule here.


U.S. Consulate Colombia, the Visa Section!

The Visa Section of the United States Embassy in Bogota processes applications for both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas to the U.S. Click on the links below or on the left side of the page to learn more about the Visa Section.

Public Service Statement

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States and they are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

Nonimmigrant visas

Nonimmigrant visas are for people visiting the U.S. temporarily for tourism, business, education, medical treatment, or petition-based employment.  The type of visa required depends on your purpose of travel.

Immigrant visas

Immigrant visas are for applicants planning to permanently relocate to the United States for either family or employment reasons.

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Fraud Prevention Unit

The Fraud Prevention Unit investigates any incidents of fraud in visa applications and provides information to visa applicants about possible fraudulent scams.

News and Announcements

Recent announcements regarding the visa application process.

Contact Information

How to contact the visa section regarding your visa applications.

Consular Calendar

View  holiday and administrative closures.

colombia bench

Temporary visitors to the United States must apply for and obtain a nonimmigrant visa before beginning their journey. Our operation is one of the largest in the world – this past fiscal year we adjudicated more than a half million applications!

Many people apply for tourist visas (or B1/B2 visas), but we also adjudicate more than 20 other types of nonimmigrant visas, including student visas, work visas, exchange visas, and investor visas. We encourage applicants to use this website to learn as much as they can about the laws, regulations and policies involved in processing a nonimmigrant visa application.

We recommend that you do not purchase your airline ticket or incur non-reimbursable expenses until you have received your visa.

The information in this website is designed to help you to understand the process and, if a visa interview is required, to come to the interview prepared.

The following documents are required for all categories of nonimmigrant visas:

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The following documents are highly recommended to ensure speedy processing on the day of your interview:

  • A Colombian national identity card.
  • For an applicant under the age of 14, a copy of his or her birth certificate (folio del Registro Civil de Nacimiento).

Certain categories of visas, such as work and student visas, require additional documentation. Please visit the Visa Categories page for more information on these required documents. The CSC Visa Information Servicealso has additional instructions.

You may choose to bring additional documentation to your interview in order to support your situation here in Colombia and your motive for travel. This additional documentation is not required by the consular officer nor the U.S. Embassy.

The consular officer often determines an applicant’s visa eligibility based on information provided orally during the interview and on the DS-160 application forms, without referring to the supporting documents you bring.

Important Note: Please do not make travel plans or purchase nonrefundable airplane tickets until your visa is approved. Please see the information regarding visa refusals and administrative processing. If your application must undergo administrative processing, it will take significantly longer for you to receive your visa.

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We serve the following localities: San Diego County including San Diego, Carlsbad, and Escondido; Los Angeles County including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Burbank, Hollywood, Van Nuys, Whittier, Woodland Hills, and Long Beach; Santa Clara County including San Jose, Milpitas, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale; Alameda County including Oakland, San Leandro, and Berkeley; Sacramento County including Sacramento, Elk Grove, and Folsom; and Orange County including Santa Ana and Anaheim.