Decades of Experience in Immigration Law.

Blog Posts in 2022

  • Tips to Connect With Long-Distance Family Members During The Holidays

    The holidays are a time for family and togetherness, but for many families, this is often impossible due to immigration restrictions. Immigration can separate families for years at a time, making it difficult to celebrate the holidays together. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. has put together tips to help you stay connected with your family living abroad. Tips to Stay Connected with Families ...
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  • Passport Entry Stamps

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is Discontinuing Passport Entry Stamps, Transitioning to Online I-94 Arrival/Departure Records Only; Mistakes Are Common – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has automated the I-94 process for most nonimmigrants arriving by air and sea. This means that in many cases, foreign nationals no longer receive an entry stamp in their passports at ports of ...
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  • Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Marriage Visa

    It can be complicated when two people from different nationalities decide to get married. One of the most common issues that arise is the question of visas. How will the couple be able to stay together in one country? Citizens can apply for a K-1 marriage visa to marry a foreign national in the United States. A K-1 visa allows a foreign national to come to the United States and marry their fiancé ...
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  • ACICS Loss of Recognition May Affect Certain Students Applying for English Language Study and 24-month STEM OPT Extension Programs, H-1B, and I-140 Applicants

    On Aug. 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced that it no longer recognizes the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) as an accrediting agency. This determination immediately affects two immigration-related student programs: English language study programs, as the programs are required to be accredited under the Accreditation of English Language ...
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  • USCIS Removes Barriers for U.S. Citizenship Applicants with Disabilities

    United Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced revisions to Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions, that will remove barriers to legal immigration for U.S. citizenship applicants with disabilities. Naturalization applicants with a physical or developmental disability or mental impairment that precludes them from fulfilling the English and civics testing ...
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  • DHS Designates Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the designation of Ethiopia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Only individuals who are already residing in the United States as of October 20, 2022, will be eligible for TPS. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas noted that “Ethiopian nationals currently residing in the U.S. who cannot safely return due to ...
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  • USCIS Extending COVID-19 Flexibilities Through January 24, 2023

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is extending certain COVID-19-related flexibilities through Jan. 24, 2023, to assist applicants, petitioners, and requestors. Under these flexibilities, USCIS considers a response received within 60 calendar days after the due date set forth in the following requests or notices before taking any action, if the request or notice was issued between March 1, ...
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  • USCIS Guidance on Expedited EADs for Healthcare and Childcare Workers

    If you are a healthcare worker or a childcare worker who has a valid immigration status and has an initial Application for Employment Authorization ( Form I-765 ), that has been pending for over 90 days, you can request expedited processing. USCIS had previously announced this flexibility for qualifying healthcare and childcare workers with a pending employment authorization document (EAD) renewal ...
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  • 2024 U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery is NOW OPEN

    What is Diversity Visa Lottery/Diversity Visa Program? The Diversity Immigrant Visa program (also known as the green card lottery) is a government lottery program provides individuals from counties with relatively lower levels of recent immigration to the U.S. and with specific education qualifications a chance to apply for an immigration visa and a green card. In general, the program makes 50,000 ...
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  • Erroneous H-1B Sevis Termination

    There have been various reports that some J-1 exchange visitors and F-1 students are seeing their SEVIS Records erroneously terminated due to a Change of Status adjudication by USCIS, when, in fact, there was a “Consular Notification” decision instead. Those affected F-1 or J-1 status holders should request that their schools’ DSOs/AROs or program officers reach out to the SEVIS Help Desk at ...
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  • What Is The Perm Process All About?

    Purpose Majority of the employment-based visa applicants must go through what is called the “PERM Process” as a prerequisite to filing for an immigration visa. PERM stands for Program Electronic Review Management. The Department of Labor requires employers who are looking for someone to fill their open job position to first offer the job to U.S. workers before extending the position to foreign ...
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  • How Many Times Can I Apply for a U.S. Visa After Rejection?

    Trying to immigrate to the United States can be a long and difficult process. If your application for an employment visa gets denied, it can be even more frustrating and disheartening. The steps to take after a visa rejection can seem complicated and daunting, but understanding the process is the first step in increasing your chances of success. Immigrating to the United States can be a long and ...
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  • How Much Do I Need to Invest to Get a US Visa?

    If you are interested in investing in a U.S. company, you may want to obtain a visa to keep a closer eye on your investments. With the EB-5 Immigration Investor Program, individuals can obtain a U.S. visa after investing in the United States. Our team at Akula & Associates P.C. explains what requirements are needed to qualify for an EB-5 visa and how much a person must invest. EB-5 Investor Visa ...
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  • USCIS Issues Extension of Temporary Waiver of “60-Day Rule” for Form I-693

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the temporary waiver from September 30, 2022, to March 31, 2023, of the “60-day rule” requiring that the civil surgeon’s signature on the report of Medical Examination, Form I-693, be dated no more than 60 days before the applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit. Have immigration questions? Contact our ...
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  • USCIS to Implement Next Phase of Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Form I-140 Petitions

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is implementing the next phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers , under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications. Similar to the first phase and second phase of the expansion, this phase only applies to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions under an E13 ...
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