US Visa News and Updates


January 5, 2005 USVISIT Program Takes Effect: Fingerprinting Required For All Visitors to US Ports of Entry

Visitors traveling to the US, including those from visa waiver countries, will now be fingerprinted at US border points of entry like airports and land crossings. Currently 115 airports and 14 seaports are fingerprinting visitors. For more information about the process and points of entry where the program has taken effect, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.

January 6, 2005 US Extends Protected Status for Salvadorans Thru 2006

The US Department of Homeland Security has announced it will extend Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans for an additional eighteen months, through September 9, 2006.

January 3, 2005 H2B Visa Cap Reached for Temporary/Seasonal Workers



October 10, 2004 Application Dates Set for Next Green Card Lottery (DV-2006)

October 10, 2004 V-2 Visa Children May Stay in US Beyond 21st Birthday

June 25, 2004 Non-immigrant visa renewals discontinued in US. Last day to submit application and documents is July 16, 2004.


August 7, 2003 International travelers who stop over in US airports must now possess a valid U.S. visa. Read more here.

July 29, 2003 More than 600 US colleges and universities may have missed the SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor and Information System) application deadline. This may cause problems for some foreign exchange students this fall when they try to enter the U.S.

July 21, 2003 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Extended for Somalian Citizens. TPS has been extended by one year, to September 17, 2004.
Deadline to apply for this extension by September 19th, 2003.

May 20 , 2003 NOTICE TO TPS Victims of Hurricane Mitch: DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR TPS EXTENSION IS JULY 5, 2002 Temporary protected status for Nicaraguan and Hondurans will be extended for eighteen months. But you must apply for this extension.

May 19, 2003 US Visitors Subject to New Strict Inspections at Airports

January 2003 INS Splits into Two New Agencies, the BCIS and the BBS in the wake of September 11th.

January 8, 2003 USCIS Announces New Rule for the Adjustment of Status of Certain Nationals from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.


October 28, 2002.USCIS Announces Case Status Online. Interactive feature will let visa applicants check their status on the internet.

September 11, 2002 The National Security Entry-Exit Program, or NSEERS, requires temporary foreign visitors from 21 countries to register in person with the USCIS .

April 8, 2002 USCIS proposes tighter restrictions on tourist, business and student visas.


June 1, 2001 the USCIS established interim regulations for applying for adjustment of status for certain classes of undocumented individuals.

May 3, 2001 the USCIS extends TPS status for Nicaraguans and Hondurans displaced by Hurricane Mitch to July 5, 2002

March 2, 2001 The Bush Administration allows certain Salvadorans currently residing in the US to apply for Temporary Protected Status


December 21, 2000 The LIFE Act extends adjustment of status deadlines under Section 245(i) to April 30,2001 - important news for immigrants who may have entered, worked or stayed illegally in the U.S.

December 21, 2000 - LIFE act provision creates 2 new visas, bringing families closer together while their visa applications are processed

October 17, 2000 President Clinton Signs H-1B Visa Bill Upping Quotas
October 3, 2000 Senate Passes High-Tech Visa Bill
June 2, 2000 H-1B Workers Group Lobbies for Law Changes
May 10, 2000
TPS Extension Filing Period BegINS for Hondurans, Nicaraguans
April 15, 2000
Naturalization Applicants: Change of Address Toll-Free Number
March, 2000
Clinton Administration Extends NACARA Amnesty Deadline
March 21, 2000
H-1B Petition Deadline for FY2000


August 9, 1999 Portugal, Uruguay, Singapore added to Visa Waiver Program
July 1, 1999
H and L Visa Holders Exempted from Advanced Parole Filing

April 8, 2002
The USCIS proposed significant changes to rules governing visitors and students, including an interim rule taking effect immediately which would prohibit visitor visa (B) holders from pursuing a course of study prior to obtaining approval of a change to student status.

The new regulations will also reduce the maximum length of stay for B visa holders from one year to six months, limit the conditions for granting an extension of stay, and reduce the minimum stay for tourist visa holders.

June 1, 2001
The USCIS announced new interim regulations for applying for adjustment of status under several sections of the Legal Immigration and Family Equity, or LIFE, Act. This procedure is popularly known as "late amnesty" and the USCIS estimates that almost half a million undocumented aliens may be eligible to apply for it.

However, the new regulations apply only to those undocumented individuals who are already parties to one of three lawsuits (CSS, LULAC or Zembrano). These lawsuits were filed in response to a 1988 legalization program which, the parties assert, caused certain immigrants to be improperly denied legalization or incorrectly discouraged them from applying.

Are you eligible for "late amnesty"? Find out by clicking here.

May 3, 2001
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced today the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Honduras and Nicaragua for a period of 12 months until July 5, 2002. The extension of TPS for Hondurans and Nicaraguans is effective July 5, 2001 and will remain in effect until July 5, 2002. This extension applies to approximately 105,000 Hondurans and 5,300 Nicaraguans who have already registered for TPS.

The re-registration period begINS upon publication of the rule in the Federal Register, which is expected next week, and continues for 90 days from the publication date.

To learn more about Temporary Protected Status, click here.

Hondurans and Nicaraguans currently registered under TPS who desire an extension must re-register by filing both the TPS application (Form I-821) and an application for employment authorization (Form I-765) with anUSCIS Service Center. For re-registration, there is no fee for Form I-821. However, a $100 fee must accompany Form I-765 if an applicant requests employment authorization. If the applicant does not require employment authorization or already has employment authorization, Form I-765 is still required but no fee is necessary. These forms are available from the toll-freeUSCIS Forms line, 1-800-870-3676, and from the USCIS Web site, An applicant may request a waiver of TPS-related application fees by submitting proper documentation of inability to pay.

March 2, 2001
The Bush Administration has granted certain Salvadorans who have resided continuously in the US since February 13, 2001 the opportunity to apply for Temporary Protected Status, which would grant them the ability to live and work legally in the US for up to 18 months and obtain temporary working papers.
To learn more about Temporary Protected Status, click here.

December 21, 2000
President Clinton signed into law the LIFE Act, or the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act Amendments. This law will benefit many immigrants who were previously ineligible to adjust their status to permanent U.S. resident.

The LIFE Act benefits those who have entered the U.S. illegally, worked in the U.S. illegally, or overstayed their temporary visas illegally but are otherwise eligible to apply for a green card, through family, employment, investment in a US business, etc.

As long as these immigrants can prove they were in the U.S. on the date of the bill's signing (December 21, 2000), they may submit a petition to adjust their status to permanent resident until April 30, 2001. Previously the law, called Section 245(i), applied only to those who had submitted their petitions on or before January 14, 1998.

The law requires these new applicants to pay a $1,000 filing penalty with their application.

December 21, 2000
The new LIFE Act (see above for more info) also creates 2 new temporary visas designed to enable families to live together while awaiting the outcomes of their green card applications:

The V Visa - for spouses and children under 21 of green card holders, who have applied for residency under the family preference 2A category. Previously 2A applicants had to wait 4-6 years while their applications were processed before being allowed to join their relative in the U.S.

The extended "K" Visa - for spouses of U.S. citizens and their children who have applied to become permanent residents. The extended K visa allows such relatives to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely while awaiting the outcome of their applications. This visa may only be applied for outside the U.S.

October 17, 2000
President Clinton has signed a bill (S2045) which will increase the number of H-1B visas issued to foreign workers to 195,000 per year over the next three years. The new law also gives more flexibility to current H-1B visa holders seeking to change jobs as well as those attempting to adjust their status to that of permanent resident.

The law will double the fee an employer petitioner must pay from $500 to $1,000 in order to pay for high-tech job training for American citizens.

October 3, 2000
The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill (95-1) to provide nearly 600,000 new visas for workers sought by the high-tech industry. The bill raises the yearly H-1B visa quota to 195,000 from 115,000 per year, and would exempt from the cap foreign graduates of U.S. master's or doctoral programs or foreign workers at U.S. colleges. President Clinton is expected to sign the bill into law before leaving office.

June 2, 2000
An H-1B workers advocate group, the Immigrants Support Network, is lobbying Congress for less restrictive laws and quotas concerning H-1B visa holders attempting to gain permanent residency (green cards). Read more about this important issue in an article at the San Francisco Chronicle website (

May 10, 2000
TPS (Temporary Protected Status) extensions for Honduran and Nicaraguan refugees may be filed atUSCIS Centers beginning May 11, 2000 through Jun 9, 2000. Only those who were residing in the United States prior to December 30, 1998 and were eligible under the original TPS designation are eligible to apply for the extension. Spouses and children of aliens may also apply for the extension, as long as they meet the original TPS eligibility requirements.

April 15, 2000
Naturalization applicants:USCIS change of address service is now available by calling a toll-free number: 800-375-5283

March, 2000
Central American amnesty application deadline has been extended for those applicants eligible under NACARA ( Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act).

March 21, 2000
The Immigration and Naturalization Service is no longer accepting H-1B visa petitions for employment for Fiscal Year 2000. The next earliest time to submit a petition will be October 1, 2000 (for FY 2001). The cap on H-1B visas for FY 2001 has been set at 107,500, slightly less than for the previous year. For more detailed information on this subject, click here to head to the USCIS website.

August 9, 1999

Citizens of Portugal, Singapore and Uruguay may travel to the US without a visa for up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP). To see the other members of the VWPP, click here.


-No change of visa status allowed

-No visa extension past 90 days

-Travellers under the program are prohibited to work or study in the US

-If entering by air or sea, travellers must have a round-trip ticket with a carrier that has signed a VWPP treaty with the US

To learn more about visa waivers, click here.

Other Participating Countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

July 1, 1999
interim regulations taking effect July 1, 1999 exempt H and L visa holders applying for adjustment of status (Form I-485) from having to apply for advance parole in order to re-enter the country, as long as they have not obtained an employment authorization document (EAD) and used it to to accept employment with an employer other than the original employer sponsor. In that case their status changes to "adjustment applicant" and they must apply for advanced parole.


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