THIS WEEK’S IMMIGRATION NEWS UPDATES
January 14, 2013
House Rep. Luis Gutierrez, long recognized for his ongoing crusade in Congress over the years for Immigrants rights and Immigration Reform is positioning himself to play a crucial role in the push to ensure that a Comprehensive Immigration Reform law is passed by Congress in 2013. To that end, Gutierrez has taken a temporary leave from his seat on the Financial Services panel and has instead has joined the House Judiciary Committee to pursue his goal of getting the reform passed this year.
In leaving his seat, Gutierrez gave up over 20 years of seniority for what he believes is a much greater cause, saying “...passing comprehensive immigration reform is my passion and my commitment to my constituents and immigrants all across our country...All of the road signs are pointed in the right direction, and I felt I must be on the Judiciary Committee during this Congress to help the others on the Committee get immigration reform to the finish line".
President Obama also continues his efforts to keep media focus on immigration reform as well, appearing recently on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, saying "I've said that fixing our broken immigration system is a top priority [and] I will introduce legislation in the first year to get that done...I think we have talked about it long enough. We know how we can fix it. We can do it in a comprehensive way that the American people support. That's something we should get done."
Key Republicans are getting in line on reform as well, with House Speaker John Boehner telling the press: "I’m confident that the president, myself [and] others can find the common ground to take care of this (immigration reform) issue once and for all."
You can read more about Rep. Gutierrez’ Comprehensive Immigration Reform efforts and keep updated on the progress of Immigration Reform by visiting our website at: www.ImmigrateToday.com and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter. You can also obtain a free copy of the Immigration Reform explanation & Documentation List, by calling our office at: (954) 382-5378.
USCIS National Customer Service Center Toll Free Number Now Available on Saturdays
The USCIS has announced that the National Customer Service Center Toll Free line will expand services to include Saturday hours. Beginning Jan. 12, 2013, Customer service representatives will now be available Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling: 1-800-375-5283.
THIS WEEK’S IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS
Question: I came to visit my sister here in Florida for the holidays and I want to stay and attend college if possible. Can you please tell me if I can do that and how long I have to wait after I enter the U.S. on my Visitor visa to be able to apply for a student visa while I’m here in America, thanks.
Answer: Yes, foreign nationals who are in the U.S. in legal immigration status with valid I-94 cards are eligible to apply for an F-1 Student Visa status while inside the U.S. However, USCIS policy requires that visitors wait for at least 60 days after arriving in the U.S. before applying to change to F-1 status, to show that they did not intend to study here when they entered the U.S. on the tourist/visitor visa.
Applicants for F-1 status must also qualify by demonstrating through financial documentation that they have the full amount of tuition and living expense funds available during their studies. Once the F-1 visa status is approved, the student receives a new I-94 card with no expiration date, instead, the designation “D/S" meaning “duration of status". This indicates that as long as the student maintains fulltime studies at the college or university, he or she is authorized to stay in the U.S..
A great benefit of the F-1 student visa is that once a student graduates with a degree, the student is eligible for a year or more of work authorization in the U.S., depending upon the degree program pursued. Finally, if the F-1 student travels outside the U.S., he or she must obtain the actual F-1 Visa in his or her passport from the U.S. Consulate abroad, in order to re-enter the U.S. in student visa status. I hope this was helpful to you.