List of Documentation Required for E-3 Visa Applicants

The Visa Office of the Department of State has established that the following documents will be required by individuals wishing to establish their eligibility for the E-3 visa:

1. An original or photocopy of a certified ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application form with a Department of Labor certification date later than September 2, 2005
2. Evidence of an applicant’s qualifying credentials (e.g.: a certified copy of a Bachelor’s or higher degree, a certified copy of a foreign degree of equivalence, or other evidence that the applicant has education and experience equivalent to a U.S. degree.
3. A letter from the employer or other documentation that establishes that the applicant will be engaged in qualifying work in a specialty occupation and that the applicant will be paid the actual or prevailing wage.
4. Evidence that shows that the applicant will only temporarily be in the U.S.
5. A certified copy of any license/permission that is required to practice the stated occupation in the state of employment (or possibly evidence that shows that the applicant will obtain the license/permission shortly after entering the U.S.).
6. Evidence that the applicant paid the Machine Readable Visa fee.

Form ETA 9035 should be sent by mail only to:

United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Division of Foreign Labor Certification
Temporary Programs – Room C4312
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

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USCIS TO ACCEPT DOL PRINTOUTS AS TEMPORARY PROOF OF LABOR CERTIFICATION

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that USCIS Service Centers will immediately begin accepting Department of Labor (DOL) printouts establishing the issuance of a labor certification (either a Form ETA-750 or a Form 9089) along with EB-2 (employment-based immigrant) petitions. USCIS will continue to accept the printout through September 30, 2005.

This measure assists those petitioners whose labor certifications are certified prior to October 1, 2005 (according to the DOL printout) but who have not yet received the certified labor certification in the mail. Petitioners who file using a printout will be required to update their petitions with a labor certification that was certified prior to October 1, 2005 no later than October 31, 2005. Petitioners updating their cases with an approved original labor certification should reference in correspondence the I-140 (Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker) petition receipt number.

Petitioners should not file an EB-2 employment-based immigrant petition that requires a labor certification without evidence, in the form of a printout or the actual certified labor certification. To avoid any processing delay, petitioners who have already received a certified labor certification, should file their EB-2 employment-based immigrant petition with that approved certification.

USCIS ANNOUNCES FEE ADJUSTMENTS

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today in the Federal Register a revised fee structure for immigration benefits. The new fee structure becomes effective on October 26, 2005 and will add an average of $10 to each application and petition in order to account for inflation. Fees collected from persons filing immigration benefit applications and petitions are used to fund the full cost of providing immigration benefits, including the full cost of providing benefits such as asylum and refugee admission for which no fee is charged.

“USCIS is committed to delivering world class customer service,” said acting USCIS Deputy Director Robert Divine. “Because USCIS is a fee-based agency, we must charge amounts that will recover the full costs of our operations in order to continue the progress we have made in reducing the backlog. USCIS has already reduced its backlog from 3.9 million to 1.1 million cases.”

The fees were last adjusted in April 2004 to account for additional security enhancements performed on all immigration benefits after September 11, 2001 and other costs. The new fee structure reflects an inflation adjustment, as required by the April 2004 fee rule, to be published by notice in the Federal Register for periods on or after October 1, 2005.

USCIS does have the ability to waive fees on a case-by-case basis. Any applicant or petitioner who has an “inability to pay” the fees may request a fee waiver. In determining “inability to pay,” USCIS officers will consider all factors, circumstances and evidence supplied by the applicant including age, disability, household income and qualification within the past 180 days for a Federal means-tested benefit.

2007 Diversity Visa Lottery Registration to Begin October 5, 2005

The Department has announced that registration for the 2007 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery will begin at noon on October 5, 2005. Persons seeking to enter the lottery program must register online through the designated Internet website during the registration period. The website for registering for the 2007 DV Lottery, www.dvlottery.state.gov, will be available from noon October 5, 2005 through noon December 4, 2005.

In response to demand, the Department tripled the number of servers hosting the registration website this year. In addition, persons submitting entries to the 2007 lottery will receive a notice of receipt now containing their name, date of birth, country of chargeability, and a time/date stamp when information has been properly registered at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

The Department continues to encourage persons who wish to enter the 2007 Diversity Visa Lottery to submit their information early in the two-month registration period.

There is no fee charged for entering the Diversity Visa Lottery. The Department of State does not endorse, recommend or sponsor any information or material from outside entities. The Department is aware that websites and email have masqueraded as official Diversity Visa Lottery facilitators. Registration for the Diversity Visa Lottery through the official, U.S. government website, www.dvlottery.state.gov is free of charge and notification of winning entries are sent by mail only.

The 2007 Diversity Visa Lottery marks the third year that electronic registration is required. Paper entries and mail-in requests for Diversity Visa Lottery registration are not accepted.

U.S. Embassy Announces New Systems For Visa Applicants VFS and Bank Of America (Working With HDFC Bank) to Provide Visa and Fee Collection Services

NEW DELHI — The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates General in Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta are pleased to announce a new agreement with VFS to provide visa applicants throughout India with information, appointments, and courier services. VFS, which is currently offering a similar service for the Mumbai consular district, will become the sole provider of visa services to all applicants for U.S. visas in India as of October 3.

The decision to expand our relationship with VFS was based on the cost savings they are offering to our visa customers. The new cost for U.S. visa related services in India will decrease to Rs 276 (including taxes) per applicant for appointments booked starting October 3, for on-line or phone-in information, assistance with making appointments, and for the return by courier of passports with new visas.

It is important for all visa applicants to note that the new visa service system will still require each applicant to pay the standard non-immigrant visa application fee of $100 (Rs 4,400 at the current exchange rate) BEFORE booking an appointment. The visa application fee is non-refundable and may not be transferred to any other visa applicant, except with special permission from the Embassy.

To facilitate this program, the Embassy has expanded its existing relationship with Bank of America, which will collect the fee at a number of locations throughout India through its partner bank, HDFC Bank. The visa application fee, which must be paid before making an appointment, may only be paid at a designated branch of HDFC Bank. A list of the HDFC Bank branches authorized to accept the visa application fee is attached. Other branches of HDFC Bank will not be able to accept the payment. The designated HDFC Bank branches will begin accepting payments as of October 3, 2005.

Under the new system, applicants will be asked to complete their visa forms online using an interactive website that assists applicants in avoiding errors in data entry. Applicants with confirmed appointment will also get a PIN number giving them access to 10 minutes of “free-talk time” by calling a national toll-free number. This talk time can be used to inquire about rules and regulations, and also to track return passport delivery. For the time being, the toll-free number is accessible from MTNL and BSNL lines only.

Applicants will also have greater access to over-the-counter information and assistance at more locations. U.S. Visa Application Centers are being opened at new locations in Punjab at Jalandhar and Chandigarh, in Andhra Pradesh at Vijaywada, and in Kerala at Cochin. (See attached list of service centers)

The new visa service system, which incorporates the pre-payment of the non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, is expected to decrease the time visa applicants must wait for an interview by encouraging only those applicants who will actually appear for an interview to make an appointment.

It is important to emphasize that applicants who already have appointments scheduled through T.T. Services (TTS) in New Delhi, Chennai, and Calcutta or VFS in Mumbai will not be impacted by these changes. Appointments can continue to be made through TTS through September 30. All appointments made through TTS and under the old VFS system through September 30 will be honored. The visa application fees for appointments made with TTS should still be paid through a bank draft, as is the current practice.

TTS customers will soon be asked to reconfirm their appointments. As this reconfirmation process progresses, we anticipate most TTS appointment holders will be able to move their appointment times forward, although it may be several weeks before earlier appointments become widely available. The Embassy wishes to commend TTS for the high standard of service provided to visa applicants during its long association with the Embassy and Consulates’ General.

USCIS NOTIFIES I-90 APPLICANTS OF PROCESS CHANGE

Washington, DC – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is announcing changes to the Form I-90 filing process to correct previous USCIS errors on an expedited basis without charging applicants an additional filing fee. USCIS will apply this process to errors in production and delivery of permanent resident cards, including those received through the immigrant visa process.

Because USCIS’ current systems for permanent resident card replacement cannot accommodate these changes, an alternative process has been established for the benefit of customers affected by a USCIS error. All applicants filing a Form I-90 (Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card) with Application Reason “b” (My authorized card was never received) or “d” (My card was issued with incorrect information because of a USCIS administrative error) under Part 2, Section 2 of the I-90 application, should follow these guidelines in order to receive expedited processing without paying additional fees:

> Form I-90 with Application Reason “b” (My authorized card was never received) – Applicants must mail their I-90 applications with supporting documentation to the USCIS Service Center or National Benefits Center (NBC) that processed the application that led to the most recent permanent resident card. The addresses for these centers are shown at the end of this announcement.

In addition to the I-90 application, applicants are encouraged to send a copy of the I-797 (Notice of Action) issued for the application that led to the most recent issuance of the permanent resident card.

Fee(s) – None. Please note that I-90 applications submitted with Application Reason “b” do NOT require the $70.00 biometrics fee or the base application fee.

Applicants who have moved from the address last provided to USCIS in the application process that led to the permanent resident card, or who had provided an incorrect address to USCIS in that process, may not use this special replacement process and must file an I-90 using the normal process with filing fee and biometric fee.

> Form I-90 with Application Reason “d” (My card was issued with incorrect information because of a USCIS administrative error) – Applicants must mail their I-90 applications with supporting documentation to the USCIS Service Center or National Benefits Center (NBC) that processed the application that led to the most recent permanent resident card. The addresses for these centers are shown at the end of this announcement.

In addition to the new I-90 application, applicants are required to send the original I-551 card containing incorrect information, and documentation that supports the requested correction.

Fee(s) – None. Please note that I-90 applications submitted with Application Reason “d” do NOT require the $70.00 biometrics fee or the base application fee.

USCIS will confirm that the information on the permanent resident card is not consistent with the application that led to the permanent resident card; and if no inconsistency is found, USCIS will reject the request for free replacement. Applicants seeking to correct a card based on applicant error must file an I-90 using the normal process with filing fee and biometrics fee.

Effective today, applicants who file an I-90 Application to Replace a Permanent Resident Card using Application Reason “b” or “d” should NOT file their applications via the Direct Mail Program or the e-Filing system. All I-90 applicants, with Application Reasons other than “b” and “d,” shall continue to file their applications via the Direct Mail Program or the e-Filing system, with appropriate fees.

For more information please visit www.uscis.gov .

DHS Implements New Requirements for Advanced Passenger Information

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented new regulations for individuals visiting the U.S. by air and ship. This new rule related to Advanced Passenger Information will be effective October 4, 2005 and is similar to the rule required of individuals leaving the U.S. that took effect in April of this year. After the October date, individuals traveling to the U.S. or individuals on foreign carriers who will travel through the U.S. will be required to provide the following information to the air or sea craft personnel:

1. Full name
2. Date of Birth
3. Gender
4. Citizenship
5. Travel document type (e.g.: a passport or permanent resident card)
6. Document number
7. Document’s country of issue
8. Document’s date of expiration
9. Country in which person currently resides
10.Address where person will be staying while in the U.S.
11.Final destination (if the person is traveling through the U.S.)

Individuals with Machine Readable Passports will have a majority of this information hardwired into their passports (with the exception of the last 3 bulleted requirements). It is essential that individuals know the address where they will be staying while in the U.S. (with the exception of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents and passengers traveling through the U.S.). If the traveler is staying at a U.S. hotel, they must provide the name of the hotel, along with its street name, area, city and state (and possibly its zip code). If travelers intend to board a sea vessel in the U.S. they will need to provide the name of the cruise line or other vessel and the name of the city in which they will board. This information, which will be obtained at departure, will be forwarded to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and will be checked against a federal database to ascertain whether the individual has a criminal record or is wanted by a law enforcement agency. Any person that does not provide this required information will not be admitted into the U.S.