News Archives: 2013
Immigration Benefits for Same-Sex Couples
July 3, 2013
Today USCIS announced that it will begin processing family-based immigration petitions for couples in same-sex marriages. Therefore, U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S. can now petition for their same-sex spouses to receive immigrant visas (green cards). The first same-sex visa petition was approved for a Florida couple this week.
April Visa Bulletin
March 12, 2013
The April Visa Bulletin is now available. Go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5900.html to see next month’s visa availability dates.
Supreme Court Decides Chaidez v. United States
February 20, 2013
The Supreme Court today ruled that their landmark opinion in Padilla v. Kentucky, which held that the Sixth Amendment requires defense attorneys to inform non-citizens of the deportation risks of guilty pleas, cannot be applied retroactively. Therefore, non-citizens who pled guilty to crimes prior to the Padilla decision cannot have their convictions overturned based on their defense attorney’s failure to adequately advise the non-citizen of the immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a crime.
March Visa Bulletin
February 13, 2013
The March Visa Bulletin was released. To see next month’s visa availability, go to http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5885.html
New USCIS Immigration Fee
February 1, 2013
As a reminder, a new USCIS Immigrant fee takes effect today, 1 February 2013. Anyone receiving an immigrant visa package from a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad will be required to pay this new $165.00 fee. The fee can be paid online through the USCIS website (www.USCIS.gov) after the immigrant receives the visa package and before the immigrant departs for the United States. Exempt from this fee are children coming as adoptees (either orphans or pursuant to the Hague Convention) and K visa holders.
Illinois Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Persons
January 8, 2013
The Illinois House today passed a measure already passed by the Illinois Senate allowing undocumented persons to apply for a temporary, three-year driver’s license upon the showing that the individual has resided in Illinois for at least one year. The Governor now needs to sign the bill into law, which he has indicated that he will do.