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Seven Important Life Lessons State Dept Visa Bulletin Taught Us | state dept visa bulletin

The State Department is consistently reminded in the Visa Bulletin that any individual who wishes to become a United States Citizen by entering the country on an approved nonimmigrant status (green card) must comply with U.S. immigration law and can be denied a visa if he or she does not do so. However, what is often not reported is that those who are granted visas by the State Department may not necessarily have had to abide by United States immigration law. If they so choose, they may be able to depart the country without submitting to the immigration laws.

In practice, the State Department does not always apply the same rules to all foreign nationals coming to the United States as it does to aliens attempting to gain admission to the United States. For example, a person who is applying for a visa from Mexico may be allowed to stay in the country provided that they do so voluntarily and agree to report to the immigration authorities when they leave the country. Similarly, a person who is applying for Relief from deportation but who is coming from Mexico may be permitted to remain in the United States provided that they exhibit proof of valid employment in the United States, i.e. provide a visa certification or green card.

There is another category of persons who may be issued a visa despite having come to the United States under a different visa scheme. That is, a foreign national who is in the United States on a visa granted by the Immigration and Nationality Act (IMA) may also qualify for immigrant relatives privilege. Under the provisions of the IMA, persons who are in the United States under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act may apply for a visa even if they are not eligible to receive a benefit under the family reunification program. To apply for immigrant relatives visa under the family reunification program, the immigrant parent must be a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States. If either of these conditions is not present, the applicant must still satisfy the other requirements. However, it should be noted that the attorney general does not consider the immigrant parent as a dependent.

The Department of State issued a notice describing the procedure to be followed in order to apply for immigrant relatives visa. According to the notice, the spouses of United States citizens who have been assigned as covered workers by the immigration scheme cannot be considered as dependents for the purpose of eligibility for immigrant benefits under the immigration scheme. The same goes for the children of United States citizens who are assigned as covered workers under the scheme. This provision, however, is applicable to the spouses and children of alien visitors who accompany their parents.

An important provision of the IMIA is the exclusion of certain spouses who are granted an immigrant visa asylees under the provisions of the spouses and children of tourist or non-immigrant entrants. In addition, the spouses of principal immigrants who have permanent residence here are excluded from getting the public benefits that they would otherwise be eligible for if they were granted immigrant status asylee. These benefits include social security benefits, retirement benefits, and worker's compensation. However, these provisions do not affect spouses of principal aliens who have green card status. Neither do they affect the spouses of temporary visa holders who are granted non-immigrant visa asylee, regardless of their green card status.

There are quite a number of persons who have asked the opinion of the United States Conference of Mayors as to whether persons who have been assigned as nanny cams by the Department of Homeland Security are covered under the provisions of the Privacy Act concerning the disclosure of personally held information about an individual. According to the United States Conference of Mayors, nanny cams can be covered by the Privacy Act as long as they are used in certain specified circumstances. The United States Conference of Mayors also stated that it does not interpret the term personal appearance to mean the visual images captured on a video or DVD by a private citizen. It only means the visual images captured on any electronic device by an individual in their private capacity.

The United States Conference of Mayors has requested that the Department of Homeland Security revise their current Immigration Notebook to include a reference to section 590. Accordingly, the Immigration bulletin now states: “In general, an immigrant may not use any social security number or identification number that matches a social security number that is publicly available.” The bulletin also indicates that the language of the Notebook is to be used for reference only. However, the United States Conference of Mayors anticipates that future revisions may encompass the provision of an immigrant's date of birth if that person provides such a record after becoming a legal resident of the United States. The United States Conference of Mayors also requested that the Department of Homeland Security take one paragraph out of the current pamphlet that indicates that an immigrant's work authorization expires as soon as the immigrant is granted legal status in the United States. According to the United States Conference of Mayors, the provision of this sentence should be stricken because it could be interpreted to suggest that an immigrant's work authorization would be terminated upon his or her return to his or her country of origin.

Finally, as was noted above, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the statutory definition of “unlawful presence” as requiring that the alien has come to the United States and not merely stayed within the United States. Further, the Supreme Court has stated that Congress may not limit the authority of the immigration and naturalization service, either. That is, Congress may not limit the authority of the USCIS, either in terms of resources or personnel to respond to a complaint regarding an illegal immigrant, as well as to restrict the access of the public to federal court records. In sum, according to the law firm of Lechter, Ginsberg, & Katz, et al., it is not unlawful for a citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) to access a record of an alien even when that alien may have come to the United States through another country.


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