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Lost the H-1B Visa Lottery? There May Be Other Visa Options Available to You.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa to the United States for professionals and individuals with “specialty occupations” requiring a bachelor’s degree. A “specialized occupation” requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. Examples of “specialty occupations” include engineers, physicians, accountants, teachers and others. April 1st is the earliest date to file cap-subject petitions. The USCIS received 172, 500 cap-subject H-1B visa petitions during the first week of April, 2014. For the first time since Congress imposed an arbitrary numerical cap on H-1B petitions in the early 1990s, there were more losers than winners in this year’s lottery. Given that the cap is presently set at 85,000 (65,000 H-1B regular cap and 20,000 H-1B master’s exemption), there are a total of 87,500 individuals who will not be able to work in H-1B status for the companies which sponsored them.

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Divorce by Publication

If you cannot locate your spouse to serve with divorce papers and neither of you is on active military duty, you may qualify to obtain a dissolution of marriage by service through publication of a notice in a newspaper, an alternative to personal service of court papers.

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Family Petition Green Cards

There has been a lot of excitement since it was announced that the F2A category (family petition green cards) for spouses and children (21 and under) of lawful permanent residents will be current in August of 2013.  In the excitement, however, it is a good idea to review the requirements for adjustment of status that are applicable to all immigrants, and then remember that some of them are waived in certain cases but not in others. 

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