U.S. Paralympians fulfill a dream in London after 28 years!

U.S. Paralympians fulfill a dream in London after 28 years!

For table tennis players Pam Fontaine and Tara Profitt, competing at the London 2012 Paralympics marks the climax of a remarkable journey. They first competed in the Games in 1984 and are delighted to make Team USA again. Both embraced wheelchair sport after they were paralyzed as teenagers in accidents. They lost touch for more than two decades before being reunited through table tennis.

Profitt is accompanied on the trip to London by her husband, Matt — who was introduced to her by Fontaine when they were all students at Wright State University, in Dayton. They will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in London. Profitt runs two senior table tennis programs, while Fontaine’s work as an adjunct professor teaching kinesiology, the study of body movement, at Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, means she can also share her love of sport.They say “That is one of the greatest honors you can have as an athlete, to represent your country, and your community, and yourself and your family.”

Worried about your travel restrictions as a US green card holder?

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As a US green card holder some travel regulations exists when compared to those of a US citizen who can travel freely.   As a lawful permanent resident you would need to present a passport from your home country or if a refugee a travel document is required to travel to a foreign country. This is apart from what the foreign country requirements such as a visa.

Documents needed to reenter US

A valid unexpired “green card” (Form I-551, permanent resident card) is required if you are returning to US after temporary travel abroad.  At the POE (point of entry) US customs and border protection officer would review the LPR card in addition to other identification documents like passport, home country I.D card or US driver’s license and decide about your entry into United States.

Green card status while traveling abroad

Temporary or brief stay abroad doesn’t affect the green card status. You will be found to have deserted your lawful permanent resident (LPR) status if it’s determined that you did not intend to make United States your permanent home. Your absence from US for more than a year is used as a general guide. If it’s believed that you did not intend to make US your permanent residence abandonment may be found to occur even in trips abroad of less than a year’s duration.

Generally short term trips are not considered problematic by the officer who may consider your intention of trips abroad was on temporary stay, if you maintained family and community ties back with US, if United States employment was maintained, as a lawful permanent resident you paid taxes, or otherwise time-honored your intention to return to US as your permanent home. Maintenance of your United States mailing address, maintaining United States banking account, and driver’s license, owned property or continued doing business in US, or any such factors which supported short term absence from US may also be considered.

Conditions to follow for abroad trips of more than a year’s duration

Important to use the Form I-131 to apply for reentry permit travel document to United States if you plan to stay outside US for more than a year. Before leaving US reentry permit should be got which allows the lawful permanent or conditional resident to apply for admission back into the United States during the two years of validity of the permit with no requirement for a returning resident visa from a US consulate or embassy abroad. But having a reentry permit doesn’t give assurance for entry back to US after you return since it has to be determined if you are admissible at that time though it helps you in proving your intention  to return back to the United States and stay permanently.

The reentry permit obtained before exiting United States would have expired if you stay outside US for more than two years.  At the nearest Unites States embassy or consulate, it’s advisable a in that case for you to apply for a returning resident visa (SB-1).

To establish eligibility for an immigrant visa the returning resident visa will be required and for that you would have a medical examination. If you are a member of the US armed forces or on official orders you are a civilian employee stationed outside US in that case there is exception for the LPR’s spouse and children.

Also the requirement for continuous residency which is required to apply for US citizenship is disrupted while you are absent from US for more than six months. In order to preserve your residence for Applying for US citizenshiplater you can file the application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes using Form N-470.

Information about 28th US president Woodrow Wilson

Information about 28th US president Woodrow Wilson

 

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia on December 28, 1856 as the third of four children of Joseph Ruggles Wilson (1822–1903) and Jessie Janet Woodrow (1826–1888). His ancestry was Scottish and Scots-Irish. His paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland (now Northern Ireland), in 1807. His mother was born in Carlisle, Cumberland, England, the daughter of Rev. Dr. Thomas Woodrow, born in Paisley, Scotland and Marion Williamson from Glasgow. His grandparents’ whitewashed house has become a tourist attraction in Northern Ireland.

A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912 running against Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt, a former President.28th President Woodrow Wilson was the first man to show a motion picture in the White House. The film was “The Birth of a Nation,” which has become one of the most banned films of all time due to its blatant racism.

FAMILY

In 1885, he married Ellen Louise Axson, the daughter of a minister from Savannah, Georgia during a visit to her relatives in Rome, Georgia. They had three daughters. Axson died in 1914, and in 1915 Wilson married Edith Galt, a direct descendant of the Native American woman Pocahontas. Wilson is one of only three presidents to be widowed while in office. Wilson’s mother was possibly a hypochondriac and Wilson himself seemed to think that he was often in poorer health than he really was. He suffered from hypertension at a relatively early age and may have suffered his first stroke when he was 39.

Wilson was an early automobile enthusiast, and he took daily rides while he was President. His favorite car was a 1919 Pierce-Arrow, in which he preferred to ride with the top down. His enjoyment of motoring made him an advocate of funding for public highways.

RETIREMENT

In 1921, Wilson and his wife Edith retired from the White House to an elegant 1915 town house in the Embassy Row (Kalorama) section of Washington, D.C. Wilson continued going for daily drives, and attended Keith’s vaudeville theater on Saturday nights. Wilson was one of only two Presidents (Theodore Roosevelt was the first) to have served as president of the American Historical Association.

Wilson died in his S Street home on February 3, 1924. He was buried in Washington National Cathedral, the only president buried in Washington, D.C.

Overview on US temporary professional work visa types

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Applicants for temporary employment of foreign professionals may qualify for other visa categories too including TN visa category. Since these categories offer more flexibility in the type of job that can be performed as well as Green Card sponsorship for the foreign national employers may want to consider these. Workers who either don’t qualify for TN visas since they are not Canadian or Mexican citizens or their professional is not on the NAFTA list can opt for alternate visa categories. E-1, E-2, H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, and O-1 are the other visa categories appropriate for professional workers.

  1. E-1: Citizens of a country with which the U.S. has a treaty of friendship, commerce, or navigation, and who is coming to the U.S. to engage in substantial trade between the U.S. and the foreign national’s country of nationality, can make use of this work visa type. When the trading activities with the U.S. comprise more than 50% of total business volume in the U.S. and that there is a continued course of international trade it means there is substantial trade. The U.S. consulate website provides information about the qualifying countries.
  2. E-2: Citizens of a country with which the U.S. has a bilateral investment treaty or agreement, who is coming to the U.S. to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested or is in the process of investing substantially, can make use of the E-2 work visa type. The one in which personal funds or assets are put at risk in a real operating enterprise, which generates services or goods qualifies for a substantial investment. The U.S. consulate website provides information about the qualifying countries.
  3. H-1B: Qualified specialty foreign nationals coming to the U.S. to work in specialty occupations can use H-1B work visa. Job requiring a bachelor’s degree or equivalent is a specialty occupation. Prevailing wage rates in the market must be paid by H-1B employers for the job after getting approved by the Department of Labor before an H-1B peti­tion can be filed using INS forms with the USCIS. Being a more general visa category for professional workers it has historically been in high demand, with visa numbers, annual limit being 65,000, running out long before the end of the year.
  4. L-1A and L-1B: TheL-1 visa for intra-company Transferees can be used by overseas companies that have or wish to establish U.S. offices that may need to transfer executive, mana­gerial, or specialized personnel to the U.S and enable these key employees to be posted temporarily at the U.S. parent, subsidiary, affiliate, or branch office. The foreign professional must have worked for the company , within the three years prior to coming to the U.S, for at least one (1) year in an executive or managerial position, or a position requiring specialized knowledge and continue in one of the three positions in U.S. A parent/subsidiary like qualifying relationship must exist between the U.S. and foreign in order to qualify to sponsor an intra-company employee in this category.
  5. O-1: The extraordinary ability in the education, sciences, arts, business, or athletics field possessed by foreign nationals and who are coming temporarily to the U.S. to continue work in their area of extraordinary ability can make use of the O-1 work visa.  A high level of expertise achieved by the foreign national such that he or she is one of a small percentage at the top of his or her field qualifies for this visa. Substantially above the normal degree of skill and recognition is expected from artists and entertainers. Evidence of sustained national or international acclaim must be demonstrated by an O-1 applicant.

The workers with E-1, E-2, H-1B, L-1A, L-1B, and O-1 work visas can be sponsored through employer for green card and so they can further file for adjustment of status when the visa becomes available.

Interesting facts about 39th US President Jimmy Carter!

Interesting fact about 39th US President Jimmy Carter!

An American politician, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr. (born October 1, 1924) served as the 39th President of the United States (1977–1981). The only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office, he was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. Carter served as a U.S. Naval officer, was a peanut farmer, served two terms as a Georgia State Senator and one as Governor of Georgia (1971–1975) before he became US President.

The 39th President, Jimmy Carter, was the first US President to personally confess a UFO sighting. He claims to have seen a large bright object that changed colors and was about the size of the moon in the sky.

His boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow in response to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was one of Carter’s most bitterly controversial decisions. This marks the only time since the founding of the modern Olympics in 1896 that the United States has ever failed to participate in a summer or Winter Olympics. The Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and did not withdraw troops from Afghanistan until 1989 (eight years after Carter left office).

Carter and his wife Rosalynn founded the Carter Center in 1982, a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization that works to advance human rights after leaving office. Carter intends to be buried in front of his home in Plains, Georgia. Both President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, were born in Plains. Carter also noted that a funeral in Washington, D.C. with visitation at the Carter Center is being planned as well!

Which INS forms to file to obtain US passport for child?

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Regardless of age every US citizen needs a passport for international trips. Filing for passport in person is a must for first time applicants. In case you are below 16 years of age also you need to apply in person at a Passport Acceptance Facility or passport Agency. While you apply for passport for child parent or guardian need to accompany children who are minors under 16 years of age. Apart from other documents minors additionally need to submit evidence of their relationship to parent or guardian.

Evidence for the minor could be any of the following:

  • US birth certificate with name of both parents
  • Foreign birth certificate with both parents names.
  • Report of birth abroad with the name of both parents
  • Adoption decree with name of the adopting parents
  • To establish guardianship or custody court order is required. 

To establish parent or guardian identity they need to submit any one of the following:

  • Undamaged previously issued passport
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Driver’s license which is valid
  • Identification of current government employment
  • Current military identification

Photocopy of either one of the above need to be submitted along with the application for passport for child.

Approval from parents is also required to file INS forms for passport for child. This can be done by any of the following ways:

  1. Parents can accompany the minor to the passport agency or acceptance facility and show their consent by signing the DS-11 form in the presence of the Acceptance officer.
  2. If both can’t accompany the child one parent can bring along consent of the other on Form DS-3053 complete with the consent statement, signed and certified. Parent appearing in person can sign Form DS-11 and attach that along while submitting.
  3. If legal custody is with one parent of the minor that parent can sign the Form DS-11 in front of the Acceptance officer and submit along a proof for the custody.
  • The evidence could be minor’s US or foreign birth certificate listing only that single applying parent.
  •  Else it could be the Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Form DS-1350, Certification of Birth Abroad listing only the applying parent also.
  • Court order granting sole custody also could be proof provided the child’s travel is not restricted in that order.
  •  If the applying parent is the sole adopting parent copy of the adoption decree can be submitted for evidence. Specific court order permitting the applying parent or guardian to travel with the child can also be used as evidence.
  •  Inability of the non-applying parent’ as a judicial declaration can also be submitted. If non-applying parent is dead the death certificate can be used as evidence. Notarized statement or affidavit from the parents can be used by the third party to appear on their behalf and sign the INS forms DS-11 in front of the Acceptance Officer.

Apart from copy of all the above documents, along with the completed Form DS-11, two identical passport style photographs measuring 2×2 inch should be submitted. Normally worn head gear or prescription glassed must be worn for the photos. Normal street wear is the dress code and uniforms are not allowed. Picture should be of your full front view of the face.

Filing Fee of passport for child

Compared to adults the fee is slightly less for minor children. Its $120 for both passport book and passport card if got together. For passport book alone the fee is $105. Passport card costs $40.

In case parent cannot accompany children 16 or 17 year old minors you need not bring along parents or guardian for applying for passport but you need to submit present photo identification and a written consent letter from them.

Passport application for 16 and 17 year old is same as adults viz. $165 for both passport book and card, passport book alone is $135 and its $55 for passport card. The passport for child will be issued in 2-3 week but paying an extra $60 the process can be expedited.

Filing Procedure of INS forms I-130 for Sibling Green Card

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If you are a citizen of the United States and your age is 21years or above, then, you may be eligible to sponsor your siblings for a Green Card. Your brother or sister may enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident if you are an American citizen and if you sponsor them.

You will not be able to sponsor your siblings if you are a Green Card holder. Family based immigration is something through which you may become a lawful permanent resident in the United States, through certain family relations. Siblings of the US citizen may be sponsored under the family based preference category.

Documentation to file immigration Form I-130 for your Sibling

In order to sponsor your sibling, as a petitioner, you must submit INS forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.  In order to prove that you are a US citizen, you must file certain other documents. You must submit photocopies of your

  • Valid US passport.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Naturalization certificate if you became a US citizen through naturalization.
  • Certificate of citizenship.
  • Birth certificate and your sibling’s birth certificate which shows that you have at least one parent in common.

You will not be required to file separate visa petitions for your sibling’s spouse or unmarried, minor children.  The State Department will provide your sibling with an immigrant visa number after the USCIS approves the petition filed by you. If your sibling is already in the United States in a non-immigrant status, as a sponsoring US citizen, you may only file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for the brother or sister. Your sibling must wait for an available immigrant visa number before he can apply for adjustment of status using Form I-485. Your sibling must maintain a valid non-immigrant status, during this waiting period.

If your sibling is outside the United States and you file a petition for them, you must inform the USCIS about the country where your sibling is currently living in. On the approval of the visa petition and the availability of a visa number, the National Visa Center will send a notification to your sibling. After all the necessary forms are completed, your sibling can apply for an immigrant visa.

Green card petition processing

According to the preference system, your sibling must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available. Your sibling may not get a visa number immediately after the approval of   the visa petition. The number of available immigrant visa numbers, each year is limited. At times, it might take several years for them to get an available immigrant visa number.

You will receive a denial letter from the USCIS, if your visa petition is denied. It will also contain details about how to appeal and when to appeal. Your appeal may be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals, after your appeal form and the necessary fee are processed.

Around 65,000 visas are issued by the USCIS to the siblings of US citizens per year. Because of this numerical limitation, there are prolonged waiting periods to acquire a visa through this family based immigration category.

File INS forms and make sure to get Form I-797!

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To USCIS when a petition or application is submitted the applicant or petitioner will receive a Receipt notice. This receipt notice will be sent to the applicant on receipt of the petition or application by USCIS. The receipt notice is also called as Form I-797.  Approval notice will be sent by USCIS after successful processing of the application or petition. Form I-797 is not a visa and cannot be used in place of a visa. It states that action is taken on your application and this will be mentioned in the form.

Approval Notice Versions

When an USCIS application or petition is approved INS forms I-797, Notice of Action is issued. To an applicant I-797A, Notice of Action is issued as a replacement Form I-94. As approval of an alien worker petition I-797B, Notice of Action is issued. To acknowledge receipt of payments, if applications are rejected, if files are transferred, after fingerprint biometrics I-797C, Notice of Action is issued. Form I-797C is also issued to inform applicant about interview and re-scheduled appointments and also to re-open cases. Along with benefit cards I-797D is issued. If I-797E is issued it means USCIS request for evidence. To allow applicants to travel I-797F, Transportation Letter is issued overseas.

For approval of adjustment of status applications and immigrant visas Form I-797 is used. For extension of stay and changes of non-immigrant status when applicant is in US Form I-797A is issued with a I-94 card. When applicant is outside US and wants a non-immigrant visa Form I-797B is issued along with a notification card. For non-approval actions like requests for more information, rejection or filing receipts Form I-797C is used.

The information about how long you are permitted to stay legally in the United States is available on the USCIS Approval Notice on Form I-797. Please note that the date in the I-94 card matches with this date always. Hence the receipt number would be blank if your application is rejected by USCIS and if you receive Form I-797C.

Information on Form I-797

Applicant’s personal information, beneficiary’s details, Application or petition name, receipt number with which you can check the status, receipt date, priority date which tells waiting list queue status, notice date, notice type, class or the category you belong to and validity of your application or petition. Hence in case of Form I-797C you won’t find receipt number.

The priority date is decided depending on the category you come under and also home country. When the current date is same as the priority date it denotes the immediate availability of visa. Your legal period of stay in the US can be got from the approval notice form.

The USCIS center address information will be on the notice. So once the notice is received in case of any discrepancies you should inform them immediately. This approval notice has to be kept safely since you may have to have it handy during visa stamping and interview processes. Duplicate copies of the approval notice can be obtained if USCIS fail to send one or if they send one with errors. Approval notice information helps you track status of application.

Overview on the deferred action for childhood arrivals policy

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Were you bought to US as a kid and want to legalize your stay? Are you worried about your illegal status? No problem! The Department of Homeland Security has brought out a policy to your rescue called the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA).  Punishing the young people for no fault of theirs and deporting them because they do not have the valid papers and legal status to stay in US is meaningless and inhuman. Grab this opportunity and legalize your stay in US in order to continue to stay and work in US as a dignified resident!

Eligibility criteria to apply for Deferred Action

You need to meet following prerequisites to be able to apply:

  • You must have entered US as a kid and must have been below 16 years of age.
  • As of June 15, 2012 you should have been in the United States for five years, not an issue if you traveled outside US for trips of less duration on a humanitarian basis.
  • You should be above 15 years of age to apply now.
  • Also applicant should not be above 30 years of age.
  • Graduation from a high school is mandatory or any equivalent qualification and also should have enrolled in school or be a veteran of the United States military;
  • Having a clean record with exceptions to one or two minor misdemeanors is very important and to submit to a background check. There should not be any evidence of you being a threat to the country.

Documents required for deferred action filing

As proof for your eligibility to apply the following documents are require:

  1. In order to prove that you came to the United States before the age of 16 years and that as of June 15, 2012 you have lived in US for five years, following would be required
  • School records,
  • Medical records,
  • Financial records,
  • Employment records or
  • Military records.
  1. Document to prove that you are a school graduate and are in military or were discharged honorably following would be required
    • High-school transcript
    • Report card,
    • Diploma,
    • GED certificate,
    • Report of separation form,
    • Military personnel record or
    • Military health record.

An ideal solution to your problems and worries about having to stay in US as an illegal immigrant! Make use of this opportunity and benefit from it for rest of your life to be peaceful and fearless of any kind of action exempting you from staying and working in US.

Familiarize yourself with 27th American president “Big Bill”!

Familiarize yourself with 27th American president “Big Bill”!

William “Big Bill” Taft was the 27th President of the United States. He was also the fattest President at 325 pounds and often would get stuck in the White House bathtub.
Born on September 15, 1857 William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States (1909–1913). He later became the tenth Chief Justice of the United States (1921–1930). He is the only person to have served in both of these offices.

Making positive use of his stature, Taft was Yale’s intramural heavyweight wrestling champion. In 1878, Taft graduated, ranking second in his class out of 121. After college, he attended Cincinnati Law School, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 1880. While in law school, he worked on the area newspaper The Cincinnati Commercial.

Taft lost approximately 80 pounds (36 kg) within a year of leaving the presidency. His somnolence problem resolved and, less obviously, his systolic blood pressure dropped 40–50 mm Hg (from 210 mm Hg). This weight loss extended his life undoubtedly. Soon after his weight loss, he had a revival of interest in the outdoors; this led him to explore Alaska.