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Subject: Immigration (USA) FAQ: General questions and answers (part 2 of 6)

This article was archived around: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 14:00:47 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: us-visa-faq
All FAQs posted in: alt.visa.us, misc.immigration.usa
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: us-visa-faq/part2 Last-Modified: 21 December 1998
The USA Immigration FAQ is maintained by Rajiv S. Khanna [rskhanna@immigration.com] If you have access to the Web you can access the FAQ from http://www.immigration.com Many FAQs, including this one, are available via FTP on the archive site rtfm.mit.edu in the directory pub/usenet/news.answers. The path for this faq is /pub/usenet/news.answers/us-visa-faq/part2. To get the FAQ by E-mail, you should send a message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with send usenet/news.answers/us-visa-faq/part2 in the body of the message. Please see part1 of this faq for standard disclaimers. Individuals are encouraged to submit corrections, questions and answers to rskhanna@immigration.com directly. In many answers below, submitters are noted in parentheses at the beginning of comments. (Comments may be slightly edited.) "WE CLAIM NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION. APPLICATION OF LAW CAN VARY DRASTICALLY ACCORDING TO THE FACTS OF A PARTICULAR CASE. THE FAQ IS NOT MEANT TO BE SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE. IT IS ONLY A STARTING POINT." Questions marked with a <<New>> indicate questions new to this issue; those with significant changes of content since the last issue are marked by <<Changed>>. General questions and answers ----------------------------- Q1:-Do you have any information about consular procedures in Madras, India? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] We have retrieved the following information from their web site in August 1997: APPLICATION PROCEDURES * APPLICATION APPOINTMENT BY PHONE: Applicants may call 44-823-2434 daily between 2 and 4 PM to register their names for an appointment at a future date. They should give their full names and passport numbers. Between 125 - 140 appointments are usually registered per day. The applicant should arrive at the Consulate the morning of his/her appointment no later than 10 AM in order to enter the Consulate and be processed. The applicant will receive a pink, numbered token, be asked to pay the machine readable visa fee by crossed demand draft, made out to the American Consulate General, Madras and then asked to enter the waiting room to await the interview. Applicants are interviewed before 1 PM and applicants who will be issued a visa should return at 4 PM to pick up their passports. * DAILY TOKENS: While the appointment system is for the convenience of applicants who wish to ensure they will be seen on a specific day, an appointment is not necessary in order to apply for a visa, primarily because many people who have appointments do not turn up at the Consulate on the day of their appointments and because the Consulate is generally able to accept another 50 to 60 applications a day, depending on staffing availability. At this time, we are seeing all applicants who apply on a given day, whether they have appointments or not. * USE OF THE DROP BOX BY RETURNING STUDENTS/EXCHANGE VISITORS/TEMPORARY WORKERS: Applicants wishing to use the drop box must meet the criteria described under mail applications on page 8, unless the applicant is a returning student, returning exchange visitor or a returning temporary worker or a spouse of one of the previous. If you are a returning student/spouse (F-1/F-2), a returning exchange visitor/spouse (J-1/J-2 or a returning temporary worker/spouse (H-1B/H-4), you may leave your passport, application and crossed demand drafts for both the machine readable visa fee and the visa issuance fee in the Drop Box at the Cathederal Road entrance AFTER JANURY 15. Please note that this service is not available to applicants who have previously been refused a visa. Passports will picked up by Consulate Staff for processing at 10 AM, so that any passport which is in the drop box at the time of retrieval for processing will be ready for pick-up, inside the visa waiting room between 4 and 4:30 PM. * APPLICATIONS BY PREVIOUSLY REFUSED APPLICANTS: Applicants are entitled to two personal interviews within a two-year period. Applicants refused under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act who are refused twice within that two year period in personal interviews may continue to reapply for the visa, but applications in person will not be accepted for the next two years after the last refusal. Therefore, all applicants who have been refused in two personal interviews in two years under Section 214(b) may reapply by mail only. If the Consular Officer decides that the situation has changed, s/he will request the applicant to return for another interview. PAYMENT AND VISA FEES * THE MACHINE READABLE VISA (MRV) FEE: With very few exceptions, all applicants must pay the $20, non-refundble MRV application fee if applying for a non-immigrant visa. The fee should be paid by crossed demand draft made payable to the American Consulate General, Madras. Currently, the fee is Rs. 720; however, the exchange rate fluctuates from time to time, so the amount may differ. We notify the media via press releases immediately upon learning of a new exchange rate. We generally have a "grace period" of one week, during which we will ask the applicants to make up the difference in exact change. * NON-IMMIGRANT VISA ISSUANCE FEES: The fees for issuance of non-immigrant visas to Indian citizens, with the current exchange rate in rupees, are as follows: for a B-2 (tourist visa) under 6 months - $25.00 (Rs. 900); for a B-1 (business visa) or any other category of visa, valid up to one year - $50.00 (Rs. 1800); for any visa valid longer than one year - $100.00 (Rs. 3600). For a transit visa of any length - $5.00 (Rs. 180). Visa issuance fees may be paid either in rupees or by a crossed demand draft made payable to the American Consulate General, Madras. CONSULATE OPERATING HOURS * CONSULATE OPERATING HOURS: The Consular Section is open from 8:15 AM to 5 PM daily except for holidays. The Consulate telephone number is 91-44-827-3040; we would appreciate callers restricting their calls to urgent (i.e., life and death) matters and to calling in the afternoon, as it is difficult to process visas and answer the telephone simultaneously. Our fax number is: 91-44-826-2538, but please understand that due to our heavy volume of faxes, limited staff and insufficient storage space, we have no place to store and retrieve routine faxes sent regarding visa applications. It is best, if you want to send a fax on behalf of an applicant, to send it to the applicant to hand-carry to the interview, rather than send it to us, when we have no means to match your fax to the applicant. IMMIGRANT VISA QUESTIONS * FINGERPRINTS FOR SPOUSES OF AMERICAN CITIZENS: If you are an U.S. citizen, have married an Indian citizen and filed the immigrant visa petition in the U.S., we will begin processing your spouse's fingerprint clearance when you have received the petition approval and transmitted it to your spouse in India. When your spouse in India has the petition approval, s/he may telephone the Immigrant Visa Unit at 827-3040, ext. 321 or 320 to make an appointment to be fingerprinted. At the time of fingerprinting, s/he must show our staff a xerox copy of the spouse's U.S. passport data page and a xerox copy of the notice of petition approval from INS. By the time the fingerprints return from the FBI (generally within three months), we should have received the approved petition from the National Visa Center and be able to schedule the immigrant visa applicant for an immigrant visa application appointment expeditiously. * PRIORITY DATES FOR IMMIGRANT VISAS: Many people have requested us to post priority dates for immigrant visas. Until our system becomes more interactive, we are unable to do so. However, until then, interested parties can check the TV information screen at the Consulate guardhouse on Cathederal Road or telephone the Department of State in Washington DC at 202-663-1541 for recorded monthly updates on priority dates. TRAVEL TO OTHER COUNTRIES FROM THE U.S. * TRAVEL TO CANADA AND CRUISES: Many applicants have friends, relatives or business contacts in Canada and travel between Canada and the U.S. Some tourist applicants use package tours which include cruises to the Bahamas or Mexico. The applicant is responsible for any visas to countries outside the U.S. to which they intend to travel after their arrival in the U.S. It may be easier to secure visas in your home country, rather than secure visas to a third country from the U.S. Although virtually all visa applicants receive multiple entry visas, applicants should ensure that they request a visa for multiple entries if they plan to travel to other countries from the U.S. Q2:-What are the formalities for translation of foreign language documents? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] [Addition suggested by Siegfried Rambaum] Immigration related documents may be translated by any person who is competent in both the foreign language as well as English. It is best to ask a person not related to you to translate. Each translation must be accompanied by substantially the following words: "I, [Name of Translator], do hereby certify that I am proficient in both English and [Foreign Language], and accordingly I am competent to perform translations, and that I have translated the foregoing/attached document accurately and to the best of my knowledge and ability. /Sign/ ----------------------- Name Address Date:" Q3:-Can E-mailed ASCII text (without signatures) be used for translations? Ans:-The following language appended to the translation should work: "The translation is transmitted electronically and my signature shall be deemed valid and its validity shall be deemed proven by the sender's and other message routing information, which are both automatically created and appended to this communication by the computer sites routing it between <my place> and <place where received>." Q4:-Rajiv, is there a list of evaluation agencies, recognized by DOL and INS? I'm trying to do evaluation of my education, but I am not sure that DOL and INS will recognize it. If there is a list of these accredited agencies, how can I obtain one? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] There is no such list. INS does not "recognize" these agencies. In my personal experience, as long as there is some analysis for an evaluator's opinion, any agency with reasonably good background should suffice. My office uses "The Global Education Services." I believe they have a world wide web site. Q5:-Citizenship information Ans:-List of Citizenship questions and answers can be accessed at http://www.immigration.com Q6:-I am a legal P.R. in the United States from China. When I saw CNN's Nation Within program on TV tonight, an INS officer said that an immigrant in the United States is not protected by constitution or has not constitution right. Is this true? If this is true, then it is legal to discriminate a legal immigrant. Please give me an answer. Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] That information is incorrect. Once inside the U.S., an immigrant is entitled to all constitutional guarantees barring some such as federal government employment, right to run for the Presidency of the U.S., etc. Q7:- Can you clarify the sub-sections for denial of visas? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] We have retieved the following information: GROUNDS OF INELIGIBILITY * THE 214(B) INTENDING IMMIGRANT PROVISION: Non-immigrant visa applicants in almost all categories must demonstrate to the Consular Officer's satisfaction that they have strong ties to a permanent residence outside of the U.S. which would compel them to leave the U.S. upon the completion of their authorized stay. The Consular Officer evaluates the applicant's economic, social and cultural ties to his/her residence (in this case, South India) in order to determine whether it is more probable that the applicant will return to India within the period of authorized stay in the U.S. or whether it is more likely that the applicant will remain in the U.S. on a more permanent basis. There is no set "list" of documents an applicant should bring; rather, an applicant who can convincingly explain the reasons for travel, present believable business or personal documents to substantiate his/her ties to India and who answers questions in an open manner is more likely to be issued a visa than someone who comes in with a huge folder of irrelevent or clearly questionable documents. Remember, eligibility is not determined by the pound (of documents you submit!) * THE 212(A)(6)(C) INELIGIBILITY: Applicants should be very careful to be truthful in all areas of their visa applications. Applicants who wilfully misrepresent material facts in their immigrant or non-immigrant visa applications can be found ineligible to enter the U.S.; under some circumstances, permanently. If you present forged, counterfeit or otherwise bogus documents you are likely to fall under this provision of the law. Our Consular Officers are skilled at detecting fraudulent documents and, the truth is, most are so poorly executed that expertise in determining their fraudulent nature is not necessary. Claiming "no knowledge" of the antecedents of your documents is not an acceptable excuse. * THE 212(A)(4) INELIGIBILITY: We are unable to issue an immigrant or non-immigrant visa to an applicant who appears to have insufficient financial resources in the U.S. and who it appears may become a public charge to the U.S. state or federal social welfare system. This provision is particularly applicable to applicants for non-immigrant visas who wish to visit the U.S. for medical treatment. We need to know the cost of the treatment, including the charges of both the physicians and the hospital and any therapy or recuperative treatment the applicant may need. Applicants for immigrant visas who cannot clearly support themselves immediately upon arrival to the U.S. need to demonstrate that the relative who is sponsoring them has sufficient funds to support them until they are able to become self-supporting. * THE 221(G) INELIGIBILITY: If an applicant is refused under this section, it is because s/he is missing a document or some other piece of evidence which the Consular Officer needs in order to render a final decision on the applicant's eligibility for the visa. Generally, you will be told what types of documents might satisfy the Consular Officer Q8:-I am a GC holder. If I move do I need to notify INS about my change of address? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] There is no such requirement. Q9:- What is the phone number of US Consulate in XXX? Ans:-[From Manish, manish@hogpa.ho.att.com] [Modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] Quebec: 418-692-2095 Montreal: 514-398-9695 Toronto: 416-595-1700 Ottawa: 613-238-4470 ext. 301 There is a complete list of all consulates at http://www.immigration.com Q10:-What are the numbers for "Ask Immigration" Telephone Information Systems operated by INS. Ans:-[from C. Huda Dodge, dodgec@ucs.orst.edu] [San Jose/Forms Update Provided by Dag Johansen, dagj@netcom.com] INS operates "Ask Immigration" Telephone Information Systems, through which you can access recorded messages about various immigration topics. The information below is taken from the INS brochure on this system (Form M-243). For INS FORMS the toll-free forms hotline is 1-800-870-FORM or 1-800-870-3676 One can access the recorded messages from the following telephone numbers: Albany, NY (518) 472-4621 Newark, NJ (201) 645-4400 Albuquerque, NM (505) 766-2378 New Orleans, LA (504) 589-6533 Anchorage, AK (907) 271-4953 NYC, NY (212) 206-6500 Arlington, VA (202) 307-1501 Norfolk, VA (804) 441-3081 Atlanta, GA (404) 331-5158 Oklahoma City, OK (405) 942-8670 Baltimore, MD (301) 962-2065 Omaha, NE (402) 697-9155 Boise, ID (208) 334-1821 Orlando, FL (407) 826-5870 Boston, MA (617) 565-3879 Philadelphia, PA(215) 597-3961 Buffalo, NY (716) 849-6760 Phoenix, AZ (602) 379-3122 Charleston, SC (803) 724-4350 Pittsburgh, PA (412) 644-3356 Charlotte, NC (704) 523-1704 Portland, ME (207) 780-3352 Chicago, IL (312) 353-7334 Portland, OR (503) 326-3006 Cincinnati, OH (513) 287-6080 Providence, RI (401) 545-7440 Cleveland, OH (216) 522-4770 Reno, NV (702) 784-5427 Dallas, TX (214) 655-5384 Sacramento, CA (916) 551-2785 Denver, CO (303) 371-3041 Salt Lake City, UT(801) 265-8678 Detroit, MI (313) 226-3240 St. Albans, VT (802) 951-6658 El Paso, TX (915) 532-0273 St. Louis, MO (314) 539-2532 Fresno, CA (209) 487-5091 St. Paul, MN (612) 854-7754 Harlingen, TX (512) 425-7333 San Antonio, TX (210) 229-6350 Hartford, CT (203) 240-3171 San Diego, CA (619) 557-5570 Helena, MT (406) 499-5288 San Francisco, CA (415) 705-4411 Honolulu, HI (808) 541-1379 San Jose, CA (408) 535-5195 Houston, TX (713) 847-7900 San Juan, PR (809) 766-5280 Indianapolis, IN(317) 226-6009 Seattle, WA (206) 553-5956 Jacksonville, FL(904) 791-2624 Spokane, WA (509) 353-2129 Kansas City, MO (816) 891-0603 Tampa, FL (813) 228-2131 Las Vegas, NV (702) 384-3696 Tucson, AZ (602) 670-6229 Los Angeles, CA (213) 894-2119 West Palm Beach, FL(407) 844-4341 Louisville, KY (502) 582-6375 Memphis, TN (901) 544-3301 TDD Users: (202) 307-1512 Miami, FL (305) 536-5741 Milwaukie, WI (414) 297-3565 People who don't like electronic answering services should stay away from this system. For quick reference, especially if you live in one of the cities listed, it is really quite convenient. One must push the # of the recording you wish to hear (and in Portland, OR at least, one *must* listen to a message before you can talk to a real person). If you don't know the #, you have to listen to a menu list of options. To make things easier, this "Message Guide" was printed in the brochure: 101 The INS 102 How to report aliens illegally in the US... 103 PRC nationals 104 The INS Outreach program 105 Where to mail applications 106 Reporting your change of address to INS 107 How to obtain copies of documents 108 Immigrant visa availability list 109 Filing appeals and motions 201 Who is eligible for legalization 202 Employer sanctions 203 Family fairness program for legalized aliens 204 Anti-discrimination protection under immigration law 205 How to apply for PR status if resided continuously since 1972 206 Special agricultural worker program 207 Systematic alien verification for entitlements program 301 Filing petitions to sponsor an immediate relative 302 " " to sponsor prospective immigrant employees 303 How can an alien in the US can request to change status to PR 304 When a US citizen marries a foreign national outside the US 305 How to file a joint petition...to remove conditional status of PR 306 Immigration benefits for adoption before 16th b-day 307 Orphan petitions 308 Application for asylum in the US 309 PR for recipients of approved asylum applications 401 How to obtain an alien residency card 402 Applying for a replacement " " " 403 If you never received you " " " 501 Nonimmigrant or temporary visas 502 How to request an extension of temporary stay 503 Change of status from one nonimmigrant class to another...for work 504 Applying for a replacement I-94 arrival/departure document 505 Temporary visitor's visa 506 A fiance/fiancee visa 507 Requirements for class. as a nonimmigrant temp. worker (H1, H2 & H3) 508 Requirements for class. as a J1 or nonimmigrant exchange alien 509 L-1 visa status for intracompany transfers 510 Requirements for class. as an E1 or E2 ... treaty trader or investor 601 Permission to go to school 602 Student visa extension 603 Permission for foreign student to work 604 Visas for spouse & dependent children of foreign students 605 School transfers for F1 & M1 foreign students 606 How to maintain your student status 701 Departure from the US by permanent residents 702 Student travel outside the US 703 Travel authorization for refugees 704 How to request emergency travel 705 Travel by an alien whose PR application is still pending 801 Citizenship and naturalization requirements 802 " for children born outside the US 803 Naturalization based on military service 804 Derivative citizenship for children of US citizens 805 Residency requirements for naturalization 806 How to file for naturalization on behalf of a child 807 Replacement of certificate of citizenship or naturalization 808 How to renounce or forfeit US citizenship Q11:-Can I find out BEFORE making application to INS if FBI check will reveal any criminal history in my background? Ans:-[From: trich@netcom.com (Timothy J Richards)] You could check your FBI record by sending in a set of finger prints. I think the finger print form is available from police stations and various other places. Approximate time to receive the "Certificate of no criminal conviction" is 30 days. Following is the procedure to obtain above certificate: 1. Go to your local police station and ask for finger prints card (Form FD-258). According to FBI, you can use any standard finger prints card available from local law enforcement agency. The local police station may charge you some fee for doing your finger print work. Here in Ames, they charge $5.00. Fill out the information required in the card. 2. Write a brief letter to FBI explaining why you need the certificate. It does not hurt to add your personal details like name, date of birth, social security number and address in the letter. Above information will be included in the finger prints card too. 3. Include a money order or certified check for US $17.00, payable to US TREASURY. The fee for this certificate will be US $ 18.00 from February 1, 1995. 4. Mail the letter, finger prints card and money order to: FBI, CJIS Division Room 10104 10th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. N. W. WASHINGTON D.C. 20537-9700 Their direct phone # is: (202) 324-5465 It may take up to 30 days to receive your certificate. Q12:-Are there any books regarding Immigration? Ans:-[from Alberto Molina, alberto@cybernet.cse.fau.edu] Name: Immigration Procedures Handbook Publisher: Clark, Boardman & Callaghan Address: 155 Pfingsten Road Deerfield, IL 60015-4998 Phone: 1-800-323-1336 Cost: $145 + 6.5 percent S&H + state tax [from Eiji Hirai, hirai@cc.swarthmore.edu ] The Rights of Aliens and Refugees: The Basic ACLU Guide to Alien and Refugee Rights, 2nd edition, by David Carliner, et al. Price : $7.95 + S&H You can ordered it from ACLU Dept. L. P.O. Box 794 Medford, NY 11763 "Labor Certification Handbook - Companion Volume To: Immigration Procedures Handbook" by Austin T. Fragomen, Steven C, Bell Clark Boardman Callghan, NY 1992 Q13:-What is the fee for XX? Ans:-[From Rajesh Kumar Singh, raj@goliath.stanford.edu] ================================================================= IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE SUMMARY OF CHANGED FEES effective July 14, 1994 Form No. Form name/description Fee ================================================================= I-17 Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Students $140 I-90 Application to Replace Alien Registration Card $75 I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival Departure Document $65 I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker See below* I-129F Petition for Alien Finance(e) $75 I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $80 I-131 Application for Travel Document $70 I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $75 I-191 Application for Advance Permission to Return to Unrelinquished Domicile $90 I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa $90 I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $95 I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant (except for a petition seeking classification as Amerasian) $80 I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status --if 14 years of age or older $130 --if under 14 years of age $100 I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur $155 I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status $75 (plus $10 per coapplicant) I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative $155 I-600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition $155 I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability $95 I-612 Application for Waiver of the Foreign Residence Requirement $95 I-751 Petition to Remove the Condition on Residence $80 I-765 Application for Employment Authorization $70 I-817 Application for Voluntary Departure Under Family Unity Program $80 N-300 Application to File Declaration of Intention $75 N-400 Application for Naturalization $95 N-470 Application to Preserve Residence for Naturalization Purposes $115 N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/ Citizenship Document $65 N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship $100 N-643 Application for Certificate of Citizenship in Behalf of an Adopted Child $80 N-644 Application for Posthumous Citizenship $80 *I-129 Petition with Unnamed Beneficiaries: --Fee of $75 per petition I-129 Petition with Named Beneficiaries: --Base fee of $75 per petition plus either: --$10 per worker is requesting consulate or port-of- entry notification for visa issuance or admission; --$80 per worker if requesting a change of status; or --$50 per worker if requesting an extension of stay, if filing an extension of stay or change of status for one worker, dependents may be included for a fee of $10 per dependent. Q14:-What is form XXX ? Ans:-[From B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] N-400 : Application for Naturalization N-600 : Application for Certification of Citizenship I-90 : Application to Replace Alien Registration Card I-130 : Petition of Alien Relative I-131 : Application for Travel Document I-485 : Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status I-600 : Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative I-765 : Application for Temporary Employment Authorization Q15:-Is there a internet site from which I can download any info regarding immigration?<<Changed>> Ans:-[modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] INS, USIA and State Department all have their web sites now. PS: If you have any questions about gopher and anonymous ftp PLEASE don't ask me. Ask on news.newusers.questions and/or alt.gopher [ from Ravinder Bhumbla, rbhumbla@UCSD.EDU] NAFSA (the association of international educators) regularly sends out updates about changes in immigration laws to its mailing list, inter-l@vtvm1.cc.vt.edu (you can subscribe by sending mail to listserv@vtvm1.cc.vt.edu). An archive of these updates (which may be useful to you) is accessible by gopher at the following place: Name=NAFSA Updates (Federal Regulations) Type=1 Port=70 Path=1/ON/INTERNATIONAL/ln38nafsa Host=yuma.ACNS.ColoState.EDU For the more *advanced* users..i.e. Mosaic users :-) gopher://yuma.acns.colostate.edu/11/ON/INTERNATIONAL/ln38nafsa [from Vadim Maslov vadik@cybercash.com] http://www.siber.com/sib/visas/usa-immigrant/ A source of immigration information that's especially useful for people from Russia and CIS. It has now moved to http://www.siber.com/sib/ [from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] There are also several government and private web sites. Q16:-What is this FAQ about? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] [modified by Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] This FAQ has information about procedural and substantive issues of U.S. immigration laws. Q17:-Are there any lawyers who can be reached by email? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] Rajiv S. Khanna LAW OFFICES OF RAJIV S. KHANNA 1129 20th Street, NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036-3403 Voice: (202) 466-2113 Email: rskhanna@immigration.com Gregory Siskind Attorney at Law Euclid Court Building 110 30th Avenue North, Suite 1 Nashville TN 37203 Voice: 615/320-9109 Fax: 615/320-5681 Email: gsiskind@telalink.net Cynthia D. Ryan 305 Broadway - Suite 301 New York, NY 10007 Tel/Fax: (212) 349-7708 Email: cdratty@aol.com Sidney J. Wartel, P.E., Jur. Dr. Davis, Malm & D'Agostine One Boston Place Boston, MA. 02108 Voice : (617) 367-2500 Email: swartel@lynx.dac.neu.edu Fuad B. Nasarallah 15 West Dorothy Lane Dayton, Oh 45429 Voice: (513) 298-777 Email: 103432.176@compuserve.com Q18:-Are there any mailing lists? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] o Send mail to rskhanna@immigration.com asking him to add you to his visa bulletin mailing list. o An electronic newsletter that includes information on developments in immigration law, the State Departments visa bulletin numbers, INS Service Center Processing reports and answers to questions subscribers may pose. There is no fee to subscribers and all parties interested should email me at Gsiskind@aol.com Q19:-How to select an immigration lawyer? Ans:-[Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@plh.af.mil] [Modified by rskhanna@immigration.com] The best method is through word of mouth. Ask your friends and acquaintances first. Please treat this as my $0.02 worth on the subject of picking an immigration lawyer. While there is no hard and fast rule on determining whether an immigration lawyer is good or not, the following points would be worthwhile considering in the selection process. (1) Check to see if the lawyer is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) (As a practical matter, merely being a member of AILA does NOT ensure competence). (2) Also check if the lawyer holds an important position in the local or state bar association's immigration committee (Again, not necessarily a sign of competence, but better than the yellow pages). (3) Look up the yellow pages of your phone book to obtain the tel# of free attorney referral services. Call them and ask for an opinion about the attorney you are considering. (4) Make sure that there are no restraining orders from the supreme judicial court that prohibits the attorney from practicing. (5) Check prior experiences of the attorney with cases similar to that of yours. In particular, find out if the attorney has been successful in the past. (6) Finally, in your first consultation with the lawyer, feel free to bring up all questions and details pertaining to your case (this includes legal fees, processing time etc.). (7) Check with the better business bureau (BBB) in your city about the law firm of the lawyer you are considering. The BBB maintains a record of all businesses in a given city and reports to you whether the business in question has been involved in unfair business practices (over the past 3 years). (1)-(7) are issues that must necessarily be considered but are not sufficient. These are merely guidelines for choosing an immigration attorney. These are by no means comprehensive. Please feel free to add your suggestions or comments to the above list. Q20:-What is AILA (Am. Imm. Lawyers Assn.)? Ans:-[from Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] The American Immigration Lawyers' Association is a fee-based organization. ANY LAWYER CAN BECOME ITS MEMEBER. Therfore, being a member of AILA is NO gurantee of competence. Let me add, however, AILA is a great source of information and education. I do think it is difficult to practice good immigration law without being a member of AILA. Q21:-Is there a list of "recommended lawyers" ? Ans:-[from B.G. Mahesh, mahesh@mahesh.com] Rajiv S. Khanna LAW OFFICES OF RAJIV S. KHANNA 1129 20th Street, NW, Suite 400 Washington, DC 20036-3403 Phone : 202-466-2113 Fax : 202-466-2885 Email : rskhanna@immigration.com rskhanna@immigration.com [from Th. Bullinger, thomas@idx.kodak.com] Santosh Pawar 1000 East Ave. Rochester, NY 14607 Phone : 716-461-4074 [from Alberto, alberto@cybernet.cse.fau.edu] The Law Offices of Ronald Freeman in NYC, specifically Jenny Nieves at that office. Their phone number is 800-522-5275. [from hirai@cc.swarthmore.edu] Peter T. Baumann, Karren A. DeSeve, Jon Landau 437 Chestnut St. Suite 905 Philadelphia, PA 19106 Phone : 215-925-0705 [from Kannan Varadhan, kannan@catarina.usc.edu] Ms. Deborah Youtsey Bartlett and Weigle Co. LPA 432, Walnut Street, Cuite 1100, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Phone : 513 241 3992 Fax : 513 241 1816 [from Muralidhar Rangaswamy, mrangasw@cat.syr.edu] Steven A. Clark Flynn & Clark P.C., One Main Street, P.O. Box 25, Cambridge, MA 02142. Phone : (617)-354-1550 Fax : (617)-661-2576 [From Ranganath Dandi, dandi@killians.gsfc.nasa.gov] Thomas Williams Ste. 1501 5205, Leesburgh Pike Falls Church, VA 22041 Ph: (703)-845-8800 Fax:(703)-998-0328. [From Muralidhar Rangaswamy, RANGASWAMY@zircon.plh.af.mil] Steven A. Clark Flynn & Clark P.C., One Main Street, P.O. Box 25, Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02142-0001 Phone : (617)-354-1550 Fax : (617)-661-2576 [From Dr. M. V. Ramakrishna, krishna@ramanujan.chem.nyu.edu] Mr. S. Gayathrinath 299 Broadway, Suite 603 New York, NY 10007-1901 Phone : 212-791-4210 Fax : 212-571-7405 [From Kedar Gidh, gidh@bucknell.edu] Wendy Castor Hess Goldblum & Hess Jenkintown Plaza, Suite 380 Jenkintown, PA 19046 Ph. (215) 885-3600 Fax (215) 885-4595 Law Office of Sheela Murthy 10451 Mill Run Circle, Suite 400 Owings Mills, MD 21117-5577 Tel: 410-356-8830 Fax: 410-356-8804 Q22:-Which is the best time to change this maiden name to the married name and how to go about it? Ans:-[From Rajiv S. Khanna, rskhanna@immigration.com] In terms of immigration documents, all papers that are filed should list spouse by her married name and "also known as XYZ (Maiden name)." Most INS forms provide a space for "Other Names Used." Now if it is too late, and a green card in her maiden name has already been issued, INS has a form for making a change in the issued Green Card. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Law Offices of Rajiv S. Khanna 3440 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite D, Arlington, VA 22201 2120 L Sreet, N.W., Suite 210, Washington, D.C. 20037 Voice: (703) 908-4800 Xtn 110 rskhanna@immigration.com OR rskhanna@businesslaw.com