On December 14, 2009, the Department of State Press Release announced a Federal Register proposed rule to increase the nonimmigrant visa application fee, also called Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee, and Border Crossing Card (BCC) fee. To learn more, review the Press Release, including Frequently Asked Questions. To view the proposed rule and submit comments, please go to www.regulations.gov.
The registration period for the United States Diversity Visa (DV-2011) Lottery begins October 2, 2009 at noon (EDT) and continues until November 30, 2009 at noon (EST). For more information, review the Press Release and the DV-2011 Instructions. Entrants for DV-2011 are advised to submit their entries early in the two-month registration period because excessive demand might slow down the system as the deadline nears. There is no charge for submitting an entry in the DV Lottery. The Department of State strongly encourages entrants to complete and submit their own entries. There is no need to use an agent or intermediary.
Effective July 1, 2009, all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) emergency or temporary passports must be electronic passports (e-Passports) to be eligible for travel to the United States without a visa, under the VWP. This includes VWP applicants who present emergency or temporary passports to transit the United States. See the VWP webpage on this site.
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (WWTVPRA) of 2008 was signed into law on December 23, 2008, by the President. The Act makes several changes to nonimmigrant visa classification criteria, visa processing requirements, and the grounds for inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(2)(H).
The changes under this provision of this law, relate to the legal rights of certain employment or education-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. Additionally, this law outlines the information to be provided to certain nonimmigrants about their rights, protections and available resources. When working or studying in the United States temporarily, we want to ensure each nonimmigrant is aware of his/her rights, as well as protections and resources available. To learn more, review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet and learn about additional information on our webpage.
On March 20, 2009, President Obama signed into law HR 1127, a bill to extend certain immigration programs. Section 1 extends the “SR” nonminister special immigrant religious worker visa classification by amending INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(II) and (III)to authorize “SR” status for an eligible alien who “seeks to enter the United States before September 30, 2009.” “SR” visas may be issued until close of business on September 29, 2009. No “SR” visa may be issued with a validity that extends beyond September 29, 2009. Visit the Immigrant Visas - Employment webpage.
United States law authorizing nonminister special immigrant religious worker program expired on March 6, 2009. Therefore until further notice, Immigrant Fourth Preference (E4) – Immigrant “SR” visas can no longer be issued. The minister of religion “SD” visa, a permanent visa classification, has not expired and “SD” visas can be issued to eligible visa applicants.