|Senate holds hearing on the Dream Act|
|Friday, 22 July 2011 10:32|
On Tuesday June 28, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security held its first ever Senate hearing on the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act Bill was first introduced in Congress in August 2001 to give undocumented children a path to U.S. citizenship if they attend college or serve in the U.S. military. Among those testifying in support of the Bill, officials from President Obama Administration included:
You can watch a recorded webcast of the hearing by going online to: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/
On the right side of the screen, scroll down and click on Webcast Archive, then scroll down to June 28, 2011 and click on the Dream Act hearing.
Question: I am from Jamaica and arrived in Sunrise in February of this year. My I-94 card expires in August, but now I want to stay in Sunrise longer to have a chance to look around for a good business to buy and get a work visa in the U.S.. I’m worried that it may be too late to ask immigration for more time now, so I want to know if I still have time to request an extension and how long it takes for the approval. Also, if I ask immigration to extend my time, can I still be eligible to change over to an investment work visa later? How long does the investment work visa take to be approved? Thanks.
Answer: Immigration regulations allow foreign visitors on B1-B2 visas to request up to six additional months to stay in the U.S.. Requests must be filed before the individual’s I-94 card expires, but can take up to 4 months or more for the USCIS to process. As a result, the I-94 card for most visitors who request an extension of stay in the U.S. will expire before the USCIS issues a decision. As a consequence of long USCIS processing times, the law allows visitors to remain in the U.S. even after the I-94 card expires, as long as the request for an extension of time was received by the USCIS before the expiration. However, USCIS approval of extension requests are never guaranteed, so it is extremely important that all extension requests be well documented to include crucial supporting evidence that will persuade the USCIS officer to approve the extension request. If an extension request is denied by the USCIS once a visitor’s I-94 card has expired, it can be difficult to re-enter the U.S. in the future and may even require obtaining a new U.S. B-1/B-2 Visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad.
Once the extension request is filed and a receipt is issued by the USCIS, a later application to change status to another type of visa can also be filed and approved without waiting for a decision on the extension request.
The Investment work visa you are referring to is called the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. The E-2 Visa for Jamaicans (and nationals of other E-2 Treaty countries) is a great immigration Visa for foreign investors to operate their own U.S. company, while living and working in the U.S. almost perpetually. E-2 Visas can be approved by the USCIS inside the U.S. in as little as 15 days, are valid for two years and can be extended every two years virtually forever, as long as the U.S. company continues to operate. Dependants are also issued E-2 Visas and spouses can obtain work permits. E-2 Visas require an investment in and ownership of at least 51% of a new or existing U.S. company.