Monthly Archives: October 2012

Citizens of Taiwan Can Now Enter U.S. Without a Visa, on the VWP

The American Institute in Taiwan may see start seeing fewer requests for B-1 and B-2 tourist visas, thanks to a new policy announced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Citizens of Taiwan are now eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), starting on November 1, 2012.

The VWP allows citizens of 37 countries to travel to the U.S. for up to 90 days at a time for purposes of business or tourism. Instead of applying for a visa in advance, which requires showing up for a personal interview and providing extensive documents, VWP travelers simply apply for authorization through what’s known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

The VWP is not without its disadvantages, however. For example, you cannot apply to extend your VWP stay, but must leave the U.S. within the allotted 90-day period. For further details, see Nolo’s article, “Who Can Visit the U.S. Under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).”

DACA Deferred Action Applications Far Fewer Than Expected

The U.S. government predicted that about 1.04 million people would apply for DACA deferred action (for undocumented foreign-born persons who arrived in the U.S. as children) in the first year of the program, according to a Huffington Post report. Thus far, only about 80,000 people have applied, according to a story by immigration blogger Matthew Kolken. What’s more, the intial flood of applications has already turned into a trickle.

What’s going on? It may be that concerns over the risks of applying or the outcome of the election are at work.

For analysis of those topics, see the following articles on Nolo’s website:

Another important step, if you’re considering applying for DACA, would be to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer. The good thing about having waited this long is that lawyers are learning more about the application process every day, and are in ongoing communication with the immigration authorities about how the program is being implemented and how the eligibility rules are being interpreted.

Diversity Visa Lottery Registration Now Open!

Today’s the day (October 2, 2012) to enter the annual Diversity Visa Lottery (DV-2014)! That is, if you’re from one of the eligible countries and have the proper educational or work background, as described in “Do You Meet the Education or Work Experience Requirements of the Diversity Visa Program?

Entries can be made only online, via the State Department’s lottery page. The final day for registering is November 3, 2012 at noon Eastern time.

Registration is free, so don’t be fooled by scam artists wanting to charge money to help you enter! Also be sure to read the articles on the “Diversity Visa Lottery Green Cards” page of Nolo’s website, which will not only provide further information on this topic in plain English, but help you understand what happens if your name is drawn as a “winner.” You’ll need to act quickly in order to turn that winning slot into an actual green card.