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Curbelo and Grayson Introduce the Venezuelan Refugee Assistance Act

Posted: November 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »
Rep. Carlos Curbelo

Two Florida members of Congress introduced a bill that would allow Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. prior to Jan 1, 2013, to adjust status to permanent resident. No word on how likely this is to move forward.

Washington, D.C.—In response to the continued instability in Venezuela, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Alan Grayson (FL-09), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) have introduced the Venezuelan Refugee Assistance Act, H.R. 3744, to provide immigration relief to Venezuelans that have long-resided in the U.S., unable to return to their homeland:

“For the past decade, thousands of Venezuelans were forced to flee the brutal Chavez dictatorship. The situation has not improved under his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro. In the last few months alone we have seen countless examples of the regime’s thuggish tactics, unethical behavior, and lethal force. They’ve arrested top opposition leaders like Leopoldo Lopez and the Mayor or Caracas, and banned others from running for public office, like Maria Machado. They’ve also arrested over 3,000 opposition protestors in a riot that left dozens dead. This bill will help those Venezuelan nationals who have made a new home in the United States to remain here if they choose to since it is dangerous to return home.

Specifically, this legislation would address the issue by adjusting the status of Venezuelans that arrived in the U.S. prior to Jan 1, 2013 as long as they do not have a criminal record and were never involved in the persecution of others. They have until January 1, 2019 to register for adjustment.

I applaud the Venezuelan-American community in the United States for their continued efforts on behalf of the people of Venezuela and I stand in unity for their noble cause of justice and freedom and thank Rep. Grayson for his leadership throughout the years to help the Venezuelan people. I would also like to thank Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Wasserman Schultz for being original co-sponsors,” said Rep. Curbelo.

“I’m proud to join my Florida colleague Rep. Carlos Curbelo in introducing this important piece of bipartisan legislation. The political turmoil in Venezuela demands that the United States do everything in its power to protect those who have been able to escape to freedom in America. We cannot in good conscience force Venezuelans to return to a country where they face arrest, torture, and execution only because they oppose the government. Granting them permanent residence status is the best, most logical way to ensure their safety. I thank Rep. Curbelo for all he has done for the Venezuelan American community, and look forward to working with him to see this legislation out of committee and onto the floor for a vote,” said Rep. Grayson.

Rep. Curbelo will be holding a press conference regarding H.R. 3744 on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 in his Miami district office.


E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant visa holders could get Green Card after 10 years and their children can legally work from age 18

Posted: May 5th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »

P Christopher Jaensch

P Christopher Jaensch, Lawyer and Owner Jaensch Immigration Law Firm Sarasota

Sarasota Immigration Law Firm, Jaensch Immigration, are behind a new Bill being proposed by local Congressman David Jolly that would give E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant visas holders the right to apply for a Green Card after 10 years. It would also allow their children to stay in the country between the ages of 18 and 26 and be able to work without applying for their own visa.

Sarasota business immigration attorney, P. Christopher Jaensch, thinks that the new bill, if passed, could significantly improve the Florida economy.  He says,

“We already use the E-2 Treaty Investor visa as one of the main strategies for Canadians and Europeans who want to spend more time in the U.S.  The visa requires them to invest a substantial amount of money—usually more than $100,000—in an active business that will create jobs for U.S. workers.  They can start a new business or purchase an existing business, but must own a controlling interest and must come from a country with an investment treaty with the U.S.  However, many of our clients express dismay that they are making a major investment in the U.S. without having a way to get permission to stay permanently.  For clients with children, they are very concerned about how the children will be able to stay in the U.S. once they are 21.  This proposed law would help address these concerns and, I think, would increase the number of investors interested in the E-2 program.”

Karen Galkoff moved to Sarasota from the UK in 2013 with her husband and 3 children to open Fringe Spa Salon on an E-2 visa. Karen explains, “We’ve opened a business and we’re not only creating employment but also putting money back into the local economy by using local suppliers. Fringe has expanded and is growing nearly 100% year on year. Whilst we have a 5 year visa we always have “what if it’s not renewed” and “what happens when the kids want to get jobs” in the back of our minds. The proposed changes would give us the confidence to drive forward with our growth plans in Sarasota.”

Florida congressman, David Jolly, has announced that he will be filing a bill that would allow those on E-2 Treaty Investor non-immigrant visas to gain lawful permanent residence after ten years. The Bill would also remove a huge headache that most investors face and that’s their children being able to stay and work in the USA once they turn 18. Jolly’s proposed Bill “E-2 Visa Improvement Act of 2015” is at the very early stages. The key facts are as follows:

  • The E-2 visa holder needs to have lived and successfully worked in the USA for at least 10 years
  • They must have created full time employment for no fewer than two individuals
  • There will be a limitation of 10,000 visas in any fiscal year
  • At 18 Children can work and then remain in the US until they are 26 (regardless of length of time their parents have held an E-2)
  • Children 26 years of age or younger would automatically be covered

Speaking to an audience in Pinellas Park, Congressman Jolly said: “Every day the immigration reform debate hits the headlines, but only focuses on those here in the US illegally, what about those who are legally obliged to be here?”

A key driver for Congressman Jolly is to help encourage international entrepreneurs to come to the USA and share their talents and expertise. Speaking to an audience in Pinellas Park, Congressman Jolly said: “Every day the immigration reform debate hits the headlines, but only focuses on those here in the US illegally, what about those who are legally obliged to be here? Those who enter our country legally on nonimmigrant E-2 Treaty Investor Visas come from all over the world to start a business in our country, bringing with them the entrepreneurial spirit to start businesses and fully integrate into our communities. Without an opportunity for permanent residency these visa holders cannot take the next step in carrying out the American dream that initially brought them to the United States. So this week introduced H.R. 1834, a bill that allows business owners in the United States on E-2 visas the opportunity for permanent residency after 10 years. Currently, all E-2 nonimmigrants must maintain an intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires or is terminated. Further, their children must leave the United States or apply for another visa when they turn 21 years old. Under my bill, children of E-2 Treaty Investor Visa holders can stay in the U.S. until they are 26 years old and can apply for work at 18 years of age.”

The Bill does not propose changing the need to re-apply for an E-2 visa until the minimum time of 10 years in the USA has been achieved meaning that those on a 5 year visa will still need to renew at the 5th and 10th year. According to the US Department of State, there were over 35,000 E-2 Visa’s approved in 2013.

Congressman Jolly went on to say: “I think people in Congress will recognize the importance of addressing legal immigration at the same time we’re having a national debate about illegal immigration. It’s only fair that we do so and it’s right that we do so. Whenever you have comprehensive immigration reform, it is hard to pass small provisions. This one, I hope, is a very simple one that we could move outside of the comprehensive immigration reform. Let’s recognize the contribution of legal immigrants now, but it may be that this gets wrapped into comprehensive immigration reform, and I’m okay with that. We’re prepared to have that conversation.”

USCIS Announces In-Country Refugee/Parole Processing for Minors in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala

Posted: February 18th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News | No Comments »

The Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are pleased to announce a new in-country refugee and parole program for certain qualified minors in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

This Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program was established to provide a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States.

Who is Eligible?

The program allows certain parents who are lawfully present in the U.S. to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still residing in one of these three countries. Applicants who gain access to the program, but are found ineligible for refugee status will be considered on a case-by-case basis for parole into the United States.

Application Process

The CAM program began accepting applications on December 1, 2014. Certain parents who are lawfully present in the U.S. are eligible to file a form requesting access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children. A qualifying parent in the U.S. may file form DS-7699 Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) for Minors Who Are Nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (CAM-AOR). This form may only be accessed and completed with the assistance of a designated resettlement agency.

For more information please click here

Start Preparing for your New H1-B Worker NOW!

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Employer & Student Visas, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »

The H-1B cap is approaching fast, and early planning and processing is recommended!

The filing period for new H-1B visa petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for FY (“Fiscal Year”) 2016 begins on April 1, 2015. To ensure timely receipt, and to have the best chance of your case being accepted under the cap, petitions must be submitted the first week of April 2015 for a visa that will begin on October 2015.

The annual limit for new H-1Bs is 65,000 , with an additional 20,000 visas available to H-1B applicants who possess a Master’s or higher degree from a U.S. academic institution. An applicant qualifies for an H-1B under the additional 20,000 allotment if he/she has completed all requirements for the advanced degree at the time the petition is filed.

In 2014, the annual FY-2015 limit for new H-1Bs was reached immediately, with USCIS receiving over 172,500 applications during the first week of filing. We anticipate that the FY-2016 cap may be reached at the same pace and increased rate of filings. Consequently, it is important that employers plan and process their FY 2016 H-1B petitions early. 


What is an H-1B Visa?

The H-1B is an employer-sponsored nonimmigrant visa classification which allows foreign individuals to work for up to six (6) years in a specialty occupation. “Employer-sponsored” means that the employer must apply for the H-1B on behalf of the prospective H-1B employee through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  “Specialty occupation” means a position that requires specialized knowledge and skills, and at least a related bachelor’s degree in that specialty. The H-1B also requires that the H-1B employer pay the H-1B employee the same or higher wage than is paid to workers in similar occupations in the geographical area of the proposed employment.

Please contact our if you have any questions pertaining to the FY-2016 H-1B petition filing procedures or would like to begin the process.


CBP Launches Border Wait Time App

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Athlete & Artist Visas, Employer & Student Visas, Immigration Reform, Investor Visas, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »


According to their government website, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently launched the Border Wait Time app making it easier for travelers to plan their trip across the border. The app provides estimated wait times and open lane status at land ports of entry allowing travelers to make an informed decision of where and when to cross the border. Wait times for pedestrian and passenger and commercial vehicle crossings are broken down by lane type (standard, SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST, Ready Lane, etc.). Travelers can download the app for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“CBP continues to deploy technology that enhances the travel experience at all of our ports of entry,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “The launch of this app will provide travelers crossing the land border with more information when and where they need it.”

The app is a one-stop shop for cross border travel. Travelers can locate the three ports of entry closest to their location and then map the best route to the crossing of their choice. For example, the app allows travelers in the Buffalo, New York area to compare wait times at the Peace Bridge, Rainbow Bridge and Lewiston Queenston Bridge and will then direct them to whichever crossing they chose.

The app was developed by CBP and does not require individuals to register or provide any personal information. CBP does not store or have access to any information regarding travelers using the app.

The Border Wait Time app is just one example of CBP’s effort to create a traveler-friendly processing environment. CBP has deployed Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks to more than 25 airports, including most recently at preclearance locations in Edmonton, Canada and Aruba. Much like APC, CBP launched Mobile Passport Control, the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry into the United States, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport this summer. CBP has also enrolled more than three million travelers in trusted traveler programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. These programs allow CBP officers to process travelers safely and efficiently while enhancing security and reducing operational costs.

Source: Click here for the original article.

DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone

Posted: November 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News | Tags: , | No Comments »

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Logo

The Department of Homeland Security recently released the following announcement: 

Due to the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has announced his decision to designate Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months.  As a result, eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who are currently residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Federal Register notices provide details and procedures for applying for TPS and are available at

The TPS designations for the three countries are effective Nov. 21, 2014 and will be in effect for 18 months. The designations mean that eligible nationals of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone (and people without nationality who last habitually resided in one of those three countries) will not be removed from the United States and are authorized to work and obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The 180-day TPS registration period begins Nov. 21, 2014 and runs through May 20, 2015.

To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been “continuously residing” in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 and “continuously physically present in” the United States since Nov. 21, 2014.  Applicants also undergo thorough security checks.  Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS. The eligibility requirements are fully described in the Federal Register notices and on the TPS Web page at 

Liberians currently covered under the two-year extension of Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) based on President Obama’s Sept. 26, 2014 memorandum may apply for TPS. If they do not apply for TPS within the initial 180-day registration period, they risk being ineligible for TPS because they will have missed the initial registration period. Liberians covered by DED who already possess or have applied for an EAD do not need to also apply for one related to this TPS designation. However, such individuals who are granted TPS may request a TPS-related EAD at a later date as long as the TPS designation for Liberia remains in effect.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive any or all fees based on demonstrated inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject any TPS application that does not include the required filing fee or a properly documented fee-waiver request.

All USCIS forms are free. Applicants can download these forms from the USCIS website at or request them by calling USCIS toll-free at 1-800-870-3676.

President Due to Issue an Executive Order Regarding Immigration

Posted: November 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Deferred Action, Immigration Reform, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | No Comments »


There is nothing official about helping “illegal” immigrants; but there is real hope.

President Obama is expected to announce—perhaps as early as this week—a temporary relief program  for almost 4 million people  from the fear of deportation and qualify for work permits. As president he does not have the authority to change the U.S. Immigration laws; but he  can order changes in how the law is applied—at least for the next two years.

 But it takes the U.S.  Congress  to change the Immigration laws with the agreement of the President. At this time, Congress does not seem willing to pass a new law to help the some 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. Most Republican members of Congress are also objecting to the President’s plan by threatening not to make money available to pay for the cost of implementing it.

The order that is expected from the President would halt deportation fears for about 3.3 million immigrants who are either married to a U.S. citizen or are the parent of a U.S. citizen child and have been in the U.S. for at least 5 years.

 The White House is also considering expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which helped about 600,000 young immigrants who came to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday.  The expansion could help another 700,000 young people.  There is also discussion to allow parents of DACA children to qualify for deportation relief.

 It is important to know that this hope is not yet in effect nor will it be a permanent solution for those currently illegal in the U.S. Some unscrupulous  people—some call themselves “notarios”—are claiming they can already register illegals for the new policy the President has indicated he may order soon.

For the latest actual status of  any new Immigration policy, we suggest you check with the Jaensch  Immigration Law Firm website: or call us at (941) 366-9841.

Lufthansa Announces Direct Flights for Tampa-Frankfurt!

Posted: November 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | No Comments »



Lufthansa will make Tampa its newest U.S. destination, launching nonstop flights to Frankfurt next fall.

Starting Sept. 25, the carrier will fly four weekly wintertime flights on the route. Lufthansa will increase that to five a week for its summer schedule. Lufthansa will use Airbus A340-300 jets on the route, which will become the airline’s third to Florida. Lufthansa already flies to Miami and Orlando.

“We’re delighted that our passengers will soon be able to fly in comfort, non-stop from the West Coast of Florida to Frankfurt,” Lufthansa CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt says in a statement. “We’re expecting the new direct connection to elicit huge interest and demand, especially from leisure travelers.”

Tampa also appears to become the first destination to get service on Lufthansa’s A340 aircraft that are reconfigured in a 298-seat layout targeted toward leisure markets. Lufthansa is rolling out the higher-density set-up to seven of its older, four-engine A340s.

There will be no first class cabin on the reconfigured aircraft, but they will include 18 of Lufthansa’s updated lie-flat business class seats. There will be 280 seats in coach, including 19 in Lufthansa’s just-launched Premium Economy section.

Carsten Spohr, CEO of the broader Lufthansa Group holding company that includes Lufthansa as well as subsidiaries Austrian, Swiss and Germanwings, discussed Lufthansa’s reconfigured A340s with Today in the Sky on Monday.

“This is basically maintaining and extending the operation of our 340-300s in the fleet,” Spohr said to Today in the Sky from the carrier’s offices in New York’s Empire State Building.

Spohr said the reconfigured aircraft will be used “partly … on routes which are loss-making now and partly taking on some new routes,” of which Tampa becomes one of the first.

Despite the increased seating capacity on its A340s, Spohr said “this will be the full Lufthansa product. (We) will just be reducing the number of premium seats to 18 business-class seats, leaving room for more than 280 economy and premium economy seats.”

Spohr said “that’s enough for us to enlarge our network” by allowing the carrier to fly to more leisure-focused markets that may not have enough demand for the carrier’s high-end first class seating.

As for Tampa International, the carrier lauded the new route to Frankfurt.

“This is a huge win for the Tampa Bay region,” Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, says in a statement. “Lufthansa is one of the best-run and profitable airlines in the industry and their investment in this community is testament to the strength of our international travel market.”

Tampa International noted that Lufthansa can offer connections via Frankfurt to more than 145 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.


Temporary Protected Status Extended for Honduras and Nicaragua

Posted: October 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | No Comments »

According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Weekly Digest Bulletin, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016.

Current TPS Honduras and Nicaragua beneficiaries seeking to extend their TPS must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from Oct. 16, 2014 through Dec. 15, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages beneficiaries to re-register as soon as possible once the 60-day re-registration period begins. USCIS will not accept applications before Oct. 16, 2014.

The 18-month extension also allows TPS re-registrants to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Eligible TPS Honduras or Nicaragua beneficiaries (or persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Honduras or Nicaragua) who re-register during the 60-day period and request a new EAD will receive one with an expiration date of July 5, 2016.

To re-register, current TPS beneficiaries must submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Re-registrants do not need to pay the Form I-821 application fee, but they must submit the biometric services fee (or a fee-waiver request) if they are age 14 or older. All TPS re-registrants must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. TPS re-registrants requesting an EAD must submit the Form I-765 application fee or a fee-waiver request. If the re-registrant does not want an EAD, no application fee is required.

Applicants may request that USCIS waive the Form I-765 application fee or biometrics fee based on an inability to pay by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or by submitting a written request. Fee-waiver requests must be accompanied by supporting documentation. USCIS will reject the TPS application of any applicant who fails to submit the required filing fees or a properly documented fee-waiver request.


DHS To Implement Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program

Posted: October 23rd, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | No Comments »

According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services Weekly Digest Bulletin, starting in early 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin implementation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program to expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and to promote safe, legal and orderly migration from Haiti to the United States.

Under this program U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will offer certain eligible Haitian beneficiaries of already approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, who are currently in Haiti, an opportunity to come to the United States up to approximately two years before their immigrant visa priority dates become current.

“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States.  The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification.  It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.  “The United States strongly discourages individuals in Haiti from undertaking life-threatening and illegal maritime journeys to the United States. Such individuals will not qualify for the HFRP program and if located at sea may be returned to Haiti.” 

Legal authority for the HFRP program is provided under the Immigration and Nationality Act which authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole into the United States certain individuals, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.  This is the same legal authority used to establish the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program in 2007.

USCIS is not currently accepting HFRP program applications, and potential beneficiaries should not take any action at this time.  USCIS will provide full program details before the end of this calendar year and stakeholder engagements will take place shortly thereafter. In early 2015, the Department of State National Visa Center (NVC) will begin contacting certain U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with approved petitions for Haitian family members, offer them the opportunity to apply to the program, and provide instructions on how to apply. Only individuals who receive a written notice of program eligibility from NVC will be eligible to apply.

Under the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program, Haitians authorized parole will be allowed to enter the United States and apply for work permits but will not receive permanent resident status any earlier. 

Q&A for Diversity Visa Applicants Attempting to Log into Entrant Status Check Website

Posted: May 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This post is related to our earlier post about the issues the Kentucky Consular Center has been having with the Entrant Status Check website.  The technical problem with the Entrant Status Check system has led to many questions.  We contacted the Kentucky Consular Center for answers and are posting them below.

How will I know if I have been selected?

  • The only proof that you have been selected to process further in the DV-2015 program is a notice with your name on it that states you have been selected.  When you log into the Entrant Status Check (ESC) on the dvlottery.state.govwebsite you will see one of two responses:
  • If you see a message that says you were selected, and it includes your name, you have been selected to process further in the DV-2015 lottery.  Please review the website at for full instructions on how to proceed.
  • If you see a message that says you were not selected, you have not been selected to process further in the DV-2015 lottery.  You may enter again next year.  This message will not include your name.

When I logged in, I got a message saying I was not selected, but there was no name on the screen. What does that mean?

  • That means you were not selected.  If you were not selected for further processing, you will receive a standard message that applies to anyone who was not selected.  It will not have your name on it.

 I saw a selection notice, but it had someone else’s name on it. What do I do? 

  • If you log into the ESC now and see a notice that says you were selected, but it is addressed to another person, this does not mean that you have been selected. You should contact KCC at for further information.  Include your name and confirmation number, and tell KCC at what time you tried to log in to the ESC.  (If this happened to you on May 1, there is no need to tell KCC. If it happens to you now, please let us know.)

Will these results change?  Should I check back again later to see if I was selected in the future?

  • These results are final.  We do not anticipate that there will be any additional names selected for DV-2015. 

 I am having problems logging in, or I am confused by my results.  Can KCC tell me if I was selected?

  • KCC cannot tell you if you have been selected for further processing.  The ESC is the only means by which you may check your status.

If you are unable to log into the ESC, please check to be sure you are entering your confirmation number correctly.  Some letters and numbers look similar to one another.  If the ESC web page is experiencing a high volume of requests, it may work very slowly and some connections may time out.  If this happens to you, please try again later. 

If you have lost your confirmation number, please try to retrieve it using the “forgot confirmation number” link on the ESC website.  If you cannot retrieve your confirmation number by providing the information required, there is no way for you to check your status.

If you have read all of this information and still have questions, please contact KCC at  Include your full name and, if you know it, your DV case number.

IMPORTANT: Re Diversity Visa

Posted: May 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

To All Diversity Visa entrants who attempted to log into the Entrant Status Check (ESC) website on May 1, 2014.

For a brief period on May 1, the ESC website experienced a technical problem. As a result, some people who logged into the site to check the status of their applications were shown the wrong information. If you logged into the ESC website on May 1 and saw a notice of selection that did not include your name, or if you saw a notice that you were not selected, you must re-check your status to find out whether or not you were selected.

You must see a notice that is addressed to you by name as proof of selection to process further in the DV-2015 program. We regret any confusion this technical problem may have caused.

Please note that the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) will not send you unsolicited e-mail that includes your confirmation number or that asks you to provide any personal information. You must log into the ESC website to check your status. If you have further questions about the ESC website or the content of this e-mail, you may contact KCC by e-mail at The KCC telephone number is 606-526-7500 (7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. EST).

Reposted from AILA National: Information for Venezuelan Asylum-Seekers

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from AILA National Youtube Channel.

(English & Espanol) AILA South Florida Warns Venezuelans about the Dangers of Frivolous Asylum Applications

Posted: March 6th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: National News | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Reposted from AILA South Florida website.

In response to incomplete advice recently released through the media, AILA South Florida is warning Venezuelans about the danger of filing frivolous asylum applications. Unlike what recently televised statements suggest, not all Venezuelans qualify for asylum and the loss of a claim can result in removal from the U.S. and the loss of the ability to return to the U.S. in the future. A judicial decision that an asylum claim was frivolous or fraudulent will result in permanently barring the applicant from returning to the U.S. or obtaining lawful status in the U.S.

Asylum law is a very complex and specialized area of immigration law and the United States has an extremely strict approval process for granting asylum. Applicants must prove to have been persecuted or face persecution upon return to their home country due to their, race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. General unrest, bad conditions, poor leadership and opposition to the current government in Venezuela do NOT warrant a grant of asylum.

As of this time, the U.S. government has granted no special relief to Venezuelan nationals.

AILA South Florida advises Venezuelans to be extremely cautious in their decision to apply for asylum in the United States. The professional organization highly recommends that all those considering an asylum application first consult with an immigration attorney with specialized experience in asylum cases to determine the merits of their claim and identify other alternatives for obtaining status in the U.S.

About AILA South Florida

AILA South Florida is one of the largest and most respected chapters of the national American Immigration Lawyers Association. The organization’s attorneys provide highly-qualified and personalized immigration law counsel to immigrant families throughout South Florida. Working with a qualified AILA attorney ensures that immigrants proceed with the best course of action based on their individual standing, immigration history, and potential reform changes. Learn more at

Debido a Reportes Falsos, AILA South Florida Advierte a Venezolanos Sobre el Peligro de las Solicitudes de Asilo Frívolas

En respuesta a información incompleta proporcionada recientemente en un informe de prensa de Miami, la división del Sur de la Florida de la Asociación Americana de Abogados de Inmigración (AILA) está advirtiendo a venezolanos sobre el peligro de presentar una aplicación de asilo frívola o fraudulenta. A pesar de las condiciones actuales del país, no todos los venezolanos son elegibles para asilo en los EE.UU. y los candidatos interesados ​​deben consultar con un abogado capacitado antes de continuar, porque las solicitudes de asilo denegadas pueden resultar en la expulsión de los EE.UU. y solicitudes fraudulentas o frívolas pueden dar lugar a una prohibición permanente de reingreso a los EE.UU.

En respuesta a asesoramientos incompletos recientemente reportados a través de los medios de comunicación, AILA South Florida advierte a venezolanos sobre el peligro de presentar solicitudes de asilo frívolas. A diferencia de lo que sugieren las declaraciones recientemente dadas por televisión, no todos los venezolanos tienen derecho a solicitar asilo y una solicitud rechazada podría resultar en la expulsión de los EE.UU. como también la pérdida de posibilidad de regresar a los EE.UU. en el futuro. Una decisión judicial declarando que la solicitud de asilo es infundada o fraudulenta, tendrá como resultado la prohibición permanente al solicitante de regresar a los EE.UU. o de obtener un estatus legal en los EE.UU.

La ley de asilo es un área muy compleja y especializada de la ley de inmigración y los Estados Unidos tiene un proceso de aprobación extremadamente estricto para autorizar asilo. Los solicitantes deberán demostrar que han sido perseguidos o que sufrirán persecución si regresan a su país de origen debido a su raza, religión, nacionalidad, opinión política o pertenencia a un determinado grupo social. Malestar general, malas condiciones, la falta de liderazgo, y la oposición al actual gobierno de Venezuela NO justifican la aprobación de asilo.

Todavía hoy, el gobierno de EE.UU. no ha otorgado ningún beneficio especial para los ciudadanos venezolanos.

AILA South Florida aconseja a los venezolanos a ser extremadamente cautelosos en su decisión de solicitar asilo en Estados Unidos. Esta organización profesional recomienda altamente que todos aquellos que estén considerando una solicitud de asilo, consulten primero con un abogado de inmigración con experiencia especializada en casos de asilo para determinar los méritos de su demanda e identificar otras alternativas para la obtención de estatus legal en los EE.UU.

Acerca de AILA South Florida

AILA South Florida es una de las divisiones más importantes y respetadas de la Asociación Nacional Americana de Abogados de Inmigración. Los abogados de la organización proporcionan asesoría legal de inmigración altamente calificada y personalizada a las familias de inmigrantes en todo el sur de Florida. Trabajar con un abogado capacitado de AILA asegura que los inmigrantes procedan con el mejor curso de acción basado en su situación individual, historia inmigratoria y los cambios potenciales de reforma. Obtenga más información en

Chile Added to Exclusive List of Visa Waiver Countries

Posted: March 5th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Immigration Reform, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Reposted from

Press release dated 2/28/14:

WASHINGTON—Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, joined by Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources  Heather Higginbottom, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes, announced the designation of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)—streamlining travel for thousands of eligible Chilean passport holders, while maintaining strong security standards. Starting May 1, 2014, eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and an e-passport will be able to visit the United States without nonimmigrant visitor visas.

“This announcement furthers our important partnership with Chile and will benefit the security and the economies of both our nations,” said Secretary Johnson. “The addition of Chile to the Visa Waiver Program will enable us to work together to maintain the highest standards of security, while also facilitating travel for Chileans visiting the United States.”

“The United States and Chile have a robust partnership – from advancing peace and democratic values in the hemisphere to supporting shared economic growth through trade and investment,” said Deputy Secretary Higginbottom. “Today’s move will continue to bring our governments – and, more importantly, our citizens – closer together, strengthening the foundation of our enduring partnership for years to come.”

Chile will join 37 participants in the VWP—which permits visa-free travel to the United States for eligible travelers visiting the United States for 90 days or fewer for business or tourism.  In Fiscal Year 2013, the VWP accounted for about 19.6 million visits to the United States, or approximately 60 percent of tourist and business travelers entering the United States by air.

In accordance with the VWP designation process, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) , in consultation with the Department of State, determined that Chile complies with key security and information-sharing requirements—such as enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States; timely reporting of lost and stolen passports; and the maintenance of high counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control, aviation and document security standards.

Like other VWP travelers, eligible Chilean passport holders will be required to apply for advanced authorization through the ESTA, a DHS Web-based system.

For more information, visit or