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Marks Gray Immigration Update
August, 2014

We hope you are enjoying your Summer and made time to recharge mentally, physically and emotionally.  Fall is quickly approaching and as a result days are getting shorter, school has started for many and Congress will be back in session after Labor Day.  With the change of season comes new optimism for a minimalist immigration reform bill with emphasis on high-skilled workers and border security.  We look forward to continuing to keep you up to date on the immigration news that affects you most.  


Cheerfully, Giselle 

In the August Immigration Update
DOS Worldwide Delays, Plan Ahead if You Need a Visa or Passport  

After a Department of State (DOS) software update in July, the worldwide database that manages the issuance of hundreds of thousands of visas worldwide crashed.  Since the crash, consulates have been severely limited in their ability to produce visas. As a result, travelers seeking a U.S. visa, passport or other travel document should expect delays and plan ahead.   Click here to read more.  

September Visa Bulletin Released
US Visa   
The Department of State's Visa Bulletin for September 2014 has been released.  This Bulletin includes the family and employment preference numerical limits for FY2014.  The cut-off dates for most family-based categories and employment-based, second-preference India have advanced for the month of September.  The cut-off dates for employment-based, third preference and Other Worker categories for the Philippines have also rapidly advanced. Click here to read the Visa Bulletin.


New USICS Memo on H-1B Petitions for Nurses
Twelve years after the last USCIS policy memorandum (PM) on the adjudication of H-1B visas for nurses, this past July USCIS issued a PM which supersedes prior guidance. The PM is intended to assist USCIS officers in determining whether a nursing position meets the definition of a "specialty occupation." The PM notes that the private sector "is increasingly showing a preference for more highly educated nurses" and as a result, in some situations, a petitioner may be able to show that a nursing position qualifies as a specialty occupation. To view the memorandum, click here.
CBP Seeks Comments to Improve International Travel

As a result of a directive from President Obama, CBP is seeking comments to improve the entry process and airport-specific plans for international travelers to the U.S. CBP is looking for feedback and suggestions for improvement in the areas of international arrival experience, technology, passport, baggage inspections and related issues. We are hopeful that this outreach will result in new initiatives that facilitate international travel to our country.

Q: What Should I Do to Prepare for my Consular Processing  Interview?


A. This can be a stressful process. You are not automatically guaranteed a visa. Most applicants, but not all, will have an appointment at the Visa Application Center (OFC), followed by an appointment at the Embassy or Consulate. The following questions and answers are intended you prepare you and facilitate the process.  


How should I prepare my documents?

-         Do not staple documents together. Please use binder clips as necessary.

-         Submit clear and legible photocopies of all documents required. Click here to read more...


Best Life Tips:
Keep Cool in Hot Weather

We are in the midst of the dog days of summer in Florida. The sun and heat sometimes discourages outdoor workouts. Don't let the heat discourage you from staying active and healthy.   Learn about exercising safely in the heat and continuing to enjoy the outdoors.  I'm currently training for a marathon that will take place at the end of September and have adapted my training to accommodate the heat including getting up very early, staying hydrated and cool. The American Heart Association offers tips on keeping safe and active in the summer months.  Click here to read more tips.

   10K St. Johns' River Swim - August 23rd


"Up the River Downtown" is a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) swim in St. Johns' River from Jacksonville University to the Riverside Arts Market to raise awareness through athletics for a healthier river and benefiting the Special Olympics - Duval County swim team. Last year, Marks Gray supported this event and this year, we will continue to support it. I will also be swimming it!


  Jax Sports Inaugural Luncheon - August 21st 


The Jax Sports Council, a division of Gator Bowl Sports, is a membership-based organization established to promote and showcase NE Florida as a sports destination. ESPN College Game Day analyst Kirk Herbstreit will be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Jax Sports Council's luncheon and our firm is proud to be attending and supporting this event.

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Be Well! 
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