U.S. Immigration News for Japanese Companies - April 2012

Date: 4/6/2012
 U.S. Immigration News for Japanese Companies - April 2012

FRAUD WARNING—Fraudulent DV lottery Websites and Fraudulent E-mail Notices

Fraudulent websites are posing as official U.S. government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. government have sought money in order to "complete" DV entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. To learn more, see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning.

There have also been fraudulent emails being sent to individuals notifying them that they have been selected in the DV lottery and must cable money to an account in order to process their case.

The Department of State does NOT notify successful DV applicants by letter or email. Entrants can check the status of their entries, as explained below, by returning to the website at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov to find out if their entry was or was not selected..

Update on New Visa Application Procedures

The US Embassy in Tokyo announced "As of Friday, March 23, 2012 services including calling for information and envelopes for visa'ed passports will be provided at no additional cost to visa applicants."

Return of Passport with Visas. Applicants for visas will no longer be required to provide a Letterpack 500 that was previously used to return the applicant's passport. Under the new procedures, the passport will be sent to the applicant or made available to the applicant for pickup at a designated post office without additional costs.

Customer inquiries. There will no longer be a charge for visa applicant's inquiries by phone or email. English- and Japanese-speaking customer service agents are available from 9am to 6pm Japan time Monday through Friday. However, the customer service agents will not be available on US and Japanese holidays.

Telephone contact numbers:

In Tokyo please call 03-6743-9732

In Osaki please call 06-6943-6700

In Naha please call 098-854-7050

In the United States, call toll-free 1-646-259-0526.

Email contact:

support-japan @ustraveldocs.com

Visa Processing Fees to Change Effective April 13, 2012

The U.S. Department of State announced on March 29, 2012 that effective April 13, 2012 the visa processing fees will change as indicated below:

Nonimmigrant Visa Processing Fee

Type of Visa

Previous Fee

New Fee

Tourist, Business, Transit, Crew Member, Student, Exchange Visitor and Journalist Visas

$140

$160

Petition-Based Visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R)

$150

$190

Treaty Investor and Trader Visas (E-1 and E-2)

$390

$270

Fiancé(e) Visas (K)

$350

$240

Border Crossing Cards (age 15 and older)

$140

$160

Border Crossing Cards (under age 15)

$14

$15

Because of a reallocation of costs associated with immigrant visas, all categories of immigrant visa processing fees will decrease.

Immigrant Visa Processing Fees

Type of Visa

Previous Fee

New Fee

Immediate Relative and Family Preference Applications

$330

$230

Employment-Based Applications

$720

$405

Other Immigrant Visa Applications

$305

$220

Diversity Visa Program Fee

$440

$330

Determining Returning Resident Status

$380

$275

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo states as follows:

"Fees that will decrease are not refundable - If you paid a visa fee before April 13, 2012 and that fee decreased, we cannot give you a refund."

"Fees that will increase (only nonimmigrant fees) - If you paid your visa fee before April 13, 2012, you do not have to pay the difference between the new and old fee amounts as long as your visa interview is on or before July 12, 2012. Starting July 13, 2012, you will be required to pay the difference between the old and new fee amounts at the Consular cashier – no exceptions."

 

For more information about this or any other immigration law topic, please contact Eldon Kakuda, at 847.734.8811 or via email at ekakuda@masudafunai.com.

Weekly Immigration Updates are provided under the Legal Update link of the Immigration Group Section of our firm's website at www.masudafunai.com.