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05 May 2016

Public Service Recognition Week, Part IV: How ‘I Will Be Right Behind You’ Means Reuniting 12 Years Later for This Budget Analyst

In this series of four blog posts celebrating Public Service Recognition Week, we honor the dedication of USCIS employees who fulfill the USCIS mission of securing America's promise as a nation of immigrants.

By Ben Rubenstein

When Sanh M. was 8 years old, she loosened her fixed grip on her father's hand as he sent her towards a boat that would take her from Vietnam to a refugee camp in Thailand. She says her father told her, "Go…go with your sisters. Your mother, brothers and I will be right behind you."

Sanh (left) and her sisters while living in a Thailand refugee camp from 1986-1988.

Sanh thought they would reunite soon, that the others would be delayed mere days. Until then, Sanh and her three older sisters darted through the forest and marshes, sneaked by soldiers guarding the beach, and found the boat. They reached the refugee camp and throughout their two years there Sanh asked her sisters, "Where’s mom and dad?" There was no way to get in touch. They didn't know what happened to their parents and younger brothers. Their parents and brothers didn't know what happened to them.

Sanh says her parents had sent them away for better education and futures. When they left, before Vietnam's economic reforms, the country was one of the poorest in the world. Per capita income was around $100 with the majority living in extreme poverty. Sanh grew up sleeping in the same bed as all three of her sisters. Even still she has pleasant memories of the friendly, hard-working Vietnamese people, and of fresh fish.

Sanh (left) and her father at her graduation from Virginia Tech in 2001.

While recalling the suffering at the refugee camp in Thailand, Sanh paused at times to cry. "We went to bed hungry. They had food but it wasn't enough to provide for everyone. There were a lot of people there. It was sad. However, knowing there were other kids in the same situation, I was ok. Plus my sisters were around."

Two years later, in 1988, Sanh and her sisters were formally accepted into the United States through Connections, a Roman Catholic-based organization in Richmond, Virginia, and the four girls were placed in foster care. The sisters finally got in touch with their family back in Vietnam.

Sanh (center) and her entire family reunite to celebrate her wedding in 2006.

The sisters separated to different families around Roanoke, Virginia, though Sanh remained with her sister nearest her in age, Sinh. Sanh found it comforting to live with Sinh and see her other sisters when all the foster parents arranged for them to get together.

In Asia, Sanh says everyone had brown eyes and black hair. "I came here and, wow – the environment, food, people of all different nationalities – I felt like I fit in. It was amazing." 

In 1999, about 12 years after letting go of her father's hand, the sisters and their parents reunited once Sanh's oldest sister became a U.S. citizen and could sponsor them. Mullaney became a citizen in 2000. Her brothers and youngest sister came over in 2005 when Sanh's parents were able to sponsor them. 

Now, Sanh's whole family is here, along a 250-mile stretch from Roanoke to Dunkirk, Maryland, where Sanh lives. She says reuniting was "one of those happy moments in life. We went through so much for so long."

Sanh sees her parents every couple months. She even keeps in touch with her foster parents in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she studied accounting at Virginia Tech. She and Sinh see each other often since they live about 33 miles apart. They also each have two daughters. Sanh's daughters Caitlin, 6, and Brianna, 5, like to sing, dance and swim.

Sanh last returned to Vietnam in 2001, before she married and had her daughters. She found it different than how she remembered it, with booming tourism and many Vietnamese people living a decent lifestyle.

First an accountant at KPMG after college, Sanh became a contractor with USCIS in 2003 and converted to a federal employee in 2011. She is a budget analyst with the Office of Information Technology. She says working here is "something I always wanted to do. Just my background and who I am, I want to help make a difference."

Sanh (right), her husband, and her children visit National Harbor.

If Sanh could change her past, would she have stayed in Vietnam and remained with her family? No. "I am truly blessed to be here," she says.

03 May 2016

Public Service Recognition Week, Part III: A Refugee Officer's Story: 'Countless Narratives of Suffering and Loss'

In this series of four blog posts celebrating Public Service Recognition Week, we honor the dedication of USCIS employees who fulfill the USCIS mission of securing America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.

By Ben Rubenstein

For six years, USCIS Refugee Officer Slava Madorsky traveled the world interviewing applicants to determine if they were eligible for refugee status, because of persecution or fear of persecution. For three of those years, until she was able to use a laptop during interviews, she handwrote up to 40 pages of notes each day to record their stories. Once, as she interviewed a man in Baghdad, her pen flew from her hand in a bad case of writer’s cramp. The man – who had been describing torture and being shuttled from prison to prison – laughed. Madorsky apologized. “‘It’s just my hand. I’m not actually throwing a pen at you.’ He was the nicest man in the world. He actually felt bad for me, and I was thinking, ‘Why is this person feeling bad for my stupid hand?’”

Madorsky and her father, Vladimir, around 1982 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

Madorsky, 38, was born to Jewish parents in the Russian city of St. Petersburg (then called Leningrad during the Soviet era, which ended in 1991). Her father, she says, wanted to emigrate when he was 18, but after college and military service he accepted an engineering job with a security clearance. He knew if he tried leaving the Soviet Union, he would be denied an exit visa and put under surveillance.

When Madorsky was born, her father quit engineering to become a television repairman. He wanted a job that would not hinder him from trying to leave once his clearance expired 10 years later—and he actually made three times as much repairing TVs. “That was the Soviet Union,” she says, “what are you going to do?”

When Madorsky was 11, her family was granted refugee status as members of a persecuted religious group. She didn’t want to leave for the United States, but her parents persuaded her by promising she’d finally have her own bedroom.

She and her parents arrived in New York City on May 12, 1989. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Madorsky got the bedroom. “It really felt like I was living the American dream,” she says, even though, for a while, the room only had a large piece of foam to sleep on.

“Coming from the Soviet Union, I was not used to people treating me well. One of my favorite things about the U.S. is how friendly people are. Some say Americans are fake when they say ‘Hi, how are you?’ and ‘Have a nice day.’ Really? Try having people bark and scowl at you, instead.”

In the Soviet Union, people were not supposed to practice religion. She recalls her parents shushing her the one time she asked what God is. But other people knew the family was Jewish and harassed them. In Brooklyn, on the other hand, Madorsky attended a yeshiva, an Orthodox Jewish school, and says others looked down on her for not being “Jewish enough.”

Madorsky at the Great Pyramid of Giza in May 2013. She took a side trip to Cairo during a refugee processing detail to Sallum, Egypt, on the Libyan border.

Her mother has blond hair and blue eyes and grew up with a Russian last name. She didn’t experience the kind of prejudice Madorsky had or, more so, her father. When the family returned to Russia for a visit after Madorsky graduated from college in 2001, her mother’s view of Russia changed. While on a bus, when passengers openly degraded Jews, the Madorskys slumped in their seats, and her mother said, “This is not how I remember it,” she says.

Madorsky returned once more while living in Poland in 2003. She says she would go back again, but only if she had “an extremely compelling reason.”
Madorsky joined the USCIS Refugee Affairs Division in 2009. Officers in the USCIS Refugee Corps travel at least 180 days a year. She traveled for six to eight weeks at a time, and sometimes chose longer stints. In 2011 she was away for 10 months including six in Baghdad. She has also traveled to Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Kenya, Ethiopia, Jordan, Bahrain, Romania, Turkey, Egypt and Syria. She was with the last team to enter Syria before that country fell into war.

“Horrific things happen in this job a lot. Sometimes even when you can help people, just listening to their stories is demoralizing because you know these things happen and human beings actually do that to each other.”

One of the things that has motivated her is a deep-seated interest in studying the crime of genocide. She used to teach about the Holocaust in Auschwitz, Poland. “When you stop for a moment and look at the overwhelming history of atrocities perpetrated during the Holocaust against Jews, Gypsies and countless others, you begin to see that it wasn’t just one mass tragedy. It was 11 million individual tragedies.”

Madorsky switched jobs in August 2014 and now trains other officers in how to conduct refugee interviews. She also wants to develop a resilience training program to focus on occupational hazards such as compassion fatigue and burnout. “We don’t live anywhere most of the time. We lose touch with our loved ones and our communities. We have to learn to function without solid ground, while absorbing countless narratives of suffering and loss.”

Celebrating her birthday at her office in Washington, D.C., in September 2015.

She still travels occasionally to do field training and interviews. But after moving 33 times in her life, this is the longest she has lived anywhere besides the Soviet Union as a child.

Madorsky still writes, both for personal enjoyment and her job, but on the computer now. I asked how her hand is. With more than a hint of Russian stoicism, she replied: “I can’t write too much, but it’s fine.”

Public Service Recognition Week, Part II: Texas Officer: How a Small Gesture Translated Into a New Career

In this series of four blog posts celebrating Public Service Recognition Week, we honor the dedication of USCIS employees who fulfill the USCIS mission of securing America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.

By Ben Rubenstein

"Growing up, I never knew that life existed outside of the 48-mile radius of Eldorado, Texas," says Maribel (Mary) Gonzalez, an immigration services officer at the Texas Service Center in Dallas.

In fact, the city of Eldorado itself, the county seat of Schleicher County in southwest Texas, fills just a tiny part of that radius. Her 1982 graduating class had been the largest in her high school’s history – 48 students. Her mother worked at the Eldorado Woolen Mill, which was the oldest mill in the southwest U.S. before it shut down. Her grandmother canned her own vegetables and made her own jam and candy.

Gonzalez with her daughter Marina and son Isaiah. Gonzalez says they “are the reason I still continue to do my best.”

In a population of barely 2,000, Gonzalez knew everyone, and everyone knew her and her parents and six siblings. “I always found that environment appealing,” she says. “I got a lot of benefits growing up in a small town.” 

She still goes home – Eldorado is a five-hour drive from Dallas – for the annual World Championship Goat Cook Off in nearby Brady, Texas. "A lot of people, when they don’t know how to describe goat, will say it tastes like chicken. No, it doesn’t. It has its own distinct flavor."

Gonzalez (left) with friend Joe at the World Championship Goat Cook Off on Sept. 6, 2015. More than 200 teams seasoned and smoked the goat meat and competed for trophies, cash and bragging rights. The event also featured art vendors, a street dance, and the Goat Gallop, a fun run and walk – and a healthy sense of humor, according to Gonzalez.

She tried to make sure her two children, a 21-year-old daughter named Marina and a 23-year-old son named Isaiah, connected with small-town life. They appreciate southwest Texas, she says, but prefer Big D.

After high school, Gonzalez enrolled in a commercial college in nearby San Angelo, Texas. She recalls the admissions employee asking to see her Green Card. Gonzalez, born in Texas, had no idea what that was, so she responded, "I don't have an American Express card, I’m paying with a check."

Her friend displayed her Green Card, but Gonzalez still had no idea what it meant.

Gonzalez later joined the Army. That's when she saw that life existed outside of the 48-mile radius of Eldorado. For starters, she got to see Dallas for the first time (and still remembers how congested it looked by comparison.)

Gonzalez (right) with private first class Campbell while working with the Pershing missile system in Germany in 1987.

She scored well on the military aptitude test. The recruiter from San Angelo asked if she wanted to work on computers. "Yes," she said, figuring she’d learn skills that would be useful later in civilian life. The recruiter, she adds, didn't mention that the computers were part of the Pershing missile system.

Gonzalez served as an electronic material specialist in Germany for almost six years. When the Cold War ended, the military needed fewer missile operators, so she became an accounting specialist for the next four years in Fort Benning, Georgia.

After her military service, Gonzalez visited the Texas Workforce Commission to learn about employment opportunities. While in the waiting room, she overheard a woman who was also there looking for work and struggling to communicate in English. The woman looked to her for help. Gonzalez – better at speaking Spanish than translating it – did her best.

Gonzalez in a cotton field in Eldorado in October 2013, teasing her boyfriend that his home state of Missouri may have corn but hers has cotton and football.

A contractor whose company worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (an agency that existed before the Department of Homeland Security was created) overheard the woman asking Gonzalez to translate, and then asked if she would consider applying for his company. Gonzalez did and received an offer a few months later. A year after that, she became a federal employee.

Including her time in the military, Gonzalez recently reached 30 years of serving her country.

She’s held many positions at USCIS. Of course, she now knows what a Green Card is. She says she also understands why so many people want to come here and live the American dream. 

From left, sisters Geral, Christy, Gonzalez and Georgie in May 2015 on the one-year anniversary of their mother’s death, at the small cemetery where their family members are buried. Gonzalez says that’s where she wants her ashes spread. “Everything I knew and wanted was within 48 miles of  Eldorado, and even though I came from a family of humble means, I had everything.”

"I am living that dream," she says. "I fell into this career by chance and it has been a blessing. When I helped that lady that day I had no idea what that gesture would mean in my life and the opportunities it would lead to. I never saw that lady again. I’m hoping she got the job I helped her with."

02 May 2016

Public Service Recognition Week, Part I: For This Political Refugee, U.S. Was Land of the Free, Home of the Berries

In this series of four blog posts celebrating Public Service Recognition Week, we honor the dedication of USCIS employees who fulfill the USCIS mission of securing America's promise as a nation of immigrants.

By Ben Rubenstein

"I don't have a lot of memories from before I was 7 years old. I don’t remember a playground or riding bikes. I don’t remember much about playing except for one event at a refugee camp in the Philippines. Every Friday night someone would set up a play and refugees would watch. I remember that very explicitly being entertaining, maybe just because they made funny noises and made us laugh. I don’t even quite understand what they were talking about."

Above: Vue’s refugee processing photo in Morong, Bataan, Philippines, in 1983

Thor Vue, a senior procurement analyst at the USCIS Office of Contracting in Williston, Vermont, was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after the Vietnam War. His Hmong family was part of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's covert operation known as the Secret War in which the CIA hired thousands of locals to fight communists. After the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army hunted, persecuted and killed veterans of that operation.

Vue’s family fled from their home on the mountainside of Laos to Thailand where they lived for years under protection. When Vue, now 39, was 7, his family was moved to the Philippines where they stayed for months learning English and preparing to come to the U.S. Their diet consisted of rice in a water bowl with a stick of brown sugar. "You cannot break the sugar in half, so you have to just munch on sugar to add flavor. That was our routine diet. Occasionally there was chicken, but most of the time it was just rice water."

Vue has one more vivid memory: on the flight from the Philippines to the United States he remembers his grandmother vomiting. "She couldn't eat the food. I feel bad for whoever was sitting next to her. Our diets were different."

Skinny and malnourished, Vue landed in San Francisco, California, in 1984. His was one of thousands of political refugee-families that were granted asylum by the United States during the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Members of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (an agency that existed before the Department of Homeland Security was created)  welcomed his family and processed his parents, grandparents, and younger siblings together. "We definitely appreciate that INS did that. It definitely helped to keep the family together."

His family made a life in the San Francisco Bay Area and later in Eureka, California. Vue's father had been a blacksmith in Thailand but took up farming. Vue helped him pick blueberries. "I love blueberries,” he said. “The benefit of picking them is you can take one or two."

Vue’s and his family members’ refugee processing photos in Morong, Bataan, Philippines, in 1983

Vue said theirs was like almost any other immigrant family, just trying to get by and do what they could. They lived in low-income affordable housing. "It was not the best but it was something," Vue said.

The residents there were mostly Hmong-Americans. "It was hard to integrate and assimilate into mainstream culture," Vue said.

Despite Vue’s challenge to assimilate, he excelled. Vue is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, earned his Juris Doctor from the School of Law at University of California, Berkeley, and earned his Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. Vue always knew he would work in public service to give back, and it just so happens that after some time with the Department of Defense he returned to where his U.S. journey all started, at USCIS. In his current position, Vue provides procurement policy oversight and helps fulfill contracts for immigration support centers, ensuring that other families have what they need to help them through the process.

Vue at the top of Mount Mansfield on July 11, 2015, which has the highest mountain peak in Vermont.

Vue also spends much of his time volunteering. He is part of the Energy Committee for South Burlington, Vermont, which provides the city council with polices to help reduce energy consumption and encourage the use of renewable energy. He is on the Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team, a search and rescue team. Vue volunteers as a board member for affordable housing, working closely with members of county supervisors and the county planning commission. "I'm very sympathetic to affordable housing. That is the environment I grew up in."

Vue's parents still live in California and still farm. They sell strawberries at a local farmer's market. Vue visits when he can, and still sneaks a few berries. "I tell them I have to do a taste test," he said. "I'm the executive taste tester to make sure they are right for the picking."

Author’s note: I apologized to Vue for not knowing much about Hmong culture. He said, "It's ok. A lot of the general population doesn’t know who Hmongs are. There are only about 4 million Hmong worldwide. In the U.S., there are only about a quarter of a million. Most live in Minnesota or California. When someone new asks who I am, I make them guess and they go through the whole gamut - Chinese, Korean, on and on. I don’t expect anyone to know I’m Hmong."

Outreach to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI): My Trip to Chicago

By Juliet K. Choi, USCIS Chief of Staff

One of the most satisfying parts of my job is engaging with the communities we serve. Last week, I was in Chicago for meetings in coordination with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).

The purpose for our joint convening was to discuss USCIS’ efforts to encourage those eligible to naturalize to consider becoming U.S. citizens, and President Obama's Task Force on New Americans. We also discussed our efforts to help educate young people in Asian and Pacific Islander communities about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Korean American Resource and Cultural Center was gracious to provide the venue for these conversations. I had the opportunity to talk with members of the local ethnic media and conduct interviews with most of the reporters present. Epoch Times, Sing Tao Newspapers, World Journal, WinTV, The Korea Times Chicago, The Korea Daily, K-radio, News India Times, Chicago Sun-Times, China News and KBC Korean Broadcasting were all on hand. Doug Nguyen, the Great Lakes regional network lead from WHIAAPI, also addressed the media and talked about the WHIAAPI mission.

Above: Juliet K. Choi (second from right) addressing community leaders and stakeholders in Chicago

Afterward, we were joined by Rep. Jan Schakowsky and her staff; as well as senior staff from the offices of Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Tammy Duckworth and Sen. Dick Durbin for a community conversation with local leaders and students.

We discussed the naturalization process, the unauthorized practice of immigration law, and ways to avoid falling victim to immigration scams. We also spent some time to encourage those Asians and Pacific Islanders who may meet the guidelines to request DACA, to do so. It’s crucial to get the word out that options like DACA exist, and that there is no shame in coming out of the shadows and seeking a better life.  

Above: Juliet Choi addresses a stakeholder roundtable

Inhe Choi together with Radhika Sharma of Apna Ghar, co-chairs of an Asian American and Arab American collaborative called A4CDA, did a wonderful job leading our discussion and helping coordinate this event. Community engagement – sharing useful, timely information and dispelling myths and misinformation -- is one of our top priorities at USCIS. We couldn’t do it without our relationships with local organizations like the ones we work with every day in Chicago and across the country.

We deeply appreciate the participation at this event by groups including:
  • Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment
  • World Relief Chicago
  • Latinos Progresando
  • Chinese American Service League
  • Southeast Asian American Policy and Research InstituteAsian American Advancing Justice Chicago
  • Chinese Mutual Aid Association
  • Muslim Women’s Resource Center
  • Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • Y-USA
  • Arab American Action Network
  • Korean American Community Services
  • Korean American Association of Chicago
  • DePaul Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic
And so many more.

We are also able to participate in events like this because of our talented and mission-driven USCIS staff.  During our engagements, USCIS had a table with multilingual resources and staff from our Chicago office. We had bilingual staff on hand who speak Arabic, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Urdu and Spanish. USCIS is committed to providing our limited English proficient customers with meaningful access to our services and information.

Above: Taking questions from the media

Being the daughter of Korean immigrants informs my world view and gives me a different sense of empathy about the difficult personal choices that go into any family's immigration journey. I am very grateful for, and pleased with, the conversations we had in Chicago. Meeting face-to-face is so important in fostering trust and stronger working relationships. Only by sitting down with the community and engaging in an open and honest dialogue can we better understand the issues, develop shared solutions, and strengthen channels of communication.

As we observe Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I look forward to celebrating the legacy and contributions of the AAPI community with you!

On social media:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: @USCIS
White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders: @WhiteHouseAAPI
White House Task Force on New Americans: #NewAmericans, #StandStrongerUS

29 April 2016

myUSCIS Wins Igniting Innovation Award

USCIS is always striving to improve customer service. Our myUSCIS tool, which helps people navigate the immigration process online in a mobile-friendly format, is a key component of that effort.

This past Monday, April 25, the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council recognized our work with myUSCIS with the overall Igniting Innovation Award at the ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation Showcase and Award event in Washington, D.C. A panel of government and industry judges selected USCIS as the overall winner out of 40 finalists in the fields of cybersecurity, mobile technology and data analytics, among other areas.

From left: Craig Schneider, Beth Gomolka, Allison Smith, Wendy DeLapp of the myUSCIS Team at the ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation Showcase and Award event

The myUSCIS tool was launched in December 2014. It provides up-to-date information about the application process for immigration benefits; tools to help prepare for naturalization, such as the civics practice test (available in both English and Spanish); and resources to find citizenship preparation classes and authorized doctors across the country.

Future plans for myUSCIS include the ability to check the status of pending cases, communicate with USCIS, schedule appointments, learn about visa availability and file naturalization applications online.

To learn more about myUSCIS, visit our website.


Join USCIS in Celebrating Public Service Recognition Week, May 1-7

Each year government employees are honored during Public Service Recognition Week. More than 19,000 USCIS employees oversee lawful immigration to the United States. We couldn’t fulfill our mission of securing America’s promise as a nation of immigrants without these dedicated employees.

Stay tuned as we share our four part inspirational blog series next week! #PSRW

19 April 2016

Recap of USCIS Twitter Office Hours, April 12

On April 12, we held the eighth USCIS Twitter Office Hours to answer your questions about immigration benefits and other services that our agency provides.

During this event we were able to answer many common questions that we know many of our stakeholders have. Of course, we received more questions than we had time to address in an hour.

Below you can find all of the questions and answers that we tweeted.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted questions. We look forward to engaging with you during future installments of USCIS Twitter Office Hours.

Q1: @kromengg Do I need to renew passport before filing h1extension if extension is filled before passport expiration? #AskUSCIS
A1: @kromengg No, unless it's expiring soon. You'll need a valid passport to travel. For more: #AskUSCIS
Q2: @40a4131e6c03403 What is the remedy for a delayed case (beyond 90days for renewal of EAD) whose employer gave ultimatum? #AskUSCIS
A2: @40a4131e6c03403 If your case is outside of the standard processing time, submit an inquiry here: #AskUSCIS
Q3: @JORU201 I'm in the US on a TN visa, I applied for H-1B using premium processing. Can I travel abroad while H1-B is pending? #AskUSCIS
A3: @JORU201 Even if your TN visa is valid, you cannot travel while your H1-B petition is pending.  #AskUSCIS
Q4: @squeaky580 what's the avg process time for returned petitions 221g at VM Srv Ctr? #AskUSCIS
A4: @SQUEAKY580 Petition processing times vary. Check or call our Natl Cust Srvc Ctr 800-375-5283. #AskUSCIS
Q5: @ALLURI_A_VARMA what is the current waiting time for an H1-B transfer?  #AskUSCIS
A5: @ALLURI_A_VARMA Please see the following link for current processing times: #AskUSCIS
Q6: @NxtDoorGuy can we use AP from pending i-485 for travel while still on h1b? Does it invalidate my h1b n spouse h4? #AskUSCIS
A6: @NxtDoorGuy Yes, H-1B & H-4 can travel abroad, pending I-485. See I-131 instructions page 1, #AskUSCIS
Q7: @VIJAYAMIN2 I finshed 8 years on H-1B, if I go back, can I apply H1 extension frm India based on I-140 approval? #AskUSCIS
A7: @VIJAYAMIN2 Please see for more information on H-1B extensions. #AskUSCIS
Q8: @imramnee when is the lottery date? #AskUSCIS
A8: @imramnee Last year it opened October 1, please check this page for updates #AskUSCIS
Q9: @LEKSHMI1312 when can we expect May 2016 Visa bulletin update? Usually it gets updated 1st week of every month. #AskUSCIS
A9: @LEKSHMI1312 Please see the Department of State website for the most recent visa bulletin #AskUSCIS
Q10: @HALDARRAY Once my H-1B application picked in lottery and gets approved, Can i do international travel? #AskUSCIS
A10: @HALDARRAY After approval, you need a valid visa to travel. More info at or #AskUSCIS
Q11: How do I correct a misspelled name on a USCIS document?  Can a name be too long for a USCIS doc or form? #AskUSCIS
A11:  If you need to make any corrections or changes to submitted USCIS forms, including name changes, call 1-800-375-5283 #AskUSCIS
Q12: @ME_DHANA when I can expect the results of regular processing? #AskUSCIS
A12: @ME_DHANA For processing times of specific forms and locations, see Have receipt number ready. #AskUSCIS
Q13: @SFYNICOLE It says in MyCaseStatus my employment combo card was "delivered" but I did not receive anything  #AskUSCIS
A13: @SFYNICOLE If your card is not delivered, you can report it by submitting an e-Request here: #AskUSCIS
Q14: @WAEL_KR what process should be taken for children above 21 for immigrant visa having the acceptance when they were below 21? #AskUSCIS
A14: @WAEL_KR Check this page for age and time requirements:  #AskUSCIS
Q15: @RAVIKIRANKHAMMA I have sent opt extension packet w/ employer updated i-20 instead of opt extension request i-20. what should i do? #AskUSCIS
A15: @RAVIKIRANKHAMMA send copy of correct I-20 w/receipt notice to address on I-797. #AskUSCIS
Q16: @MONI_VICKY My RFE Documents was received by Vermont service centre. When can I expect a result from USCIS on my case ? #AskUSCIS
A16: @MONI_VICKY Processing times for RFE reviews are usually 60-90 days. File E-request if not received #AskUSCIS