A few safety tips for your upcoming holiday travel:

  • Check your passport and visa validity before a trip. Hint: if you are traveling abroad, make sure that you have proper documentation to enter the country of your destination and return to the U.S., and have any necessary transit visas for your flight “stop overs;”
  • In addition to valid original travel documents for yourself and each family member, be sure to have copies of all of these documents in a safe place, apart from the originals. If your documents are lost or stolen, having these copies would help save time when obtaining duplicates;
  • If your travel plans include consular visa appointments, check consular schedule twice (or three times) in advance of your travel and print out and take with you all appointment confirmation documentation, attorney-certified visa petition copies, and anything else the particular consulate requires; and 

Last, but not least, we cannot resist delivering a bit of holiday good news from the Department of State (DOS). The DOS Visa Bulletin for January 2014 reflects terrific progress for Employment-Based 3rd (EB-3) category immigrants from P.R. China, Mexico, and All Chargeability Areas. Priority dates in those categories advanced 6 months. EB-3 immigrants from the Philippines also felt some relief as it progressed over a month. EB-2/P.R. China priority dates also advanced over a month.

Once back from the holiday break, be sure to review your immigrant visa priority date and follow up to discuss related planning with your immigration counsel – you just might have an additional way to celebrate the new year!