One very common misunderstanding regarding marriages in India is the legality or validity of certain ceremonies. In general, the United States will recognize, for immigration purposes and otherwise, marriages abroad provided that the marriages performed abroad conform to and are considered legal in the foreign country. In India, like many other countries, marriages may be conducted via religious or civil ceremonies. Contrary to popular belief, religious ceremonies are, as a general matter, legal and recognized as legal. In fact, the US consulate in New Dehli notes that:
For our Indian clients, if they are not already aware, the US consulate in Mumbai is moving. There will be no interviews at the current location at Lincoln House from November 15 to November 20, as the consulate makes its transition to its new location at the Bandra Kurla Complex. On November 21, 2011, operations will resume at BKC. One of the more notable features of this complex is that it will have 44 interview windows (Lincoln House only had 13). Hopefully, with the increase in windows, the consulate will be able to schedule more interviews and eliminate the lengthy delays that currently plague the consulate.
Two inaccurate, if not false, rumors circulating throughout immigrant communities in New Jersey concern the 4th preference category and the ability of derivative children to immigrate even if they are over 21. Many of our Indian clients from Edison, Passaic, and Jersey City have received false information from immigration "agents" (people who are in fact not authorized to dispense legal advice or prepare immigration forms) that USCIS is no longer accepting petitions for brothers/sisters filed by their US siblings. This is not true. Although the 4th category is moving verrry slowly, it is still alive and well. The second misconception circulating out there among immigrant communities is that derivative children over 21 but less than 28 years old are allowed to come with their parents. There is no such rule. If derivative children are allowed to immigrate after turning 21, it is most likely due to the fact that they are protected under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). Our office has handled many cases of this sort and we have successfully helped many families immigrate with their children over 21. However, eligibility under the CSPA is very fact and case sensitive. There is no such automatic law. These false rumors may be motivated by greed, as both of them appear to induce and encourage unsuspecting victims to pay money to file applications out of either fear or false hope.
A very interesting article was posted last Thursday by The Star Ledger discussing the new US Census figures. Of particular interest to New Jerseyans interested in immigration issues is the fact that this State saw a remarkable jump in its Mexican population, which has increased by an astounding 115,000 people since 2000. In Passaic County, nearly one out of every three people identify themselves as Mexican. The article also reports that New Brunswick, Lakewood, and Paterson experienced noticeable increases in their Hispanic population and that overall, New Jersey's Hispanic population rose by forty percent! The article also confirmed what many of us immigration practitioners in Central Jersey already know: that Middlesex County remains home to New Jersey's largest population of Asian Indians, with Edison, South Brunswick, Woodbridge, Piscataway, and Jersey City being very popular cities.
An article in The Economic Times recently reported that higher costs and increased government scrutiny have lowered applications for H-1B visas, which are temporary work visas for skilled professionals.
The Huffington Post recently published an informative and interesting article looking at the growing Hindu population in the United States. A third of all Hindus are found in New Jersey, California and New York.