Proposed ESTA Fee Is Now Law

UPDATE: The ESTA Fee Has Now Become Law.

The U.S. Senate just passed a bill (with the House expected to shortly do the same) which would add a $10 fee every time a visa waiver person renewed their ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) registration. If such is the case, then one might as well pay the $131 and get an old-fashioned B-2 (tourist) Visa, valid for ten years.

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Elimination of I-94W Form for Visa Waiver Travelers

Today the U.S. Government announced that it will be eliminating the I-94W form (the green immigration form you complete on the airplane) by the end of this summer. You can read more about it at the Department of Homeland Security’s website at (A direct link is provided under the “Related Websites” section of

But The Consulate Said…

When I write my “how-to” book about the consular practice aspect of immigration law, the title will be “But The Consulate Said…” This is because I am saddened and amazed at how often visa applicants receive either inadequate or simply inaccurate information from a consulate. While there may be disagreement as to the causes of this problem, the fact remains that the problem exists. This is due to various factors, only six of which I will mention here: Continue reading “But The Consulate Said…”

Green Cards: What They Are, When They’re Needed, and Why

There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding about “Green Cards”, the common name for a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), which is proof that the holder is a legal permanent resident (LPR) of the U.S. This brief article gives a basic explanation of what Green Cards are, when they are needed and/or advisable, and what is necessary to retain them. The reader is strongly reminded, however, that each case is unique, based upon its complete facts, and thus the contents of this article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal counsel. Continue reading “Green Cards: What They Are, When They’re Needed, and Why”