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Notice to U.S. Visa Applicants in Paris, France: Expect Delays

Notice to U.S. Visa Applicants in Paris, France: Expect Delays

 

The U.S. Embassy in Paris will transition to a new visa appointment system on July 31, impacting visa applicants. As with any significant change to a bureaucratic system, Embassy France cautions that, “The transition to the new visa appointment system may cause some temporary delays. The U.S. Embassy strongly encourages all visa applicants who intend to travel to the United States during the summer to schedule a visa appointment or request online preclearance to travel via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) as soon as possible.”  

Why Not Make Your Next Trip a Volunteer Vacation?

Why Not Make Your Next Trip a Volunteer Vacation?

Is your idea of a perfect vacation spending time alone on a beach with a good book? Or would you prefer a more active vacation where you are part of a group, constantly challenging yourself, and using your talents and skills to help others? If the latter sounds more appealing, then a volunteer vacation might be right for you.

Why take a volunteer vacation?

Having the chance to give back, meet new people, form friendships, and immerse yourself in a different culture are some of the top reasons to take a volunteer vacation. And no matter why and where you choose to travel, you'll have experiences that are not available to the average tourist.

What is the SB-1 Visa (aka Returning Resident Visa)?

What is the SB-1 Visa (aka Returning Resident Visa)?

Permanent residents who have remained outside of the United States for more than one calendar year and did not obtain a re-entry permit (http://www.berardiimmigrationlaw.com/immigration-blog/protect-your-green-card-status) prior to their trip abroad may be deemed to have abandoned their permanent resident status. However, permanent residents who were unable to return to the U.S. for reasons beyond their control may qualify for an SB-1 visa, also known as the Returning Resident Visa. 

Charitable Gifts of Items You No Longer Need

Charitable Gifts of Items You No Longer Need

If you have used clothing, household goods, or a car that you no longer need, you may be able to do good by contributing the property to charity while obtaining an income tax deduction for your charitable contribution. Subject to certain limitations, the amount of your charitable contribution is usually the fair market value (the price that property would sell for on the open market) of the property at the time of the contribution.

Used clothing and household goods

You generally cannot take a deduction for donations of used clothing or household goods unless the property is in good used condition or better. However, you can take a deduction for used clothing or household goods that are not in good used condition or better if the claimed value is greater than $500 and you include a qualified appraisal with your tax return.

L-1 Visa Holders Can Request L-2 Status for Spouses and Dependents

L-1 Visa Holders Can Request L-2 Status for Spouses and Dependents

Berardi Immigration Law processes a lot of intercompany transfers or L-1 visa applications. The L-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the U.S. and abroad to transfer employees from the foreign operation to the U.S.  You can learn more about L-1 visas on our blog post at http://www.berardiimmigrationlaw.com/services/work-in-the-united-states/l-1-nonimmigrant-visa-intracompany-transferees.

Can You Make Some Green by Investing Green?

Can You Make Some Green by Investing Green?

The release in April of the long-awaited report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spurred renewed discussion of ways to combat climate change and its effects. The report, written by leading scientists from around the globe, says that to keep greenhouse emissions below critical levels, the world must make substantial changes--and quickly--in how energy is produced and consumed.

That finding has focused fresh attention on so-called "green investing." Here are some considerations that can be especially important in this arena.

No shortage of choices

If you're interested in exploring green investments, you have a variety of possible options. They include renewable energy sources, technologies that can improve the environmental footprint of existing energy sources, clean water, clean air, and technologies that can help reduce overall consumption, particularly of nonbiodegradable substances.

Applying for a Mortgage

Applying for a Mortgage

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued new mortgage rules that took effect in January 2014. The new mortgage rules were mainly put in place as a way to end irresponsible mortgage lending and ensure that borrowers will only be able to obtain a mortgage loan that they can afford to pay back. Proponents view the rules as welcome industry safeguards that simply mirror responsible mortgage lending practices that are already in place.

However, some mortgage-industry experts fear that the new rules may end up making obtaining a mortgage loan more difficult than it has been in the past--especially for borrowers who have a high debt-to-income ratio. Borrowers may also find themselves burdened with the task of providing lenders with additional documentation that they may not have had to in the past.

Before you apply