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Important announcement to 2019 DV winners: You have until Sep 30th to secure an interview

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Individuals who  participated in the Diversity Visa program for fiscal year 2019 (DV-2019), also known as the Green Card Lottery, have until September 30, 2019 to have checked whether they won and secured a visa.

The State Department says anyone who won the lottery but will not have secured a visa by the September 30 will forfeit their chance of a Diversity Visa for fiscal year 2019. The Entrant Status check online portal for DV-2019 will also close on that date.

To check if you won, have the entrant’s confirmation number, last name, and year of birth and click on this link.

DV-2019 applies to individuals who submitted their information on the State Department website during the DV-2017 open registration period which ran between October 3rd, 2017 and November 7th, 2017.

Administered by the Department of State, the Diversity Visa program makes 50,000 permanent resident visas/green cards available to nationals of countries with low rates of immigration into the US. Millions of foreign nationals participate in the program each year.

SOURCE: –Mwakilishi.com

 

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Diaspora

Here is info on how much it costs to study in USA and where to find most affordable universities

For the purpose of this article, I will cover the cost of studying in some of the most affordable 4-year state universities here in USA.

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BY BOB MWITI

The challenge of finding the most affordable schools, the challenge of passing entrance exams, the challenge of cracking the student visa interview among others! It took me 8 good years to finally make it here in the USA. It is a journey that taught me a lot of lessons that I am always willing to share and help those who are out there wishing to study overseas.

One of the major challenges that a lot of people face is knowing how much it would cost them to study overseas. For those wishing to study in the US, this article is for you. I will try to give you a detailed breakdown of all the expenses that you will most likely incur on your journey to USA as an international student. So grab a pen and a sheet of paper and note this information as it will give you a good understanding of what you need to know as far as finances of studying in USA are concerned.

If you are coming to study in the US, you may either come to a community college for a 2-year associate degree, or to a 4 year college for your Bachelor’s, graduate or post graduate degree.

For the purpose of this article, I will cover the cost of studying in some of the most affordable 4-year state universities here in USA. I will take an average of the following 3 universities.

  1. Indiana University Of Pennsylvania (I went to this school for my master’s) costs 19,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other miscellaneous costs are $4,000
  2. University of North Georgia costs $15,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other costs miscellaneous are $,3,500
  3. Midwestern State University costs $11,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other miscellaneous costs are $3,000
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So, the average cost of these 3 schools is about $16,500 per year. That covers the tuition, fees, books and other miscellaneous costs.

Before you come to study, you should be prepared to incur relocation costs prior to you landing in the US. These are (US Visa + Passport) about $250, school application fees about $30, entrance exams (eg GMAT, GRE, SAT,ACT) $250, TOEFL (Not all schools will ask for this if you are from an English speaking country ) $200. TOEFL and Entrance exams self-study materials (assuming you study on your own) $200, Immunizations $200, Air ticket$1200(I am assuming you are travelling from Nairobi, Kenya like I did!). Total cost of all these relocation expenses is about $2,300.

Once you are here, you will need to take care of your other living expenses. These are: Shared student accommodation off-campus $500/month which is $6,000/year. Utilities can cost you about $100 (i.e. water, electricity and internet & basic prepaid phone) so that would be about $1,200 per year. Transport could cost you about $50 per month which would equate to $600 per year.

Food would be about $100 per month, which would be $1,200 per year. Student health insurance (although optional) could set you back about $25 per month which would total about $300 per year. Total cost of these living expenses would be about $9,300 per year.

READ ALSO:   US Government announces date for Diversity Visa DV 2021 registration commencement

From the above, you will require a total of about $28,100(16,500+2,300+9,300) for the first year of your studies in the US.

In order for you to be issued with an I-20 (The official immigration document that you take to the Embassy in order to get visa issuance), you will need to show your school, your ability to pay  about ,$26,000 (excluding the relocation expenses).Schools here require you to show funds to cover your full tuition and living expenses for one year.

So, as you can see, studying in the US is expensive. These numbers that I picked are from very modest state universities. There are some universities that charge over $50,000 per year, especially if you are enrolled in those Ivy league schools.

So, for those with the dream of studying in the US, these numbers can be very discouraging. My advice is that, do not be discouraged because there is a way that you can fund most of it. You can get a Job on campus, you can find scholarships, you can get (secured or unsecured) international student loans or you can get graduate assistantship grants (if coming for graduate/post graduate programs).

However, the bottom line is, if you are thinking of coming to study in the US, at least you need some money for your relocation expenses, regardless of whether you have a scholarship, loans or not.

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To know more about most affordable schools in the US that partner with lenders, and to get FREE access to thousands of scholarships offered across the world , please visit my website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

About me;

I am the founder and managing director of Appstec America-A consulting company that helps immigrants find education and job opportunities that are abundant here in the United States.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of.

For enquiries about my international scholars programs & IT training programs, you can check out my personal website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

You can also email me at success@successwithbobmwiti.com or call +1 813-573-5619 ext 402 for a FREE 30 minutes consultation. Also, we can connect if you “like” my Facebook page by the name Bob Mwiti or subscribe to my YouTube channel by same name Bob Mwiti.

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Diaspora

US officials detect and expose fraudulent “Marriage-for-Green-Card” ring in several cities

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US officials have helped detect and exposed a Marriage-for-Green-Card racket involving several persons from different nationalities. John H. Durham, United States attorney for the District of  Connecticut; the acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Boston; and a supervisory immigration officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS), announced that Jodian Stephenson, also known as “Jodian Gordon,” 35, of Bridgeport, recently pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to a conspiracy charge stemming from her arrangement of numerous fraudulent marriages so that non-U.S. citizens would receive U.S. immigration benefits.

USCIS officials within the FDNS Directorate learned of the potential fraudulent marriages to obtain Green Card benefits in 2016 and began collaborating with HSI investigators to reveal numerous cases of marriage fraud.

“We at USCIS take marriage fraud – and all fraud – seriously,” said USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli. “I commend the professionalism of the USCIS staff that reported the attempts to defraud our immigration system, and our officers who are partnering with HSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut to investigate these claims. I also thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts to bring perpetrators to justice. Let this serve as a reminder that if you partake in fraudulent activity, you will get caught.”

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According to court documents and statements made in court, Stephenson operated Stephenson Immigration and Legal Services LLC, in Bridgeport. Between 2011 and 2017, Stephenson conspired with others to arrange 28 sham marriages between U.S. citizens and noncitizens residing in the U.S. so the non-citizens’ could apply for and obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status, also known as getting a Green Card.

One of the 28 sham marriages was between Stephenson, who is a citizen of Jamaica, and a U.S. citizen.

For each of the other 27 fraudulent marriages, Stephenson found and introduced a U.S. citizen to be the noncitizen’s purported spouse and helped the couple obtain a marriage license. She also organized the marriage ceremony and celebration, and coached the couple on how to make their marriage appear to be genuine despite their neither living together nor otherwise intending to remain actually married.

As part of the scheme, Stephenson prepared several immigration documents needed as part of the noncitizen’s LPR application. She had the applicant and spouse sign the documents and, in many cases, mailed the documents to the USCIS immigration authorities for the applicant. In some cases, Stephenson or her assistants prepared other false documents for the couple, such as a false lease that portrayed the couple as living together.

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Stephenson typically charged between $17,000 and $20,000 to complete this process for a noncitizen, and the citizen spouse received between $2,000 and $4,000 for their participation.

During the investigation, Stephenson offered to arrange a sham marriage for a federal law enforcement agent working in an undercover capacity, and help them obtain a Green Card in exchange for a proposed fee of $20,000. In recorded conversations, Stephenson then introduced the undercover agent to a U.S. citizen and advised them about the ways they could create the appearance that they were legally married and living together as husband and wife.

Stephenson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit immigration marriage fraud. She faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years when U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea sentences her in Hartford. A sentencing date is not scheduled.

Stephenson has been released on a $250,000 bond since her arrest on June 22, 2018.

Six other individuals involved in this scheme previously pleaded guilty.

On Dec. 5, 2018, Donovan Lawrence, of Milford, who operated Donovan’s Accounting Services LLC, in Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to his role in this conspiracy. In addition, four U.S. citizens who entered into one or more fraudulent marriages with noncitizens, and one noncitizen who entered into a fraudulent marriage with a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty. All await sentencing.

READ ALSO:   US Government announces date for Diversity Visa DV 2021 registration commencement

HSI and FDNS are conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry K. Kopel is prosecuting the case.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Uhuru should let Miguna go back home, Mudavadi tells Voice of America

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA in Washington, DC.

Former Kenyan Vice President Musalia Mudavadi has lashed out at Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration for not letting Mr Miguna Miguna, the fiery Kenyan lawyer cum politician, who was deported to Canada last year,  return home.

In a TV interview with the Voice of America (VOA) in Washington DC, Mr Mudavadi said that Mr Miguna’s rights were trampled upon and it is only fair that he be given the necessary documents to be able to travel back home.

“There are other people who were involved in what led to his deportation and they are still walking around freely in Kenya,” said Mudavadi, in apparent reference to those who – in one way or another- participated in the mock swearing-in of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga as “the People’s President.”

Miguna was deported in March last year following a dramatic standoff at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The opposition politician claims he was assaulted and drugged by government officials who later bundled him into an Emirates flight against his will.

The deportation came hours after a court held top officials in contempt for failing to release him from the airport where he was being held.

Kenyan officials have argued the lawyer – who holds dual Canadian nationality – is not a Kenyan citizen.

READ ALSO:   US welcomed 756,000 new Citizens last year, set to welcome 34,000 this month

But Mr Miguna insists their motives are political.

He emphasized his earlier statement that the  government needs to provide Kenyans in the diaspora motivation to participate in the life of the country. “They can do this by providing a safe environment for investment, facilitating political participation and involving them in national development,” he said.

Mudavadi, who is the leader of Amani National Congress (ANC), also differed with President Kenyatta over his call to politicians to stop campaigning ahead of 2022.

“Such statements are undemocratic. He is almost halfway in his second term and people should be free to campaign,” he told VOA’s BMJ Muriithi  in Washington DC on his last day of a week’s tour of the United States.

Watch (in Swahili):

Earlier in the week, he held several meetings with U. S. gvt officials including Mr. David Gilmour, the Director of the Office of East African Affairs & Mr. Marc Norman, Director of Counterterrorism Bureau. The talks focused on a range of local and global issues of interest to Kenya and the USA.

Kenyan opposition politician Musalia Mudavadi poses for a photo with Mr. David Gilmour, the Director of the Office of East African Affairs, in Washington, DC. COURTESY PHOTO

Last week, the Kenyan politician also held a town hall meeting at Springfield City, Massachusetts.

Mudavadi was also the keynote speaker in this year’s Diaspora Convention  held in New Jersey.

Mr Mudavadi (Centre) poses for a photo with US based Kenyans in New Jersey when he attended the 2019 Diaspora Convention organized by the Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organizations Inc (AKDOi). On the left is Mr David Ogega Ochwang’i.

The event was organized by the Association of Kenyan Diaspora Organizations Inc (AKDOi) which is headed by Atlanta-based community organizer, David Ogega Ochwang’i.

 

 

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