Category: English

EB-5 Retrogression for China – An L-1 Booster

As the world ponders on the future of U.S. EB-5 program, the more challenging issue is how immigration practitioners are dealing with options to visa retrogression for China. Today, investing $500,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA) or $1,000,000 for non-TEA does not guarantee green card in less than two years as it used to be. With EB-5 visa retrogression for China, investors now must wait for years before obtaining a green card.

Considering the above challenge, skilled attorneys are becoming more creative in dealing with the green card process. There is an upsurge in demand for other visas that ultimately lead to green card for investors from China.  Since E2 visa is not available for China, there are very few other visas available for green card purposes. The EB-1C remains attractive. However, the burden of proof during review process is high, especially for a new entrant to the U.S. market. Nowadays, some attorneys are using the national interest waiver (NIW) based on the recent Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision. The L-1 visa tends to be more in demand particularly for investors that have existing entities in China or those interested in long term plan for business development targeting the U.S. L-1 visa application.

While there are downsides to the L-1 visa option, there are advantages as the investor is able to control her investment funds rather than relying on a regional center. Also, the day to day management may not be necessary if the investor considers one of the established franchises. The most crucial issue is to work with an experienced immigration attorney who can help the investor navigate the process.

YOU ARE INVITED TO HEAR DR. MARTINS I. IMUDIA SPEAK AT THE INTERNATIONAL FRANCHISE EXPO IN NEW YORK

Meet attorney Martins I. Imudia, PhD at the International Franchise Expo, New York on June 15, 2017 and learn how you can take advantage of the U.S. investor and business immigration laws while achieving your American dream through franchising. Attend the largest franchise event in the U.S. and experience firsthand how franchising provides you with an established plan for business expansion and a means of minimizing risk.

In addition to my presentation, visit with financial lenders and consultants and attend a variety of free seminars designed to help you succeed as a franchise owner. Take advantage of this opportunity. Register for FREE https://r1.events-registration.com/IFE2017/?source=CUSIS and use the promo code for our guests – CUSIS.

DELAY IN UNITED STATED CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES PROCESSING TIMES

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally process cases in the order which the case is received. In the last few months we have noticed delays in processing routine cases. Usually, employment authorization documents (EAD) were approved within 90 days of filing the application. The same EAD processing and approval now takes up to 180 days. Naturalization applications which were usually processed within 120 days in Tampa USCIS office now takes approximately 240 days for interview. The same goes with family based adjustment of status.

Some immigrational practitioners believe the delay resulted from President Donald Trump emphasis on enforcement which led to shifting of resources from adjudication to field operation. Petitioners and beneficiaries are encouraged to be patient during this period as it is hoped that eventually more resources will be provided to catch up with the backlogs.

If you have any questions about your pending application, please feel free to contact us by Phone: 813-298-7222 or via Email: info@cfuis.com.

HAITI GETS SIX MONTHS TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS EXTENSION

The Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) John F. Kelly announced yesterday his decision to extend—for an additional six months—the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti.  This extension is effective July 23, 2017 through January 22, 2018.

According to DHS, the six-month extension is to allow Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients. The DHS is working closely with the Haitian government, including assisting the government in proactively providing travel documents for its citizens.

If you think you have other options for obtaining immigration status or have any questions about this news item, please contact one of our professional staff during office hours by Phone: 813-298-7222 or Email: info@cfuis.com.

Supreme Court hears argument in case where the Government seeks broader powers to revoke citizenship.

A pivotal case for people seeking naturalization as a US citizen is currently before the United States Supreme Court. In the matter of MASLENJAK v. United States, Case No.: 16-309, the United States government is arguing that it has the right to revoke the citizenship of any naturalized citizen if they can prove that the applicant made any false statements on their application. The I-400 form that people seeking American citizenship must complete, asks whether the applicant had ever committed a criminal offense, however minor, even if there was no arrest.

The government’s position is that the applicant must disclose everything. And they mean everything, no matter how trivial.   And failure to do full disclosure can result in the revocation of citizenship if it is later discovered that the applicant left out any incidents.

The Supreme Court Justices seemed to find this position ridiculous and were astounded by the hardline taken by the government.

This exchange took place between Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the government lawyer, Robert A. Parker

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: But, scrupulously, I — I looked at — on the naturalization form, there is a question. It’s Number 22. “Have you ever” — and they’ve got “ever” in bold point –

PARKER: Uh-huh.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: — “committed, assisted in committing, or attempted to commit a crime or offense for which you were not arrested?” Some time ago, outside the statute of limitations, I drove 60 miles an hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone. (Laughter.)

PARKER: I’m sorry to hear that.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I was — I was not arrested. Now, you say that if I answer that question no, 20 years after I was naturalized as a citizen, you can knock on my door and say, guess what, you’re not an American citizen after all.

PARKER: Well

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Is that right?

PARKER: If — well, I would say two things. First, that is how the government would interpret that, that it would require you to disclose those sorts of offenses.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Oh, come on. You’re saying that on this form, you expect everyone to list every time in which they drove over the speed limit

Asked again if a person could lose his or her citizenship by making such an omission, Mr. Parker answered “If we can prove that you deliberately lied in answering that question, then yes,” he said.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy let go a tirade against Mr. Parker “Your argument is demeaning the priceless value of citizenship. You’re arguing for the government of the United States, talking about what citizenship is and ought to mean.”

The full transcript can be found at

https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2016/16-309_b97c.pdf

Trump Signed an Executive Order to Review High-Skilled H-1B Immigration Visas

Excerpt from Reuters, Wednesday April 19th, 2017: “Trump orders review of visa program to encourage hiring Americans

“President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered a review of the U.S. visa program for bringing high-skilled foreign workers into the country, putting technology firms and the outsourcing companies that serve them on notice that possible changes may be ahead.

Seeking to carry out a campaign pledge to put “America First,” Trump signed an executive order on the H-1B visa program. It was vague on many fronts, and did not change existing rules, but one objective, said Trump aides, is to modify or replace the current lottery for H-1B visas with a merit-based system that would restrict the visas to highly skilled workers. Indian nationals are the largest group of H-1B recipients annually.

Such a change could affect companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Cognizant Tech Solutions Corp and Infosys Ltd, that connect U.S. technology companies with thousands of foreign engineers and programmers. None responded to requests for comment.”

You can read the full article here and also obtain more information regarding the impact and summary of the executive order by clicking on this link.

Revised Travel Ban Blocked By Two Federal Judges

President Trump’s revised executive order issued on March 6th was blocked by two District Court’s rulings on March 15th and March 16th. These rulings restrain temporarily the revised travel ban nationwide, which was set to go into effect on March 16th.

Below is an excerpt from the The New York Times’ article of March 15, 2017, “2 Federal Judges Rule Against Trump’s Latest Travel Ban

“A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide order Wednesday evening blocking President Trump’s ban on travel from parts of the Muslim world, dealing a stinging blow to the White House and signaling that Mr. Trump will have to account in court for his heated rhetoric about Islam.

A second federal judge in Maryland ruled against Mr. Trump overnight, with a separate order forbidding the core provision of the travel ban from going into effect.

The rulings were a second major setback for Mr. Trump in his pursuit of a policy that he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle halted it.”

You can read the full article here.

 

Trump Signs A Revised Travel Ban

Excerpt from Reuters, March 6, 2017, “Trump signs revised travel ban in bid to overcome legal challenges

“President Donald Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.

The new order, which takes effect on March 16, keeps a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It applies only to new visa applicants, meaning some 60,000 people whose visas were revoked under the previous order will now be permitted to enter.

Immigration advocates said the new ban still discriminated against Muslims and failed to address some of their concerns with the previous order. Legal experts said it would, however, be harder to challenge because it affects fewer people living in the United States and allows more exemptions to protect them.

The fact the ban affects fewer people already in the United States means it will be more difficult for opponents to find plaintiffs who have been harmed by the order and thus have legal standing to challenge it, legal experts said.

The revised order expressly makes waivers possible for a foreign national seeking to enter the United States to visit a spouse, child or parent who is a U.S. citizen, or for “significant business or professional obligations.”

You can read the full article here.

U.S. TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND EXPEDITED PROCESSING OF H-1B VISAS

Excerpt from USCIS:

“Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing of all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. USCIS will notify the public before resuming premium processing of H-1B petitions. 

The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption (the “master’s cap”). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.” 

Under the current system, U.S. companies could pay an additional $1,225 to expedite the processing of H-1B visas in what’s known as “premium processing.” Paying for this option ensures the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services responds to the petition within 15 days, otherwise the fee is refunded. 

If you may have any need for premium processing of your H-1B application, please contact us immediately by phone: (813) 298-7222 or by email: info@cfuis.com. 

Source: USCIS, March 3, 2017. You can read USCIS’ full article by clicking on the following link: USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions.

Ongoing Changes in U.S. Immigration Landscape

The 2016 presidential election which outcome shocked the world when President Donald J. Trump was elected is rapidly changing U.S. immigration landscape. Starting with the ill-fated executive action which banned seven majority muslim countries, the U.S. immigration world was thrown into chaos. People travelled hoping to be welcomed by their loved ones only to be returned on arrival at their U.S. destinations.  Thank to checks and balances in the U.S. branches of government, the judiciary halted the pandemonium.

Today, there are multiple executive actions aimed at enforcing immigration laws through massive deportation task force. In short, the president classified it as military operation although the Secretary for homeland security says the opposite. These mixed messages add to the level of fear among undocumented and to an extent, documented immigrants who are unsure of the next steps and further changes in U.S. Immigration landscape.

Having practiced immigration law for 20 years, I know and I can tell with some level of certainty that this is unusual times. What is more telling is the volume of calls from worried clients, potential clients and immigration advocates; asking what to do in this situation. Thus, the issue and challenge now is how to calm the fears of the worried. The undocumented with criminal records must prepare their family and friends for removal and possible deportation. The undocumented without criminal records must stay away from trouble and avoid criminal behaviors. More importantly, the undocumented must quickly reach out to an experienced immigration attorney to evaluate their immigration options and possible removal defense. Those that are eligible for citizenship must apply to obtain U.S. citizenship without any delays. If you need help dealing with these challenging times, please contact Center for U.S. Immigration Services (CFUIS) – Email: info@cfuis.com or by Phone: (813) 298-7222.

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Martins I. Imudia, PhD is Director and Lead Counsel at the Tampa (Florida) based Center for U.S. Immigration Services. He may be reached via Email: martins@cfuis.com or by phone: (813) 298-7222.

 

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