Category: Immigration law

Are You in One of Immigration’s Targeted Groups?
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Are You in One of Immigration’s Targeted Groups? | Mitchell Zwaik

{4:54 minutes to read} Among the many “hot topics” surrounding immigration these days, one is about people being rounded up and detained. There is an old cliché: When everybody's a priority, nobody's a priority. There are a lot of people who are priorities, but within that priority system, there are certain people in particular who are being targeted by immigration and need to be careful. People with a Criminal Record

Anybody who has any kind of a criminal record is a target. The Administration talks about deporting drug dealers, gang members, rapists and child molesters, but the people they are picking up are people who have relatively minor offenses, such as DUIs or driving without a license.

Click here to read Michael Zwaik's full article...

What to Do If ICE (Immigration Agents) Comes to Your Home
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What to Do If ICE (Immigration Agents) Comes to Your Home | Laraine Schwartz

Frequently, and most recently, immigrants have been relating that they are fearful about what to do if ICE goes to their home. In this blog, I share advice from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about what to do if ICE knocks on your door.

  • If any officers come to your door, keep the door closed and ask if they are from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or if they are immigration agents. If they are, ask them why they are there.

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

What to Do If ICE (Immigration Agents) Comes to Your Home
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, on .
What to Do If ICE (Immigration Agents) Comes to Your Home | Laraine Schwartz

Frequently, and most recently, immigrants have been relating that they are fearful about what to do if ICE goes to their home. In this blog, I share advice from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about what to do if ICE knocks on your door.

  • If any officers come to your door, keep the door closed and ask if they are from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or if they are immigration agents. If they are, ask them why they are there. Although opening the door does not give the agents permission to come inside, it still is safer to speak to ICE through the door. If the agents do not speak your language, you can ask for an interpreter.

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

Bar or Ban: The Impact Could Be Devastating
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Bar or Ban: The Impact Could Be Devastating | Mitchell Zwaik

Note: Since we created this article there have been numerous developments. Last week, President Trump issued his “reworked” Executive Order effective March 16. This order is substantially the same as the first one. Its legality is being challenged by a number of states.
{4:30 minutes to read} Although there is currently a nationwide stay in effect that blocks President Trump's Executive Order of Friday, January 27, the administration is said to be considering a reworking of the legislation that would allow individuals from the seven “banned countries” to enter the US if they had visas that were issued before the ban went into effect.

Is the H-1B in Danger From the Trump Administration?
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Authored by , re: Immigration law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Is the H-1B in Danger From the Trump Administration? | Mitchell Zwaik

{2:48 minutes to read} H-1B season is upon us. H-1Bs are visas for professional workers. They are used primarily for high-tech companies bringing in computer programmers, engineers, etc.
The start date for the new visas is October 1st, the beginning of the government's fiscal year. You can apply for the visas six months before the start date, which is April 1st.
The limit on H-1B visas is 65,000 for people with bachelor's degrees, plus 20,000 for people with master's degrees. This limit is exhausted every year. Last year there were about 240,000 applications filed on April 1st for the 85,000 visas.

Will the Actions of the President be Counterproductive to His Goals?
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Will the Actions of the President be Counterproductive to His Goals? | Mitchell Zwaik

{4:00 minutes to read} Within a few days of his inauguration, the new President threw more than sixty years of US immigration policy into the shredder. He began with a war of words with Mexico and ended with a Muslim ban he later claimed was neither a ban nor directed at Muslims. This offensive is not only counterproductive in terms of cooperation with other countries in the general sense of the word, but it may very well become counterproductive in terms of his immigration policies. It sent a signal to the rest of the world that the US no longer welcomes immigrants.

Click here to read Michael Zwaik's full article...

The Unfolding Story of Immigration in the U.S.
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The Unfolding Story of Immigration in the U.S. | Mitchell Zwaik

{3:00 minutes to read} What is going to happen with regard to immigration when the new administration takes office on January 20th? The simple answer is, we don’t know. Many immigrants in the United States, including some who have green cards, are experiencing a feeling of angst and fear. This is particularly true with undocumented Hispanics and many Muslims, including those in legal status in the US. The level of fear and concern is the highest I've ever seen. In many respects, it's worse than immediately after 9/11 when Muslims living in this country, legally and illegally, were terrified of what was going to happen.

Click here to read Michael Zwaik's full article...

H1-B Visas in the Crosshairs
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H1-B Visas in the Crosshairs | Laraine Schwartz

With the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the Immigration community is left wondering which, if any, of his proposed policy changes will come to fruition. One issue that has the support of several key congressional leaders is restricting H1-B visas. The H1-B visa is specifically for foreign workers in “specialty occupations” which require “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor.”

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

Immigration: 2 Things to Do Before the New Administration Takes Office
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Immigration: 2 Things to Do Before the New Administration Takes Office | Mitchell Zwaik

{3:36 minutes to read} What is going to happen with regard to immigration when the new administration takes office on January 20th? The simple answer is, we don’t know. There are 2 things I’m recommending that people do ASAP. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) There's a bill pending in the Senate, which would extend DACA. DACA is the Obama Executive Order that provides employment authorization for individuals who came to the U.S. under the age of 16, have lived here since June of 2007, and graduated or are attending school in this country.

Click here to read Michael Zwaik's full article...

Can Your Business Investment Bring You to the United States?
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Can Your Business Investment Bring You to the United States? | Steve Maggi

{3:00 minutes to read} Business owners and investors are using Treaty Investor visa, also known as the  E-2 visa, to set up shop in the US. The E-2 visa allows passport holders from any of the 80 E-2 countries that have treaties with the US to set up businesses in the US. Those businesses can be franchises or operations that the foreign national purchased.

Click here to read Steve Maggi's full article...

DHS Takes First Step Towards Using Social Media to Investigate Applicants for Entry to U.S.
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DHS Takes First Step Towards Using Social Media to Investigate Applicants for Entry to U.S. | Claudia Slovinsky

{7 minutes to read} The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a regulation aimed at broadening its authority to gather information about immigrants’ social media presence. The proposal is to add the following question to the I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Record) and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), both of which are required to be completed by travelers under the Visa Waiver Program prior to being admitted into the US. (The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens or nationals of 38 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business stays of 90 days or less, without first obtaining a visa.)

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

When Don’t You Need an Affidavit of Support to Get a Green Card?
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When Don’t You Need an Affidavit of Support to Get a Green Card? | Claudia Slovinsky

{5:36 minutes to read} The Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) is a requirement for most family-based green card cases and some employment based green card applications. It is a legally enforceable contract to ensure that the green card applicant—the family member applying for his/her green card—will have adequate means of financial support and is unlikely to become a “public charge” after entering the United States. A “public charge” refers to a person who becomes reliant on the government for certain public assistance or benefits. An applicant for a green card must prove that he or she is not likely to become a public charge, otherwise he or she will be found to be inadmissible to the United States.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article..

I Have Temporary Protected Status. Can I Adjust Status to Legal Permanent Residence in the U.S.?
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I Have Temporary Protected Status. Can I Adjust Status to Legal Permanent Residence in the U.S.? | Claudia Slovinsky

{ 7:54 minutes to read} There are currently more than 340,000 foreign nationals in the United States with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These are individuals who arrived before a designated date from countries that the U.S. government has determined to not be safe to return nationals because of conditions there, including war, hurricanes, earthquakes, disease epidemics and other catastrophes.

Click here to read to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

DHS Proposed Filing Fees Will Increase Financial Burden on Immigrants
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DHS Proposed Filing Fees Will Increase Financial Burden on Immigrants | Claudia Slovinsky

By Leena Khandwala, Associate Claudia Slovinsky and Associates, PLLC {6:18 minutes to read} The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to raise the filing fees charged by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which, if successful, would significantly increase the cost of applying for most immigration benefits. The average proposed increase across the board is 21%. While the most significant increases are for visas in the employment-based categories, including H-1B visas for professionals in specialty occupations, L-1 visas for intra-company transferees, and EB-5 visas for immigrant investors, family-based categories will see substantial increases as well.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

What to Consider When Transferring H-1B Workers Overseas
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What to Consider When Transferring H-1B Workers Overseas|Claudia Slovinsky

au{4:35 minutes to read} By Dominic Kong, Claudia Slovinsky and Associates, PLLC Recently, an employer asked me whether it can send one of its H-1B workers to manage an assignment at its overseas office in Shanghai, China, for a 2-year period and what impact this would have on his immigration case.  This is one of the frequently asked questions for companies with a global presence. To answer it, we need to analyze how this outbound immigration may or may not impact the foreign national employee’s H-1B status and pending employment-based Green Card process, as well as the employer’s obligations and liabilities in regard to these applications.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

Popular Visa Waiver Program Gets New Restrictions
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Popular Visa Waiver Program Gets New Restrictions | Claudia Slovinsky

{4:18 minutes to read} A law went into effect on January 21, 2016, that puts new restrictions on the U.S. entry program utilized by millions of tourists and business visitors from 38 countries. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens from these designated countries to bypass the general requirement of applying for and obtaining a visa from a U.S. Consulate abroad before being able to enter the U.S. Those individuals who are now excluded from the program under the new law will have to make an application for a visa at a U.S. Consul before traveling to the U.S.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

 

“Sorry Boss, those documents that I gave you years ago for Form I-9 were phonies!”
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“Sorry Boss, those documents that I gave you years ago for Form I-9 were phonies!” | Claudia Slovinsky

By Dominic Kong Senior Associate Claudia Slovinsky and Associates, PLLC What do you do as an employer when your employee presents you with a new social security number and an employment authorization document and tells you that the documents that he or she previously provided to you were not genuine? The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has discussed this scenario in a letter responding to an employer’s inquiry. The letter only discusses the potential liability of the employer and the corrective action the employer should take. It does not address any issues the employee may face in having used false documents or documents that were not his or hers.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinksy's full article...

 

Say “no” to Fear and Hatred and “yes to America”
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Say no to Fear and Hatred and yes America | Laraine Schwartz

Winograd and Schwartz, PC, would like to wish each of you a peaceful and healthy holiday season. These are certainly troubling times. As Americans, we value the power of the vote – democracy at work. This year’s presidential race is proving a challenge to the mind and our country. Along with the repercussions of Citizens United, money in politics has taken on a new meaning. And with his own bankroll of his campaign,

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

What Happens When the I-130 Petitioner Dies?
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What Happens When the I-130 Petitioner Dies? | Claudia Slovinsky

{ 11 minutes to read} Family reunification is a key principle underlying U.S. immigration policy. And family based sponsorship remains the most frequently used means of immigrating to the U.S. According to the Congressional Research Service, 66% of foreign nationals admitted to the United States in fiscal year 2013 as lawful permanent residents (LPRs) were admitted on the basis of family ties. U.S. Immigration law allows for U.S. citizens and LPRs to sponsor various categories of family members, including:

  • Spouses;
  • Parents;
  • Children; and
  • Siblings.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

The Right Side of History
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The Right Side of History | Laraine E. Schwartz

The images pouring out of the Middle East right now are heartbreaking. Men, women and children are fleeing war by piling into rafts that are not seaworthy and often sink. For a brief moment, it looked like the world was waking up to the reality of this nightmare when little Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body was photographed face-down and sinking into the sands of a Turkish beach. Aylan had been the victim of a capsized raft. Gone, too, were his mother and brother, leaving his father as the only member of his family left alive. And the world did react, with Europe opening its borders ever so slightly only to shut them a week later. Canada joined effort, taking in thousands of refugees as did Syria’s neighbor, Jordan. In the United States, President Obama committed to accepting 10,000 refugees – only to be greeted by howls of protest.

Click here to read Laraine E. Schwartz's full article...

USCIS Proposes Positive Change to Extreme Hardship Evaluation in Waiver Cases
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USCIS Proposes Positive Change to Extreme Hardship Evaluation in Waiver Cases | Claudia Slovinsky

{ 4:36 minutes to read} The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a proposed change to their policy guidelines as to how “extreme hardship” will be determined in deciding various waivers of inadmissibility that require extreme hardship to a qualifying relative. Public comment on the change can be submitted until November 23, 2015. Foreign nationals who are applying for green cards can be found to be inadmissible on a number of different grounds:

  • Fraud;
  • Some criminal convictions;
  • Having overstayed in unlawful presence in the United States.

Click here to read Claudia Slovinsky's full article...

DAPA and DACA Arguments Heard by the Fifth Circuit
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DAPA and DACA Arguments Heard by the Fifth Circuit | Laraine E. Schwartz

On July 10th, President Barack Obama’s Executive Orders on deferred action for undocumented immigrants were argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Both Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, (DAPA) are being challenged by a group of 26 states that assert Obama overstepped his authority with these Executive Orders.

Click here to read Laraine E. Schwartz's full article...

H-1B/H-4 Visas
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Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B extension of stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, 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, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant. Premium processing remains available for all other Form I-129 H-1B petitions, including petitions subject to the H-1B cap that are requesting a change of nonimmigrant status or consular notification.

Click here to read Charles Goldsmith's full article...

Entrepreneurial Visas: The Extraordinary Ability Visa – EB-1
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Entrepreneurial Visas: The Extraordinary Ability Visa – EB-1 | Steve Maggi

{4 minutes to read} One of the most underutilized visa categories is the EB-1, extraordinary ability green card. It is actually an employment-based category, but does not require an employer. The EB-1 can be used by individuals who are at the top of their fields and can self-sponsor their green card. Essentially the idea is for people not to be dependent on employers. If you have an employment based visa, you are always at the mercy of the employer:

  • Going bankrupt;
  • Downsizing;
  • Cutting staff;
  • Not renewing your visa;
  • Withdrawing sponsorship and thereby nullifying your status.

Click here to read Steve Maggi's full article...

Entrepreneurial Visas: EB-5, the Investor Green Card
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Entrepreneurial Visas: EB-5, the Investor Green Card | Steve Maggi

The EB-5 is an employment based green card which allows foreign nationals to invest money in projects or businesses that in turn create at least 10 full time jobs per investor. Regional centers have proliferated over the years but the trend in terms of investing is a more entrepreneurial one, called Direct Investment, which does not utilize a regional center.  Direct investment is where somebody can set up their own business, or purchase a business or franchise, and have a hands-on role in the management and operations of that business.

Click here to read the rest of Steve Maggi's full article...

Problems for H-1B Workers with Job Site Changes
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On April 9, 2015, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a precedent decision which will significantly impact the immigration compliance practices of many companies. It basically held that if a company wants to employ an H-1B-sponsored employee at a location in a different Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), this would be a material change in the conditions stated in the I-129 petition.

Click here to read Charles Goldsmith's full article...

L-1B Adjudications Should Get Easier
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It is common knowledge that USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) adjudications of L-1B petitions have become increasingly difficult during the last few years. The March 2015 report issued by the National Foundation for American Policy indicates a denial rate of 35% for FY 2014. The denial rate in 2006 was 6%. USCIS posted a “Memo for Feedback” on March 24, 2015 addressing many of the public’s concerns about the toughened L-1B adjudication process with recommendations for more reasonable standards regarding adjudications under the L-1 regulations to meet “common-sense” business needs. Once implemented, this should liberalize adjudications and result in many more L-1B approvals.

Click here to read Charles Goldsmith's full article...

Entrepreneurial Visas: L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa
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Entrepreneurial Visas: L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa | Steve Maggi

(5 minutes to read} In my last blog, I discussed the E-2 investor visa for entrepreneurs.  In this blog, I want to talk about another kind of entrepreneurial visa, which actually is a little broader in scope than the E-2. The E-2 is only available to people from countries that have treaties with the U.S.  There are approximately 80 countries around the world that have such a treaty, but since the BRIICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, People’s Republic of China, South Africa) are among those which do not have a treaty, as well as more than 100 more, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population cannot qualify under E-2.

Click here to read Steve Maggi's full article...

What Your Immigration Attorney Needs to Know About You
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What Your Immigration Attorney Needs to Know About You | Laraine Schwartz

When you meet with your immigration attorney, you will be asked to provide certain information. Although some questions may seem intrusive and unnecessary, full disclosure of your criminal history and past immigration history is essential. Criminal History If you have a criminal background, have ever been fingerprinted by authorities, had a mugshot, or just taken to the police station for questioning, you need to tell your immigration lawyer. An arrest does not mean that you will be barred from becoming a Legal Permanent Resident

Click here to read Laraine Schwartz's full article...

Establishment of U.S. Hospitality Businesses is a Win-Win for Foreign National Investors and the U.S. Economy and Culture
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Establishment of U.S. Hospitality Businesses is a Win-Win for Foreign National Investors and the U.S. Economy and Culture | Steve Maggi

{5:36 minutes to read} The most international city in the U.S., New York City, is full of ethnic businesses, especially in the restaurant industry, where every nationality’s cuisines have representative places to eat. Fueling the growth of foreign fare restaurants is the E-2 investor visa. Immigrants with a reasonable amount of capital and a solid business plan to start a new company, or buy a business or franchise, can apply for the E-2 visa depending on their nationality(ies) and whether the U.S. has an investor treaty with their country(ies).

Click here to read Steve Maggi's full article....