Articles Posted in Green Card

889854_freedom_2.jpgImmigration reform was a hot topic in the past presidential election, albeit for a short period of time. Now that the election is over, many are looking ahead to the possible changes that could be taking place. There are several areas of possible reform where immigrants are eager to see changes. These areas include, people who entered without inspection, undocumented youth, highly educated immigrants and undocumented workers.

Obviously, the most important area of reform for those without status is legalization. It is estimated that there are about 11 million undocumented people currently in the United States. It will be interesting to see how difficult any path to citizenship will be, especially how long the undocumented person needs to be in the country before they can apply for the new hypothetical temporary status and for how long they must maintain that status before they can get their green card. The new roadmap to naturalization might be a long winding one, but many will probably be excited just to have a chance to become U.S. citizen, where before there was little legal recourse available to them and they were forced to live on the fringes of society.
Continue reading

1037536_money_in_hand.jpgThe EB5 immigrant visa category is a way for foreign national investors to obtain lawful permanent residency in the US, otherwise known as the green card. This visa category is for immigrant investors who will be engaged in a commercial enterprise that produces 10 US jobs and will benefit the US economy.

In order for a foreign national to qualify, the person must make an investment of $1 million. The investment requirement lowers to $500,000 if it can be established that the investment will be for what is known as a targeted employment area, which means a rural area or an area having at least 150% of the national unemployment average.
Continue reading

1223513_us_flag_1.jpgThe EB2 employment-based second preference immigration visa requires a labor certification and job offer. There is an exception to these requirements if it can be established that granting a visa is in the national interest of the United States. This is the national interest waiver. The criteria are a three-part test established by case law:

  1. The foreign national’s work must be in an area of substantial and intrinsic merit;
  2. It must be established that the foreign national’s benefit will be national in scope;
  3. The foreign national must benefit the US to a substantially greater degree than those with equivalent minimum qualifications;

Continue reading

file000537259480.jpgWhen making the decision whether to file for adjustment of status (AOS) in the United States or to get consular processing (CP) abroad, there are several factors to examine. The processing time to get an immigrant visa and the time to get adjustment of status can vary. Many foreign nationals are eager to finish the process as fast as possible. Employment-based immigrants may worry about getting laid off before their process has completed. Family-based immigrants may be anxious to ultimately reach naturalization and obtain US citizenship so that they may begin filing petitions for other family members.

Advantages of Adjustment of Status Continue reading

1339419_washington_dc_capitol.jpgA Republican bill, named the STEM Jobs Act, will come to a vote today that would grant 55,000 US permanent resident visas, otherwise known as green cards, to foreign nationals who graduate from US colleges with advanced degrees in the technology fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The bill is expected to pass in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. However, it seems likely the bill will die in the Democrat-led Senate. Democrats oppose the bill because they say it will offset the new STEM green cards by doing away with the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program that grants immigrant visas to foreign nationals of mostly African nations, which normally have low US immigration rates.
Continue reading

918333_u_s__capitol_building.jpgLegislation was introduced in the US Senate today that would give legal immigration status to young foreign nationals who came to United States as undocumented children. The bill looks similar to the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals introduced by the Department of Homeland Security this summer. It goes even farther as it ultimately offers permanent legal status and ultimately US citizenship.

The bill was introduced by three Republicans, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Sen. John McCain. This shift in Republican immigration policy seems to come in response to the recent barrage from several political pundits and experts who have advised the Republican Party to reach out to the Latino community. However, it’s unlikely that Democrats will allow the Republicans to steal away their thunder on the immigration issue.
Continue reading

India Flag.jpgIt is readily apparent that in the few weeks leading up the presidential election, neither President Obama, nor former Governor Romney are willing to commit themselves to any firm and unequivocal stance on employment based, legal, immigration. This reluctance to take a stand further frustrates the thousands of Indian nationals and their employers who have undertaken the emotional, financial and time investment of who have placed themselves at the mercy of the USCIS, US Department of Labor and US Department of State though use of the current employment based preference system. However, while explicit pledges will not be forthcoming from either the current or the potential future president until the elections have passed, their subordinates continue to make the true stance of the candidates known through their actions and interactions with foreign dignitaries. Recent comments from Timothy Geithner, secretary of the treasury (and fifth in the line of succession to the president) to his counterpart in the cabinet of India are indicative of this phenomenon.

Indications of Future Executive Policy toward PERM and H-1B Visas for Indian Nationals.
Continue reading

1038472_3d_elevation_bar_graph.jpgU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced yesterday that it will create a new office to oversee adjudication of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program. The EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to become eligible for permanent residency by making a capital investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States. The new office is needed due to the recent exponential growth of the EB-5 program, which is caused by economic growth from capital invested in the U.S. economy from foreign investors to project developers. More than 3,100 EB-5 petitions were approved by the USCIS in Fiscal Year 2012, which is three times the number of petitions approved in fiscal year 2009.

The size of the USCIS’ EB-5 adjudication team has been quadrupled since 2009. Eight new expert economists have been brought on board to ensure expeditious handling of EB-5 cases. The USCIS plans to hire two new full-time attorneys who will bring transactional experience to the EB-5 team. At the end of July, every pending application for which a denial has been recommended will be reviewed by a special review board consisting of two Supervisory Immigration Services Officers and one economist, and applicants will be given the opportunity to discuss their cases in person before the USCIS renders any final adverse decision. Today, the USCIS is posting an advertisement for a new position titled Chief of Immigrant Investor Programs, who will lead the new office.
Continue reading

file0001066192156sm.jpgThe Immigrant Investor Program, otherwise known as the “EB-5,” allows foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency (green card) by making a capital investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States. Congress created the EB-5 program in 1990 as a way to stimulate the economy by creating jobs. A commercial enterprise is defined as any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to a sole proprietorship, partnership (whether limited or general), holding company, joint venture, corporation, business trust or other entity that may be publicly or privately owned.

One the immigrant investor is admitted to the United States he/she is granted Conditional Permanent Resident status. This status is conditional upon whether 10 full-time jobs are created for qualifying U.S. workers within a two year period. These jobs may be either direct jobs or indirect jobs. Direct jobs are real identifiable jobs for qualified employees situated inside the company in which the immigrant investor has directly invested capital. Indirect jobs are those that were made collaterally or as a consequence of capital invested in a commercial enterprise affiliated with a regional center by an immigrant investor. A foreign investor may only use the indirect job calculation if affiliated with a regional center.
Continue reading

Stop!.jpgUndocumented immigrants who believe they may qualify for the new DREAM deferred action immigration policy recently announced by the Obama Administration should beware of notario scams. “Notarios” are so-called immigration experts who may use the recently announced deferred action plan as an opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting foreign nationals by deceiving them into paying expensive fees for their assistance.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on June 15 of the new DREAM Deferred Action Process for Young People policy that would allow young undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and get work authorization if they meet certain criteria. Secretary Napolitano said that the USCIS would have 60 days to create an application process to accept requests, and she urged people not to submit requests yet until a process is ready. There is no process set up at the present time Continue reading