Archive for the ‘Work Visa’ Category

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The New Dream Act/Deferred Action; What Does It Mean for You?

August 12, 2012

Next week the new immigration laws regarding young immigrants will finally be revealed in full.  What does this mean for us? Although these laws may help some, the regulations seem to exclude more people than they help.  They leave a lot of uncertainty and worry amongst potential applicants as well. 

The new laws will be available to those who are in an illegal status at this time, and who entered the US prior to their 16th birthday.  Thus, those who were already 16 upon entry are excluded. Unfortunately, we have come across several clients who missed this deadline by a few days or a few weeks. Should a person be excluded from DREAM because they were 16 years old and three weeks when their parents brought them here?  It seems a bit of an arbitrary cut-off.

The applicant also has to have lived in the US for at least five years continually with only brief interruptions. The burden will be on the applicant to prove they have been present in the US for at least the last five years. This can be proved by showing medical records, school records, phone bills, or other documentary evidence regarding physical presence in the United States.  The rules seemingly indicate that the applicant may have left the US for brief periods of time, yet there is no hard and fast rule as to what will constitute "brief" absences.   Will the old "Fleuti" doctrine of 180 days apply? Or will DREAMERS be held to a stricter standard? Hopefully, more concrete guidance will be released next week with respect to the new laws.

Those applying must currently be between the ages of 15 and 30.  I have had clients cut off by being both too young or by being too old. It’s a shame that someone who fits all the other requirements can miss benefiting from the law because they turned 30 a few months ago or because they are now 14.

The law will also require applicants to  be currently enrolled in a high school program, or completed HS or a GED. They can also be enrolled in college or serving in the military in some instances. We have also come across persons who never finished high school. They had to work to help support their family or to send money back to their family at home. They do not speak English or even know they could attend school here. These persons may too be excluded. Some persons are enrolling  in high school now or starting to enroll in local or online GED programs. I bet the organizations that offer GEDs are seeing a sudden boon in enrollees. But will enrollment in a GED program be sufficient to meet the requirements of this law? The law says persons may be "currently enrolled" in high school to qualify. So will such GED programs suffice? It will be interesting to find this out.

What about those who have been arrested? Those with more than one arrest or any "significant" crime may not be eligible for relief under the law. Then what will happen if they choose to apply and are denied? Will they be placed in removal proceedings? Will they be deported? Presumably not. But I am not yet convinced that this will ultimately be the case. Anyone with more than a traffic ticket should be extremely careful of this law and consult an immigration attorney prior to applying.

So what will the new law provide to applicants? Those who "pass" all these tests will get a work permit for two years. With this permit they will be able to get a social security number and renew or obtain a drivers license.  This relief will need to be renewed every two years. It does not grant residency or lead to a green card. Spouses are not automatically included. Your children are not necessarily included. The law does not legalize a person or permit them to change status. 

The filing free will be $465 total per application.  The forms and filing procedures will be released next week. Those already in removal proceedings may also apply with USCIS

The real question everyone wants to know is whether those who apply are at risk of deportation in case of a change in the administration. While we are told that  applicants who are denied relief are not being turned over to ICE for removal, the effects of the law remain to be seen.  One USCIS officer in Connecticut actually warned us to tell clients not to apply under the law. What does she know that we do not know?  Hopefully she was just being overly cautious.  To be continued after the regulations are released next week.

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Immigration in New York

August 1, 2012

Immigration is a priority for millions of people around the world who wish to improve the quality of their life. Some immigrants are attempting to escape war, oppression and poverty, while others simply desire to start a new life in a new place. Immigration occurs legally and illegally all over the world. Illegal Immigration is essentially defined as entering a country without authorization. Entering the United States illegally is a crime and may lead to prison time or deportation.

Legal Methods of Entry

There are different ways to legally immigrate to the United States of America depending upon your specific situation. Those specifics include your country of origin, the reasons you wish to immigrate, your background, and your ability to be independent. Legal Immigration into the United States is not an easy process and requires a good deal of time, effort, and patience.

Some of the ways to acquire legal residency in the US include the act of obtaining a Visa. A Visa is an endorsement on a passport indicating that the holder is allowed to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country.

Family-Based Visa: A Family based Visa is an Immigrant Visa that is reserved for foreign relatives of current legal US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.

K-1 Visa (Fiance Visa): A Visa that is typically issued to the fiance/fiancee of a United States citizen. This kind of Visa also requires a certificate of marriage between the immigrant and the U.S. citizen.

O-1 Visa: A Visa available to foreign nationals who have extraordinary ability in science, art, education, business, or athletics that has been demonstrated via international acclaim and recognized in the field through extensive documentation.

If you need help with Immigration in New York, contact NY Immigration Attorney Susan B. Henner at (914)358-5200 for a free consultation or more information.

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Immigrants and US Healthcare

July 13, 2012

Now that the Supreme Court is upholding the national health care law, it is important that immigrants know how it will effect them. Undocumented immigrants will not be able to participate in the new mandate. However, if you are a legal immigrant with a valid Green card then you are subject to the mandates requirements and must obtain health insurance in 2014.

Immigrants that are in the US via student visas and some work visas are not eligible due to their "nonimmigrant" status and will not be subject to the individual mandate. Documented immigrants must live within the United States for a total of 5 years before they are eligible for Medicaid, with exceptions for asylees and refugees and those who fall within poverty guidelines.

Citizenship

Once the new health care bill is fully implemented, it is estimated that over 30 million US residents will be without health insurance, while 11.5 million of those residents will be undocumented immigrants. That is why it is important to apply for US citizenship. If you or a loved one is seeking assistance from an experienced immigration attorney in the State of New York, contact Susan B. Henner at 1.888.733.0141 for a free consultation or more information.

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Obtaining citizenship through PERM

June 6, 2012

The PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) is a process designed to assist immigrants in obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa (“green card”) through their employment and is sometimes referred to as PERM labor certification. The PERM process began on March 28, 2005, replacing the previous paper system know as Reduction in Recruitment (RIR).

Labor Certification

Acquiring labor certification is the first stage for most employment-based green cards and is a requirement for all applicants under category employment-based preference 2 and 3 (EB2 and EB3). Labor Certification is essentially designed to help an employer test the labor market in order to ensure that all willing and able residential U.S. workers are filling all open positions for which Labor Certification is being sought. Once a PERM petition is approved, the next step for an employer is to file the immigrant petition on behalf of the foreign worker, allowing employment on a permanent basis.

What is required

The following requirements must be met in order to file the PERM Petition:

-All applications must be filed on or after March 28, 2005 and while adhering to the new PERM process and regulations.

-The employment opportunity must be a permanent, full time position.

-An official recruitment must be conducted for willing and able U.S. workers.

-Job requirements must be designated for customarily U.S. occupations, and not a foreign worker’s qualifications.

-Employers must meet the minimum wage in the area of intended employment.

-Employers must prove legitimacy.

If you are applying for a Fiance Visa

Any facet of the immigration process can be very complicated. If you or a loved one in, or outside of the United States is attempting to obtain PERM citizenship, contact NY Immigration Attorney Susan B. Henner at 1-888-733-0141 for professional assistance.

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What is a Fiance/Fiancee Visa

May 4, 2012

Eligible Immigrants from all over the world have the opportunity to acquire permanent status in the United States if they are granted a K-1 visa, also known as a "Fiance" Visa.

A K-1 visa is typically issued to the fiance or fiancee of a United States citizen, and requires a certificate of marriage between the immigrant and the U.S. citizen and must be petitioned within 90 days of entry. Once married, the foreign citizen may be eligible for a green card, or lawful permanent residence in the United States. While a K-1 Visa is generally classified as a non-immigrant visa, it may include additional immigration benefits and is often under the jurisdiction of the Immigrant Visa section of United States embassy. Failure to acquire a certificate of marriage after attaining a K-1 visa for 90 days will result in deportation within 30 days. Immigrants that have been issued a fiance visa are also legally able to bring their children under a K2 Visa.

How to get a Fiance Visa

Despite being one of the easiest ways to get citizenship within the United States, approval of a fiance visa is not automatic, or guaranteed. The process involves moderate scrutiny of applications by immigration officials for the purpose of ensuring legitimacy of intent, and not for the sole purpose of gaining immigration benefits. Only a small percentage of K-1 visas are denied, however the process of Obtaining a Fiance Visa is complex and involves significantly large amounts of documentation and up to 5 months of USCIS and U.S. Embassy processing.

If you are applying for a Fiance Visa

The immigration process can be tricky and easily underestimated, that is why it requires the professional assistance of a competent attorney specialized in dealing with immigration topics. If you are an immigrant in or outside of the United States and want to know if you qualify for a Fiance Visa, please contact NY Immigration Attorney Susan B. Henner at 1-888-733-0141 for a consultation and more information.

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Immigration Appeals

April 25, 2012

New York Immigration attorney Susan B. Henner is ready to represent individuals facing a variety of immigration issues such as removal, visa overstay, and deportation.

The highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws is The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). With up to 15 Board Members, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman who share responsibility for BIA management, the BIA decides appeals by conducting a "paper review" of cases.

Generally, the BIA does not conduct courtroom proceedings, but will hear oral arguments of appealed cases on special occasions at its headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. The Law offices of John E. MacDonald Inc,. will assist you in presenting your Immigration Appeals against any decisions rendered by immigration judges regardless of whether you are an alien, a citizen, or a business firm.

How an Immigration Appeal works

The Board of Immigration Appeals generally reviews cases that involve orders of removal (deportation) in addition to applications for relief from removal. The majority of cases are reviewed by a single selected board member, although there are certain types of cases that are handled by special panel of three. Most appeals are the result of:

  • A need to clarify the meaning of a law or procedure, which will be followed in future cases

  • An inconsistency between the law and a decision made by an immigration judge or DHS officer.

  • A nationally relevant or controversial case widely considered to hold national importance

  • A mistake, or factual error made by an immigration judge

  • An inconsistency in the rulings between two or more immigration judges

If you wish to Appeal

The most typical of appeals that reach the BIA involve orders of removal and applications for relief from removal, and has standardized the process to some degree. If you or a loved one is an immigrant in the state of New York and are now facing deportation, you have the right to appeal the BIA. Please contact New York Immigration attorney Susan B. Henner today at 1-888-733-0141 or (914) 358-5200. If you wish to contact Susan by email please write to: Susan@sbhenner.com.

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IT Companies in India Claim Difficulties Getting Work Visas for Employees

April 18, 2012

If you need help with a work visa or any other Immigration matter in NY, contact Immigration Attorney Susan B. Henner at (914) 358-5200 for more information and assistance now.

Indian, U.S. firms urge Obama action on visas
USCIS is giving consideration to the idea
By Patrick Thibodeau
March 23, 2012

Computerworld – WASHINGTON – Some of the largest IT companies in India and the U.S. are complaining to President Obama that it has become increasingly difficult to get work visas for their employees — and they want him to take action.

In a letter Thursday to Obama, the companies said that the U.S. is creating “unprecedented delays and uncertainty” around L-1 visas, which are used for intra-company transfers of employees from foreign offices to U.S. offices. They claim that U.S. immigration authorities are exceeding the law in rejecting their visa applications.

The White House letter sheds light on just who is behind this push to change how the U.S. treats visa applications.

Although the L-1 visa is different from the H-1B visa, they are part of the same debate concerning the displacement of U.S. workers by foreign labor. Critics contend that offshore companies, in particular, use the L-1 for the same reason they use the H-1B visa: to help move work overseas.

In recent years, the U.S. has toughened enforcement of its H-1B and L-1 program through rejections of visa petitions and increased demands for paperwork that can lengthen the wait, and cost, of a visa.

Complaints about the visa processes have been growing in recent years, and the undertone of the letter to Obama is one of frustration. “Such delays or denials do not enhance compliance or enforcement and do nothing except disrupt carefully-laid business plans and create significant costs to the company and the American economy,” the companies told Obama.

Among the companies listed on the letter are major Indian offshore firms, including Wipro Technologies and Tata America International Corp. — a subsidiary of offshore giant Tata Consultancy Services — as well as firms that rely heavily on India and other countries for offshore labor, including U.S.-based Cognizant Technology Solutions and Accenture.

Other firms signing it included eBay, EMC, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, as well as a number of firms in other industries, including Boeing, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar and Chevron USA. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with numerous tech-related groups, signed it, too.

The lobbying effort has been largely behind-the-scenes, but its goal was outlined in a letter released earlier this month by the two leading congressional critics of work visa policies, U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

In their letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas, Grassley and Durbin said they were aware that the agency was considering making it easier for companies to transfer workers to the U.S. under the L-1B rules. The L-1 is the visa most commonly used.

“We are concerned that the L-1B program is harming American workers because some employers, especially foreign outsourcing companies, use L-1B visas to evade restrictions on the H-1B visa program,” wrote Grassley and Durbin.

Read more HERE