In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., discusses an example of an I-601 Waiver. For more information about waivers of inadmissibility please click here.

Overview:

An I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility allows a non-citizen alien to immigrate to the United States, adjust their status to permanent residence, or seek admission to the United States in a nonimmigrant status, if certain grounds of inadmissibility, circumstances, or conduct prevent them from being otherwise admissible. The I-601 application applies to certain aliens who believe they are ineligible for admission to the United States based on certain grounds of inadmissibility.

I-601 Success Story 

Maria, a Mexican citizen, was brought to the United States unlawfully at only 3 years of age. She lived here in the United States all of her life. She attended high school and college in the United States. She and her US Citizen husband came to our office and told us that they wanted to legalize her status in the United States. We analyzed her case and told the couple that in order to legalize her status, they would need to file the I-601 waiver. We also discussed the risks associated with the I-601 waiver. When filing the I-601 waiver, the applicant (Maria) is required to leave the country. When an undocumented immigrant leaves the country, they run the risk of being barred from re-entering the United States. Maria and her husband decided to file the application despite these risks. Maria was able to file a waiver based on her marriage to a US Citizen, and the fact that she had no immigration violations other than the accrual of unlawful presence. Our office filed the I-130 petition. Once approved the petition was sent to the National Visa Center and Maria was assigned an interview in Ciudad Juarez. She attended the interview and as expected she was denied, because she entered the US unlawfully. After this, our office submitted the waiver one week later. The waiver submitted for this case was based on the extreme hardship Maria’s U.S. Citizen husband would suffer if she were removed from the United States or denied entry. This type of waiver involves collection of documents proving that the US Citizen husband has a legitimate claim of extreme hardship. In this case, we collected medical, academic, occupational, and financial documents to prove that if Maria were removed from the United States, he would suffer an extreme hardship since his life would be uprooted, and he would not be able to find similar employment abroad. The waiver also involves collection of documents proving that the undocumented immigrant is an exemplary individual such as academic transcripts, awards, honors, etc. It also consisted of medical and psychological evaluations proving that the US Citizen suffered from anxiety and depression. Affidavits and letters from family and friends were also included in support of the extreme hardship. Within one week of submitting the waiver package to the US Consulate in Juarez, the immigration officer reviewed the case and granted the waiver. When she returned to the embassy she was given her immigrant visa in her passport and was able to re-enter the United States. This is an example of a successful I-601 waiver case that was achieved with careful preparation and planning so that our client could achieve favorable results.

For more questions about the I-601 waiver please contact our office. 

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In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., discusses the EB-5 visa program and Regional Center investments. For more information about the EB-5 program please click here.

Overview: 

What is EB-5?

The EB-5 is a visa that allows an immigrant to obtain permanent residence in the United States based on an investment in a new commercial enterprise. The amount of funds that must be invested will depend on whether the investor will be investing in a project through a Regional Center. Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(5), 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. To qualify for the EB-5 program, you must either invest half a million dollars in a Regional Center project or invest a million dollars in a new commercial enterprise (regular EB-5).

What is a Regional Center?

A regional center is a government designated program where investors invest up to half a million dollars together and throughout this process gain permanent residency. Currently, there are 864 regional centers throughout the United States, with projects in various different sectors including real estate, energy, export, wineries, etc. EB-5 is a popular program because investors are not required to physically or actively participate in the business they are investing in. They must however, invest funds into a new commercial enterprise or regional center and go through the necessary process.

Investors who are interested in a regional center project must be active in selecting a regional center. Attorneys cannot advise regional center clients on which regional center they should select. Attorneys can however provide general information and the pros and cons of working with a regional center. Attorneys can also warn individuals against making risky investments. Investors must do their homework and learn about the different regional centers and what type of project they would like to invest in. Attorneys cannot be actively involved in this process.

Typically once the regional center provides the agreement to the investor, the investor must sign the agreement and put down a deposit. Afterward, the application process for the EB-5 program begins

  1. First investors must complete the I-526 application. This application allows the investor to obtain a conditional 2-year green card. It is conditional because the government wants to ensure that the funds have been invested and all other requirements of the EB-5 visa program have been met during the first 2 years of the project. If the application is properly filed and the investment funds are legitimate and verified, the I-526 application should be approved within approximately 8 months of filing.
  2. Once the I-526 application is approved, the investor can proceed and file Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence to apply for the permanent residence card. Once the green card application is properly filed it can take up to 6-10 months to receive the conditional green card.
  3. To remove the conditions on the green card, investors must submit the I-828 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions before their green card expires.
  4. What happens to the funds at the end of the process will depend from regional center to regional center. Generally, there are ways for investors to get their funds back by selling their share in the project, etc.

To learn more about other types of investment visas please click here. Please call our office for a free consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., addresses common E visa myths and the facts surrounding the E visa program.

Overview: 

Here are the common myths and misconceptions that clients have about the E visa program:

The first myth is that you need to invest more than $100,000 to be able to obtain the E visa. This is not true. According to the law, in order to qualify for an E visa, the investment amount must be reasonable. The amount you will invest will depend on the type of business you trying to set up. For example, if you are interested in starting a consulting company, a reasonable amount would be $50,000 or higher depending on your expenses. If you are looking to start a restaurant, $50,000 would likely not be enough to cover your expenses. When considering how much money to invest, you must first determine the kind of business you want to invest in, and how much money you will need to properly set up the business and cover your expenses. We recommend that investors develop a 5-year business plan to explain how the investment funds will be allocated to cover the company’s expenses over an extended period of time. The business plan will also project the company’s growth and other important factors.

Keep in mind that the lower the amount is that you have invested in the business, the more you are going to have to spend from that money, before the case is filed with USCIS. Before a case is submitted to USCIS, most of the money must be invested in the new company, to show USCIS that your investment is committed and at risk.

The second myth is that investment in real estate qualifies for the E visa program. Unfortunately, investing in real estate is not sufficient for E visa purposes. To qualify for the E visa program, the new business must be active. Additionally, you must demonstrate to USCIS that new jobs will be created for Americans and that the company will generate revenues in the future.

Another question that typically comes up is whether E visa holders can work from home. In some cases, yes E visa holders may be able to work from home. We strongly advise against this. The more documented evidence the E visa holder can provide USCIS to prove that their investment is at risk, the higher the likelihood that the E visa will be approved. If you are running your business from home, there may be a presumption that you are minimizing your investment, and that your investment is not at risk. It is typically discouraged to set up the business from home for this reason.

Another common question is whether an investor can move money to the US, and upon approval of the E visa, transfer the money back to a foreign account. The answer is no. The money that you invest in the new company must be committed and at risk. If you transfer the money abroad once your E visa has been approved, you will not be able to extend your E visa, and you may potentially run the risk of being investigated by USCIS for fraud.

Overall there is no set amount that you need to invest, you cannot invest in real estate for E visa purposes, and it is not recommended that you work from home.

To learn more about the E visa, and other work visas please click here. Please call our office for a free consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob Sapochnick Esq., explains why we do what we do at the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. For more information about our office and the services we provide please click here.

Overview: 

Since 2004, we have efficiently and conveniently served our clients located across the United States and around the world through the use of cutting-edge technology and other innovations, always maintaining the personal connection you have come to expect from us.

You can express your interest, or schedule an appointment by emailing us at info@h1b.biz. We are excited to expand our ability to help many more of you, as you seek to achieve your American dream of living and working in this great country, a nation of immigrants.

Looking back, it is hard to narrow the reasons for our firm’s success. So much goes into that, but the main three ingredients have to be the lawyers, staff and clients. I am amazed at the enduring relationships we have with our clients.

Our office has been blessed with a staff that is motivated, efficient and very capable. I also think it important that they are compassionate for our clients’ issues – this is more than a job for us all – it is a calling.

To learn more about our dedicated staff members please click here.

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In this segment, attorney Ekaterina Powell Esq. from the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick, answers one of your most frequently asked questions: How can I avoid an H-1B visa denial? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about the H-1B visa please click here.

Overview: 

There are 3 reasons an H-1B visa application is typically denied:

  1. If USCIS believes that the position to be filled is not a ‘specialty occupation’ which typically requires a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent;
  2. If USCIS believes the U.S. employer does not need the position within the company;
  3. If USCIS believes the foreign worker does not meet the requisite qualifications for an H-1B visa such as the possession of at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent;

These denials can be prevented with careful planning when submitting the initial H-1B visa petition, by evaluating the foreign worker’s degree and credentials initially, and explaining the employer’s need for the position with the initial submission.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: What is the Execution Action on immigration all about? What will happen if DACA/DAPA passes? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about these executive actions please click here.

Overview: 

On November 20, 2014, President Barack Obama introduced a series of executive actions on immigration. The most important aspects of his executive actions include the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) program and the implementation of the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. The President also announced new initiatives to crack down on illegal immigration, prioritize deportation of felons and other criminals, require undocumented immigrants to pass a criminal background check, and enforce payment of taxes by granting eligible undocumented immigrants temporary protection from deportation. Applications for the expanded DACA and new DAPA program were supposed to begin to be accepted on February 18th however a federal court order has suspended these programs from going into effect. The Supreme Court will hear arguments for the lawsuit challenging DACA/DAPA (United States v. Texas) today April 18, 2016 with a final decision expected in June.

From the USCIS website:

The Executive Action initiatives include:

  • Expanding the population eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to people of any current age who entered the United States before the age of 16 and lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and extending the period of DACA and work authorization from two years to three years; 
  • Allowing parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request deferred action and employment authorization for three years, in a new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents* program, provided they have lived in the United States continuously since January 1, 2010, and pass required background checks;
  • Expanding the use of provisional waivers of unlawful presence to include the spouses and sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents and the sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;
  • Modernizing, improving and clarifying immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs to grow our economy and create jobs ;
  • Promoting citizenship education and public awareness for lawful permanent residents and providing an option for naturalization applicants to use credit cards to pay the application fee; 

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: What options do I have if my H-1B or L-1 visa is denied? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about these visa types, please click here.

Overview: 

Typically, there are two options to rescue a work visa application that has been denied, including an H-1B or L-1 visa petition. Once a work visa petition has been denied, attorneys have 30 days to file either a motion to reopen or appeal the decision based on the facts of the case. Filing a motion to reopen is highly effective in situations where the immigration officer may have overlooked an important fact, misinterpreted the law, or did not consider important factors during the adjudication process. Motions to reopen give attorneys the opportunity to point out important factors that were included in the original petition, that may have been overlooked. Immigration officers are often overburdened by the high volume of applications waiting to be adjudicated, therefore it is not unusual for immigration officers to overlook important aspects of a petition. New evidence cannot be introduced in a motion to reopen. Our attorneys decide which option is the most appropriate on a case by case basis.

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: Am I eligible to file for adjustment of status inside the United States? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about adjustment of status, please click here.

Overview: 

Am I eligible to file for adjustment of status inside the United States?

In order to file for adjustment of status from a non-immigrant visa classification to legal permanent resident, several conditions must be met. If you do not meet any of the following conditions you cannot file for adjustment of status from inside the United States.

  1. First, in order to apply for permanent residence, you must be physically inside of the United States. If you are not physically present in the US you must obtain an immigrant visa at a United States Consular post abroad.
  2. Your Immigration petition must have already been approved (I-130 or I-140 Petition) before filing of the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (green card application).
  3. If your priority date is not current then you cannot file a petition for adjustment of status.

What does this mean?

A priority date is the date when your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS. Immediate Relatives of US Citizens are generally not subject to numerical visa limitations. You can check the status of a visa number by checking your priority date on the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin published every month. The Visa Bulletin estimates immigrant visa availability for prospective immigrants.

4. If your priority date is not current then you cannot file a petition for adjustment of status until it becomes current.

5. You must have entered the US illegally and be able to prove that you entered legally (inspection documents such as I-94). There are exceptions to this rule such as section 245i

6. You must not have any changes in your circumstances (ex. change in employment; divorce before green card)

7. You must not be barred from the United States. If you have been subject to a bar because you attempted to enter the US illegally, departed the US voluntarily, are guilty of immigration fraud, willful misrepresentation, or other criminal issues you are likely inadmissible and cannot file for adjustment of status. A waiver may be available to individuals in these situations that will allow the immigrant to seek adjustment of status.

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: My husband is a green card holder and I am an F-1 student. Can I stop school, stay, and work in the United States? For the answer to this question please keep watching. For more information about filing an I-130 as a green card holder, please click here.

Overview: 

If I marry a permanent resident in the US, without any other visa, can I now stay, live, and work in the United States?

Unfortunately, you cannot live and stay in the United States, without any other visa, even if your husband is a legal permanent resident (LPR), who is planning to file Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf. The fact that your LPR spouse is going to file the I-130 petition on your behalf, is NOT going to allow you to stay in the United States on that basis alone. This is because, for permanent residents, spousal visas are subject to a numerical limitation.  Once the I-130 petition is filed, the immigrant spouse must wait until their priority date becomes current according to the visa bulletin. Once the petitioner becomes a US Citizen, a spouse visa then becomes immediately available. While their priority date becomes current, the immigrant spouse should remain in the United States in a different visa category, which in this situation would be in student visa status.

For more information please contact our office for a consultation.

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In this segment, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the H-1B visa and how the lottery process works. A congressionally mandated cap exists for the H-1B program, limiting the issuance of H-1B visas to 65,000 per year. This is why the H-1B visa is commonly referred to as a ‘lottery’ visa. Individuals holding advanced degrees are exempted from the 65,000 cap. The priority deadline for filing of the H-1B visa is April 1, 2016. For more information about the H-1B visa please click here.

What is the H-1B Program?

The H-1B program was enacted by Congress with the intention of helping American employers seek out distinguished foreign workers who possess the necessary business skills and abilities absent within the American workforce. The provisions of the H-1B program allow qualified foreign workers to attain temporary employment having met specific requirements, while protecting American workers from being negatively affected by the temporary employment of these workers.

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