In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares some exciting news: the EB-3 Philippines employment-based category has become current as of July 2019!

Since there is currently no waiting period for EB-3 Philippines, employers of Filipino nurses and other health care professionals, may now apply for the I-140 straight away, and applicants may file for their adjustment of status (green card).

Why is this change so exciting? Before this change, it could take a Filipino nurse eight or more years to work in the United States and obtain permanent residence. Since the EB-3 category is now current, the whole process could take as little as 10-12 months.

Because we do not yet know how long this category will remain current, we encourage Filipino nurses and their employers to take advantage of this narrow window of opportunity and file their I-140/I-485 petitions as soon as possible.

If you have any questions regarding this new change please contact our office.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses important visa bulletin updates.

F2A Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents is now current as of July 1, 2019 with the release of the July 2019 Visa Bulletin. That means that beginning July 1, 2019, spouses and minor children of green card holders can file for I-485 adjustment of status.

What does this mean for green card holders? If your spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) are in lawful status and have already filed an I-130, they should be ready to file their I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, starting July 1. If your spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) are in lawful status in the US and you have not already filed an I-130, the I-130 and I-485 should be filed concurrently starting July 1. If your spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) are overseas and they have an approved I-130, they should be ready to submit all necessary documents to the National Visa Center so an immigrant visa interview can be scheduled.

For more information about this new update please click here.

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Great news for New Zealand Investors!

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses New Zealand’s recent addition to the E-2 Investor Visa Program.

With the passage of the Knowledgeable Innovators and Worthy Investors Act (KIWI), New Zealand nationals may now apply for the E-1 and E-2 Investor Visa.

There are two ways to apply for the E Visa.

Applicants Lawfully in the U.S.

Investors who are already lawfully present in the U.S. on a valid nonimmigrant visa may file Form I-129 to change their status to the E-2 visa classification, with the necessary supporting documentation.

Applicants Outside the U.S.

Investors who are outside of the U.S. must apply for the E-2 nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate near their place of residence. The applicant must submit the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, pay the necessary fees, and schedule their visa interview. Applicants must bring their complete application and necessary documentation to establish eligibility at the time of their interview.

What are the Requirements?

  • The investment funds and the applicant must come from the same Treaty Country.
  • The business in which investment is being made must provide job opportunities or make a significant economic impact tin the United States. The business should not be established solely for the purpose of earning a living for the applicant and his or her family.
  • The investment must come from the investor. The money must be “at risk”. Thus, a loan that is secured by the assets of the business itself will not qualify i.e. if loans have been taken out, they must be secured or guaranteed by the investor personally, and not by the assets of the corporation.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick talks about your options, as a U.S. Citizen, if you have just discovered that your foreign spouse used you to obtain a green card.

When such a case arises, and we are representing the U.S. Citizen who has just discovered that they have been defrauded, we advise our client to seek outside counsel. We cannot advise our client on how to proceed if we have filed the case because providing such advise creates a conflict of interest.

If our office did not file the green card petition, then it is possible for us to assess the U.S. Citizens options by having a consultation and discussing the situation at hand.

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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the P-1A visa for internationally recognized athletes.

Overview: 

The P-1A visa is suitable for internationally acclaimed athletes coming to the United States for the purpose of performing temporarily at an athletic competition or as part of an internationally acclaimed group or team.

To succeed in obtaining this visa, you must be able to provide evidence that you are internationally recognized in your particular field or sport. This can be demonstrated by showing significant honors or awards in your sport, international media coverage, evidence that your competitors are internationally recognized, evidence that you command a high degree of esteem within your sport etc.

The athlete must be coming to the United States to compete at a major event that is internationally recognized within that sport.

The P-1A visa is issued for the period of time necessary to complete the specific competition, event, or performance.

This is a great visa for individuals who compete regularly in the United States and are well known in their field.

Please contact our office to determine whether the P-1A visa is suitable for you.

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Overview:

The H-2B visa is a popular visa for individuals who want to come to the United States to work in a job that is temporary or seasonal in nature. This visa type is suitable for construction workers, landscapers, and housekeepers. These visas are issued for a period of up to one year. Extensions may be granted for a total of two additional years.

Workers may apply for a season that starts in April or a season that starts in October. This means that the immigration filing must be made in advance of the season the worker is requesting.

Cons:

  • There is a 66,000 cap on the number of H-2B visas issued per fiscal year. This cap is divided into two seasons which means that 33,000 visas are available each season.
  • A valid job offer from a US employer is required
  • US employer must demonstrate seasonal need
  • Only nationals of certain countries can participate
  • Not a dual intent visa

Pros:

  • The visa is granted for a period of one year, but may be extended for 2 additional years
  • Good visa for individuals interested in working in the US on a temporary basis
  • Good visa for jobs of a seasonal or temporary nature that experience a shortage in the U.S.
  • The Trump administration is proposing increasing the 66,000 cap

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What’s the difference between someone who is undocumented in the United States and someone who is here illegally?

What does it mean to be “undocumented”?

When someone is in the United States “undocumented,” that means that the person entered the United States without inspection (without the proper documentation), and as a result are currently living in the United States without the proper documentation, hence the term “undocumented.”

What does it mean to be in the U.S. “illegally”?

On the other hand, someone who came to the United States on a valid visa (such as a student visa, tourist visa, etc.) and then lost their status, either because they did not renew their visa, or their visa expired, or for some other reason, are in the United States “illegally.” These individuals were legally in the United States at some point but are now in the United States “illegally” because they are now out of status. This is also referred to as a visa overstay.  That is because the individual has now stayed in the United States past the time authorized by their initial visa.

In both cases, the individual is in the United States without authorization because they do not have the proper visa.

Path to Residency

A person who is “undocumented” meaning that they entered the United States without proper inspection, cannot adjust their status to permanent residency so easily even where married to a U.S. Citizen. Undocumented parties married to U.S. Citizens must file a waiver of inadmissibility and in some cases will have to leave the United States before applying for residency.

By contrast, a person who entered the United States with proper inspection, but who is now in the United States illegally because of an overstay, can apply for permanent residency more easily, where married to a U.S. Citizen. These individuals do not have to leave the United States before applying for residency.

The key difference between the two is in whether the person entered the country with inspection. If you entered without inspection, you would be undocumented. If you entered with inspection, but have overstayed your visa, you are in the country illegally.

If you have questions about relating to your status and legalization, please contact us.

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מעכשיו – ישראלים זכאים לאשרת משקיע (ויזת משקיע)

שגרירות ארה”ב בישראל שמחה להודיע, בעקבות חתימת אמנה בין ישראל לארה”ב, על החלת הזכאות לויזת משקיע מסוג E-2 על בעלי נתינות ישראלית, וזאת החל מ-1 במאי 2019.

אשרה מסוג E-2 היא אשרה זמנית (שלא למטרת הגירה) למי שמעוניין לפתח, לנהל או לספק מיומנויות מיחדות למיזם/פרויקט שבו הבעלים (מבקש האשרה) משקיע סכום הון ניכר. עם החלת האשרה מסוג E-2 נוצרה למשקיעים ישראלים הזדמנות להשקיע בכלכלה האמריקאית ולשלוח לארה”ב עובדים בעלי הכשרה.

באותו אופן, אזרחי ארה”ב יהיו זכאים לפנות בבקשה לאשרה לצורך השקעה בישראל. בכדי שהמשקיע הישראלי יהיה ראוי לאשרה הנ”ל צריכים להתקיים התנאים הבאים:

· ההשקעה הכספית צריכה להיות משמעותית ומספיקה להבטיח תיפעול מוצלח של המיזם/פרויקט.

· העסק צריך להיות מיזם/פרויקט ממשי פעיל.

· המשקיע צריך לנסוע לארה”ב כדי לפתח ולנהל את הפרויקט.

· אם המבקש אינו המשקיע, הוא או היא צריכים להיות מועסקים בפרויקט בתפקיד של פיקוח, או ניהול, או בתפקיד הדורש מיומנות מיוחדת בדרגה גבוהה.

המעוניינים בהגשת בקשה לאשרה הנ”ל לארה”ב מופנים לעיין בתשומת לב ברשימת הדרישות המפורטת באתר האינטרנט של שגרירות ארה”ב בירושלים. יש למלא את הבקשה בקפדנות ולעקוב אחר השלבים הנדרשים.

לאחר שהמחלקה הקונסולרית של השגרירות מקבלת בקשה מלאה ובוחנת את התיעוד הראייתי המצורף לה, יתואם עם המבקש מועד לראיון בתל-אביב.

בראיון יתקיים דיון על פרטי העסק נשוא הבקשה ועל ההשקעה הכספית, על ההסטוריה של העסק ועל התכנית העסקית, וכמו כן ידון הניסיון המקצועי של המשקיע.

If you have any questions please email jacob@h1b.biz or on whatsapp: 1-619-203-9944 to discuss. Please also remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram.

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Overview: 

Have you ever wondered what is bona fide marriage and what is the evidence required to establish bona fide marriage? In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick will explain how you can go about proving bona fide marriage.

When applying for adjustment of status based on marriage, the foreign national must prove to USCIS that they have what is called a “bona fide” marriage, meaning that the couple has entered the marriage for love, and not solely to obtain an immigration benefit. USCIS requires the applicant to meet their burden of proof of bona fide marriage to prevent green card fraud.

There is certain documentation that must be provided to prove that the couple has a bona fide marriage. This documentation can be provided with the filing itself, or at the time of the green card interview.

What type of documents are required to show bona fide marriage?

Evidence of Cohabitation: to show bona fide marriage, the couple must show that they have been living together throughout the marriage. The types of documents that can establish cohabitation are lease agreements, property deeds, and secondarily utility bills (electricity bill, water bill etc.).

Evidence of Commingled Finances: in addition, the couple must provide evidence of commingled finances such as joint bank account statements showing activity on the account such as payments for rent, food, groceries, and regular household items.

Joint Ownership of Assets: if the couple has any assets held in both of their names such as real property, an automobile, ownership of stocks or bonds etc. they may provide evidence of such assets.

Other Joint Documents: The couple may also provide life insurance policy documents, health or auto insurance, or joint memberships in a club such as gym membership.

Photographs: The couple must present photographs of themselves with friends and family members throughout their relationship to show that they have a legitimate marriage.

Trips: the couple may choose to show evidence of trips or other activities they have undertaken throughout the marriage as proof of bona fide marriage.

If you have any questions please contact our office. Please also remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram.

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Overview:

In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a new USCIS policy that says that individuals who use marijuana, may be barred from obtaining U.S. Citizenship, even if smoking marijuana is not an offense in that state. This includes individuals who work in the marijuana industry.

Under federal law, marijuana remains a controlled substance, and the possession, cultivation, and distribution of both medical and non-medical marijuana remains illegal, even though these activities are lawful in some states. Such conduct can result in very serious immigration consequences for non-citizens who are interested in applying for naturalization. That is because immigration is regulated at the federal level, and the federal rules apply.

A candidate for naturalization must demonstrate that they are a person of good moral character in the five years prior to filing for naturalization. A violation for the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana within the five-year period prior to filing your application for naturalization, may result in conditional bar to good moral character and require the applicant to file for a waiver to remove the bar, or delay the process of applying for naturalization.

Please speak with your immigration attorney for more information about how this new policy may affect you. For more information please contact our office.

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