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.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the P-1A visa for internationally recognized athletes.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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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.
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.
The J-1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa type that allows foreign nationals to come to the united states to gain some skills or training in the fields of education, arts, and science. The J-1 visa allows the foreign national to live and work in the United States for 18 months, to develop their skills.
You may apply for the J-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy in your home country if:
you are between the ages of 20 to 36
you hold a bachelor’s degree or post-secondary diploma and
you can demonstrate English proficiency by taking the TOEFL exam
you find a sponsor through the U.S. Department of State that is willing to employ you to provide the training you will need for the position you are seeking
you have a training plan provided to you by your designated company outlining what you will be doing while working for the company
A J-1 visa applicant must be sponsored by a designated public or private entity in an exchange program approved by the U.S. Department of State. The J-1 visa applicant can only work for the U.S. company and/or organization listed on Form DS-2019.
Professors or scholars, research assistants, students, trainees, teachers, au pairs, camp counselors etc. are example of exchange visitors who may qualify for the J-1.
Employment is authorized for J-1 nonimmigrants only under the terms of the exchange program. Once the duration of stay has expired, the J-1 applicant must return to their home country.
For more information about the J-1 visa please click here.
In this live stream, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent topics in immigration including the conclusion of the FY 2020 H-1B season, cancellation of the Infopass self-scheduling appointment system, extended validity of Form I-693 Medical Examination, changes to Form I-539, and cancellation of H-4 employment authorization.
The FY 2020 H-1B Season has now come to a conclusion. USCIS has announced that it has received enough petitions to meet the H-1B cap and the lottery has taken place. Our office has begun to receive receipt notices for H-1B petitions selected in the master’s cap.
All clients that filed with premium processing were selected in the lottery. At this point our office is still waiting for additional receipt notices to come in for those of our clients who were selected in the lottery. If you have not yet received notice that you were selected, please ask your Petitioners to keep an eye on their bank account. If the filing fees are charged to the bank account, then that means the petition was selected in the lottery.
Cancellation of the Infopass System
USCIS is gradually ending self-scheduling of online Infopass appointments. However, applicants can still seek an in-person appointment by contacting the USCIS Contact Center. It is not guaranteed that an in-person appointment will be scheduled. USCIS is prepared to schedule appointments for things like I-751 and I-90 extensions.
Form I-693 Medical Examinations
The medical examination is now valid for 2 years from the date the doctor signs the I-693 medical examination paperwork. The form must be filed 60 days maximum prior to filing your green card.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick shares very exciting news for Israeli citizens. The U.S. Embassy has announced that Israeli citizens are now eligible for the E-2 investor visa. This is very exciting news because Israeli citizens have been waiting for Israel to be added to the E-2 visa program for years.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel has announced that Israeli citizens may begin to apply for the E-2 visa at the Embassy in Tel Aviv beginning May 1st.
The E-2 visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa that can be used to develop, direct, or provide specialized skills to an enterprise in which the owner has invested a substantial amount of capital. With the implementation of this visa, Israeli investors now have the opportunity to invest in the U.S. economy and send qualified employees to the United States. Likewise, U.S. citizens will be eligible to apply for visas to invest in Israel.
To qualify for a Treaty Investor (E-2) visa:
The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise;
The business must be a real operating enterprise;
The investor must be traveling to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise;
If the applicant is not the investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.
Once the Consular Section receives a complete E-2 visa application and reviews the applicant’s documentary evidence, applicants will be invited to schedule a visa interview in Tel Aviv.
During the interview applicants should be prepared to discuss details of the business and investment, the business plan and history, and the investor’s professional experience.
Interested parties should contact our office to schedule a free consultation to determine eligibility.
For more information about the E-2 visa click here.